COVID-19 has created a terribly odd situation for us all. Not just an odd one, but also a difficult one. Even so, with talk of children getting back to school, you might be thinking of taking on a redecoration project and/or buying some new furniture to prepare your house for autumn once they’re back in the classrooms.
And why not? There are bargains out there, as furniture retailers and other businesses adjust to the new consumer climate and nurse themselves back to good health following the damage COVID-19 has inflicted (and still is).
These difficulties may have created opportunities, but they’ve also presented problems for anyone wanting to make the most of their furlough to attack a redecoration project. It’s not easy to do while the kids are at school, but it’s possible and will take almost military-precision planning!
This is the Bedstar guide to buying furniture for your autumn redecoration project and organising it during the time of COVID-19. Not only do we look at shopping, but also getting bargains and working with delivery teams.
Shopping for the Autumn redecoration project
This is a weird time. Shopping isn’t as simple as just nipping in, looking around and grabbing what you want. You’ve got to plan more now, but it’s a good time to grab some bargains. Shop successfully for your project with these tips:
Make the most of saving during the pandemic
You’ve probably not been spending as much right now, with restaurants, bars and shops having been closed for some time and only recently opening back up. Gyms, swimming pools and casinos have also been closed for a while and are only just getting going again. All that money you spend on regular visits to these places, you could be putting towards some new furniture for the autumn. Keep putting the money away.
Take advantage of online shopping
Shopping for furniture, especially for mattresses and other bedroom furniture, is very much experiential. In this COVID-19 age, however, it’s harder to walk into the shop and test everything out, although you can do this in some bed stores if you book an appointment first. Naturally, people have also turned to shop online and some retailers have seen their online sales skyrocket.
Use online consultancy services
Furniture retailers have recognised the need for people to test the furniture and have tried to tailor their online offering and services more to the higher demand. Some have set up consultancy in-home services so that their customer service teams or in-house experts can view the customer’s home and advise them what would work in a particular space. Make the most of these services to save yourself a journey and still choose the right furniture for you.
Find stores that are closing
This is a good way to find a bargain at any time, but in this age of coronavirus, there’s a chance you may find more stores than usual closing. When a store is closing, often it’s trying to minimise its losses, sell everything before moving to a new location or is closing for good. It will sell at a huge discount, so keep your eyes peeled to save some serious money.
Compare prices online
Research the prices of furniture items online and get the best deal you can. You may see the same item on different websites. If you prefer to shop with a specific retailer, ask them if they can match the price. Use apps, too. You could get some cash back on your purchases.
Review product listing carefully
Reading the product listing carefully is important. An item’s price and style can sway you so much so that you forget to check the fundamental product specifications. Some retailers state measurements in feet and inches. Others, in metres and centimetres. In your haste to bag a bargain, it’s easy to misread them or mix them up.
Look for different images of the product
When you’re viewing product listings pages, don’t just take the photo at face value. Retailers want their products to look as appealing as possible, which means they’ll set the room lighting and position the product and the camera in the best way to achieve this. Look for more images of the product on the internet so you can get a good idea of what you’re buying.
Look for overstock sales
Some stores may have a surplus of stock from the previous season and want to make room for new stock. Often when this happens, they’ll sell the items at a discount to free up space. Keep an eye out for these sales. You could pick up a bargain as we move into autumn.
Make sure you can clean the furniture
Just now it’s crucial that you can clean your furniture properly. Can you wash the covers on the couch? Can you clean the bed frame adequately? You never know where coronavirus is going to strike. Before you buy your furniture, check you can sanitise it suitably. The retailer may tell you how to do this.
Arranging and receiving your delivery
Just as COVID-19 has had a deep impact on how we shop, it’s likewise affected the arrangements we make for delivery. The tips below will help you get that mattress, bed frame or another fabulous furniture item to your door:
Check you haven’t got COVID-19
When you place your order, the retailer will likely ask you later to confirm whether you or anyone else in your household has COVID-19 or has symptoms of it. They’ll also ask if you or anyone is shielding. It means you should be vigilant. When the company does deliver your item(s), keep your distance from the delivery people.
The delivery company will be contacting you a lot to arrange your delivery and get it to you, so keep your phone on.
After contacting you initially to arrange the delivery, the company may contact you the day before the delivery, too. On the day of the delivery, they could phone you again to tell you they’re coming. When they arrive, rather than knock on the door they may phone you again to let you know they’re outside your home.
Choose a delivery type
Depending on where you are and who you’ve bought your furniture from, you can choose different types of delivery services:
- Kerbside delivery, in which the delivery team will place your items outside your home for you to inspect. The only problem is you’ll have to take care of any heavy lifting to get items into your home
- Threshold delivery, in which the delivery firm will leave the items at your doorstep or cross over slightly to leave the item just over it, but will go no further into your home
- White-glove delivery, in which the firm will bring the items into your home, unpack them and, if necessary, assemble them for you
If you’re feeling really uncomfortable about the coronavirus situation, some companies will let you arrange for them to deliver the furniture when the pandemic has blown over (which we’d all hope will be soon!).
Organising your redecorating
The sooner you get going, the better. Planning is crucial, especially when you’ve only got a few hours between taking the kids to school and picking them up again. COVID-19 hasn’t made the situation any easier.
Set your budget
You’re going to buy a few things for your project, so you’ve got to set your budget. How much do you have and how much are you willing to spend on each aspect of the project? Will you be changing the carpet or the curtains? Will you be changing the bed or the bedding?
Create a file
You’ll need to collect some decoration ideas. You can jot them down in a notebook, of course, and fill it with pictures of ideas, images of the furniture, tips and anything else you like that relate to your project. The more you collect, the clearer you’ll see a theme emerge.
You’ll need fabric samples, wallpaper samples and colour charts. You can get these from DIY stores, department stores and curtain shops, depending on what you’re looking for. Market stalls are good places for cheap fabrics if you have access to them in this COVID-19 world.
List what you want to do
Get clear on all the tasks you need to do. Be clear about why you have to do them or why you want to do them.
Tasks on your list could be:
- Decluttering, which will include getting rid of unnecessary items and storing items away
- Making space for new furniture
- Putting in the new furniture
- Changing the bedding
- Re-painting the bed frame
Know the task
When you take on any kind of project, you’ve got to know what it entails. It all adds up timewise. Knowing how much work you have to do in each part of the project will help you to organise your time better.
Be realistic about your time
Once you have a handle on what you have to do, you can estimate how long it will take. Then you can plan the best way to organise your time and decide which jobs to do first. If you’re going to have new furniture delivered or lay down a new carpet, you might prefer to paint or wallpaper first. Make sure you leave yourself enough time to complete the task before the delivery.
Be realistic about how much time you need to complete each redecoration task. If you’re not handy around the house, you’ll need longer than a professional decorator would. If you set yourself too tight a schedule and have to go flat out to complete the redecoration, you’ll end up stressing yourself out. That won’t do. An autumn redecoration project is supposed to be fun as well, you know!
A few final words on organising your redecoration project for autumn
COVID-19 has thrown a serious spanner in the works. It’s harder to go into a shop and get what you want now. You either have to queue or make an appointment, which may persuade you to shop online more for products for your autumn redecoration project.
With retailers eager to make a sale and trade fairs also taking a hit because of the damage and chaos COVID-19 has caused, now is a good time to pick up bargains. By shopping around and being aware of the services and products different furniture retailers are offering, and how much they’re charging for them, you can capitalise on your research to grab a bargain.
It all comes down to good planning and solid research. Decide what you’ve got to do, find out what it entails and schedule in time to do it. Give yourself breathing room. It’s hard enough bringing up children without you piling more pressure on yourself by devising an insanely tight decorating schedule.
Hopefully, the coronavirus won’t be around forever and life will get easier as time goes by. In the meantime, however, this is what we’ve got. Follow the tips above so you can organise your autumn redecorating project successfully and complete the project while your children are at school.