9 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Extra Furniture
Long stretches at home with the family often remind us that our home is crowded. This has added to the trend of cutting back on unnecessary belongings. Yet many people don’t stop and consider their furniture.
Furniture accumulates for a number of reasons. If the home is crowded, a person can take an inventory, noting why they have it as well as what it’s purpose is. Perhaps it’s a family favorite, a leftover from a previous life, the product of a shopping fetish, or simply the product of more people in the family.
One reason that many people end up with too much furniture is due to an inheritance or sharing within the broader family. These family favorites may be valuable, and the owner sees their value in terms of money. They are just as likely to be sentimental, and the owner has an emotional attachment to them.
The problem is that family favorites are often not what you would choose if you went shopping for that type of furniture today. Perhaps it is unnecessarily bulky or bigger than needed, or it may be the opposite. It may not be a practical size for the way people live together.
Antique chairs, for instance, were made for people who were smaller than the average person today. Some bed frames are smaller, too, forcing the owner or guests to sleep on a smaller mattress.
Remnants of the Single Life
Sometimes unnecessary furniture is the result of getting married and not doing the hard work of deciding which pieces are best. The flat or home is crowded, but neither wants to let go of old favorites. The owners run into a table close to a doorway or trip over a footstool that no one really uses.
No one needs extra comfortable chairs if there isn’t enough room. Similarly, no one needs extra furniture that makes the bedroom feel crowded. The problem may be too many bookshelves or tables, but the result is the same.
Following the Trends
A third reason that people accumulate too much furniture is shopping, pure and simple. They love to follow the trends. There’s always something new to bring home. With more in the home, there’s a need for more drawers and more surfaces where things can be housed or displayed.
This isn’t something that happens all at once. Rather, it occurs over time, and the owners don’t realize the problem until there’s little room left.
Children have a way of causing us to accumulate much more stuff than we really need. This isn’t just because the child needs special things and certain furniture items, although that’s part of it. It’s also because the parents don’t look up and see how crowded the house is becoming until the situation is overwhelming.
How to Decide What to Keep
One option when these things happen is to simply move into a bigger place. Of course, many of us don’t have the money for such a venture. That leaves making the hard choices needed to impact your living situation positively.
Rather than just get rid of furniture on a whim, it helps to make an inventory of everything you have. Owners can evaluate it on these criteria:
Is It in The Right Place?
Some furniture may be useful if it were in a different place. A person can solve this problem by taking time to examine what the functions of each piece could be. Perhaps the big bedside table in the bedroom would be better in place of the too-small one in the living room.
Is There Another Use?
A little imagination may help solve the problem. A desk could be a table and vice versa. Bookshelves could be used for pots and pans, or the use of baskets or boxes could make it into a storage unit for small items.
Is It a Duplicate?
If it’s a duplicate, you should be able to choose which piece you like best. Then the other can be given to charity or sold online. A third option is self storage if you think you might change your mind later.
Do You Actually Like It?
Often there is a piece you simply don't like. Why hold onto it? You can give it away and feel good that someone else may find it useful. It will be out of sight, out of mind, and out of the way permanently.
How Much Does It Mean To You?
There may be pieces you keep for sentimental reasons. They remind you of childhood or a favorite grandparent. Be honest with yourself if you don’t really like the piece and go with your impulse. Your partner’s point-of-view should be considered, too, especially if the piece is very big or unsightly. In this case, the ideal pieces to keep are smaller and/or truly useful.
How Useful Is It?
Occasionally there is a piece of furniture that really isn’t that useful. It has one purpose and one purpose only, and the owner has other things that fill that purpose. It’s good to be honest and part with the piece, even if there’s some emotional attachment.
How Much Is Worth?
Most furniture loses value quickly. It can fade, lose stuffing, get scratched or get dirty. It is generally a good idea to get rid of a piece of furniture before it gets to the point that is worthless. Could you make some money by selling it? Then there’s no time like the present to get it out of your home.
Will You Miss It When It’s Gone?
Attachment to a piece of furniture, especially an easy chair, may outweigh many of the reasons to get rid of it. Perhaps it looks bad but you don’t have the money to replace it with what you actually want. It’s understandable that you would keep it. In this case, you should do everything you can to make it more attractive to others, especially your partner.
How can I move it?
Maybe the problem is that your unwanted furniture is bulky, and you don’t want to spend money moving it. Some charitable organizations will pick up furniture. Also, you could post it on an online marketplace, explaining that the new owner must move it. Sometimes it is worth offering it for free just to get it out of your home.
Deciding whether to keep furniture may be easier if you have someone to pass it along to. Maybe you have a younger sibling or other family member who is moving into their first home. You can give away family pieces or other favorites and feel like it really isn’t gone.
However you choose to get rid of unwanted furniture, you should feel good that you took the initiative. No doubt, it will add a feeling of spaciousness to your living areas. It can certainly contribute to that organized feeling we all seek in our lives.