5 Editor Tips for Shopping HomeGoods, Homesense and TJ Maxx

We wanted to fine-tune the best way to shop for affordable furnishings and home accessories, so we took a walk through a couple of our favorite budget-friendly stores: HomeGoods and its sister store Homesense. Then we online shopped at TJ Maxx. Here's what we found.

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.
August 26, 2019

Photo by: Caroline Alkire

Caroline Alkire

It’s a love-hate kind of thing when you commit to redecorating your space. There’s nothing better than browsing stores and websites for the perfect sectional, that is, until it’s time to drop half of your savings on a new living room set.

That's why I decided to take a walk through a couple of my favorite budget-friendly home storesHomeGoods and its sister store Homesenseto figure out the best way to find affordable furnishings and accessories. Afterwards, I online shopped at TJ Maxx to get the entire experience. Let's just say I learned a lot. Fun fact: HomeGoods and Homesense (both owned by TJX) are normally built near each other so bargain shoppers (like us!) can enjoy the entire Homesense/HomeGoods shopping experience, which is honestly pretty awesome.

So, here it is: everything I discovered about decorating on a budget and snagging home finds that won't drain your wallet. These tips work for anyone: back-to-school shoppers, first-time homeowners, apartment dwellers, pet lovers. We also picked out a few of our favorite accessories to help you get started.

1. First, Find the Basics

Photo by: Caroline Alkire

Caroline Alkire

It’s easy to jump right into picking out pillows and coffee table accessories—I mean, they’re so cute—but if you’re moving into a new place or totally scrapping the old framework of a room in your home, you’ll want to start with finding furniture. While HomeGoods is a known Mecca for pillows, tchotchkes and pretty much any accessory you never knew you wanted, Homesense has a wider collection of large-scale, affordable basics like headboards, sleeper sofas, rugs, sectionals and dining table sets—even rattan bar carts (*heart eyes*). Step one: Build the framework. Then comes the fun part: decorating.

Shop Our Favorite Furniture Picks

2. Don’t Underestimate the Small Stuff

Photo by: Caroline Alkire

Caroline Alkire

We know, sometimes it's hard to commit to (aka drop a lot of money on) the big stuff. So, if you can’t spring for a whole new credenza, try the next best thing: Revamp the one you’ve got. As I sifted through baskets of door pulls and knobs at HomeGoods, I realized there’s a lot I could do with my plain, white dresser—including replacing the boring metal knobs with colorful ceramic ones or painting it an exciting new color (you can find paint supplies at Homesense).

And don’t even get me started on contact paper. We saw lots of it, and it's an easy way to give any space a whole new ambiance. If you’re tired of the boring white wall behind your stove or your ho-hum kitchen countertops, grab a roll and get sticking (PSA: We’re kind of in love with terrazzo contact paper on countertops right now).

Other small finds from Homesense that’ll make a big difference: adhesive tile (great for backsplashes), actual tile (if you're up for a project), affordable (and subtle) chandeliers, mirrors and, my personal favorite, artificial plants.

Shop Our Favorite Accessories

3. Don’t Forget to Shop the Checkout Line

Seriously, there are some major finds in the HomeGoods checkout line—including snacks. The knobs we talked about earlier? You guessed it: checkout line find. If you’re feeling bold, you may even want to start your journey through HomeGoods at the checkout line—they’ve got some pretty cool one-off accessories like melamine plates (the perfect charger for a holiday table setting), beach towels, picture frames and more. At Homesense, the checkout lines boast even more home decor. Yes, please.

Shop Our Checkout Line Finds

4. So. Much. Seasonal

Photo by: Caroline Alkire

Caroline Alkire

Sometimes spending a ton on seasonal decor feels irresponsible when you can’t use it all year long. Luckily, festive and affordable finds are totally justifiable. At Homesense you’ll find bigger holiday pieces—we’re talking life-size skeletons for Halloween— while HomeGoods has smaller, but just as festive pieces.

Our current go-to seasonal accessories include faded plastic pumpkins, festive throw pillows and blankets and anything gingham (it’s hard to go wrong with black and white gingham in the fall).

Shop Our Favorite Seasonal Stuff

5. If You’re Shopping for a Friend…

You’ve spent enough time thinking about your own space and now you need a gift for someone else’s home.

Our tip? Check out the wellness and food section at HomeGoods. Pick out a basket and load it with cooking oils, dried pastas and pretty spices. Add a cutesy mug, wine glass or cookbook and voila! Pro tip: You can also find super affordable greeting cards at HomeGoods—who knew?

Here's What You'll Need to Get Started

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