Furnishing your Davis apartment for less than $500

Furnishing your Davis apartment is most often a matter of what you and your roommates can scrounge from home. But sometimes when you are a transfer or international student to UC Davis, your belongings may be confined to what you can cram into an overhead bin.

If you are looking at a totally empty Davis apartment, here are a few tips from MyFirstApartment.com on how to furnish your apartment for$500 or less:

The $500 Apartment

We’ve selected 10 items we think you shouldn’t live without, as well as how much we’d estimate you spend on them – minimally. Let us know what you think  – and if there any must have items we missed!

1) Bed/Couch – $200

The first item on the list has to be a bed. Without a bed, you’re just going to feel like you’re couchsurfing and won’t feel settled.   But, yikes, a bed is probably the most expensive item in any first apartment. What can you do to avoid spending your entire budget?

First, do some futon research. My cousin actually preferred sleeping on his futon even though he had the cash to get a bed. They can be truly great, especially for those living in studios – as they will, of course, double as a couch.  Try to find one from a friend or check Craigslist – but beware bed bugs. Plenty of people need to sell furniture and are bed bug free – but just FYI.

You should also be able to find beds on craigslist for $150 or less if you feel adventurous  .  .but then you’ll need to spend money for a couch separately.

2) Dining Table, chairs – $100

Try finding larger items either at Goodwill or the Salvation Army.  You can find a total gem for very little $.  The trick here, though is time – as it will likely take longer as every item is unique.

You can also check out the organization FreeCycle – which is all about free-recycling. My old roommate gave away her TV and her desk through this network, and said she’d also had successful finding dining room chairs., so def give it a go: http://www.freecycle.org/

3) Dresser/Hangers for Closet $50

Depending on the apartment you find, you may not need a dresser as you have enough closet space. But, if you do, dressers go for pretty cheap on Craigslist – and can also be found easily in resale shops. I got mine 4 years ago for $50 – an Ikea model already put together by a guy who was moving to Iowa. His loss – totally my gain.

As for hangers – see if your local dry cleaner would have any extra to spare. Or, see if you can bring some from home.

To read the full list, click here.