Happy Friday! I was talking to a friend this week about my dining room redesign, and she explained how she, too, had a more formal dining room and never used it. She said she had furniture from a relative and some antique pieces that just didn’t fit with her home and her style, but she felt guilty for wanting to get rid of them. I’ve felt that guilt, too. It’s time to stop feeling guilty, friends. Today, for the Friday Five: five things to stop feeling guilty about in your home. After all, it’s your home!
1. “I don’t use my formal living room but I’d feel guilty if I turned it into a playroom for the kids.”
Rooms don’t have to be used for their traditional purposes. If you have a formal dining room or formal living room in your home that you don’t use, turn it into a room you do use – like the perfect playroom for kids!
Rooms are meant to be lived in. Don’t be constrained by the traditional use for the room. Go ahead: turn a formal dining room into an art/homework room for your kids. Or turn a formal living room into a game room. Or an office. Or a reading room. Whatever makes you happy.
2. “My aunt/grandma/grandpa/mom gave me this furniture/china/art and it isn’t my style, but I feel guilty if I don’t use it.”
Let it go, as they say. You don’t have to have the same taste as your relatives and you shouldn’t feel guilty about that. Your relative(s) gave you that stuff because they love you or they wanted you to have it. If you don’t want it or it just doesn’t fit your style, you have some guilt-free options:
- Use it if you want, but don’t feel compelled to use it out of guilt.
- Keep it, but store it somewhere out of the way if you don’t use it.
- Find out if another relative would love owning it and using it, and give it to them (thus making two relatives happy!).
- If you feel comfortable, you can tell the relative that it’s not really your style and ask if they want to give it to someone else.
- If the relative doesn’t want it anymore and doesn’t mind, sell it and either give the money back to the relative, or donate it to a charity near and dear to the relative’s heart, or keep the money as essentially a gift from that relative.
3. “My house is a mess.”
You mean you’re actually living in your home? Congratulations! You’re doing it right!
Magazines and Pinterest show us pictures of perfectly clean rooms, perfectly staged, perfectly arranged. That isn’t real life. It’s all staged to look that way. Plus, I know for a fact that, while the room in the photo looks perfect, the adjacent room might very well be a disaster.
The lived-in look is in; you’re good!
4. “I bought a chair/table/piece of furniture and I hate it.”
Welcome to the club! We’ve all bought something – whether furniture or dishes or clothes – that we ended up not liking or feeling like it wasn’t our style.
Don’t believe me? Read this story of the dishes I registered for when I got married, but hated.
I know the guilt is greater when you buy furniture you end up not liking because it’s generally more expensive. But you don’t need to live with the guilt or with furniture you don’t love. What should you do?
- Return it if you bought it recently and you haven’t used it and still have the tag and sales receipt.
- Sell it on eBay or Craig’s List.
- Sell it on a yard sale page on Facebook (search for yard sale pages in your area).
- Donate it to a cause you support and let them reap the benefits of the sale.
5. “I don’t really like the latest trend in home decor.”
You don’t want to eat your meals out of mason jars? You don’t love mid-century design? Fine. You be YOU.
Be yourself in your home. Your home should reflect your style and not the latest trends. That’s why they are called “trends” – they inevitably go out of style. There are different design styles for a reason. Pick one that works for you and go with it! Rock your own style!
Now you can go into the weekend guilt-free! Have a great one!
Cheryl @ Artzzle says
FANTASTIC TIPS . . . I’ve been using them for years . . . but trying to get clients to believe is another thing! Thanks for the great post, Karen. Wishes to all for a wonderful weekend.
Karen Cooper says
Thanks, Cheryl! So true! Have a beautiful weekend, friend!!
I once read a magazine article about having an emotional attachment to things we just don’t like or aren’t our style and that feeling of guilt about getting rid of them. In the article, a woman had been given, by a mother or grandmother, an entire set of dishes she didn’t like and they sat, boxed up in her garage, taking up space for years, never being used. Her emotional attachment to the person and the feeling of guilt stood in her way of giving them away. Then, she had an idea. She took one small bread & butter plate from the set and hung it up in her kitchen, and then it became easier to get rid of those dishes. She now looks at that plate more than she ever did when it was boxed up and thinks fondly of the relative. No guilt! I have shared this story with my friends who find it difficult to part with things they don’t care for because of the guilt! Whatever the item or items might be, get them out there so they can be used by and useful to someone! Reduce, reuse, recycle! Have a great weekend!
Karen Cooper says
Oh, I love that! That’s exactly it – there has to be a way not to feel guilty about these things. That’s the perfect solution! Thank you for sharing that story. I’ll remember it when I’m feeling that way, too.