Jan 23, 2014

The Furniture Dilemma

This should really be titled: “Fighting my true nature as a hoarder while practicing mindfulness (avoiding the generational pitfall of a mindless consumerism cycle) in regards to the furniture stored in our basement,” but it didn’t fit in the title field.

Furniture is expensive and I hate being wasteful. I’m really trying to fight my hoarding tendencies and purge our basement of unnecessary stuff we don’t use, but when it comes to furniture I get stuck. I hate the idea of getting rid of something expensive that we might need again later, it pains me to think of a future where we have to repurchase something we had and got rid of even though it was perfectly good.

It’s part of why I love secondhand furniture so much. It usually means we can get a much more well made piece than what we could have afforded new (like real wood). And I like the idea of helping keep one more thing out of a landfill. Of course we still frequent Ikea and Target like everyone else (who can resist those bookcases?!), but we do try to be mindful when we can.

So my instinct in our basement is to keep all the furniture of course, and it doesn’t always make sense. For example, we have THREE coffee tables down there (and a toddler friendly faux leather storage ottoman in our living room). It’s easy for me to declare that we keep our Crate & Barrel living room coffee table, I plan on using it again in our future living room. It’s a beautiful piece and the perfect size for our small space.

But then what about the Ikea coffee table we used before that?

Structurally it’s still perfectly good, but the finish is now badly chipped. I was saving it for a “someday” project to tile the top and use it outside in an outdoor living area. But now that we have the pergola and patio done, is there even space? Is this project feasible? Would we be better off buying something made for the outdoors? Is my pack-rat/hoarder instinct blinding my better judgement?

And THEN we have to consider the coffee table we had before that. This one white one is in perfect condition (other than being dirty in this picture - also ignore the carpet covered in leaves, we have a lot of cleaning to do post-organizing).

I do want to create a living/play space down here, so my instinct is to keep them and see if we can use them when we move the furniture around. The white one is really low and could be perfect for a train table or legos… Maybe we can use the other one for stacking stuff and storage and keeping things off the floor… ACK! See? I am terrible at getting rid of furniture. I’m full of excuses and “just incase” tendencies. I can’t be stopped.

At least when it comes to the rest of the furniture down here, it’s a little easier. I can let myself keep the bookshelf and cube shelf - they both provide excellent storage. I love the red cabinet too much to let it go and it also provides good storage. The red couch (which used to live in the nursery when it was a guest room with a beige cover on it) will stay because it’s comfortable and the “living space” down here should have seating. But as our needs change, as our house changes and rooms shift around, will I be able to let the big things go?

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