Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • TheR3ader
    • By TheR3ader 9th Nov 18, 10:42 AM
    • 8Posts
    • 13Thanks
    TheR3ader
    First Home Furnishing Help
    • #1
    • 9th Nov 18, 10:42 AM
    First Home Furnishing Help 9th Nov 18 at 10:42 AM
    Hi everyone,
    We are buying a house! Now that we've spent all our money on a house, we need to furnish it
    Essentially we are putting ourselves on a budget of 550 per month to add furniture, we are planning on doing this second hand with almost anything we can. We are looking on FB Marketplace, Gumtree, Freecycle, Ebay - does anyone have any additional suggestions for where to look for cheaper furniture?

    Also, I'm aware that there are something that we dont want to get 2nd hand (like matresses...) - is there anything else I need to be wary of when buying second hand?

    From my first pass it seems like we need everything from white goods to something to sit on!

    Any help would be very appreciated, needless to say we are very excited and open to all sugestions
Page 1
    • Flugelhorn
    • By Flugelhorn 9th Nov 18, 10:50 AM
    • 1,035 Posts
    • 1,250 Thanks
    Flugelhorn
    • #2
    • 9th Nov 18, 10:50 AM
    • #2
    • 9th Nov 18, 10:50 AM
    In my first house I sat on folding chairs with a camping table until I went to dump some cardboard packing at the tip and the guy in front was chucking out four 1940's ish dining chairs from his car boot, he retrieved the first and diverted them all to my car and I still have them around the house 30 + years later. That was a bit of luck though - rest of the stuff came from secondhand shops. Gas cooker (eye level grill LOL) and fridge freezer came from JohnLewis who duly undercut all the others and delivered free.I think if IKEA had existed I would have gone there.
    These days Freecycle / secondhand places / charity shops etc are options. Also auctions seem to have lots of "brown furniture" that goes for v little.
    • Sanne
    • By Sanne 9th Nov 18, 11:18 AM
    • 411 Posts
    • 350 Thanks
    Sanne
    • #3
    • 9th Nov 18, 11:18 AM
    • #3
    • 9th Nov 18, 11:18 AM
    When we moved into our first rental, we had nothing and bought a cheap bed from Argos, that was it. (I had just moved to the UK so couldn’t take any furniture with me). We then got a few bits - incl a TV - for free from work colleagues; I had posted on the virtual message board to see if anyone had anything to sell.
    And then we added to it as and when, from charity shops, cheap bits from high street stores etc.

    That was 10.5 years ago and we’ve now bought our first (and hopefully last!) house and will take everything we have and then gradually replace it with new furniture that fits the space - currently it’s more “what fits into nearly any space in case we have to move”.
    We could splash out easily now but can’t see the point - we treated ourselves to a new cooker (cheap one, it’s a 50cm dual fuel so had the grand choice of... 1!); the washing machine/fridge freezer/dishwasher/dryer we bought off the vendors so we were lucky there.

    I think you’re doing this really sensibly, always makes me laugh when youngsters get their first place and insist on furnishing the entire place with new furniture straight on moving in, some of them who could only afford to buy with HTB and family giving money towards the deposit.

    So, yep - Freecycle/Freegle, gumtree, charity shops (Red Cross, Emmaus, Debra, local hospices are the ones that cone to mind which usually seem to have furniture stores), second hand places generally (we have an amazing store nearby which we’ll keep visiting now!) - also keep an eye out on sales coming up. Also always worth asking around at work.

    Good luck
    • Slinky
    • By Slinky 9th Nov 18, 11:20 AM
    • 5,587 Posts
    • 26,243 Thanks
    Slinky
    • #4
    • 9th Nov 18, 11:20 AM
    • #4
    • 9th Nov 18, 11:20 AM
    I bought a second hand cooker and some conservatory furniture (which I used in my lounge) off work colleagues. Try sticking a note up where you work and ask if anybody wants to get rid of anything. I also bought table and chairs and a dresser from an auction. Other bits I borrowed from my parental home until I could afford to buy for myself. I did buy a brand new bed.
    • googler
    • By googler 9th Nov 18, 11:21 AM
    • 14,885 Posts
    • 9,773 Thanks
    googler
    • #5
    • 9th Nov 18, 11:21 AM
    • #5
    • 9th Nov 18, 11:21 AM
    We are looking on FB Marketplace, Gumtree, Freecycle, Ebay - does anyone have any additional suggestions for where to look for cheaper furniture?
    Originally posted by TheR3ader
    You could go old-school and walk up and down your high street(s) - charity shops, auction houses, house clearance companies, that sorta thing.
    • bopsybunny
    • By bopsybunny 9th Nov 18, 11:40 AM
    • 46 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    bopsybunny
    • #6
    • 9th Nov 18, 11:40 AM
    • #6
    • 9th Nov 18, 11:40 AM
    See if there is a British Heart Foundation Furniture and Electrics store near you. We got a few bits from there. They have all sorts in there, good prices and they can deliver.

    When buying second hand, I'd say be wary of Ikea stuff if you are going to need to dismantle and rebuild it to get it home, for example wardrobes. Our Ikea wardrobe has lived with us in 3 different houses and each time we move it doesn't quite go back together as well, and certain bits like handles start falling off... We will be chucking it out when we move again (we're currently in the process of buying our first house but have lived in unfurnished rentals for several years).

    Also look for nearby Next or Marks and Spencer outlet stores. They often have furniture that is ex-display or returns that they sell at massive markdowns. We got a 1000 sofa, brand new, from M&S outlet in Salford Quays for about 250. It has a small (1 inch) tear in the fabric on one of the arms, we covered it with a blanket and rarely have thought about it since. A lot of the stuff in there is in perfect condition though.

    Other than that - maybe just get the word out to friend and family that you're looking for furniture. We got a leather armchair for free through word of mouth, and some side tables for free from family who were having a clear-out.
    Deposit savings Aug 17: 3.5k. Oct 18: 18.9k (20.7k including 2 HTB bonuses )
    Goal: Own house by Christmas 2018 Complete purchase on "dream home"
    • Murphybear
    • By Murphybear 9th Nov 18, 12:07 PM
    • 4,058 Posts
    • 8,020 Thanks
    Murphybear
    • #7
    • 9th Nov 18, 12:07 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Nov 18, 12:07 PM
    Where do you live?

    I ask because there will be lots of local charity/other shops that sell cheap but good furniture that MSErs will know about.

    For example we have an amazing charity shop that is housed in an old Art Deco cinema. They only have furniture/household at very low prices.

    You could also try local council recycling centres. A lot of it is tat but there are some bargains to be had. We got a beautiful coffee table and a leather pouffe which matched our furniture, for 5 each
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 9th Nov 18, 12:14 PM
    • 3,028 Posts
    • 4,886 Thanks
    trailingspouse
    • #8
    • 9th Nov 18, 12:14 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Nov 18, 12:14 PM
    You don't have to do it all at one go. That's the thing to bear in mind. Our philosophy was always that (as far as practicable) we would manage without until we could afford what we really wanted.

    Priority is a bed (and even if you're getting a second-hand bed, personally I would want a new mattress), and a cooker. There's an awful lot of stuff that you don't actually need.

    Relatives are good sources of odds and ends. People like to help, so let them. You don't need to tell them that their choice of towels/curtains/duvet covers/crockery is abysmal.

    Charity shops, pound shops, freecycle, auctions.

    But just because you're buying cheap doesn't mean you can't buy smart - if you know that one day you want a dove grey kitchen with pops of lime green, then buy the grey washing up bowl rather than the pink one, or the lime green T towels rather than the brown ones. If you can't afford a table and chairs, maybe you could afford a patio set - then, when you can afford the real thing, the patio set gets moved onto the patio.

    We still have the table we bought for our kitchen for next to nothing then carried home (half a mile) to save petrol - it's now in the boot room...
    You'll get there.
    Last edited by trailingspouse; 09-11-2018 at 12:16 PM.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 9th Nov 18, 12:33 PM
    • 11,069 Posts
    • 14,612 Thanks
    hazyjo
    • #9
    • 9th Nov 18, 12:33 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Nov 18, 12:33 PM
    I'd be looking for quality and cheap, not just 'cheap and about to fall apart as made of something resembling thick cardboard' lol.


    Search for things like 'mahogany' or 'oak' (and careful it's not an imitation or 'effect' type thing). If you don't like the colour or think something looks dated, or even if you buy loads of mis-matched stuff and want it to look uniform, you could always paint it. (Slightly criminal I know, but I do think painted stuff can look good too.)


    Search 'Frenchic paint' and various furniture items on google images to take a look. Can use that paint to paint straight on, no need to sand, prime, etc. Some of their own images as examples here: https://frenchicpaint.co.uk/blogs/upcycling-makeovers


    There are other makes that do it too.


    Highly recommend the basic white cheap dinner service in Wilko and their hi-ball glasses. So durable! Great kitchen stuff. I prefer it to Ikea.
    2018 wins: Single Malt Whisky; theatre tickets; festival tickets; year of gin(!); shoes; Thai cooking stuff; Jo Brand talk; Slime Factory; Flawless tickets; Comedy night tickets
    • MP2609
    • By MP2609 9th Nov 18, 1:40 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    MP2609
    Hi everyone,
    We are buying a house! Now that we've spent all our money on a house, we need to furnish it
    Essentially we are putting ourselves on a budget of 550 per month to add furniture, we are planning on doing this second hand with almost anything we can. We are looking on FB Marketplace, Gumtree, Freecycle, Ebay - does anyone have any additional suggestions for where to look for cheaper furniture?

    Also, I'm aware that there are something that we dont want to get 2nd hand (like matresses...) - is there anything else I need to be wary of when buying second hand?

    From my first pass it seems like we need everything from white goods to something to sit on!

    Any help would be very appreciated, needless to say we are very excited and open to all sugestions
    Originally posted by TheR3ader
    I am myself currently looking for my first house and after some good discussions on this forum, I managed to create a list of everything I need as well as an estimate of the cost for each item. More than happy to drop you a message with a template of it if you would like?
    • camptownraces
    • By camptownraces 9th Nov 18, 1:44 PM
    • 330 Posts
    • 199 Thanks
    camptownraces
    Many charity shops sell wooden furniture, which shouldn't present a problem.

    To be safe, second hand upholstered furniture should have a label saying that it complies with the 1988 fire safety regulations. Furniture that doesn't have this label can release fatal toxic fumes in the event of a fire.

    Electrical appliances may not be sold secondhand unless they have been tested by a qualified electrician and found to be functioning and safe. Electrical goods that people give away (for example via Freecycle etc) have no guarantee of safety.

    British Heart Foundation shops sell second hand electrical goods which have been tested and passed by their electricians as functioning and safe. There may be other charity shops that can do this, I don't know.

    Best of luck with your search.
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 9th Nov 18, 1:53 PM
    • 4,029 Posts
    • 6,428 Thanks
    bouicca21
    Almost all my furniture came from eBay. I bought the bed and sofa new. I then saved up for bedroom furniture because almost all the bedroom furniture on eBay was too hideous for even short term use. I was lucky that the vendors left all the white goods.

    When I moved in with the few bits and pieces I already had, the removers were really pleased there was nothing from IKEA. They said dismantling and reassembling that kind of stuff was always a nightmare and the reassembly almost always caused problems.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 9th Nov 18, 1:58 PM
    • 5,221 Posts
    • 7,919 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    My first house was furnished from auctions and second hand shops. I still have a lot of the furniture here in my current house more than 30 years later.
    • Money maker
    • By Money maker 9th Nov 18, 2:00 PM
    • 5,111 Posts
    • 11,629 Thanks
    Money maker
    Where do you live?

    I ask because there will be lots of local charity/other shops that sell cheap but good furniture that MSErs will know about.

    For example we have an amazing charity shop that is housed in an old Art Deco cinema. They only have furniture/household at very low prices.
    Originally posted by Murphybear
    Yes, we went there on holiday. Very reasonably priced and a unique venue.
    Please do not quote spam as this enables it to 'live on' once the spam post is removed.

    If you quote me, don't forget the capital 'M'

    Declutterers of the world - unite!
    • todayisagreatday
    • By todayisagreatday 9th Nov 18, 2:31 PM
    • 172 Posts
    • 124 Thanks
    todayisagreatday
    Having just moved, we took our second hand sofa with us, now 11 years old and probably triple that before we got it cheap off Gumtree. As our old house had all fitted appliances we got a fridge freezer and washing machine off Freecycle for nothing.

    It could be worth heading to your local village/town Facebook site and ask if anyone is giving away xyz whatever you need as often there tend to be people getting rid of things cheap or free, that may not be in brilliant condition but perfectly fine, e.g our washing machine is scratched and had a dent in it, but it works perfectly. There are people that would rather give it away than have to take it the tip.

    I'd love to have new things and the day I actually get to shop for a new, nice sofa I think I'll cry! Look at it that when you move in you'll end up with the unexpected things that need sorting that need a proper tradesman for that you can't save on. For now, see the furniture and other decor stuff you get cheaply or free as a short term measure. As you settle in properly you can eventually build up to getting exactly what you want, it takes time.

    My SIL moved in her house, literally took none of her furniture or home decorations and had everything new, blowing any budget on a new crushed velvet sofa, grey rugs, mirrorred glass furniture, new beds, etc. When they had a disaster with the boiler a few months after moving, they had to take a loan out!! Watch your budget and allow for things you may need to sort that is not expected.

    Good luck...
    • Blondetotty
    • By Blondetotty 9th Nov 18, 2:37 PM
    • 192 Posts
    • 201 Thanks
    Blondetotty
    Don't go for a really cheap new mattress if you can help it. False economy.

    I made the mistake of replacing a cheap mattress with an expensive one from Dreams. It ended up going back after less than a month. Eventually I purchased an absolutely perfect one from John Ryan by Design. I've never slept so better.
    Reason for posting if they also offer a seconds department so have some odd mattresses returned for whatever reason with discounts between 10 and 50% depending on marks/tears etc.

    A friend returned a super king size a while back because it couldn't fit through his flat stairs and the material ripped slightly. Those, and up to 30 day returns are resold through the outlet so you could get a brand new one for half the price. It's hit and miss as to what is available though but for the love of a good nights sleep, please spend as much as you can on getting a good quality mattress. Some things you can scrimp on, personally for me, a mattress isn't one of those.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 9th Nov 18, 4:14 PM
    • 6,903 Posts
    • 9,105 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    Look for charity shops. When I bought my first house I got several items from a Salvation Army shop.

    You can also look for refurbed appliances. I bought a fridge for 30 for my first house, (and sold it back to the same guy for 25, 3 years later when I moved)

    For anything second hand, do inspect it in person. furniture (even wooden furniture) from the home of a heavy smoker can stink, and it is very difficult to get rid of the smell, so bear that in mind. Obviously this also applies to any soft furnishing or curtains.

    IKEA can be good and inexpensive for some things - I got a lot of wear out of my Klippan sofa, and they are also good for inexpensive curtains, glassware etc.

    freecycle and the equivalent are also worth checking out,

    depending on what style of furniture you like, check out your local auctioneer - often they do house clearances so will have fairly cheap stuff as well as antiques (just set yourself a hard budget for anything you're interested in, so you don''t blow your budget if you get into a bidding war, and make sure you understand what charges there are on top of the amount you actually bid)
    • jjj1980
    • By jjj1980 9th Nov 18, 6:18 PM
    • 521 Posts
    • 1,066 Thanks
    jjj1980
    I would recommend IKEA for furniture etc, especially browsing the bargain corner. For my first home, I went up with 600 set aside and managed to get a sofa, two bedside tables, lamps, crockery, vases and decorations, cushions and throws, bookcases, a rug, picture frames a chest of drawers, a wardrobe frame and mirror doors and one of their Poang chairs.

    I then managed to pick up discounted microwave, toaster and kettle from Argos and Curry’s.

    Wilko’s sell really good duvets at pretty low prices
    • spo2
    • By spo2 12th Nov 18, 11:15 AM
    • 141 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    spo2
    Can you see if there's anything the vendor may be willing to leave behind (white goods etc)? They may be keen/open to buying new appliances for a new home. I got my fridge freezer cheap and second hand from the vendor as the colour matched the kitchen, but would have looked out of place in the new house. A second hand washing machine may do you a few years before needing replaced.


    Other than that I got my sofas discounted from an independent shop as they were the display models, and I got hand-me-down dining table and chairs, and spare bed from relatives who were planning to get rid. My cutlery was an old set that my parents got as wedding presents!


    People will buy housewarming presents - a close relative bought me my cooker! I think the only things I forked out full price for were my bed and washing machine!
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

2,635Posts Today

8,010Users online

Martin's Twitter