Your Furniture Should Work For You, Not Against You

Our relationship with furniture...

The first time I meet with a client is also the first time I meet with their home. I listen to both parties (the human and the house) as they tell me what is going on. The human has one thing to say and the house another.

"There's not enough space in here" the human may say.
       "She has too much jammed in my rooms" counters the house. 

And so the conversation goes as I take notes and walk around. But just like the small child who also has something to say, the furniture often has a small role in the story as well. 

We have a funny relationship with furniture. It comes through the door and it tends to never leave. Sometimes it comes by way of college. Sometimes by a family member. And sometimes after an exchange of a large sum of money. But most of the time, it comes and is here to stay. 

Given that it was passed down or an expensive purchase, we struggle with letting it go.

The reasons behind why we own it is irrelevant. Furniture should be first functional, the second fancy. 

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Our furniture should work for us, not against us.

It is hard to know the functionality of a room and thus the furniture in it without first decluttering.

We must clear out the excess and fine tune the contents. Then (AND ONLY THEN) can we determine whether our current furniture is operating at full capacity.

It is common to get emotional and rather defensive at the idea of switching out a piece. You may hear these types of thoughts in your head:

  • "But this was part of a set."

  • "This belonged to my ____grandmaw/aunt/husband's grandmaw"

  • "I spent a lot of money on that piece."

  • "I really wanted that to work"

  • "I've moved that piece around so many times trying to find a home for it."

If a piece isn't working, then let it go.

If you have room in the garage, then move it out there temporarily to see if you can find another home for it.

Then go on the hunt to find the right piece based on your needs and functions. I highly recommend searching secondhand because the less we invest in furniture, the easier it is to let go if the time arises.

How is your furniture stacking up?

Jennifer Burnham