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Decorating Your First Home Without Debt: 6 Ways to Express Yourself For (Almost) Free

man decorating a first home by hanging pictures

You’ve done it! You’ve survived the home buying process. The pre-approval, the search, negotiations, home inspection, the closing date and moving day are finally behind you. Whew! Now the fun part: Make that new home your own by decorating it.

Expressing yourself is one of the best parts of getting into that first home. But you shouldn’t take on a lot of credit card debt to do it. In fact, most decorations can be free or inexpensive. All you need is a little inspiration to get started.

Here are 6 cheap or free ways to decorate that perfect first home.

Buy used. Scour the online classifieds and sign up for social media yard sale sites in your area. Set a reminder to check each site twice a day since the good stuff (and super cheap items) usually go quickly. Often, sellers on the same sites will simply put their used furniture outside their home and post a “curb alert,” in which case the items are free to the first taker who can pick them up.

Get it for free. If you find something you love in those classifieds, contact the seller to let them know you’re interested, but can’t afford to pay much, if anything. Often, their stuff just doesn’t sell, and instead of hauling it to the donation center, your offer to take it off their hands will likely work. Simply ask politely if they’d keep you in mind.

Paint old furniture. Let’s face it: most of the items you collect (especially if they’re free) will have scuffs, dings and marks. Refinishing furniture takes only time – not money – so put your energy to good use and start sanding. Phone your local paint store to ask if they have any clearance or mistint paint to give away. If you’re ambitious enough to call multiple places, you’ll likely score enough paint to coat your walls a few times.

Hide cords by placing vintage trunks in front of outlets. Bonus: those vintage trunks can double as cool end tables if you set coasters and a lamp on top. Need storage space for cozy blankets? Look no further than your old-school luggage. Vintage suitcases can be both decorative and multi-functional.

Learn a new skill. You may not be handy with a table saw, but you can learn. So many do-it-yourself projects can liven up a house for free if you know how to wield the tools necessary to build, paint, or craft them. To get started, take a free online mini-class.

Go “au naturel”. Look no further than your back yard for inspiration. Natural Driftwood from a local beach can be a lovely accent or piece of art. Frame simple leaf rub crafts. Stain and seal tree stumps to use as end tables or extra seating. Print and frame your own photos of nature. Adorn shelves and book cases with pine cones. Fill vases with painted sticks from the backyard.

Again, congratulations on this huge step of being a new homeowner! Enjoy expressing yourself by decorating with these cheap decoration ideas, and you’ll have a place that says “you” without a new burden of debt. If you’ve already splurged too much and found yourself in over your head, don’t worry. Call us at CESI Solutions, where we have debt relief options to talk through with you, risk-free.

Image Source: Bethany Johnson

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