Six tips for sourcing furniture on a budget

July 28, 2021

You have just had a meeting with the Dot Dot Dot team to welcome you to property guardianship, and you’ve been given the keys to your new space! What next?

Alongside cheaper living costs, a welcoming guardian community and an opportunity to give back to causes you care about, living with Dot Dot Dot also enables you to get creative redecorating your home. The prospect of filling an empty space can often feel daunting, so just follow our guide to sourcing furniture on a budget based on our recent experience of  furnishing  a studio flat in Queen’s Park, north west London.

1. Connect with friends who are giving stuff away

If you’ve got a friend who’s decided to Marie Kondo their life, now is the time to get in touch with them. Start contacting friends and family early to ask if anyone is having a clear out. You’ll find that people are more than happy to donate their unloved items. We were kindly given some cushions, a print for the wall and a chair!

2. Keep an eye on Freecycle, Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree

There is a wealth of furniture being given away or sold cheaply online if you’re willing to look for it. We found a 2-seater sofa worth £500, a coffee table and a bedside table that were going for free, so it’s worth signing up for email notifications and keeping an eye out for gems. You could try:

Stephanie O’Callaghan – Dot Dot Dot

3. Get creative

Decorating on a budget sometimes requires creativity to get the ambience you’re looking for. For the creatively challenged, there’s some easy options out there for you. Try putting dried lavender in an old glass bottle, or installing a lantern-style light shade for softer lighting. We found three light shades for £6 on Argos. 

4. Look for cheap soft furnishing options in charity shops

Charity shops are not just for clothing – you can also find some great homeware if you know where to look. We found a fluffy grey rug which is great for sectioning off the living space in a studio flat. There are also plenty of online guides to the best areas for charity shopping.

5. Get same day delivery on Argos

Argos offers same day delivery on most of its items, so it is a good resource if you are keen to get settled into your new space. It has everything from lamps, to bed frames, to kitchen appliances, so you can order everything in one go. They also have some great artificial flowers and plants if you have a tendency to kill the real thing.

Stephanie O’Callaghan – Dot Dot Dot

6. Hire a van with Zipcar

If you want to make the most of sites like Freecycle and need a van to pick up larger items, Zipcar is the place to go. They currently operate in London, Bristol, Oxford and Cambridge, and you can hire a large van from £10 an hour or £95 for the day. Pick up and drop off points are easy to come by, so it’s perfect if you need to transport furniture from A to B.

For more inspiration for decorating your space on a budget, check out our guide for re-styling your home. If you’re not yet a Dot Dot Dot guardian, apply now online.


Settling in tips from Dot Dot Dot guardians

November 6, 2019

Once you’ve secured your new home, it’s helpful to get some friendly advice to help you settle in. Luckily our guardians are on hand with some tips to get you started so you can make the most of your new home and surroundings! From where to find paint and furniture to helping out in your local community, these hacks will make moving in a doddle.

Decorating your space

  • There’s a large Wilko in Stratford that sells paint cheap on bank holidays!
  • British Heart Foundation. Great for furniture and it’s the same delivery price regardless of how much you buy.
  • Register to Freecycle, where you’ll find a wealth of free stuff in your area. You can spruce up your space and keep perfectly good furniture out of landfill at the same time!

Keeping in touch

  • Communicate with your Relationship Coordinator – they are there to help and answer those questions you might find silly, but are very important!
  • Keep in touch with other guardians via WhatsApp groups – it’s great to be able to help each other out with questions, fixing things and meet up for drinks.

Getting involved

  • Get to know your neighbours – be sure to introduce yourself when you move in.
  • Chat to fellow guardians about volunteering opportunities near you. There are so many projects going on in my area that I never knew were there.
  • Be open-minded and you’ll be surprised by who you will meet and the experiences you will have! I learnt how to mend clothes after chatting to another guardian – it’s great to share knowledge and skills with the people around you.
  • Be as involved with your housemates as possible! It makes your living situation so much more fun and enjoyable.
  • Introduce yourself to other guardians and find out their skills. I have a large 4×4 and would happily help people move at no cost. I’m sure other people would lend a helping hand too.
    Be helpful in the neighbourhood and you’ll receive a lot of warmth in return!

Check out our available properties or take our quiz to find out if property guardianship with Dot Dot Dot is right for you.

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