In a recent post I mentioned that I moved to London at the end of last year. My boyfriend and I rented an unfurnished flat in Streatham and had to get EVERYTHING for it ourselves. I definitely underestimated how stressful the move would be but now, two months on, I get such a sense of pride and achievement looking at how we have furnished it and given everything our own little touches.
I am planning to put a home tour up soon with before and after photos of each room, but in the meantime I thought I would share a few tips on moving making your first house a home - particularly if you need furniture!...
- Freecycle, Gumtree and Preloved are your best friend. All of the furniture in our flat is second hand (apart from two IKEA wardrobes) but is such great quality it looks brand new. We managed to get two beautiful pastel blue sofas completely free from Freecycle, a huge dining table and chairs set for £70 and a white vintage coffee table for £20 from Gumtree.
If you have never used these sites before, Freecycle is essentially a website where people in your local area list items they no longer want - for free! As a member there is also a 'Wanted' section so you can post an alert if you are looking for something in particular. You can join up to six groups which are split up into locations, so it might be worth joining a group slightly further away from you or if you are able to travel - if it is a nice area people may list slightly better things ;) Freecycle is great for bulky furniture like beds, sofas and appliances, but it is generally collection only!
- Spread the word. Let people know you are moving well in advance and tell as many people as possible. You never know, a friend of a friend may have a few unwanted items they may want to donate to you (My mum actually got chatting to an old friend she ran into in Tesco and when she told her I was moving it turned out she was also moving house and was about to get rid of her double bed, so gave it to us!) People may spot things going cheap and keep an eye out for you.
- Do some DIY. Wooden furniture can easily be given a new lease of life with a fresh coat of paint. You can always pick things up cheap in furniture and car boot sales then use them as little up-cycling projects! Plus you feel a lot more pleased with something you worked on yourself rather than bought brand new.
- An IKEA spree will be needed. Some people prefer to buy what they need slowly over time and build things up but, if you don't have anywhere to store it ahead of time you may be better off doing a big IKEA spree when you move.