Furnishing a Condo for Under $500

When J.O & I packed for moving out of our 5th wheel to move to Hawaii, we only packed tools, clothing and a few other household items (favorite DVDs and such).  We chose not to ship any kitchenware or other various everyday items because we were planning on renting a fully furnished condo.  You can read more about my packing experience for this move by clicking here.

During the ten day time period while J.O was already in Hawaii and I was still in California waiting for the Long Dog’s paper work to process (read that entry here) we both were looking feverishly on Craigslist for a monthly, furnished, pet friendly rental that was close to the beach and wouldn’t break the bank. There were a ton of options for non-pet friendly rentals, but we were having a little trouble finding exactly what we wanted for a good price! Needless to say, we had to make a sacrifice somewhere, and no, we did not leave the Long Dog behind :) We did however, decided to go for space and surroundings and skip the furnished option. We are now renting a 1000 square foot condo with ocean views and 1/2 block walk to public beach access! Did I mention it’s 1000 square feet?! So. Much. Space!!! I’m still not used to the fact that all of our beverages and food fit into ONE fridge and there is still room! Anyhoo, back to the furnishing.

So, we needed to get furniture.  And kitchenware.  And dishes.  And bathroom items.  And linens. And a TV.  And a bed.  And to top it all off, we do not plan on bringing all this back to the main land in a year; therefore,  we were not willing to dish out a lot of money.

We explained our situation to our landlord (who is awesome) and he was able to grab a few items from some of his other furnished rental properties (that don’t allow pets). He was kind enough to bring over a futon, a nice wicker storage basket, two bar stools and even a patio table and chairs. Yay! We then went straight to the computer and got on craigslist: there are a lot of people on the island who were once in our position and are now trying to get rid of their furniture and other house hold items, so the options were endless.  The next day we met up with a woman who stages homes for resale and she was clearing out her showroom…bonus!  This was the option we chose instead to hoping around to various sellers all day.  A one stop shop.  From her we were able to purchase two more outdoor chairs, two end tables, an area rug, two living room chars, 6 pillow cases, 6 oversized pillows and a 62″ tv for $100.  Yes, $100.

Our next stop was to acquire a bed.  We found an establishment on Craigslist that takes in furniture from hotels and cleans and resells them.  Now, I know what you’re thinking….gross, right?  Well, after some research (and believe me when I say, we researched, I was not about to sleep with bed bugs and who knows what else) we discovered that the place was actually very reputable and everything is fully steam cleaned and sanitized before selling. In fact the bed is probably cleaner now than what it was when used in the hotel.  Needless to say, we purchased a Queen sized Seally Posturepedic mattress and box spring for $189 and a 27″ color tv for $40.

Finally, we needed the everyday cooking items and a few bathroom things.  For this, we had thought of looking for garage sales, but decided to go to the good old standby of Goodwill and the Salvation Army.  We bought things to get us by, knowing that we could always add more as time went along.  After all, we are used to not living with all the bells and whistles, what with RV living and all:)  Between the two stores we bought: two pots, three pans, a toaster, coffee maker, hand held blender, strainer, salad spinner, bundt cake pan (for my chubby-sweet-rolls!), 8 plates, 8 bowls, 8 glasses, 4 coffee mugs, 2 to-go mugs, measuring cups, various cooking utensils and silverware, 2 place mats, bathroom rug, bath towel, 40 hangers, two garbage cans and a laundry basket for $127.

I was able to pick up a set of sheets from TJMaxx with a gift card I had stowed away and then have been picking up various cleaning items here and there.

All in all, we really don’t need too much more! A few more towels, a divider to give us some more privacy in the yard from our neighbor,  two remotes and a dvd player are currently on the top of the list.  I’m sure we’ll add more as we go, but for now the shoe fits perfectly and I feel better knowing we didn’t have to spend a ton of money ($456 + cleaning supplies and food) to make our space a home.


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