When we moved closer to my husband’s workplace, it was challenging to buy a house contingent on selling our current home. The market was hot; people bought homes with cash and waived inspections. After losing out on two home purchases where offers were accepted without contingencies, we decided to sell our current home and move into an apartment to make ourselves a bit more competitive.
During this move, we chose to sell a LOT of our belongings instead of paying to move and store things we weren’t all that attached to. We only kept the furniture that would fit our 1200-square-foot apartment and sold the rest on Facebook Marketplace and at a massive garage sale.
Not long after moving into that 1200-square-foot apartment, we purchased a house in the neighborhood that got my husband as close to his job as possible and still kept our kids in the school district they were in.
The house we purchased was three times the size of our apartment, so, as you can guess, it was pretty empty, even after we moved in.
1. Build Your Furniture
With a new big mortgage and college costs coming up, I knew it would be quite a while before we could purchase high-quality furniture. We didn’t want to fill our space with cheap furniture that would fall apart quickly, so I decided it was an excellent time to learn how to build a few things, and Ana White gave me the courage to try!
First up was a bed! Our son was sleeping on a twin mattress on the floor, so we gave him our queen size bed and purchased a king-sized mattress for ourselves. I found Ana White’s Farmhouse Bed and decided to give it a go. It took me quite a bit of time to build our Farmhouse Bed, but I did it, and we have loved it ever since!
Successfully building that bed gave me the confidence to take on more projects. Over the years, I have made two desks, a large mirror frame, a decorative mirror to place in an alcove above our stairs, entryway benches, a counter-height table, and a ladder shelf for our front porch. I also built a platform bed for our guest room which my daughter then used in her college house.
2. Refinish Furniture
Speaking of college houses, we took on a few refinishing projects so our daughter could move into her college house with the things she needed. She and I painted my childhood chest of drawers, and we found a free table in our Buy Nothing Group that she and another roommate painted for their rental house.
I also found another free table in Buy Nothing and refinished it to use as our entryway table!
3. DIY Decor And Gifts
I used the skills I learned to build other things, which saved us money. After building furniture, garage sale signs were a breeze, and I began making things we could use as decor and give as gifts.
Here are a few things I’ve made to decorate or give as gifts:
- Wood Signs With Vinyl Lettering
- DIY Farmhouse Wood Signs
- DIY Wood Tray
- 4th of July 4 X 4 Firecrackers
- How To Make A 4 X 4 Snowman
- How To Make 4 X 4 Pumpkins
- Easy DIY Wood Christmas Tree Triangle
- DIY Tabletop Riser
- DIY Wooden Star
- DIY Tabletop Riser
4. Add Built-Ins
I could also use my acquired tools and knowledge to create built-ins in our home.
- DIY Floating Built-In Desk And Shelves – This nook in our home was begging for a built-in, and I could make it happen!
- DIY Small Closet Ideas – I took that same idea and put nice shelving in a small closet, after taking out the old wire shelving.
- How To Turn A Coat Closet Into A Mudroom
5. Use Your Skills To Help Others And Remodel Your Home
When my niece asked me to build a photo backdrop wall for her 25th Birthday, I was able to come up with my own design and it turned out amazing!
Then, we had a sewage flood in our daylight basement. It was a stressful time for us but we were able to save money on the finish work because we were confident enough to do it ourselves! My husband and I put in the new doors. I painted, cut, and installed all of the baseboards, and our daughter mastered a tiling project in the bathroom.
The sewage flood destroyed our daughter’s bookcase so she and I came up with a bookcase idea and built a new one.
Although I have a few projects to look forward to, our house is not nearly as empty as it was when we moved in from our apartment.
Creating and building has become a hobby that I love and has saved our family a lot of money over the years. And to think … it all started with a Farmhouse Bed I found on Ana White’s site!