Furnishing Frenzy: Four Economical Options Around Montreal

As a sophomore at McGill, the first major stress I encountered as an adult was finding accommodation after being in residence. This process was long, stressful and difficult given that it took place in the middle of a brutal Montreal winter (which made touring and house calls even more inconvenient). To make matters worse, once the apartment search process was complete, the next big challenge to overcome was (and still is) furnishing the place I fought so hard to get.

One of the most common struggles for students living alone is the debacle of finding a couch to sit on or chairs to go with your kitchen table. If you’re not lucky enough to have your accommodation of choice fully furnished, this student-friendly guide to furnishing your dormitory could save your life (and your pocket). Believe me, as a college student writing this sitting on a dining chair that my roommates fished out of a trash can!

Facebook Marketplace

If you were to tell me you have any desire for an item, my first words would probably be “oh, well, you should check out Facebook Marketplace first.” This Holy Grail website is even where my roommates and I found our apartment! As an extension of the Facebook platform, users can sell their own goods, including furniture, at a cheaper price. The hardest part of using Facebook Marketplace is finding mutual availability to pick up the item you’re interested in, as search results are tailored to your immediate location. You will be able to find large pieces of furniture, small trinkets and even household appliances at very affordable prices. In addition to my entire apartment, I was also able to find a practically brand new office that fits perfectly into my bedroom. Facebook Marketplace is definitely a great resource for college students looking to furnish their apartments!

Thrift stores

A more traditional route to finding items to furnish your dorm room is to visit your local thrift store in person! This fun activity is also a great way to find decorative items like really cool chairs, mirrors, and fun pillows to go with your sofa or bed. For inexpensive prices, it is possible to hang larger pieces such as desks, armchairs or chests of drawers. Even buying dinnerware and mugs from a thrift store is very affordable. While the options available at thrift stores can sometimes elude us, they are an amazing option for college students looking to spice up their place.

EcoDepot

This place is more of a Montreal legend than general advice but EcoDepot located at 187 rue Richer Lachine is a great way to find old furniture at a discount. This is where one of my roommates got her desk and office chairs. There is a great vintage feel to EcoDepot and many of its products are quite unique and special. For many, having furniture is not enough; making your space suitable for you as an individual and something you love will make all the difference when you live alone!

Your neighbourhood

Especially in the fall and spring when many people are moving in and out of apartments, keep your eyes peeled for the streets! Often, some people leave out mirrors, chairs, clothes racks or even sofas that can be taken away for free. for example, my roommates and I got one of our most comfortable sofas from the basement of another building. With keen eyes and the will to bring the item home, your neighborhood can bring you great fortune. While this is probably the cheapest option for finding apartment decor, it’s a waiting game for moving season and often the most “hit or miss.” Plus, this trick also counts for the dumpster! Sometimes people leave undamaged items near garbage cans and in dumpsters because they don’t want to deal with them anymore. This can be your opportunity to reuse items and save money. My roommates and I were able to get two nice wooden chairs for our kitchen near the trash can. With an open mind, your neighborhood can do wonders for your home.

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As students, we are always looking for ways to cut costs and budget our savings. Furnishing your first place is such a rewarding and exciting process, but can also be very expensive. Hopefully, with these tips on where to shop, you can save some money and end up with items that will turn your apartment into your home!

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