Self-storage company Space Station estimated this week that the average home contains £4,000 worth of unwanted items, and advised selling is a good way to free up space.
This is obviously what an organized and thrifty person should do before getting out the dusters, but it seems I’ve developed an indoor rather than an outdoor habit with furniture.
I just can’t say no every time a friend or neighbor donates items that might come in handy in the future.
Over the years, I eagerly accepted rowing machines, mats, chairs, a gnat-eating machine, and pieces of sports equipment, knowing they would come in handy one day.
These items are already taking up space in our attic and shed, most of which have never been touched since I happily took delivery. But in the last month or so, the kindness extended to me by kind neighbors has gone up a notch or two.
The friends reduce their numbers and, having offered to help them fly, I never come home without another bulky object.
From one home, I was the proud recipient of two small Chesterfields, a full length mirror in a swing frame, a Kenwood food processor and a vibrating gaming chair – though, without power cable.
In fact, I’m afraid I may have ended up with more of their stuff than I got to their new place.
The sofas are taking up space in our garage because they’re going to replace two broken sofas – previously salvaged from another neighbor’s storage room – that we haven’t taken the time to put in the landfill yet.
The mirror pieces are in my daughter’s room, but we can’t figure out how it all fits together.
The food processor needs a handle glued on before I can use it. And the gaming chair – intended for my son’s bedroom – wouldn’t fit, so it’s currently getting in the way of everyone else’s way down the hall.
To top it off, my washing machine door got stuck over the weekend and upon mentioning it to another neighbour, she immediately offered us a spare one in her garage.
Ultimately! I thought, an acquisition that comes from need rather than desire. But, before taking delivery, we managed to forcefully repair the original, so now we have two.
While I understand it’s a good idea to donate older items, they aren’t worth much, so it’s unlikely a charity will consider them worthwhile. And the gifts to the locals are over, because that’s where it all comes from in the first place.
Kirsty McLuckie: Sometimes you need a room of your own
The Space Station report says the top three online searches people search for second-hand items are furniture, books, and golf clubs.
Get rid of stacks of books lying around and threes – threes! – sets of clubs that my husband hid under the stairs would definitely free up some space.
But what I really need to do is stop raising my hand in the air every time someone asks if there are any takers on a house liquidation.
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