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Decorating on a dime

Decorating on a dime

More often than not, back-to-school season and moving season come hand-in-hand for students. Spending money on furnishing a new dorm or apartment is typically the last thing we want to do after paying rent, deposits and utilities. Decorate on a dime with this localized guide to second hand apps, thrift shops and department stores.

The first thing a new living space needs is furniture, and the first place to look is second hand apps. Since apps like 5miles and OfferUp are often used to sell furniture and other household items as quickly as possible, they are usually home to extremely low prices. For example, I once paid just $5 for a brand new desk chair – in quarters.

These apps also allow users to narrow their search by location and price range, making them very compatible with busy schedules and tight budgets.

Houseware and kitckenware are another must when putting together a new place. For those who love vintage and retro looks, local thrift stores are one of the best options.

To testify, I once bought all the glassware, silverware, plates and bowls I needed for my apartment from a local trading post. In total, I spent about $40.

In Denton, the Downtown Mini Mall on the courthouse square and Ruth’s Room are certainly worth checking out, and bear in mind that every purchase from Ruth’s benefits Habitat for Humanity of Denton County.

For those with more modern taste, IKEA is another affordable option for everyday items. Think cutting boards, kitchen knives, place mats, fruit bowls. When it comes to these sorts of items, this store’s prices make it well worth the 30-minute drive to Frisco.

For example, I recently bought a toilet brush from IKEA for $0.69. Clearly, this is not the most glamorous product to reference in print, but why spend $3 to $6 on similar items at Walmart or Target when you could quite literally pay cents?

IKEA does come with its disclaimers, however. While its furniture can also be quite affordable, it is typically very flimsy and is simply not built to last.

Furthermore, IKEA is not for the weak. Its showroom is full of items that no one knows they “need” until spotted in a bedroom display that is somehow aesthetically pleasing on a downright obnoxious level.

Example: Did I need a $30 faux sheepskin rug to drape over my $5 5miles chair? No. Does it look adorable in my living room right now? Heck yes it does. 

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