The Cost of Moving: Buying Furniture

Photo credit: Alan Levine, CC BY 2.0.

In my last “cost of moving” update, I wrote that I wanted to furnish my new loft-style apartment with antique and consignment-shop furniture:

I will reclaim my own pine!

Well. My mom and I went to some antique and consignment shops on Friday afternoon, and quickly figured out that their furniture wasn’t any cheaper than any other furniture. Some of that stuff cost $400 per piece, and it wasn’t necessarily in the best condition.

So we went to Furniture Row.

I had been doing some reverse-showrooming online, so I knew exactly what Furniture Row could offer. The prices were great, and they had plenty of industrial-style furniture that would fit right into my new exposed-brick-and-pipe apartment.

I was ready to buy right away, but we went to three other furniture stores just to see if they had any better deals (they didn’t) and then we went back to Furniture Row and I bought a coffee table for $169, a side table that I’m going to use as a desk for $169, a desk chair for $99, and the softest sofa I’ve ever set my butt upon for $299.

You have no idea how delighted I was to find that sofa. It’s the Tahoe, which is described as having “plush and puffy seating.” After two years of getting poked in the side by Ikea’s second-cheapest sofa—which cost $179—I am ready for some plush.

I know that I should be thinking about reducing-reusing-recycling or something, but cash and quality won out and now I have brand-new furniture for my brand-new apartment.

Also, I don’t know if this was savvy or foolish, but they offered me $99 stain insurance, and when I asked them how it worked, they told me that they would give me a bottle of fabric stain remover and a bottle of wood stain remover. If my furniture got stained in a way that these removers couldn’t handle, they’d send out professional cleaners; if they couldn’t remove the stains, they’d replace the furniture for free. I asked them how much it would cost to just buy the stain removers, and they said $10 per bottle. So… that’s what I did.

I also went ahead and re-bought the same Sealy mattress I bought earlier this year, since I’ll be selling mine to the person who is going to move into my Seattle apartment. We couldn’t do this at Furniture Row; I had to go to the nearest Sealy dealer, which in this case was JCPenney. The mattress cost $191.53, discounted from $660, plus an extra $50 for delivery.

That delivery, by the way, was the reason I did all of this in-person instead of online. (That, and I wanted to put my butt on the couch before I bought it.) I needed to be able to schedule delivery for after Dec 1, which is hard to do online but very easy to do in-person. Guess there is a reason to keep brick-and-mortar stores—and their staff—around.

I’ve spent $1,163.82 on furniture so far and am likely to spend another $300 on a bookshelf, a bedframe, and a rug. (I know this number because I already have these pieces picked out on Amazon, and am only holding on purchasing because I don’t want them to arrive in my apartment before I do.) The studio is not quite large enough for a dining room table and is probably not large enough for one of those round bar tables with the stools; I have the measurements and have been messing around with virtual decorating apps, and it looks like the furniture I have plus the electronic piano I plan to get next year will fill the space. (Instead of dinner parties, I can set up snack stations.)

Then… well, I have to buy a drying rack and an ironing board and a toilet bowl scrubber and a plunger and a dry mop and… yeah, I am nowhere near done with this spending.

But I’m almost done with the furniture spending.

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