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  • Writer's pictureGina Gaurisas-Wilson

Spring cleaning | Guide for making the best of your old furniture

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

Keeping our spaces clean and organized provides benefits of wellbeing—it feels refreshing, we know what we have, and it’s easier to find what we are looking for.

Old chairs
Photo: Gina Gaurisas-Wilson

According to an In-Depth column on the Mayo Clinic website, extra stuff around us is stressful and makes it hard to focus. More is not better. “…a cluttered environment can make your brain less effective at processing information—and more prone to frustration”.

Excess amount of furniture in our homes can make the space look cluttered and smaller.

We can start by assessing which pieces of furniture we like and which serve us best.

  • How’s your furniture performing?

  • Is it in the style you want?

  • Is it comfortable?

  • Does it offer sufficient storage?

  • Are other pieces serving a similar function?

This list can help narrow down what to keep:

  • Sentimental value

  • Monetary value

  • Being used

  • Style

  • Size

  • Quality

  • Storage

  • Comfort

  • Purpose

  • Duplicate pieces

  • Duplicate uses

You can add one more element of scrutiny to the pieces you are keeping. Are they bringing you joy? This simple question from Marie Kondo, Japanese master organizer and author, struck me as a very helpful tool to approach a difficult decision from a different angle. It's a concept that filters out some of our reasons for clinging to things.

If any furniture that makes it to the “keeper list” needs to perform or look better, I can help restyling it. See examples of my before & after furniture. The range is wide depending on your needs and style:

  • Simplify its use or appearance

  • Expand its use with add-ons

  • Repurpose

  • Modify the style

  • Refresh

  • Resize

Display cabinet makeover
Furniture Restyler

If you are a Do-it-yourselfer in need of design advice, I can help you eliminate the guessing game--“Will it look good”? Is the finish you plan to apply the best for the long life of your furniture? It’s like bringing dozens of paint chips from the paint store only to realize that none looks just right. Professional help pays off. See my easy process.

A few simple suggestions that can make a difference in furniture performance and appearance.

Tips to quickly improve your old furniture
Photo: Gina Gaurisas-Wilson

These are options to dispose of the furniture you are not keeping:

Sell: Depending on the condition of your furniture, look for your local consignment stores and auction houses; list it on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. If you have a local flea market, show a picture to market vendors.

Donate: To your favorite charity--some have silent auctions, thrift stores, Freecycle, and Buy Nothing Project, which is based on giving and receiving in your own community.

Give as presents or holiday gifts to those who you know will appreciate the pieces. More about this at Old furniture as holiday gifts---Mindful giving.

Whatever option you choose help your excess furniture go anywhere but the landfill. You will be helping the environment!

Give old furniture another chance to be useful to someone.

Thanks for reading.

I don't monitor this post, but feel free to contact me with questions or comments at

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