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Sunday, April 21
The Indiana Daily Student

campus student life

A guide to buying affordable furniture on a student’s budget

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One of the hardest parts of being a student in college is never quite having an established home. Most of us — and our belongings — are split between our parents’ house and where we live here in Bloomington. Whether we live in a dorm, apartment, a house we rent with friends, or university housing where we have to completely move out at the end of every school year, the place you live for school always feels temporary.  

With all this moving around, it can be hard to commit to buying furniture without a permanent home, not to mention how expensive brand-new furniture can be. But if you look in the right places, affordable furniture can make your home away from home, more welcoming and comfortable — especially after a long day on campus or at work.  

Facebook Marketplace is one of the best places to find affordable furniture. Bloomington is home to hundreds of students moving and looking to sell their furniture quickly and inexpensively. It might take more time to hunt down and organize transportation for large furniture pieces but it’s a great way to find gently used homegoods for cheap.  

You can also find one-of-a-kind vintage or antique pieces on Facebook Marketplace. When new furniture often looks the same and isn’t built to last, having well-loved hierloom pieces as a student adds more character to your space instead of boring gray corporate-looking furniture. 

Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore is another local resource for affordable furniture. It has a large selection of just about any home furnishing you can think of, and for massively discounted prices. Its selection is broad and the prices can even be cheaper than Goodwill. By shopping there, you also help Habitat for Humanity continue its mission of building housing for deserving families.  

Goodwill is another solid option for furniture. Depending on what location you shop at, the selection can be slim, but with patience you might be able to score some basic furniture pieces for cheap. The Goodwill on 1284 Liberty Dr. in Bloomington has the better furniture selection between the two locations in town. The Goodwill off College Mall Road is better for small finishing touches such as frames, side tables and dishes.  

Often in college towns, furniture lives a cyclical lifestyle. People buy what they need in bulk and then when it's time to move out, they sell or donate what they can’t transport back home. To eliminate waste the most affordable best value option is to thrift. 

This article is part of the Spring 2024 Housing & Living Guide, an IDS special publication. 

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