Get rid of Old furniture


Now it's time for our Money Coach Conversation. That's the part of the program where we talk about the economy and personal finance. If you have a child moving into a new apartment or going off to college, you might be looking to downsize your home, move into a smaller place. But before you start celebrating your cute new townhouse, you might think about how you're going to get rid of that old couch or grandma's good China. It turns out that the antiques and secondhand furniture market is on the decline and many people are finding themselves stuck with unwanted items. We wanted to talk more about this so we've called Kate Grondin. She is the founder of Home Transition Resource. Welcome, thanks so much for joining us.

KATE GRONDIN: Thank you, Michel.

MARTIN: So why is it becoming more difficult to get rid of used furniture and other items?

GRONDIN: I think people are just sort of living differently. They're not wanting their parents' used furniture. Our parents bought things that were going to last them a long time and when they're trying to get rid of it, the children just don't want it. I'm working with a client right now for instance, who's cleaning out her home and she has three children. They've gone around and identified some of the things that they want and when they found out how much it was going to cost to ship the items to their new - to their home - they reconsidered. So it wasn't worth it for them to keep some of those items.

MARTIN: What kinds of items is it that - what kinds of items are people - I don't want to say turning their noses up at, it seems so harsh - how about choosing not to acquire these days that might have been highly sought after in the past?

GRONDIN: So there are a few things that are difficult to get rid of. And one of the things is, like, a dining room set - a dining room table, a hutch, a buffet. Those things are so difficult to get rid of because nowadays people have kitchens with large islands where people gather. Families eat around the island and the dining room table is just sort of in a room not used. So people are not inclined to purchase that, you know formal dining room set that used to be so popular. That's one of the items that we're faced with that is very difficult to get rid. People are getting pennies on the dollar and it's heartbreaking but that's what's happening today.

MARTIN: And I'm told that armoires and those big bookcase things that people would put big televisions in because...

GRONDIN: Exactly.

MARTIN: ...Guess what? People hang televisions on the wall these days, right?

GRONDIN: That's right, you don't have to hide your TV anymore. And I have a client also who has an armoire that's been on Craigslist for a year. And he paid thousands of dollars for it - but honestly, we're probably going to end up donating that piece. That's how difficult it is.

MARTIN: Are there items that are still selling - that people still are looking for and will pay money for?

GRONDIN: Well, you know, yard equipment for example, is popular. Some rugs are popular - we can get rid of those.

MARTIN: Wait, yard equipment? A lawn mower?

GRONDIN: Yard equipment yes, surprisingly.


GRONDIN: You know, if you have - if you're cleaning out your garage and you have a nice riding lawnmower, that's going to sell. If you have, you know, washer and dryer, those things sell. Furniture is just difficult. It needs to be a unique piece, it needs to be light - brown furniture doesn't sell. And it needs to be something that can fit into someone's decor which, nowadays people go to the Internet and to magazines for inspiration. And so it needs to be a unique piece. So we're having a difficult time helping people identify resources for their used furniture.

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