Minimalist Home Checklist

You just got your first home! First, congratulations! Second, did it come furnished? The answer is probably not. So now you have to go out into the world of shopping and buy everything you need. What is all that exactly? What all do you need to buy for your first home?

Not as much as you think. That’s where Minimalism comes in. 

It can be because you have no money, or because you just don’t want to spend it all on stuff that you may or may not need. Whatever your reason, I’ve created a short, only the basics list of what a home needs. 


Useful Infographic:

Rather than type everything and create a long post of hard to follow sections, I created this! It’s a infographic that you are more than welcome to download and use while you are out. Down past this, I’ve gone into a bit more detail on exactly what minimalism in a home (ours) entails. This, however, is a great starting point for shopping.

One Mad Life Home Checklist

Looking Deeper

This is a collage of photos of our home from about August 2017 and I will update it every three months or so. Much has changed since these photos and about 10 more bags of stuff has been taken to Goodwill or given to someone else. Now? The closest are almost empty, and a few more things are gone from these photos.

The Bedroom & Closet

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Simplicity is when you have just what you need. Like Goldilocks.

Between work, college, and MadDogge, our home is really a pit stop for sleeping and not much else. There’s a bit stored under the bed that you can’t see and some stuff that we are actively selling as well. If you are worried about how to fit all your clothing into your new place, I would start by asking yourself if you really need all that clothing. It works for me and I bet it could work for you too. Read here to begin downsizing your wardrobe (you won’t regret it.)

Our bathroom has all the things out cat needs, first aid, and decorations. It also has a second set of bed sheets and towels for the pool and shower. It’s perhaps the most decorated room in the house, yet it’s also the most sparse. It doesn’t need much after all.

For a great starting point, just get what’s on the list first. Don’t get any decorations yet. Once you get the shower curtain and mats down, see what could be added to add value to the room. If the room looks good without all art, you’ve saved money! (I like laying in the tub and wanted to feel like I was at the beach.)

The rest of the house!

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We spend more time outside than we do in our home. Food for thought on what is really needed. 

You will note we have a computer desk in place of a dining room. This is because we are in college. A good piece of advice is to always dress for where you are, interviews excepted. You will find that forcing yourself to live in the wrong phase of life is much harder than adapting to the phase you are in. You will also see the huge TV right in front of an IKEA couch. We bought the couch when we moved in and the TV was given to us. The best advise I have for you in regards to all the rest of your house is get everything you can second hand or free. That, however, does not mean skimp on quality.

You should still get good quality items, but there is no need to go by a new tv, couch, dining set, blender, and coffee table (which we found not needed in our home) just because you need one. There are plenty of great items for sale used that are better than you could afford in a store, you just have to look. That begs the question, where do you look to furnish a new home?

Where to go shopping?

This greatly depends on your budget and goals. For this reason I have created two lists. One for a small budget and one for a “moderate” budget. Each has recomendations for places as well as what to look for in each, I hope these help.

Small Budget:

  • IKEA: A great place for desks, kitchen stuff, and basics. Just remember what you came for so that you don’t buy the whole store.
  • Facebook: A great place to find lightly used anything. The marketplace as well as the groups in your area should have almost everything to furnish a home. You can even haggle the price down and work on your bartering skills at the same time!
  • Craigslist: Same as Facebook, but older and slightly less trustworthy. I would try to stick to Facebook as it’s easier to tell if it’s a scam or not. If, however, push comes to shove, this is a great place to look. Never go to a craigslist meet up alone.
  • Outlets: Great place for the splurges like a comforter or a nicer sofa. These places have “last seasons” stuff and you can often get it for half of what it used to be. You might have to know how to repair small holes or clean leather, but these places are a great place to get new and nice items at a steal.

“Moderate” Budgets:

  • Facebook: A great place to find lightly used anything. The marketplace as well as the groups in your area should have almost everything to furnish a home. You can even haggle the price down and work on your bartering skills at the same time!
  • Craigslist: Same as Facebook, but older and slightly less trustworthy. I would try to stick to Facebook as it’s easier to tell if it’s a scam or not. If, however, push comes to shove, this is a great place to look. Never go to a craigslist meet up alone.
  • Outlets: Great place for the splurges like a comforter or a nicer sofa. These places have “last seasons” stuff and you can often get it for half of what it used to be. You might have to know how to repair small holes or clean leather, but these places are a great place to get new and nice items at a steal.
  • Furniture stores: These are places like Ashley’s and Rooms to Go. While I would advise starting with all the rest, these are good places to get something nicer, or just a bit newer if you have the budget for it.
  • Local Handmade Crafts: Last, but first for me when I have the money, are local people that can hand make furniture. This means you can get something one of a kind, support local artists, and have something of a higher quality that would be impossible through any other means. I prefer this over actual stores for my higher quality items, personally.

Noted, both of these lists have three items in common and those places, while more time consuming, can often have exceedingly nice items for quite a discounted price. You might be able to get a TV that normally would have cost $1000 for $500 just because someone could not return it to a store, check it out!


How much did you spend furnishing your first house?
What about your second?

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