Homeowners want to reuse many items. They were expensive, sentimental, or received as a gift. So how of you choose what to keep?
1) Start with your large upholstered pieces. Are the cushions still intact? Does the fabric look worn? Is it comfortable? Is it a valuable antique? Try to narrow down the main pieces in a room first. Decide if you can update the look of a sofa or chair by pairing it with a new one.
2) Decide the non-negotiable items. Many clients will say, "this painting needs to go somewhere Anita" or "my grandmother gave me this clock". Be clear about what must stay due to sentimental or monetary value.
3) Be flexible in your approach. A table used as a desk could now be used in a sitting area. Think about possibility - not this chair must stay with this end table because we have always paired them together. Moving is also about new beginnings so your spaces should convey your personal style evolution.
4) Decide if you will auction, donate, or sell these items. Perhaps you'll be doing all three. Look up who will come to move that 300lb oak armoire. Do not wait until the movers are scheduled. Most pick ups take at least 2 weeks to get scheduled even when it's a donation.
5) If there is a hoarder among you - please, be firm. Some will not do well with this process. Acknowledge their discomfort, but keep moving forward toward your goal.
6) Only keep items you love. Let me say this again...only keep items that you LOVE. I see so many people keep mediocre stuff! If it is not beautiful, stylish, creative, thought provoking, interesting, or well made- get rid of it. Photograph each item and go piece by piece. Again, large items first like tables, sofas, and desks on down to art and accessories.
Get excited about the new spaces you're creating without the pressure of "getting it all done". Ridding yourself of furniture, art, and accessories should make you feel a bit more free and once you get started it becomes much easier.
-Anita Bhattacharya Oates, NCIDQ