Making Room...in the Living Room

Do you use your living room? Since the advent of the family room, the living room also known as the parlor or front room, has taken a back seat in a home’s popularity. It historically was the largest room in the house, located in the front of the home and used primarily to entertain guests. Traditional living rooms have served as the showcase for treasured artwork and displays of heirlooms and other nostalgic objects. This room is remembered by some of a certain generation as the ‘museum’.

So, what does one keep in the living room that might need to be decluttered? Collections, such as porcelain figurines come to mind, as do the more formal furnishings and décor. Both may be cherished for their nostalgic value, and sadly both may hold little to no value on the open market. It’s always a bit distressing to have to break it to someone that something that holds so much value to them is almost worthless to someone (almost everyone) else.  To be fair, there are folks who scour flea markets, online auction services, antique and consignment shops looking for the perfect accompaniment to their own collections. And there are some pieces that may be more desirable than others, so to say that all hold no value would be unfair. In today’s world, the reality is that some things are just not as desirable as they once were.

Let’s look at a few real-life examples. Lladro figurines begin at $.99 cents on eBay. The same can be said of Hummel figurines. Dozens and dozens of them are listed without any bids at all. However, you may find bids ranging from a few dollars to a few hundred on online auction services, depending on the piece. The point is, if you have similar collections, it’s worth a bit of time to check comparable resources for desirability and pricing. That will determine how much time and energy is worth spending to sell, compared to the yield.

You’ve probably heard that today’s younger generation has no interest in inheriting Mom or Grandma’s collections of anything. The popularity of decluttering and downsizing has certainly had an impact on donation outlets, and some are much more selective about what is accepted. Yet, there continues to be a great need for donations to furnish a home.

A few things to keep in mind when donating larger items like furniture. If you have a particular charity in mind, find out what they are accepting. They can give you a good sense of what is needed at the moment. When it comes to upholstered furniture, be sure the item is in good condition. That means there should be no rips, tears or stains. Any furniture impacted by pet odor or stains is not donation worthy. Remember, when donating to a nonprofit organization or charity, that piece of furniture is likely going into someone’s home. Although you no longer want or need it, it may represent a fresh start for someone else.