Moving into your first home is a joyful time in anyone’s life. The space is all yours. It’s a blank slate. You can decorate it any way you like. But that doesn’t mean you need to go overboard with expensive housewares and furnishings.

“Buying second-hand goods is an inexpensive and functional way to get your new home up and running,” said Trent Hamm, founder of the consumer website Thesimpledollar.com. “They can serve you for a long time if necessary, but they are replaceable any time you are ready.”

Hamm suggests steering clear of used mattresses and stuffed furniture unless they come from a trusted source, as they can harbor fleas or bedbugs. But do check out garage sales in better neighborhoods, as well as dollar stores, Craigslist, or second-hand stores, for these items worth buying used:

Dishes, glasses, and silverware – They may not match, but eclectic mixes are all the rage these days – and you will have a great variety to choose from. You may even find a matching set, if that’s what you prefer.

Cookware – Lucky you if you find a well-used iron skillet in good condition, or a few good saucepans, skillets, and baking accessories in assorted sizes.

Toaster oven – Better than a traditional toaster, these readily available ovens are great for toasting bread or bagels, and for heating small items or grilling sandwiches.

Lamps – A great variety of used lamps from floor lamps to table top models are always readily available at very pleasing prices.

Dining table and chairs – Buy an in expensive used starter set that you can upgrade whenever you are ready.

A bed frame – You can move beyond the ‘mattress on the floor’ stage with an inexpensive used bed frame. There’s no beauty involved here, as the frame is always covered, so why not shop for second-hand?

Décor items – It’s easy to find things like picture frames and wall hangings that appeal to your sense of style – as well as a huge variety of vases and other décor items that add a homey touch to your living space.


Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.