I have always been scared of commitment: the very word screams of PERMANENCE, which scares me and hence I have avoided renting an unfurnished flat so far. I just want that flexibility to get up one day, pack up my bags and MOVE. But a few months back I was forced to buy a refrigerator because the old, rented one gave in. While that was a big step for me, it also made me realize the joy of possession, the excitement of buying something new which is MINE (not my parents’, landlord’s, flatmate’s or broker’s) and the satisfaction of doing it all by myself.
Which is why, I decided to take up an unfurnished apartment (it was also financially more feasible) and do it up myself, adding my own creative touches. Obviously, the first step was to buy furniture.
So this is how you go about it:
1.Research, research, research, so that you know your options and price ranges for both second-hand and new furniture. There is a reason why your company provides you with high speed internet access. USE IT.
2.On the day of furniture hunting, wear your shabbiest clothes (or look like a tramp as my dad describes me) and DO NOT shampoo your hair.
3.Go to the shady lanes next to the railway station which sell second hand stuff, haggle with them, but don’t buy. Move on to a proper store right next to the second hand shops which has new furniture and innocently ask if they have cheap used stuff.
4.Use your natural qualities to your advantage: in my case, I look like a school girl, lost and confused in a big city, which is why shopkeepers assume that I am a student looking for the cheapest alternative. Obviously, I don’t correct them. There are places to flash your MNC badge, but the roadside furniture store isn’t one.
5.Tell them you are planning to share an one bhk flat with three other people, which clearly establishes your financial limitations AND explains why you need a four-door wardrobe (it’s embarrassing to admit the number of clothes I have).
6.Tell them you want to buy EVERYTHING from them, if only they had it second hand.
7.The kindly shopkeeper offers to sell you new stuff at extremely reasonable rates AND agrees to buy it back (in case you want to sell) after a couple of years at half-price, when you presumably “finish your studies”.
8.Use ‘thank you’ and ‘bhaiya’ (but NOT ‘uncle’) at regular intervals and smile brightly.
9.You walk out with a neat quotation for a double bed, double-door cupboard, divan, side table and centre table, to be delivered at your doorstep, all within your budget (i.e. the money you saved from brokerage)
10.Most importantly, IT’S NOT PERMANENT. You can give it back to them and get some money back.
I am moving. Hence more excrutiating details to follow. Live with it.