3 Furniture Items Worth Getting Secondhand

By Kaitlin Hurtado on November 26, 2017

Moving into an off-campus apartment or house may seem like a dream of freedom and cheaper rent, but it may mean shelling out even more money when it comes to decorating when moving into an empty space. While on-campus housing is notoriously expensive, it does save you the cost of furnishing it when housing provided furniture essentials. Off-campus housing, however, will often come unfurnished which is both a benefit and disadvantage in itself.

On one hand, you have the opportunity to decorate your new living space as you wish – the colors, the decor, the furniture. However, you are going to have to fund every purchase on your own and decorating your new space as your dream space is hard when you have a limited budget and cannot splurge for every furniture and decor item. If you think that you’re going to have to sleep on a mattress on the floor in order to afford a desk and chair, don’t worry. Instead, look into getting your furniture secondhand to fill your new living space.

You may have heard a variety of negative things regarding secondhand furniture growing up – it’s dirty, you can bring bed bugs into your home, or even worse, it’s cursed and has brought misfortune to all of its previous owners. These thoughts can easily be countered. Thoroughly clean all your purchases and inspect their condition prior to purchasing them. If an item is just full of dust, you just need to give it a good cleaning. If the furniture is padded, torn, or has questionable stains, you are better off skipping out on the “steal.”

Here are furniture items that are almost always a great idea to buy secondhand.

via Pixabay

Dining sets 

If you are lucky, one of your housemates can bring a full dining set with a table and chairs. However, not everyone has a spare dining room set laying around, but you can often find complete dining sets at your local secondhand store or on local free and for sale pages. With online listings, many people (students like you) will post dining sets in hopes that someone would just take it off their hands as they won’t have space for it in their next space or cannot transport it to another location.

Such listings will often require you to dismantle and/or pick it up yourself from the seller, but it will be worth it when you are one step closer to a fully furnished apartment without putting a major dent in your wallet.


You may find yourself debating on whether to skip out on a desk, asking yourself if you really need a separate space to study when you can just study on campus, the floor, your dining table, or worse – your bed. If you think having a separate space is unnecessary, you’re wrong. Having a study space will allow you to have a space to concentrate fully.

If you’re studying at your dining table, it’s an open invitation for your housemates to distract you by engaging you in conversation or making noise in a public area (as they have a right to as it is a shared space). If you’re studying on your bed, there’s a bigger chance that you will choose sleep over studying or get too comfy for a paper, but comfy enough for a Netflix session.

If you are looking for a desk complete with organization in the form of drawers or a shelving unit, you may find yourself looking at desks out of your price range. If you scour local pages consisting of students selling their belongings after the end of a lease or in the middle of a move, you can often pick up your ideal desk for at a much cheaper price.

Bed frame 

While you might want to skip out on picking up a mattress secondhand, there is nothing wrong with picking up a sturdy bed frame secondhand as long as you are sure to thoroughly inspect and clean it. Picking up a bed frame secondhand allows you to save money and opens up the possibility of you being able to splurge on a nicer and brand new mattress to ensure comfort.

If you are afraid of getting a wooden bed frame due to the possibility of termites, you can always look for metal bed frames as they are a lot easier to clean.

By Kaitlin Hurtado

Uloop Writer
Hello! I'm Kaitlin, a second year Literary Journalism major at UC Irvine. I'm a writer on Uloop's national team and a campus editor for UCI.

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