Saturday

How to Find Lowest Prices When Decorating Apartment

You need to add a little life to a drab looking apartment or town home, but you have little money to do it. You may have received the overpriced catalogs in the mail with the pretty pictures tempting you to decorate on borrowed money. How do you get started with very little money and time?

Make time to read about low cost apartment decorating and/or watch television programs for tips.

The more knowledge you receive when it comes to apartment or town home decorating, the easier it will be for you to come up with a simple plan that usually includes the following when decorating: great lighting, interesting art and novelty items, window treatments, and useful furniture. However, too much researching and you just might get a headache!

You may be indecisive when it comes to colors and themes for your apartment or town home, but don't be. A great way to eliminate your confusion would be to check the prices of items you like then check your bank account. For example, you see an image of palm trees you really like, so you might concentrate on the color scheme then look for things that center on the image. You may find a couple of pictures with palm trees, a small area rug, or a few decorative mugs. Now you have some items to include in a certain part of your home to get you started. However, don't do like some people just keep stockpiling on the same image, find related things that may go along with your image such as: an island, tropical birds, a hotel or plane image. Before long you have a vacation theme for some place in your home. Keep thinking of other interests.

Review what you already have in your apartment or town home that you aren't using or haven't used for a long time.

Sometimes we have things in our possession that could be revived if we just get them fixed, painted, or upgraded. You may have a broken treasure, but haven't used it because you haven't gotten around to placing an order or shopping for a part. Try doing that first before buying something new. When you are ready to part with it, sell the item (making sure you list what is wrong with it) then take monies received and put them toward your apartment decorating fund (you do have a budget, right?)

Ask and you shall receive (or maybe not) what you need from a relative or friend.

Some things you simply don't want to spend your cash on if you can help it. The trick to purchasing decor for your apartment or town home is to get as much stuff as you can for little money. Those little things like cups, wine glasses, or novelty items you want to decorate a shelf or space in your corner, might be given to you if only you would ask. So make the time to hang out with a relative or friend who has been wanting you to come around and see what they might be willing to give you.

Make a list of necessities items, then add how much you are willing to spend on them.

When you have a very limited budget, you don't want to go into any store or shop online without a list. Ask yourself, “What do I really need? What will be used almost daily? What will make me feel comfortable in my new living space?” Without a budget, you will find yourself impulse shopping, experiencing buyer's remorse and running up your credit card.

Check local ads for yard sales, estate sales, and/or flea markets for any goods you don't mind buying used or refurbished.

People on the side of the road selling their wares, a local rummage sale or an invite to a flea market, are all great places to find some affordable décor. Don't let pride or ego get in the way! You will often see some of the best interior decorators on TV going to these places to find interesting pieces of art work and novelty items.

Visit local stores including discount and thrift stores.

Although slightly priced higher then going to a home owner's yard sale, discount and thrift stores are great places to find all sorts of book shelves, small tables and chairs, glass art, cups, and wall pictures.

When buying new products, research the latest local circulars first.

Why waste gas shopping at different stores? Find out who has a sale on the items you want. For instance, maybe you are in need of a dresser for your bedroom. You don't want to visit any store without knowing what discounts they are offering. If your store isn't advertising any specials in circulars, why not call them?

Remember the sales clerk hopes you visit the store so that they can get you to spend as much money as you can buying their goods. Keep in mind, he or she is already prepared to get you to sign up for a credit card and purchase the most expensive item you most likely can't afford. Avoid the pressure before visiting the store, do two things: know exactly what you want and research for the lowest price possible!

Avoid partnering with a relative or friend who is eager to get you to spend more money.

Why should they care that you have other bills? Your “big spender” relative or friend is going with you to the store for a good experience and helping you watch your budget is not in the plan. Too often shoppers take someone with them to make a major purchase who isn't very good at helping them make wise decisions. This person may or may not have your best interests in mind. Sometimes people tend to forget that they aren't shopping for themselves, so they suggest items they would buy, but not necessarily what you would buy. Use caution when bringing someone along. One way to keep from spending more money on merchandise then you intend to pay is to let the relative or friend know in advance what you want and ask them to hold you accountable for your budget.

Shop the Internet only if you have found the price lower and/or can't find your product elsewhere, and always avoid paying shipping and handling costs.

Notice Internet shopping is listed as the last thing to do when shopping for home décor for your apartment or town home. The reason for this is simple, items usually cost more online once you factor in shipping and handling charges and local sales tax. Let's say you visit a website for a nice framed poster you could quite possibly find offline if you take your time, the site claims “free shipping,” but upon closer inspection you notice that just about every item on the site seems to be a tad bit overpriced. They are more expensive, because the seller figured out a way to camouflage the shipping and handling charges in the price—click off sites like these! If you must have a poster with a certain scene, entertainer, or symbol, look for something similar offline for cheaper.

Once you have made your list of items that you need for your home, visited various offline stores, thrift stores, yard sales and other places, consider what more you might need. You might find a great sale on much needed merchandise at the right time! Enjoy your shopping experiences!

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media