Every time you move home your life changes. Whether it’s a subtle change like moving from a studio to a 1 bed flat. Or a more significant change like welcoming your first child into your family. Either way, you are going to have aspects of your old life (and associated furniture and belongings) that you will continue to use in your new life. But you will also have things that are not necessary or just don’t fit correctly into the layout of the new home. Don’t be afraid to dispose of these things.
For example, two properties ago, we bought a lovely television unit for our studio flat at the time. It had loads of storage and fitted the room very well. Then we moved into a 2 bed flat where we had adequate space in the lounge. However, it was supposed to be a combined lounge and dining room and now it didn’t quite fit the proportions of the room as well as it did before. Nonetheless we chose not to dispose of it because it was still a useful piece of furniture.
After a few years, we moved into a 3 bed house. In this property, the lounge was separate from the dining room and so it was smaller than our previous lounge/diner. It also had alcoves around a fireplace along with a bay window. This gave us an odd layout that was quite different to what we had before. Consequently, we decided to get rid of our trusty combined storage and television unit. We replaced it with a set of bookcases, which fit neatly into the alcoves. And a smaller cabinet for the TV and accessories. This suited our new layout much better and the flow of the room was much more pleasant.
However, we now had a large TV and storage unit to dispose of. In the end, we contacted someone who sells second-hand furniture. He was able to sell the unit for us and after taking a commission, we had a little money that helped to recoup the cost of the new pieces of furniture. Of course, we didn’t get back anywhere near what we had spent on the unit originally. But we did have 6 years of service from it and the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that our furniture went to someone who needed it. We also didn’t send the unit to landfill.
I come across so many people in my line of work who insist on holding on to their old furniture. And it seems to me that the older the furniture is, the tighter people hold on to it. There is a tendency to value older items as “antiques” or to feel that you are letting down some family legacy by letting go of a piece of furniture that was passed on to you by the previous generation. I promise you, your ancestors want you to be happy. And they don’t want to see that you are holding on to a piece of furniture that doesn’t serve you out of a perverse sense of duty.
William Morris said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” I urge you to remember that your furniture exits to serve you. Not the other way around. Larger traditional homes are being sub-divided into ever smaller pieces of real estate. New homes are being built to smaller specifications. It is becoming increasingly more important that furniture should be multi-functional and tailored to suit the property it is in. The truth is that it is highly unlikely that a particular piece of furniture will be perfect for all the lifestyles of multiple generations of a single family. So please, dispose of those things that don’t serve you any more, so that you can have space in your home to live the life you want.