A Checklist to Furnishing Your First Home on a Budget

You just handed over what feels like your life savings to buy your first home, and now you need to furnish it. “With what money?” you may be asking yourself! While the notion of spending more money to fill your new space may seem daunting, there are tips and tricks to help you save when buying furniture. First, though, let’s consider why a checklist of furniture first-time homebuyers may need can help when furnishing a new home.

Why a Checklist Matters

It can be incredibly hard and subjective to determine the answer to: “How much does it cost to furnish a house?” Depending on the size of the home, desired brand(s) of furniture, style, and delivery options, it can cost tens of thousands of dollars, or it can cost notably less.

If you’re searching for a way to furnish an entire home without spending thousands, using a simple checklist will help you identify your precise needs, prioritize select pieces, and stick to your budget.

A Checklist of Furniture for Your First Home

This comprehensive checklist should be used as a guide to help you furnish your new place with the essential items. These foundational pieces will last you for years to come!

Living Room

  • TV stand or media center
  • Couch
  • Coffee table
  • Armchair or recliner
  • Side table
  • Bookshelf
  • Area rug

Dining Room

  • Dining room table
  • Dining room chairs


  • Bed frame*
  • Mirror
  • Nightstand
  • Lamp
  • Dresser


  • Desk
  • Chair

Consider Purchasing a Whole-Home Furniture Package

One of the best ways to save money when furnishing an entire home is buying furniture in bundles. Some stores offer discounted pricing if you purchase multiple pieces at one time. Bundling furniture together in a more affordable package allows stores to offload a more significant amount of inventory at once, while passing on the savings to you!

Compared to other big-box furniture retailers, this home furniture set can save thousands of dollars and allow you to bring home quality-made pieces.

For comparison purposes, here’s a pricing survey of furniture from two top retail stores compared to CORT Furniture Outlet’s Instant Home To Go package.


Furniture Store #1 Store #2 CORT Furniture Outlet
Sofa $2,299 $637
Chair $1,099 $549
Coffee Table $699 $169
End Table $249 $144
2 Lamps $398 $134
Dining Table with 4 Chairs $2,795 $867
Queen Mattress & Boxspring $1,195 $401
Bedframe X $199
Queen Headboard $2,199 $219
Mirrored Dresser $1,799 $624
Nightstand $499 $139
TOTAL $13,231 $4,082 Starting at $1499.99

*Data reflects furniture prices spot-checked from the leading results of online searches at a selection of dedicated furniture stores. Sale/member pricing not included.

Tips on How to Furnish a House Affordably

If you’re wondering how to furnish a house from scratch, some options don’t require sacrificing buying beautiful pieces you want to invest in and keep for the coming years. But, the price you’ll pay from one store to the next truly comes down to your answers to the following questions:

  • How important is brand name furniture to you?
  • Are you comfortable with the time and effort required to shop multiple stores in various locations, wait for sales, and negotiate with commissioned salespeople?
  • Does furnishing your new home take precedence over your other financial obligations?
  • Would you consider lightly used, showroom-quality furniture?

If you respond “not very” to the first three questions and “yes” to the fourth, your furniture budget can go a long way toward making your house feel like a home.

MORE: Budgets are also important if you’re still in the process of looking for a home.

If you’re in the market for a whole-home furniture package, visit your local CORT Furniture Outlet. You can also explore smaller, discounted furniture sets — including complete living room sets — and individual pieces. Shop smart, save big.

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