Dealing with too much furniture

You have your mother’s couch, your grandmother’s china cabinet, your aunt’s chair… Where do you draw the line when it comes to squeezing one more piece of furniture into your house? If you are downsizing to a smaller home, the problem is even more critical.

Take an inventory of what you have. Walk through each room and determine which items of furniture need to go.

Ask yourself:

  • Do you love it?
  • Is it in good condition or does it need repairs?
  • Have you used it in recent months?
  • Can you repurpose it?
  • Does someone you know need it?

For some, the thought of getting rid of old furniture brings them to tears because of the associated memories. If you fall into this category, take some photographs of the furniture and then let go of it. The object is taking up space and not serving a useful purpose. It is simply one more thing accumulating dust.

If you can donate the piece to someone needy, it will make you feel a lot better about saying goodbye and can bring the recipient great memories as well. GoodwillSalvation Army and Habitat for Humanity, just to name a few, will pick up furniture donations from your home.

Some people find that keeping furniture elsewhere, but within the family, is a better solution. That is fine as long as the piece is truly wanted by the person. Avoid giving someone furniture that becomes an obligation to your family member.

Of course, selling furniture on Craigslist or through the newspaper is another option. You probably will not get much money unless the piece is in excellent condition. Often times it is easier to donate and get the tax deduction than spend a lot of time and effort selling furniture.

If you are helping a relative downsize, always consider the person’s feelings. They may own an ugly, old piece of furniture in disrepair, but could hold special meaning to that person.

This can be an emotional time for everyone involved. A professional organizer is often called in for an objective point of view. We have the training necessary to help people make these difficult decisions and can be the voice of reason if you are having a tough time parting with things. The object is not to hurt anyone’s feelings, but to simplify your life and make the most of the space you have available in your home.

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