5 Tips for Shopping Homesense — HomeGoods’ Sister Store — Like a Design Pro

published Jan 11, 2024
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HomeSense storefront
Credit: Courtesy of HomeSense

Let me just say: If you’re a die-hard HomeGoods girlie like I am, then you’re missing out if you’re not also currently shopping at Homesense, which is my newest brick-and-mortar obsession. This T.J.Maxx brand-owned store, which I’d liken to a close cousin or sister of HomeGoods, offers decor, accessories, furniture, lighting, textiles, linens, entertaining items, and so much more at prices 20 to 50% less than full-price retailers. And that includes the designer finds, globally sourced goods, and brand-name merch that arrives by the truckload to each of the locations across the United States, which are clustered mainly around the East Coast and Midwest. Maybe you don’t live near a Homesense, which, to you I say try to be patient. The retailer is constantly opening new outposts, and you can always hit one up when you travel (but more on that later). Because the chain is a little newer to the United States, though, I thought I’d bring you a few of my best shopping tips (you know — the kind of secrets only a super-fan knows). Hey, there’s enough merchandise to go around for everyone!

Shop early-ish and shop often, especially during the week, for the best selection.

After doing a little sleuthing (i.e., asking a Homesense employee) about when shipments arrive, I found out trucks come several times a week, with each delivery comprising up to thousands of items. So that, my friends, means that if you have the time to pop in on a weekly basis (or two times a week), you’re likely to always see something new and have first dibs on anything that hits the floor.

As far as when to shop, you probably are a weekend warrior, but I’d suggest making a weekday excursion, preferably around lunch hour if you can manage. According to the team at Homesense, visiting midday on a Tuesday through Friday is your best bet for experiencing less of a crowd.

Credit: Danielle Blundell

Pay extra attention to certain departments.

Think of Homesense as being a bit more curated than HomeGoods and a little more robust in terms of its offerings in categories like lighting, rugs, and furniture. So if you’re in a rush and can only sneak in a quick shopping session, I’d recommend making a beeline to those departments. Where chandeliers and wall hung fixtures aren’t typically stocked in great numbers at HomeGoods, you’ll find a nice selection of pendants and sconces at Homesense in addition to table and floor lamps (and pairs are often plentiful!). Rugs can run as large as 10 feet by 14 feet, and Homesense carries a number of runners, too. The furniture department typically makes up a large chunk of the floor plan as well and, again, it feels like you can find more pairs of large items here than you might expect, but selections do vary. 

Two other things an astute shopper will notice and should take advantage of? The coffee table book selection here rivals any cute boutique store, and the prices are often cheaper than Amazon. The titles tend to be new releases as well — I just snagged the Byredo book over the holiday, and you can see a sampling of what I found on one particularly successful Homesense shopping trip earlier in 2023 below. I’d also recommend taking a look at the General Store department. There, you’ll find great organizing products as well as things like cabinet and drawer hardware. It’s a great place to source materials for your next DIY project, which you might not expect from a furniture and decor retailer. 

Credit: Danielle Blundell

If you love it, grab it!

I don’t condone impulse buying, but there’s nothing wrong with putting something that piques your interest into your cart. Unlike many other stores, Homesense does not hold replenishment stock in the back, so if you don’t pick it up on your first lap around the store, someone else might. You can always put things back, so there’s no harm in picking something up to think about it.

If by the end of your shopping trip you’re still torn on whether or not an item will work for your home, I’d recommend just buying it. The Homesense return policy is fairly standard, so any merchandise that’s in original condition can be returned for a full refund within a 30-day window from the date of purchase. 

Take your shopping on the “road.”

If you’re lucky enough to live in an area that has multiple Homesense stores, you should go to them all fairly regularly. That’ll up your chances of finding, say, six matching dining chairs (whereas a pair would be easy to come by in a single store) or stumbling upon a one-off designer find only stocked at a single store in your region. 

I also recommend hitting stores in different states and cities when traveling, too. Merchandise does vary based on region, so it’s worth popping into the store if you can find some time for it. If you run out of room in your suitcase for your purchases, you can always ship them or check an extra bag. I personally always travel with a collapsible duffel for this reason. 

Find deals all around the store.

To snag the best stuff, you should absolutely do a lap or two around the entire store. And don’t forget to check out the areas near the cash wrap, too. Smaller framed artwork, gift bags, and the like will be here, and you might not see the exact same pieces elsewhere in on the floor. Do yourself a favor by giving the end caps of the smaller aisles a once-over, too. In certain stores, you can find the markdowns there versus within the aisles. While the prices at Homesense are already competitive, you might find an even bigger bargain waiting for you in this spot.