How I Furnished an Unfurnished Apartment

There was this sensation of terror that was lingering in the back of my mind throughout the summer before I moved back to college. I was now out of the dorms and would be moving into an unfurnished off-campus apartment. I was scared that my apartment was going to look like a man’s apartment with a mattress in the corner and a TV to the side with an unnecessary amount of cables. Fortunately, after digging for hours and hours and then renting a Zip Car, my roommate and I managed to snag good deals on furnishings for our living room, dining area, and our bedrooms.


Walmart + Amazon


Rule number one I had for myself of moving in was to take a screwdriver. I was ready to build all of my furniture by myself, and I did do it by myself. When looking to furnish my room, I looked mainly for a bed, a desk, and a bookshelf. That’s all I needed, really. 

While digging through Walmart’s website, I was fortunate enough to find this $70 furniture set that would basically fill my bedroom.

(Photo courtesy of Walmart)


Although putting this furniture set together was the most annoying thing in the world, I can’t deny that it really saved me a lot of money and makes my room look well put together.

Also on Walmart, I bought a $99 mattress with really good reviews to put on my bed frame I got on Amazon that ended up being $67 after a bunch of discounts I racked up. 

With a bed sheet set I got at Ross, my room was able to come together with the colors white and pink. 

Overall, I spent less than $300 on my bedroom for an apartment I just might stay in until I graduate college in three years or so.

(Photo courtesy of Amazon)



Ikea can be a tough place to get to when there aren’t that many but without it, our living room would be completely empty except for our couch. 

Our dining table was $24 while each chair was $12. But of course, that’s after hours of walking through the huge store. It can seem overwhelming to find cute stuff for cheap, but it’s worth it. We also got a TV stand for $30 and a tall bookshelf for $25. It’s quite nice to see everything put together after hours of nonstop building. 

Building things together is the ultimate test of “will I be able to stand you for the rest of the year?” but it definitely makes everything feel so much homier.



We went to Target for what we needed and left immediately with what we needed. A couch. We got a $98 futton (it was cheaper in-store) that has already been used by some of my friends and looks great with our Ikea furniture. It’s not uncomfortable for the price we got it for, and it was easy to build. Even our foster kittens love it!

(Photo by Deedee Plata) 


I really had fun picking out the furniture for my apartment. It does take about $500 to put it all together (I didn’t even talk about decorations), but I think that if you believe you’re going to stay in an apartment for more than one year, than it’s worth putting in the money.