Invest in Durable Items
Sharing a space means more people are around all the time—and everything is more heavily trafficked. This means high-traffic spaces such as entryways and shared bathrooms will need more frequent cleanings, sure, but furniture and tools will also get heavier use. For that reason, Wilkinson stays away from budget furnishings in favor of high-quality items.
“We wouldn’t get a veneer coffee table, because that would chip in the first six months from people using it,” she says. “We’d get a real coffee table that would look good, and withstand, and wouldn’t decay.”
High-quality furnishings may cost more up-front, but they last longer and often look better. If you and your roommates are willing to pool your money to buy them (or even if one of you is willing to make the financial sacrifice for a high-quality piece), they’re worthy investments—especially if you pick something that can grow and change with you.