1. Your garage. Chances are you have a few half-full cans of paint or a funky old lamp that would add personality to your room. Perhaps you can transform a boring old piece into something new and exciting with a coat of paint.
2. Join your local Freecycle Network to get rid of your trash and collect other people’s treasure. Plus, you’ll feel good keeping items out of landfills.
3. Craigslist free pages. It’s amazing what people will give away. Their for-sale prices can be great, too!
4. Home Depot. I spent $9 building a bookshelf out of cinderblocks, above. Now to secure it to my wall. UPDATE: A friend helped me drill two brackets into each shelf, making the bookshelf much more sturdy.
5. IKEA. Some of the best deals at IKEA are on the ground floor and not heavily advertised. They sell sturdy planks of wood for $15 each and the wall mounts are a few bucks each (about $3). This allows you to customize storage space for very cheap!
6. Borrow or rent tools. Surely you know another home owner who’s itching to loan their tile saw in hopes they’ll never see it again!
7. Garage sales. Head to sales in upscale neighborhoods and the hipster parts of town for the best and most unique selection.
8. Thrift shops like Goodwill, Out of the Closet, and Salvation Army do not lack for furniture and furnishings. Just make sure to thoroughly check out the items as they are not usually returnable.
9. eBay. Review seller ratings and return policies carefully.
10. Recycling centers/reuse groups. These can be harder to find, but major metro areas usually have a handful of organizations that re-sell used windows, doors, and other building materials.