to keep or to sell?

Nostalgia is a terrible reason to keep something.  How many of us believe that the memories lie in the hole-y t-shirt from the first concert we went to in high school (gordon lightfoot for me), the costume jewelry from grandma or the bookshelf that you and your friend made in college.

In my last post I blogged about how I’ve been trying to use things up in our house so we don’t have to move it. This week I’m met with the dilemma of keeping something or selling it. The item in question: the first piece of furniture I ever bought. I was in sixth grade and my mom was redecorating some room in our house. We would visit Interiors By Design in Marquette, a store run by a woman named Rita with Crystal Gayle-esque blond hair and extremely high heels.

perhaps rita's hair wasn't as long as Crystal's but it makes for a good story.

She was the essence of chicness to me at the time.  As my mom looked at wallpaper and carpet samples I would wander around the store lounging on various chairs and couches, wondering what type of wallpaper I would decorate my home with some day and trying to be careful picking up the decorative glass vases.

On one of these trips I found a black leather chaise lounge. I determined that the chair would be mine and struck a bargain with my mom that I would work around the house to pay for it.  $600 for a sixth grader is no joke so I worked to pay for the chair and paid my mom back with the paltry earnings from occasional baby sitting jobs. It was a formative piece for a later love of modern design aesthetic.  throughout high school and college the chair provided a lounging spot in various apartments and dorm rooms, always eliciting the comment “sweet chair” when anyone would sink into the cool leather lounger.

After I got married the chair took up too much space in our apartment and later our home- it’s a pretty awkward piece of furniture. It has been relegated to the attic for the past six years.

So friends- here is my question- should I sell it or keep it and see if there is a good place for it in our new home in Cleveland? Here are the reasons why I am leaning towards selling it (also, how much should I sell it for if I do sell it?)

  • generally it’s a good idea to get rid of anything you haven’t used in at least a year. Like I said, it’s been in my attic for six and I really haven’t missed it.
  • we are eventually hoping to get new furniture in our new home & I’m not sure this piece will fit with the mid-century modern look we’re going to go with.
  • Having a little extra money right now would be great and we’re doing a yard sale with a friend this Saturday.
  • My cat peed on the cushion & though I have cleaned it and replaced the cushion, there are still phantom cat pee smells. The thought of it just grosses me out and I keep sniffing the air asking myself “does it still smell like pee or am I just imagining it?”
for any old friends reading this post, I hope this picture elicits an "hey! I remember that chair!"

For the reasons listed above, those are why I wouldn’t sell the chair. My mom and sister have protested “NO! you can’t sell that chair- it’s too sexy! It was the first piece of furniture you bought!” But like I said, nostalgia is a terrible reason to keep something. Unless I get an eternal sunshine of the spotless mind swipe, I’ll still remember everything about this chair even if I don’t own it any more.


  • grace

    I say, you only live once! I you only buy a $600 chair IN 6TH GRADE once! I say there’s only one sexy black leather chair as hot as this one! I say nostalgia IS a good reason to keep stuff (although you know DAve & I are pack rats so take my advice with a grain of salt). I say KEEP KEEP KEEP! You can put it in Ruebens room as a fun chair to read him his night time books in or in baby # 2’s room to nurse him/her in. Or in the TV room to chill out in…. I like it!… and would be sad to see it go. 🙁

  • April

    Always keep $600 furniture. Unless it looks like something from the 80’s. The longer you keep it, the more it’ll be worth if you want to sell it later, in case it isn’t cool in your new place.

    You can always post it on eBay or whatever for $600 or some determined price. If you get it, great. If not, keep it.

  • Lisa

    I say keep it until you decide what new furniture you want unless there is just no way that it will look good and be functional in your new home. You will need the money when you buy new furniture too so if it doesn’t work, you can Craigslist it and get something that works better.

  • Lballard

    I don’t know if you did end up selling this, but now that everyone knows it smells like cat pee, you might have a hard time finding a buyer 🙂 Ha ha.

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