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Decorate your home on a budget

By Paula Pant · Bankrate.com
Friday, June 27, 2014
Posted: 12 pm ET

Regardless of whether you own or rent, summertime is a great season to move into your next home. The temperature is warm, daylight lasts until late in the evening, and the kids are out of school.

But when you move to a new home, you're faced with a dilemma. On one hand, you're eager to decorate as quickly as possible. On the other hand, you've spent hundreds of dollars on moving trucks, boxes and other moving-related expenses.

Here are some tips for decorating a home when your budget is tight.

Scour the thrift stores

Thrift stores should become your best friend when you’re decorating a home. Download the Pinterest app (free) for inspiration, and tear out pages of your favorite decorating magazines.

Then, bring them along when shopping. You just might find that vintage mirror for half-price.

Alternately, stop in your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore to find new or gently used furniture, decorations and building materials well below retail price. You'll both save money and help out your local Habitat for Humanity chapter.

If you love to shop online, join your city’s community on The Freecycle Network. Or, search the "Free" section of Craigslist to find no-cost items for your home. You'll only need to pay for gas. Just act quickly -- "free" items on Craigslist tend to disappear fast.

Start 'pinning'

I have already mentioned Pinterest, a nifty website that provides you with ideas and projects you may never have brainstormed on your own. Use the site's search bar to look for thrifty decorating projects. Pin your favorite DIY decorating projects or ideas to one board, so you'll know where to find them.

Looking for other ideas? Try the IKEA Hackers (ikeahackers.net) website, where readers contribute their favorite ideas on how they "hacked" -- or "repurposed" -- an item from IKEA for a creative decorating or design use.

Switch around rooms

OK, it's time to ask a critical question: Why are you thinking about spending money on decorating? You clearly had some decorations (vases, coffee tables, artwork, photos) when you lived in your old home. Unless you've scaled up to a home with much bigger square footage, what's triggering this decorating spree?

Chances are, you're tired of your current decor. But why not reuse what you already own? Play mix-and-match with your current belongings. Switch pieces from room to room.

This will change the look of your home while costing you absolutely nothing.

Paula Pant helps people ditch the cubicle and live on their own terms. She's traveled to 30 countries, owns six rental property units and hasn't had an employer since 2008. Her blog, "Afford Anything," is the gathering point for a tribe that refuses to say "I can't afford it." Follow Paula on Twitter: @AffordAnything.

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