Tuesday 25 June 2019

New Home, Too Much Space: Tips For Furnishing A Larger Property

Collaborative Post

For most families, the need for more space is one of the most significant influencing factors on the decision to move home. However, while more living space will always be appreciated, the initial stages of making the most of a larger property can actually be a little trickier than you may expect.

Moving boxes and house plants piled up, with other moving items

The biggest problem
By far the most significant issue that families moving into a larger property face is that they do not have enough furniture to fill that new space. If, for example, you had previously owned a two-bedroom apartment, then moving to a three-bedroom house will suddenly mean you have at least one extra room to fill - and potentially more when a dining room or ensuite is factored in to the equation.

Worse yet, in some instances, families may find themselves needing to buy furniture for an entire house. For example, if you have been renting a furnished property, then moving into a new home means that you may have to start from scratch when it comes to furniture and fittings such as blinds, carpets, and similar items.

This may leave you facing an odd conundrum. Yes, you now have more physical space available, which is why you moved in the first instance, but you don't have the furniture and fittings you need to make use of that space effectively.

The financial strain
The most obvious solution to the above issue is simple, head to your favourite furniture store and buy everything you need to ‘complete’ the house.

Unfortunately, this option is not feasible in many cases. Equipping multiple rooms is expensive at the best of times. Good furniture that is built to last is the right long-term financial choice, but is expensive in the short-term, and the cost of fittings and fixtures can quickly add up. In the aftermath of a move, which will have already involved a variety of extra expenses, such as hiring a removal company, paying legal fees and taxes, your family’s finances will already be stretched. Finding even more funds to fully equip your home is simply not an option.

Finding the solution
In the above situation, you may feel that you only have one option and that's manage as well as you can for the moment, and then start shopping when your finances begin to bounce back after the move. It’s not ideal, but living with the empty space seems like the only viable option available to you.

There are, however, alternative options that you may want to consider, starting with…

1. See if you can find free items online
Over recent years, freecycling has become more commonplace, so exploring this option could help you to fill the empty space in your new home. Facebook is usually the best resource for freecycling options, so you can join a few groups local to you to see what you can find. This method is not without its downsides though and you are limited to what people are offering at a specific time. Competition tends to be fierce, so there is a higher reliance on luck when it comes to finding exactly what you need. Act quickly if you see something you really want.

2. Buy secondhand items 

Although buying secondhand does have its downsides - as we will discuss in more depth in the next point - if you’re in need of low cost furniture in a hurry, secondhand items can be helpful. For the most part, local online listings sites are usually the best place to find items or online auction sites can also be helpful if you’d like to search further afield and are happy to pay for postage.

Secondhand furniture stacked up

3. Look for financing
Buying second hand items can work well in terms of budget but there are a few downsides to consider. For example, most people find that they have to make significant compromises in terms of style, colour choices and the condition of the item. While these compromises seem like a sensible choice when you have a home to fill, it can be problematic in the years to come. You may find you want to replace the secondhand items in the near future with items that actually suit your style and decor preferences, or to replace items in a poor condition, which means you can find yourself essentially spending twice in a relatively short period of time. To avoid such a scenario, financing via the likes of Evolution Money and similar companies is worth considering, as you will be able to buy the items you know you want without compromises and can spread the cost over a longer period of time. Always make sure that you can afford the repayments for the entire length of the loan.

4. Ask friends and family for items they no longer need
Over time, many people accumulate spare furniture and fittings in their attic or basement, so it’s always worth asking friends and family if they have any items going spare that you may be able to use. Admittedly, this does mean the items will be secondhand and thus a few compromises may be needed, but if you can secure the items for free, then this downside can be overlooked. While it’s unlikely that you will be able to source everything you need from loved ones, this method can give you a decent head start.

What to avoid
You may be wondering why what seems to be the simplest solution, buying cheap furniture and fittings from low-cost stores, has been omitted from the list above. There is, however, a simple phrase that explains this: “buy cheap, buy twice”. Low-cost tends to mean low-quality, so you will definitely have to replace items sooner rather than later.

While this may sound comparable to buying second hand items, which as we’ve discussed, are likely to need to be replaced anyway, there is usually a significant cost difference between cheap new items and older, secondhand items. Second hand furniture is cheap because it is pre-owned and may show signs of wear and tear. Prices for new cheap furniture are a reflection of the quality of the materials used. This is a significant difference which, coupled with the fact that even “cheap” new furniture and fittings can still be very expensive, means that buying low-cost, cheap options is usually best avoided.

In conclusion
When it comes to adding furniture and fittings to a new property, exploring one of the four ideas above should allow you to enjoy the benefits of the extra space in your new home as soon as possible.

Mummy Snowy Owl

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