How to Furnish Your First Apartment With a Small Budget

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Moving out of your parents home or upgrading from your dorm room is a daunting task. Not only do you have to worry about paying rent and utilities, but you’re also probably lacking a lot of the basic necessities you to need start off. This guide will help you find the furniture, household essentials, and home decor you want and need for your first apartment at a price that won’t break the bank! Here are a few tips before we begin: While I do mention several popular stores, thrift stores, and hand-me-downs are your best friends when on a budget. You can sometimes find a great piece of furniture for the fraction of a price you would find it at popular department stores. Many people feel uncomfortable buying secondhand items, though, so let’s check out what there is to be found online and in stores! Let’s break it down by room.

**This article contains affiliate links, and we will be compensated for any purchases made after using our links. Thank you for supporting Miss Millennia Magazine!**

The Kitchen

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A cozy kitchen! Credit: Photography by Jen via Compfight cc

This might be the most important room in your apartment, because everyone’s gotta eat, amirite?

Utensils, etc. 

It’s easy to forget the simple stuff when moving into a new place. This list on Family Share compiles all the essentials you will need in your first kitchen. By no means do you need to buy every item here! Take into considerations your level of comfort in the kitchen: Are you constantly making home-cooked meals or are you on a steady diet of frozen veggie burgers? Forego some of items that require expertise in the kitchen (like a roaster, muffin tins, or pie pans).

The Furniture

Are you lacking counter space? There are few options that will help you utilize your small space to your best ability and make your apartment look adorable! Buying a kitchen island or a small kitchen cart will give you extra storage and counter space in the kitchen, and the best part is you can simply push it aside when you are done using it.

Check out this adorable kitchen cart from Ikea. Not only will this provide extra storage for a smaller kitchen space, but it only costs less than $50!  If you have a little more money to spend are looking for something a bit more substantial, this kitchen island from Amazon will only run you about $90 and is great for spaces lacking additional cabinet and drawer space.

Depending on whether you have a dining room or not (I didn’t when first moving out) you might want to buy a kitchen table! I was lucky enough to have a lot of counter space and storage space, so my roommate and I bought a kitchen table instead. For those on a budget, I truly feel that stores like Ikea and Target have the best selection for the lowest price over any department store. In the end, it’s your choice if you’re looking for quality or quantity in terms of price and how long something will last. I was happy to buy somewhat cheaper items since I was just starting out, but if you’re looking for something to last the next decade, it’s not a bad idea to grant yourself a bigger budget.

The Living Room

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We’re loving this small living room! Credit: West Elm

The most important thing to remember is that clutter and overpacking a room will make your space look more small and hectic, so try to keep in simple! One great way to do that is to make sure you are choosing furniture that will compliment the size of your living room. Amazon offers an extensive array of selectional sofas that are great for any size room. Remember that before buying a sofa, you will want to measure your room to make sure it will fit perfectly! Check out the amazing transformation here (pictured above) that changed a small, dark room into light-filled, cozy space.eeping in mind these tips: choose furniture that sits low to the ground since it will make your ceilings seem higher,

Keep in mind these tips: choose furniture that sits low to the ground (it will make your ceilings seem higher) and start with larger pieces and fill in around them (for example, buy your couch and rug first and then shop for your coffee table and any additional pieces).

Furniture of America Coffee Table with Drawers

This sleek coffee table is a great way to still have some storage but not over clutter or overcrowd your living room. It also provides a great place to hide your remotes, coasters, magazines or any other small stuff that tends to pile up! In addition, always remember that lighter colors will make the room appear to be bigger, and some well-placed art will make your apartment feel more homey.


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Credit: Hit Flix








The Bedroom

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Adorable! Credit: Beneath My Heart

Just because you have a small space doesn’t mean your bedroom can’t still be adorable! I’m obsessed with the layout of this perfect, small room which Traci featured on her blog, Beneath My Heart.  Check out the full tutorial on her website to make your own! By keeping the furniture in this bedroom simple and using the shelves to create accent touches, this room does not feel as small! But, if you’re lacking the closet space, you might want to invest in a storage bed. This option will allow you to store more clothes and additional items without taking up more space in your room.

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Ikea Storage Bed.

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Chest of Drawers from Ikea



This bed frame will only set you back $250! If you’re also in need of a dresser, Ikea has great options that even allow you to be a little creative.






For example, the TARVA chest below comes in multiple colors. You can buy it in pine if you’re looking for a more natural look, or you have the option to stain or paint the chest of drawers yourself. This option will lower the price drastically; other similar painted dressers they stock are more than double the price.




The Bathroom

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Splash Home Shower Curtain

If your bathroom is on the small side, why not try adding a fun shower curtain to brighten things up? Amazon has an awesome selection of quirky, unique shower curtains that will make your small space beautiful! Buying a little shelf will provide you with additional storage space and will just look pretty darn cute in your bathroom as well.

Although we want our bathroom to be cute, it’s important that we have ample storage space for all the products one needs to store. Thankfully, these bathroom hacks will show you how a little organization can go a long way in your apartment.

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Declutter your bathroom. Credit: Beauty Riot


Click on the image to the left to find out how to stylishly unclutter your bathroom by making this awesome hair tool station. Although the rail, hooks, and containers are all part of an IKEA kitchen series, how cute would they look in your bathroom? Hang the rail on the inside of a cabinet door if you want to hide these tools or on the side of your sink if you want to show off your amazing organization.

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Organize your bathroom cabinet! Credit: Orgjunkie





Another great idea to organize your bathroom is buying stacking bins for underneath your

sink. Now you can simply throw your lipstick back in the appropriately marked bin rather than digging through a mountain of makeup to find that one elusive item. Although these bins will run you about $26 a piece on Amazon, I’m sure that you can find a similar product at your local dollar store, so make sure you check that before splurging online!


Now you’re all set to furnish that brand new apartment you’re moving into! Know any great steals or life hacks that will make moving easier? Let us know in the comments below!


**This article contains affiliate links, and we will be compensated for any purchases made after using our links. Thank you for supporting Miss Millennia Magazine!**


Resources: Amazon, Apartment Therapy, Beauty Riot, BuzzFeed

Nervous to move into your first apartment? Miss Millennia has you covered with awesome tips on how to furnish, organize, and decorate your new space!

Interested in learning more about furnishing your first apartment? Be sure to read Apartment Therapy Complete and Happy Home. apartment