Design

Do We Regret Selling our Home Furnished? (and How did that work!?)

July 17, 2019  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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My sister is getting ready to take on a cross country move to Seattle and facing the decision whether to pay to move all of her things ($$$$!) or sell it and start over. She, along with many of you, asked if we regret selling our furnishings with our last home. After 6 weeks of living here, I feel like I could finally share my thoughts on it.

Moving is emotional in a lot of ways and I’ll admit not having furniture has probably added to feelings of being unsettled over the last month, but I also think it just takes time to get used to a place. We hadn’t planned on selling our furniture or decor but when the buyer (moving here from another state) asked if we were open to it, we thought about it for a few days and decided — sure, why not! 

We knew from a previous move that furniture rarely transfers into a new space. (And that was made clear again when all of our rugs that we brought with us suddenly look tiny. ) But what made us say yes was actually thinking fondly of our previous home and a lot of the pieces in it felt like they belonged with that home. It would have been more sad for me to keep all of my furniture, move it here, get frustrated that it doesn’t fit and then decide to sell it and replace it. Like maybe some of the fondness associated with our home or the pieces in it would be lost. Of course that’s not always going to be the case, sometimes furniture will transfer fine and you can be set up and settled and give it in a new life in your new space and that’s a sweet scenario, too.

Bottom line for us, although our new home is a little echo-y right now (with the exception of Jordan’s sofa and our new rug ) , we don’t regret selling our furniture and we’re excited to choose pieces that feel like this home over time. In fact, I am a little bummed we didn’t have time to have a yard sale before we moved and sell more…as I’m still staring at a basement full of boxes that I haven’t even wondered what was in them once since moving here.

So how did we actually sell our furniture? How did it work? While keeping specific details private for the sake of the new homeowner, this is how it went down. The sale of our home was 100% separate from the furnishings sale. We received two separate deposits at closing. The buyer specifically asked for certain things in our home and then said he had $x set aside to purchase other furnishings. Of course it was up to us what we wanted to sell and we priced things accordingly.

We made a spreadsheet in excel, divided by room, of each item we would sell in that room. We wrote the original retail price and then what we would sell it for (depending on condition, wear, and honestly how attached we were to it). For instance, our short wood round coffee table in the green room I really loved and would have brought with us. We purchased it for about $1500 and I priced it at $1000 and the buyer decided to purchase it–which was fine! That was the price I would let it go for. Most things, we priced at around half the original cost, some things even less. Our kitchen stools had some wear and we sold all 4 for $50. We knew our dining table wouldn’t translate to our new home so selling it for half of what we paid for it and not having to move it, saved us money, too.

At the end of listing the items for sale in each room we did a subtotal of what it would be to buy new vs. what we were selling it for and added everything up to show a grand total for everything in the house, too. In the end, the buyer pretty much bought everything on the list–I think the way we organized the excel sheet helped for sure.

It took 6 years and many iterations to get our last house just right so I’m not anticipating rooms to come together at once. Some spaces/pieces we are investing a little more in up front and some I’m completely happy with a phase 1 find for now.

Hopefully that answers some of your questions! If you were moving across the country, would you bring everything with you??

What do you think?

  1. Rebecca Neustel says:

    We’re moving to our retirement home from Pennsylvania to Arizona at the end of the year. When we moved here from Illinois in 2010, we came with 22,000 lbs of furnishings!! Most of it stayed boxed up in the basement all this time, literally! We just had an estate sale a couple weeks ago, and what didn’t sell, we gave away. We’re taking very little furniture—two beds, one dresser, two buffets, one antique dresser, one dining table and chairs and a few side tables and chairs. I kept my China because it was special to me but got rid of everything else kitchen-wise. I’m looking forward to finding things to fit the new house (which isn’t anything like what we have now).

  2. Kathleen says:

    We recently moved from Memphis to Des Moines and the buyers wanted several things from our home. We had help in pricing from a friend who stages homes. The mistake we made was that we didn’t have a house picked out yet and we now wish we had sold some things that we kept and wish we had not sold some things that we did!

  3. Lindsey says:

    Greetings from an OG follower of CLJ! I must admit that I couldn’t believe you guys sold everything in the house (I was missing your stuff for you!), and kept thinking how I could not imagine doing that. BUT, it has now been 1.5 years since we packed up our 33 years in Virginia and drove to a new life in California… and our closets are still un-usable because they are just boxes of items that won’t fit or work in our now much smaller home.

    Even moving our enormous smoker/grill across the country, paying for movers, and selling it for $10 upon arrival just for more breathing room feels like we truly wasted so much money on movers because I was attached to things. What an expensive lesson. I hope your wisdom on this one informs more of your readers so they can avoid this costly lesson in their own moves. Thank you for your continued inspiration and honesty!!

  4. Kate Kraft says:

    Really interesting… this is one thing we have been considering as we contemplate our next move.

  5. Eva says:

    Very interesting – really great idea and I like how you set it up

  6. Pamela says:

    Thank you for sharing how your family approached this- love the spreadsheet with original price! We moved to a U.S. territory a few years back & we decided to store most of our furniture. Bedroom furniture came with & we lucked out that it fit. When we returned to the states we sold a sectional immediately when realizing it was no longer the look we wanted to have within our current home. There are about ten pieces of furniture, purchased over 13 yrs ago, that have fit extremely well in each of our four moves excluding the overseas move. Believe it or not, thankfully, those same pieces have stayed in the same condition as when purchased. This stage of life I would most likely sell any bedroom furnishing & our main kitchen table/chairs. The same ten pieces I would keep. Our experience, it is fun waiting to purchase to see what will work best within a home. We absolutely requested to purchase quite a few furniture pieces when purchasing this home, but the seller was not willing. We loved how they fit here. Perhaps providing a blank spreadsheet with similar headings your post mentioned could have aided in that process.

  7. Jordan says:

    I’m moving only 15 minutes away so I don’t feel so much need to start fresh, but it is definitely true that not all furnishings translate to the new place. We have higher ceilings in our current home, so we’re selling all the stuff meant to emphasize those (really tall hutch, hanging chair attached to ceiling) to the new buyer. We also decided to sell them our TV and sound system because it was all set up for this specific house. They then asked if they could buy two of my accent chairs. One is vintage that I had reupholstered, so I’m attached because it’s one of a kind and customized to us. We kept that one. The other was a Craigslist find with wear and tear so we happily gave it to them for free. It’s been nice to pick and choose but I honestly can’t imagine moving in with nothing because the furniture and decor is a big part of feeling settled for me. I like to decorate right away!

  8. Susan says:

    My husband moved across country two months before I did as he was starting residency and I was finishing graduate school. We decided it would be cheaper to sell all our furniture and buy new – and you’re right the furniture fit the space perfectly in our first apartment and would have been the wrong size in the next one!

  9. Emily says:

    I’ve never moved cross country, but I just moved 90 miles and brought almost everything that I used regularly. It makes a difference that this was a relocation paid for by my new job, so the cost of moving was irrelevant. I sold or donated a few items that I’d never really loved (goodbye hand-me-down kitchen table), since I now had an excuse to replace them. Generally, I have trouble replacing something that works fine, only because I’d like a different one. If someone else can use it, great, but I will probably have my huge old television for another decade because it just keeps working and I doubt anyone would want it. So it doesn’t go into a landfill, but I also don’t get to have a nice modern wall-mounted flat panel.

  10. Vicki says:

    We are thinking of moving to another state and if we do, we do not want to have to move all of our furniture there. Thank you so much for this information. It will really help if we are lucky enough to find someone who wants to buy our furnishings. Actually, I think the spreadsheet idea is genius, even if you are only using it for a yard sale.

  11. Other than my vintage finds- gorgeous and huge brass pendants, an acrylic and brass lamp, and twin rattan headboards (the sweetest pair), I’d leave it all! Nothing is irreplaceable…

  12. Jlyn says:

    This post could not have come at a better time! My husband is trying to convince me to start over with our furniture & most of our belongings….& I’ve been resistant…until reading this!

    We are moving in the next couple of months. Aside from a few custom made pieces, we have mostly carefully purchased secondhand & Craigslist furniture. So I’m curious what you DID take? Kitchen gadgets? Dressers for kid clothing (that seems like it might explode easily out of suitcases upon arrival at a new house)? Frames (they can be expensive to replace)?

  13. Emily says:

    Nope. I wish that we could get rid ofbhalf the crap we have now. I have very little emotions tied up in things but live with someone that can’t bear to part with it. I have two boxes of my childhood favorites in the attic for the sole purpose of showing my future kids what I loved. He has every school textbook up there. Doesn’t he know that we now have Google? Donating or selling stuff off is my favorite thing to do lately!

  14. Misa says:

    I am just about to move across the country and you’ve inspired me to sell most of my furniture! I’m keeping some vintage pieces and some furniture I feel deeply attached to, but if I could imagine living without something I’m going to sell it. When I sold my first house and moved into my current house, I experienced exactly what you’re talking about—a lot of things don’t work. And I’m excited to start (kind of) fresh in a new space.

  15. Erin says:

    Literally thinking about moving across the country now and how easy it would be to sell everything (minus a few items) and start over. That’s part of the appeal for me.

    But I think I’m different in how I think of things because of a few experiences in life. I spent nearly 2 years helping clean out my grandmother’s house after her passing and got to witness how little was kept and what actually had “value” to family members – photos and odd trinkets.

    After that, my parents very quickly decided to become full time RVer’s and I helped them get rid of everything from their home, including a lot of my own childhood items.

    I also lived in an RV for about 6 months with all my belongings and clothes fit into a single storage ottoman and never once felt like I was missing something. So as much as I enjoy making home cozy now, I’m still able to give it all up and be perfectly happy. I might just need a friend to let me come design their home for them instead so I can scratch that itch :P

    • Susan says:

      An RV sounds like an amazing adventure! Did you travel while living in it or just enjoy small space/minimalist living? And I’ll be that friend who has a home you can design/furnish! I still have a mattress on the floor in my daughters room/guest room because I can’t make a commitment on keeping it or making just her room. And my husband uses a folding patio table for a desk… we’ve lived here for 2.5 years now! Had a lot of help from Modsy – it was great to visualize the space!

  16. Aimee says:

    I moved (back) to Seattle from NYC a few years ago and limited myself to the Upack cube that I could afford. I brought a few pieces of furniture, Craigslist finds that I had reupholstered and that were unique. Other than that, I started over with craigslist, goodwill and new retail pieces and found items that suit my new space and my new life.

  17. Rose says:

    I just moved from Seattle to Michigan last month. This is our 4th cross country move. We sold nearly all our furniture. As some others mentioned our stuff has got beat up, or doesn’t fit the space at all. We moved from a mid century rambler to a historic Tudor that’s currently undergoing a total renovation. Most of our stuff wouldn’t fit the style of our new home anyways. I will say I have all higher end things so my stuff sold at prices 1/3-3/4 what I paid depending on wear. Offer up is wonderful there for both buying and selling. You can score amazing items! So no matter what she does selling it might be easier out there plus she may earn more. Or if she needs things in a pinch have her check it out. Just using key words or search brand names and a huge amount comes up. I actually purchased things to move to my new house because they were on my wish list and brand new! I felt so lucky. Hoping she doesn’t stress and I’m hoping she likes it there (we absolutely hated it the past 2 years, I couldn’t move quick enough) I will keep good thoughts for her❤️.

  18. Polly says:

    I wish this had been posted before we moved in February! When we listed our old home, multiple people in the old neighborhood reached out to ask if we were willing to sell any of our furniture shown in the listing photos (one neighbor sent a message with a list of all the furnishings they’d be willing to buy). At the time I thought it was so very odd – and although I still to a degree feel that particular message was a little peculiar – being on the other side of it now, I kind of get it. We moved into a larger home, and certain pieces just don’t feel right in their new rooms or are just a hair too small in scale to look like they belong. Had I read this then or know what I know now, I likely would have taken more time to consider which pieces would truly work well on our new space. I’m not convinced we would have saved money had we sold certain pieces rather than moved them though. Perhaps if you sell the majority of your furnishings, then you may make a dent into the movers’ bill.

  19. Georgie S says:

    Love your perspective on selling furniture and letting it go so you can make room for the things that will work best in your new home. One question though — please tell me you didn’t sell the two GORGEOUS leather armchairs you had in the old living room?! Those were to die for — and if I recall, it was a challenge for you to find both those??

    • Julia says:

      We did! And it was hard to let go!!! But, we sold them for what we paid (we bought them at an outlet for a deal) because we would have happily brought them with us and really they only get better with age. The story has a happy ending though because we just ordered two new leather chairs. :)

      • Ashley says:

        Would love to know more about the new leather chairs when you’re ready to share! I’m in the market for a pair of leather chairs, so perhaps a roundup featuring different scales, price points, styles, etc? Love following this journey & love your perspective on the whole thing. :)

  20. Sarah Shumway says:

    We’ve moved a lot and I’ve sold many items each time. I usually charge retail + 25% for designing/delivery/convenience for items in great condition that I’d want to keep. Everything else I sell for less. I’d sell everything and start over every move if possible. It stinks to have too much! I’d rather have too little and curate a new look than thane things that don’t work. Obviously, if you have a super special piece or thing that you adore, just exclude it from the same. Life’s about change and evolution. Moving is a great time to change things Up and start over.

  21. Kelly says:

    At our last move we sold about half of our furniture. We’ve lived in our new house (that’s 2x the size) for two years and are just finishing our renovations to the main living areas. I’m so glad I got rid of our old furniture for ease of moving stuff around but also my style has changed and the style of our new house dictates very different choices. But it is awkward when we have people over and they ask if we just moved in :)

    Getting rid of “stuff” is so freeing!

  22. Nancy Dreher says:

    Move. It’s a fresh start. Take you heirlooms that mean something. If you have ever live through a tragic situation like a storm, fire , etc….what matters is your FAMILY. Your house is just stuff. Your HOME is where your family is. Life is an adventure. Starting over is a great experience. The purge is a fantastic feeling.
    Thanks

  23. Tracey says:

    We sold our house with a lot of the furnishings in it. We downsized to a much smaller apartment. Then we moved up to Vancouver, BC and took about a 3rd of what we had from the apartment. We only brought what we really loved. It cost less to bring it than to buy new at .50 a pound. So it all depends on what have, how much it would cost to replace and what it’s worth to you.

  24. Leanne says:

    I think it’s brilliant that you sold your furnishings. When we moved, we had a basement couch that had to move into our bonus room. It’s not the right size at all for the new space, but it was perfect at the last house. I now hesitate to buy something else since it’s in good condition, just too small. So if the option to sell with the house was there, It would have helped everyone !I think you’ll curate a beautiful new space and I’m excited to see what you do! Thanks for bringing us along

  25. Karen says:

    I’m curious to know if you sold the wool pouffe. I thought that was such a transitional piece as I noticed it moved between the nursery and the playroom.
    As beautiful as your house was it’s going to be so exciting to see what you do with the new place…. I can’t wait! X

  26. Linda P. says:

    I’ll probably move in the next few years and when I look around my home, there isn’t much I’d take with me. Just a few larger pieces of furniture. On the contrary, I think Is be excited to simplify and get rid of “stuff”.

  27. Kristin says:

    While I wouldn’t say anything in my home is necessarily one-of-a-kind (with a few art exceptions), it’s an eclectic collection that took @5 years to find – estate sales, rummage sales, thrift and second hand stores, with some new sprinkled in. I always say if you buy what you love, it will all work together. Are you speaking mostly furniture (rugs, I totally get)? While I’m not emotionally attached to much of our decor, I love how it looks. And as we think about moving house, I’m excited to see how it would look/be put together in a different space. Selling furniture and decor from large retailers is one thing – companies tend to make variations year to year. But those one-of-a-kind scores, selling them before their time with me is up, I don’t think I would want to do.

    • Julia says:

      I hope you don’t feel like this post is saying that everyone should sell what they own when they move. I’m definitely not saying that and I don’t think it’s best for every situation or home. I was just relaying our experience since we’ve been asked about it a lot recently.

  28. Pam says:

    Our last move was nearly 30 years (OMG) ago, and our circumstances have certainly changed since then. I could well imagine selling some of our furniture when we eventually do move, and am in the process of actively downsizing what we do have. We have, over these years, become the drop off point for many family heirlooms and photos, papers, and general “stuff.” So, lots to do before we could ever move!

  29. Meagan says:

    We are hoping to move from our starter home to our forever home in the next year and I’ve already decided I’d like to sell a lot of our things that I don’t think will transfer well or that don’t bring me joy. Did y’all budget for new furnishings when moving? Or do you have a percentage you’d suggest to set aside for it? Even though the pieces may not stay forever I still want to have the ability to purchase furnishings that are good quality and fit the space. Thanks!

    • Julia says:

      The money we made from selling our furniture we have set aside for new furnishings. It won’t cover everything but it will get us started.

  30. Devlin says:

    A bit different but we moved countries 2 years (Canada to Cayman Islands) and while I couldn’t have known this at the time, I now regret not bringing some of our furniture. It’s just so hard to furniture shop here (no delivery and limited selection) and I miss things like our couch and bed that we chose to sell. 90% of homes come furnished here but it feels like we’re stuck in a home or hand-me-down college furniture. Bringing our art and some smaller decor pieces like blankets and pillows has definitely helped make it feel like ours though!

  31. katy says:

    Are you going to do the next One Room Challenge so you can be motivated to get one room totally finished and get some help with sponsorship? Seems like a good deal to me, and would be great content. I loved when you did it for the girls bunk room.

  32. Luisa says:

    This is something we are starting to look into, since we are moving across the country. It looks like it will all depend on how much time we have, but this gives me a great idea of how to approach the selling if we decided doing it.

  33. Michelle says:

    We made a big move last summer across states and for my kids especially, I feel like keeping furnishings was an important part of helping them feel settled. The transition was so hard on two of my kids in particular, that having some familiar surroundings, their bedrooms in particular, was important. The month of the move is just so much for kids, house on the market, packing up, driving to a new house and staying in hotels. They need some normalcy and now they are in a strange place with no friends. One of my daughters even remarked when I hung a particular piece of artwork that this was finally starting to feel like home. I guess this probably looks a lot different for in town moves with family nearby like you had though.

  34. Olga says:

    Thanks for sharing! More often than not, I have found that it is hard to get things t translate into a new space. I’m all for letting it go!! We did a cross country move and rented a much smaller home until we purchased one and I never even needed mist things that were in storage! And, you can easily find new things or search Craigslist for things that are better fitted to a new space. Wish I new that before moving!

  35. Michelle says:

    When my husband and I bought our first house, the sellers were moving to Sweden. Since we had similar tastes, we asked if they were willing to sell their furniture. They post-it noted everything they were willing to sell with their price written on it. It was a great way to furnish our new house and so affordable! It was a win-win for both of the parties!

  36. Kirsty says:

    I moved across the world with 12 suitcases. My mum actually bought all my furniture/appliances to use for her business which was great. I still ended up with loads I gave away after moving.

    Then my husband and I moved from Florida to Vermont last year and basically only took our mattress, the baby’s crib, a couple of dressers and our personal items. Everything else was given away and we bought all new stuff. Mostly because the stuff we had was all my husbands bachelor things and it was time to get ‘US’ adult things. It was so great not moving all that stuff

  37. Leigh Anne says:

    Hi, I’m new to your videos and blog and must say, I’m sad that you moved. I fell IN LOVE with your home and planned to adopt many of your ideas. I’m a first time home owner and purchased a new build however, after seeing what your family accomplished in a relatively short time, I wish that I had purchased an older home and remodeled. I hope that I can make my home as lovely as your last. And although I thought your home was perfect, Congrats on your new home. Can’t wait to see what you do with it.

    • Julia says:

      it took us 6 years to get our last home to the point it was when we left it, and are excited you’re on this journey with us from the beginning of our new home. :)

  38. Catherine says:

    I think it’s definitely possible to move into a new home with your furniture, if you have the right furniture too. We’re a military family, and move every 1-3 years (we’ve moved 5 times in the last 7 years) what we’ve learned is to have interchangeable furniture (side tables that work in either a living room or a bedroom, mix and match eclectic stuff that serves many purposes, and storage above all else because you never know how much the next house will have) and we haven’t replaced a major piece in 8-10 years because it all works with just a little shifting. I think if you get really “this piece is only right, for this one specific spot” then it’s harder, but good quality, well made pieces can be made to work anywhere from a tiny apartment in Korea, to a huge Victorian home in Ohio, a 60’s split level in Spain, or a modern colonial in Georgia (the last 4 moves for us.)

    • Jennifer says:

      I find this really inspiring, I would love to see how you made your furniture work in all those different settings.

  39. Jenna Rae says:

    My family moved from Wisconsin to Anchorage, Alaska 13 years ago. At the time our world was changing so drastically that I don’t think that we had it in us to part with anything. Everything felt sentimental. I don’t know if it was the 7 day drive up here that gave us clarity but during the unpacking process, we all said way to often “Why’d did we bring this?” I can’t speak for my parents but I know if I ever move back to the “Lower 48” there’s a very short list of items that will be coming with me.

  40. Colleen says:

    From experience, consider the size of the home, weight of items, distance, and timeline. In our case, moving from WI to WA on a tight timeline – we were turned down by several movers based on the size of the prior apartment alone (1 bedroom 1 bath 500 sq ft). The companies wouldn’t come look or give a quote as it was “too far” for that small of an apartment as they assumed we wouldn’t have that many items to meet the required minimum weight to move. However, we knew there were key furniture items and hardcover books we wanted to keep (still have and use), or needed in the meantime (I work from home and needed a desk and chair). In the end, only one company came to quote and said we easily qualified for the weight – that’s who we used. While we did bring everything to meet that weight requirement, if given the choice, I would have easily not brought a lot of the things we got rid of (art, decor, and some smaller furniture pieces) just to make it easier later on (unpacking).

    As we prepare to move out of state again in the next few years to better reach our life goals, we’re trying to now be more conscious of items we bring in to our home, items we keep, and re-access every 3-6 months. Essentially, only have what we absolutely love or need. Due to our jobs, schedules, and being in an apartment (i.e. can’t leave pieces behind or charged a fee), I’m also hoping we’ll be not on as tight of a timeline to move so that I can see our next place and measure before we move. This way we can try to sell some pieces off before hand if they won’t work. If not, we will just move the items and sell or donate later.

  41. Ashley H says:

    Also- when we bought our house the seller asked what furniture we wanted because he didn’t need it anymore (he had already moved and they just left some stuff for staging. We were going from a 500sq ft apartment to a 2800 square ft home so we listed what we would be interested in. He came back telling us he’d sell us the furniture (not give it, as had been communicated) for some astronomical number (I’m talking like thousands of dollars for a very generic, not expensive breakfast table). We said thanks but no thanks. And then when we closed and we took possession – they left everything (and then some!) anyway! It was a HUGE nightmare because they had to sign something saying they were forfeiting it and blah blah blah. Plus they left some things (two motorcycles in the garage!) that they wanted. We had to get attorneys involved and it was a whole thing. We were fortunately able to sell and/or donate a lot of the furniture.

  42. Jessica says:

    We moved from SC to Oregon last year and brought everything. But we also knew our houses were similar in size, and thankfully, everything from the old house fit great into the new… with the exception of artwork and curtains. Moving into a 1920s home with plaster walls and coved ceilings changed the landscape of what we could hang! But we are very glad we brought our stuff along because it eased the transition of a very big move away from family for our kids (and us!).

  43. Ashley H says:

    I’ve moved across the country twice, but both times were early in my relationship so we didn’t have much! Some furniture we “invested” in has been moved with us (our first real grown up couch our first coffee table that we saved up for to buy from west elm when we were making pennies) and some things we sold or gave away (old futon from college? Hand me down end tables? Ikea tv stand? Not worth the move). I haven’t regretted a thing. In fact, everything that we moved cross country and back now has a place in our home in the city we never want to leave.

  44. Nikki N says:

    We’ve actually moved across country twice in the last two years, Nebraska to Phoenix, then 8 months later Phoenix to Chicago, and then a year later back to Arizona. Needless to say, I pray we don’t have to move for a long time. ???? When we moved from Nebraska we bought a small trailer, about the size of our SUV, and whatever we could fit into that is all we took, we sold all our furniture, besides a few pieces that I couldn’t part with. We were renting our house and the renters asked to buy certain things so that was helpful too! So when we got to AZ into our rental house, which was 4 bedrooms, we had to purchase new beds/mattresses and the works, but knowing it was a rental didn’t go crazy filling the space. When we moved to Chicago, Knowing it was temporary we again just filled the trailer with essentials, this time making sure a couch and table fit and beds so we wouldn’t have to re-purchase those things and put the rest that we had in a small storage unit since most of the things we owned now were brand new. Now own a house in AZ and I’m so grateful we did things the way we did, the things we did purchase were pieces that could move into different spaces more easily, and making sure all we kept were things we loved and not just moving things to move them. Moving is SO expensive no matter how you do it, so not having to pay for moving companies to haul are stuff was a massive savings for us and worth it in every way!!!

  45. Colette says:

    Military wife here, so we have moved all over the country and world every other year. We have moved a lot of our stuff with us, because we don’t want to invest in final furniture until we are able to settle down. After so many moves, furniture is bound to get beat up. It helps that the military pays for moving our stuff though. Each move, I make my husband go through things to get rid of though because I am tired of moving random boxes from place to place when we never open them. We are soon going to be settling down and I know a lot of the stuff we have won’t transfer to a final home, but I also know that we will need to save before we can fully furnish a home, so we may take some and get rid of others.

  46. Kaari Sommer says:

    Funny, I just asked this on my IG post yesterday! I have a few family pieces I could never part with but other than that, I could sell everything! I also totally agree with you that most things don’t translate to the new home. We sold almost everything after selling our last house and moving into our current one. I would completely do it again! Plus, it’s so fun to do it all again!

  47. Erin says:

    We ARE moving across the country (in two days, actually) and I’d planned to bring much less of the furniture than we ended up loading into the U-Haul. But in the end, our new house is 2x the size of the old one and my practical side kicked in: if it’s horrible in the new space I can either practice my reupholstering skills on that piece, or it can live in the basement rec area! ???? We’re moving to an area with a much higher cost of living, so I’ll make things work for a while until I know how much we can spare for new furniture.

  48. Linda says:

    When we bought our house two years ago the owner was offering many items in the home for sale. Certain rugs, tables, sofas, chairs, beds, dressers, floor lamps, cabinets, faux plants, patio furniture, etc. They had a 3-page list with Room, Item & Price. We visited the house one extra time (the owner was so gracious & friendly) and we simply circled and gave them a check for any of the things we’d like. My favorite purchase was the entire office suite which fit perfect and looked so nice I was ready to re-order every piece myself if they hadn’t sold the set to us!

  49. Melissa says:

    I would sell everything I our house in a heartbeat with the exception of my grandparents’ grandfather clock and a desk from my dad’s family. Other than that, it could all go! I don’t have much emotional attachment to furnishings despite working hard over the years to pick perfect items for our house sometimes after several attempts. I think you made a great move!

  50. Maddy says:

    So we just did this – moved across the country (ATL —> DEN) on short notice and we sold all of our furniture except for our couch. BEST. DECISION. EVER. We were living in a 2200 square foot house and would be living in a 600 square foot apartment until we settled on a house. We would have had to pay to have our furniture moved ($10k), then paid to have it sored ($2k?), then paid to have it moved again to its final destination ($1k). All of that on the hope that it would fit physically and stylistically in our new place, AND that nothing would be damaged/lost during the move. Not to mention if we bought an older house (Denver has plenty) we ran the risk that some bigger pieces would not fit through a 100+ year old doorway, hall, or staircase. Replacement value on all of our furniture would have been about the same, if not less than the total moving costs.

    While it was sad selling everything we had purchased over time, I’m very happy with the decision now. I had a lot less to worry about.

    Tell your sister not to deal with the furniture! If there are pieces that are irreplaceable, she should keep them and move them herself. Otherwise, it’s just stuff and it can all be replaced, with much less headache than moving it cross country!

  51. Patricia says:

    We live in Seattle and moved from a Tudor style home to a downsized condo two and a half years ago. In our case, we were just moving across town. I was able to cherry pick our house to furnish the new home. As soon as the bookshelves were up and paintings on the wall, it felt like home.
    I just moved furniture in scale with the new condo and swapped out our large dining table for a round oak table I bought at Goodwill. I had time to refinish it in our old basement. I bought a new sofa to fit a bump out. I also bought a trundle from Ikea for the second bedroom/ office.
    Houses are expensive in Seattle so your sis may be in a much smaller space. I had the opportunity to pour over floor plans and create a pinterest board specifically for our future downsized home. I love our new home but I sure miss that basement workshop and craft space!

  52. Ginger says:

    My husband and I moved to Vermont last fall from Seattle, and although we brought way too much art/decor/clothing with us, we left most of the furniture. I think out of our 4 bedroom house we brought just our mattress/box springs, one dresser, and a handful of small side tables and single chairs. Much of what we’d had in Seattle was either thrift store finds, hand-me-downs from family, or cheap IKEA placeholders. We started out by selling some of the nicer or bigger pieces of furniture, and either donated or gave away almost everything by the end.

    Our new home is a completely different style and scale (old New England Cape Cod-style homes are a little more petite than big 1980s Western split-levels), so we knew we’d likely be looking for pieces that fit the spaces better. We’re also in a different financial place than when we first moved in together, and can afford “real furniture” instead of cheap flat pack offerings. What’s great about Vermont is that there are tons of antique stores to dig through for cool furniture. What’s not great is that prices are high, and there aren’t many thrift stores around to snag cheaper stuff. So many people have barns and sheds here that hold things that might have been donated or sold in areas with less storage space. We did buy some IKEA stuff to get us through the first several months, but are now swapping it out for higher end pieces or antique finds as we settle in.

    Bottom line, it’s super expensive to move across the country – the less furniture you bring, the easier it is to pack the truck without the dreaded dead space. Bring only what you love, what would be inconvenient to be without in the first weeks (beds, somewhere to put clothing, etc), and buy stuff for the new place as you get a feel for how you live in it. Seattle has a ton of excellent furniture stores, antique malls, and thrift stores, so I’m sure your sister will do fine.

  53. Emily R says:

    So much of my furniture is antiques or pieces passed down from family members. While I understand that not all furniture will translate I could never part with all of my things.

    Of course the last time I moved I replaced a sofa and chair that didn’t fit in the new space, and I’ve added some beautiful new to me heirloom pieces.

    • Julia says:

      I am definitely for holding onto pieces that are heirloom and mean something to you. We’ll never let go of Chris’s great grandmother’s piano!

  54. Jenna says:

    I am so curious how the buyer feels about buying a fully furnished house?! As beautiful as your house was, i think it would feel weird moving in to someone else’s house with all their stuff!

    • Julia says:

      Every person is different. Of course if they didn’t want to buy it fully furnished, they wouldn’t.

    • Christina says:

      I would do it in a heartbeat, especially if it was styled and designed with anywhere near as much thought and care as CLJ’s!

  55. Angelica A. says:

    I’ve never moved across the country, but I think it’s great that you get to start with a clean slate. It’s like painting a brand new picture with a clean canvas.

  56. We have actually discussed this and agree that selling is usually best. We sold most furniture before our last move and it was liberating—I love the idea of starting fresh with just sentimental pieces because it allows me to honestly decide what I want our home to feel like in THIS season of life. It definitely feels odd for a couple months while you wait on a sofa to arrive but so worth it!

  57. Karen Florian says:

    We’ve moved across the country 3 times now. (From Alaska to NC) And this last time we sold most everything except some antiques. It was kinda liberating!

  58. Jessica says:

    We sold the majority of our furnishings when we moved from Oregon to North Carolina. We only took what we could fit in a pod. We don’t regret doing that, but because we hadn’t purchased furniture in years it was more costly to furnish our new home than we had expected. Overall though, we are happier with how our home looks in the end as we were able to pick furniture to fit our new home.

  59. Sarah says:

    We have some items that hold a special value that I can’t picture us selling. A chair from my husband’s grandma, some art my sister-in-law painted, and some custom wood shelves that we made ourselves. I hear you about other items not translating or needing to move- a lot of our other items I’m not emotionally attached to or I know it would be difficult to make work in a new house. For example, we made our dining table out of some live edge slabs at precisely the right size for our small room. As much as I love it, I don’t think I could take it and plop our down in a new room and expect it to work since it was made for this space.

  60. Michelle says:

    I’m so happy you had a post today! I’m on sale overload so reading something normal was SO refreshing!

    Anyway, I love that you accept knowingly that not all furniture translates from place to place. For some reason, I was most curious about what the buyer wanted specifically vs. what you offered. Leather chairs? Yes, please sell them to me already broken in and quite perfect! :-)

    • Julia says:

      The buyer specifically asked for all the deck furniture, everything in the kitchen on display, bedroom furniture, the custom sectional downstairs. And then said he had $xx he’d like to use to purchase more of the furnishings we’d be willing to part with.

  61. Karen says:

    I moved back home to San Diego from Boston 12 years ago, when I was 29. I was returning home to take over the family business, and you bet part of my negotiating was to have my belongings moved with me. I was still en-route when my stuff arrived, but I can just imagine my parents cringing as the movers schlepped thrift store piece after garage sale piece off the truck.

    But you know what – I still have some of the pieces! Two pieces from my senior year of college – a fancy scroll-detailed silver side table (that had a 5′ tall Knight in Shining Armor with it, which gives you an idea of the style; I only have the table) sits in our mancave, a wood side table from my girlfriend hold pots in the sunroom. Two other pieces from my mid-20s that I found on the street – a dark wood bookcase with wheels holds stuff in a closet, and a footstool my then-neighbors threw out that has been reincarnated MANY times thanks to fabric/paint is in my closet. I also worked at the time for a high-end furniture store, so I have an heirloom-worthy solid cherry bench-made dresser, which to this day is my prized furniture possession.

    I think for your sister, she should only part with all her belongings if she LOVES to shop and decorate as much as you do. Otherwise, starting from scratch can be daunting and time consuming.

    • Erica says:

      I think this is a really good point. We move quite often as a family, and at this phase it would be more stressful for me to go furniture shopping each time we moved. Plus the familiarity of our “stuff” helps make the new place feel more at home, and that’s something we need to feel pretty quickly, since it’s only a few years here and then on to the next place.

      • Karen says:

        Totally agree! I’d also say with your full-time
        Job being to design, shop, and share about your home, selling the furniture makes a ton of sense! Opens up opportunities for new partnerships with brands, a chance to stay on top of the latest offerings to share with your readers, etc. As someone who works outside the home 40-60 hours a week, furnishing a new house in the little slivers of my free time would take so long that I don’t think I would ever feel settled!!! For that reason alone I think for my family we would keep our furniture for the next place.

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