After living in a large house for many years, seniors can accumulate a stockpile of furniture and need help moving it. This may include full size grand dining room sets with China cabinets; separate kitchen sets; master bedroom suites; family-sized chesterfield suites, love seats, and recliner chairs; bathroom vanities and cupboards. Large cumbersome furniture pieces pose a serious problem when downsizing to a smaller condo, townhouse, or apartment.
Every Piece of Furniture Holds a Memory
It may also be difficult to let favourite furniture go, especially when it holds a universe of wonderful memories. But with some home-grown ingenuity, this issue can be resolved successfully.
For any senior moving for the first time, it may seem like an impossible task to move the large heavy reminders of their previous life into a compact space. An obvious choice would be to put some of their furniture in storage. However, the costs of renting storage space quickly add up. For many seniors on fixed incomes, this is not a feasible option. Happily, better options are available.
In Consigning the Family History (Edmonton Journal/Vancouver Sun, 2012), Ann Sutherland writes about a woman in a state of panic because she needed to move a lot of large house furniture quickly into a small duplex. She did not want to give away her high-quality expensive furniture, but also did not want to sell them cheap either. A reputable consignment furniture store “turned out to be a lifesaver.” This shop came to her house and appraised her furniture, the owner and seller worked out a price together, and a consignment split was arranged. It turned out to be the perfect solution.
According to the Journal article, the hardest part for the woman involved was the idea of parting with her beloved furniture. It made the process more doable when she planned it out beforehand, “drawing out a plan of the new home to see what furniture would fit and arranging it all on paper. She kept in mind the scale of her furniture in relation to the new space.” Also key is looking at what you truly use. In the end, the senior was able to keep most of her furniture by adapting some pieces to the new down-sized environment: “What was in my family room in the old house, now fits in the living room of the new house,” she says. “Everything’s turned out fine.”
More Tips to Help with moving furniture to fit ‘big’ into ‘smaller.’
Simply removing the middle leaf from a large dining room table will shrink it considerably. Before you move, make sure you get to know your space and how you want to use it. Measure everything to make sure it fits. Remember that furniture should fit both physically and esthetically. Retain those pieces that are in the best condition and the most expensive to replace. Learn to ‘re-purpose’ furniture. A lift-lid ottoman can serve as a coffee table and storage. A small dresser can be used in an entryway.
The best, most helpful suggestion is to think of this as an exciting and novel life adventure. Downsizing is a fresh start! You might even decide to buy all brand-new furniture.