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Quick & Easy Guide to Furnishing a College Apartment

Quick & Easy Guide to Furnishing a College Apartment

Are you gearing up to head to campus in the fall? While you may be itching to get to college — hello, freedom! — there’s one thing looming over your head: the big move to your off-campus apartment.

Let’s be honest: moving into your college apartment can be kind of stressful. From figuring out what furniture you need to determining how you’ll afford to pay for all the things… there’s a lot to consider when furnishing a college apartment.

Don’t worry. This comprehensive guide to furnishing your place will help ease your mind, keep more dollars in your pocket, and get you ready for the best year of college ever. Let’s dive in!

First, What Do You Need For Your College Apartment?

Luckily, you don’t need too much furniture when furnishing your college apartment. If you have roommates, there may be large items they’re bringing that you don’t need to purchase.

To help you figure out the essentials you need to furnish your apartment, here’s a list of items you’ll want for your new place.

College Apartment Furniture Checklist


  • Mattress
  • Bedframe
  • Nightstand
  • Drawers

Other necessities: Bedsheets, lamp, curtains, and pillows

Study Space:

  • Desk
  • Chair

Other necessities: Laptop and lamp

Living Room:

  • Sofa
  • Coffee Table
  • TV
  • Media Stand

Other necessities: Throw pillows, rug, lamp(s)


  • Dining Table
  • Dining Chairs

Essentials: Cookware, place settings, microwave (if your apartment doesn’t provide one)

How to Find Affordable Furniture for Students

When it comes to how to furnish a college apartment on a budget, you want to strike the right balance between affordability and quality. Here are some easy tips to keep in mind when shopping for furniture as a college student.

Tip #1: Buy in Bundles

When you buy furniture by room, you can uncover significant savings! Rent-A-Center often offers deals on living room bundles and bedroom sets (with mattresses)!

When you shop at Rent-A-Center, you can find mattresses for rent and bedroom/living room sets for rent with affordable weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly payments. For example, a sofa and 65” smart TV can be cheaper when bundled than when rented separately! That kind of payment plan leaves room in your budget to purchase study essentials, like a laptop for class.

Tip #2: Rent-to-Own

A student budget doesn’t mean you have to turn to used furniture stores with stained furniture or hand-me-down pieces for your college apartment. You have another option: rent-to-own.

Rent-A-Center’s rent-to-own model gives college students like yourself the ability to pay monthly for furniture you need now with our no credit options. You can select the furniture you need online or in-store and set up a flexible payment plan.

Then, Rent-A-Center schedules a free, often same-day delivery, so you don’t have to figure out how to get your furniture from the store to your new apartment. The process is easy, flexible, and doesn’t require any long-term commitments!

Tip #3: Think Long-Term

What most college students don’t realize is that they’ll likely hang onto their apartment furniture post-college. If you take the time to invest in quality furniture now, you’ll avoid the headache and cost of replacing cheaply made furniture in the future. Rent-to-own is an affordable option that gives you the freedom to pay for name-brand furniture at your own pace and get furniture you’ll keep for years to come.

Finally: Moving Logistics

Moving furniture is one of the most challenging parts of getting your college apartment back-to-school ready! Here are a few options to consider:

Enlist Friends

Odds are, your college friends are moving into their apartments as well. Team up, make a schedule, and figure out when and how you can help each other do the heavy lifting of moving furniture. Make sure to have plenty of water and snacks on hand on move-in day!

Hire Movers

If your friends and parents are unavailable to help move furniture, you may want to consider hiring movers. While this can be a few hundred dollars (or more), it will save you the headache and backache of moving your belongings yourself!

Rent from Rent-A-Center

Don’t depend on your one friend with a truck to help you move furniture into your college apartment. When you rent furniture from Rent-A-Center, you select the furniture and electronics you want and have them delivered and set-up for free, often on the same day you place your order.

Furnish your apartment in style and on budget with Rent-A-Center this fall. There’s no easier way to furnish your college apartment living room and bedroom for cheap!

About Us

The good things in life don’t have to be out of reach. Rent-A-Center is here to make the things you want and need accessible, and Front & Center is your resource for living well on a budget.

Each week, we’ll bring you tips and tricks for infusing simplicity, style—even a little fun—into every aspect of your life and home. From decorating advice to money-saving strategies to opportunities to share with others like you, we’ll give you ideas that inspire. Live well, friends. And send your submissions, suggestions and questions for the blog to blog@rentacenter.com. For all customer service inquiries, please contact our Solution Center team at 1-800-422-8186.