When you’re moving into a new place — or considering a redesign — it’s time to take stock of your furniture. Even if you’ve had a piece for years and moved it from home to home, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s right for your space now. But how can you know when it’s time to offload a piece and when you can find a way to make it work?
There’s no simple equation to help you determine which pieces should stay and which should go — but there are plenty of reasons you might consider selling, gifting, or donating a piece of furniture. Maybe your style is shifting and a piece no longer suits your space. Maybe you’re moving and your new home’s layout isn’t quite compatible with the scale of your furniture. When a piece of furniture simply isn’t serving you anymore, it’s time to part ways with it, as sustainably as possible.
Of course, that can be easier said than done — so we have plenty of advice that can help you understand how to get rid of furniture in a way that makes room for style to thrive. Follow these tips to make moving or redecorating a breeze:
1. Save what you love
This one is a no brainer — is your current sofa something you already invested in and is in great shape? Does your grandmother’s vintage writing desk have a special place in your heart? No need to ditch the things you love just because you’re moving to a new house. We truly believe that if you love a piece, you can work around it!
2. Ditch what’s falling apart
Still holding onto that IKEA cube shelf that you bought off of Craigslist in college? Maybe it’s time to let that one go. We’re firm believers that your furniture should work for you, not against you, so anything that isn’t holding it’s weight (literally), it’s time to offload! Textiles like curtains, rugs, and bedding can show wear and tear if you’ve had them for a while, so it’s never a bad idea to give these a refresh when moving to a new place.
3. Recognize versatile pieces
Consoles and cabinets can make great pieces for pretty much any room in your house (ditto for bookshelves!), so if you have a good piece that doesn’t quite fit where you’d expect it to, keep it just in case it’ll work in another space in your new home. Is that side table in good shape, but maybe not the right color for your new digs? A fresh coat of paint or a new finish can give a piece a whole new life.
4. Move on from items that aren’t the right scale
When you move, it’s a given that not every piece of furniture will feel perfectly at home in your new place. A new layout means you have to reassess the arrangement of your furniture — which may lead you to realize that your loveseat feels too small in your new space, or that your kitchen table just isn’t the optimal shape for the square footage you’re working with. Use your move as an opportunity to start fresh with furniture that complements your new space.
5. Pass along pieces that don’t suit your style
Your personal design preferences are allowed to change with time! Even if you don’t go for a full renovation or redesign, swapping out a few pieces of furniture can help realign your space with your new preferences. If your taste starts to err more coastal-coal than classic mid-century, for instance, you might swap out a classic coffee table for a rattan alternative. Little changes like this can go a long way in making your home feel right for you.
6. Get rid of pieces you plan to upgrade
You don’t have to stick with that armchair you don’t quite love — if you’re dreaming of swapping it out for an elevated alternative that you’ve been saving up for, that’s totally fine. It’s also important to remember that, if you are redecorating your home, you don’t have to get rid of your furniture and get all new pieces in one fell swoop. Instead, consider taking your time finding things you really love and upgrading your space bit by bit.
7. Sell or donate items that still have plenty of life in them
We’re not implying you should just toss your furniture out on the curb when you’re tired of it — there are way more sustainable ways to rotate out the things that aren’t working for you anymore. If a piece is still in good condition, consider selling it on Facebook Marketplace or a site like AptDeco or Kaiyo. Alternatively, you can donate furniture to your local thrift store or Goodwill, share it on a local Buy Nothing group, or contact local charities that might have home good or furniture collections.
8. Recycle items that aren’t quite cutting it anymore
Not everything is suitable for selling or donating — worn-out rugs, threadbare cushions, and old MDF furniture that’s nearly falling apart likely won’t be of use to anyone else. To properly dispose of these items, look up your city or town’s rules for curbside recycling and follow those instructions.
9. Consult the experts
Did you know our Havenly designers love working around existing pieces? If you have something great to work with, that frees up more budget for new goodies! Chat with one of our designers for free to day to get some expert advice on which pieces are keepers and which ones might be better for your local Goodwill.
Want expert advice on your own space, straight from an interior designer? Get started today with our style quiz.