#BREAKEVENCHALLENGE: Redecorating a room for $0

I’ve always believed that great style has little to do with how much money you spend, but rather how creative you can be with your budget!  Because of that philosophy, I tend to push the creative AND budget boundaries when I tackle a design project.  I’m always up for the challenge of designing a high-style space for an impossibly low-price, but what if the budget is zero dollars?

Is it possible to re-design a room without spending a dime?

Well, let me introduce you to my Break Even Challenge.


For years, I’ve had a forgotten room in my house!  Our spare bedroom had become un-affectionately known as the “Stuff Room” – where things that we no longer wanted, but were still in great condition, piled up.  I often thought about planning a garage sale, but at the end of the day, it always just seemed like so much work, so what should have been a guest bedroom looked more like a disorganized storage unit.

I challenged myself to sell all my awesome, albeit unwanted, “STUFF” in the second-hand economy and use only the money earned to re-design the space.




My sale items were in great condition, so I snapped pics of everything on my phone and quickly created a listing for each item using the Kijiji app.  Within minutes of my first post, I received a message on the app from a prospective buyer, and we set up a meeting the next day.  By the end week one, I sold more than half of my items and made over $700!

And by the end of the month, I sold virtually everything AND I made a whopping $1,270.  SAY WHAT?!?!?!

With the average Canadian earning approximately $1,037 annually from using the second-hand economy, I was shocked and ecstatic that I was able to surpass that amount in just a few short weeks!

So, with cash in hand, it was time to start designing my now empty room!


To add style and function, I knew I wanted to include a daybed for guests as well as a desk and chair, tallboy dresser, and some type of interesting headboard to create a unique focal point.

It was time to start shopping, but knowing that Canadians can expect to pay 4x more for brand new furniture than if bought used,  I turned back to the second-hand economy to find some awesome thrifty items.


I set my location perimeter on the app and began searching for literally what I was looking for… “interesting wood chair”, “wood folding screen”…  It’s no surprise that with over a half million furniture and home décor items available on Kijiji at any given time, my search results garnered some amazing finds right in my own neighbourhood at even more amazing prices.

Here are some of my favourite Kijiji finds that I scooped up for my space:

When I shop the second-hand economy, I look for items with upcycling potential! You aren’t likely to find something in the exact colour you’re looking for, but the finish can easily be changed with a little DIY elbow grease.  I was specifically searching for items that fit the style and size that I wanted, and knew that the colour would be a quick and affordable fix.


Once I had all of the items on my shopping list crossed off, I was ready to customize them for the space.

The dresser got a makeover in a luxe smokey teal colour with “new” vintage hardware…

After the cost of DIY materials, the dresser ended up costing a mere $115… which is a fraction of what a new dresser would cost!  And the fact that it was customized with colour made it virtually priceless!


After an action-packed month of buying pieces in the second-hand economy to fit my style and budget, AND flexing a little DIY muscle, I was able to turn this…

Into THIS…

The room that everyone in our house once avoided has now become a destination for homework, reading, and relaxing!

The big question is…


After tallying up the cost of my Kijiji finds, paint and DIY materials, and a few new items, my grand total was…


Which means…

I came UNDER BUDGET!  I had $28 to spare, so essentially, I made a profit from re-designing a room in my home!


Learn How to Get Involved in the Second-Hand Economy!

Learn How to Get Involved in the Second-Hand Economy!

If you’ve bought or sold used items, swapped, or donated, you’re already an active contributor!

Learn more


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