The 6 Month Promise
Before we bought our new house I said something that my husband recorded. I promised that I would not buy furniture for the new house until 6 months after we moved in. Just to clarify, it was my own idea, but my husband held me to it. I realized after we finally purchased the house and moved in that moving from a 1400 sq/ft home to a 2500 sq/ft home might mean I have empty spaces for a while. The first week we moved in I was already ready to go buy different furniture. I really wanted a few things for different rooms that I *thought* couldn't live without.
As the months passed and I searched for free solutions I realized that a piece of furniture that had worked in one room in our old house would be better in different room in our new house. An end table we didn't need any more in the living room became a night stand in the guest bedroom. A bookcase from the old toy room became storage space in the office and so on.
As I slowly started rearranging and organizing I also started to purge. The previous owners had left behind a huge old sectional I was more than happy to use in the toy room until I could buy a new couch. I soon came to realize we barely used it and it just took up play space. I was so glad I when we got rid of the old sectional that I hadn't bought new couches for that room. I would have regretted that. In fact it reminded me of the time we bought a new leather couch for a small room in our townhouse and then sold it just months later. It took up so much space and really overwhelmed the space.
I also quickly got rid of (or sold) three desks the previous owners left behind, an old treadmill I tried using that just took up space for months until we moved it to the garage, several kitchen appliances I never used, and a few other things. It kept surprising me to realize I was getting rid of more things than I ever thought possible. When we put a closet organizer in the boys closet we moved the storage drawers we had in there to the garage for tool storage so we didn't even need to build shelves for that.
By the time I reached the 6 month mark I didn't really want to buy new furniture! The first purchase I made about 8 months after we moved in was shelf from IKEA for the toy room. I needed something after I moved the larger shelf to the office. The boys had that same shelf in their bedroom and I later moved it down to the toy room as well so I have two of these for storage in there. It's a large space and these shelves work great.
(Kallax Shelving Unit $64.99)
Another purchase that I made around the same time was some very shallow shelves for my craft room. They were to hold my fabric (which I have on mini bolts) and were the perfect depth at just under 8" deep. The fabric looked really good on it too. These were also from IKEA. After getting a closet organizer in my craft room I'm only going to use one of these now. The other one I'm going to re-purpose soon - either that or sell.
(Besta Shelf Height Extension Unit $50.00)
About a year after the move, we decided that our computer desk was just too small (my husband and I both have a PC and it only fit one). Eventually we plan to have a built-in office space. We decided to buy cabinets and table top from IKEA to make do until we knew exactly what we wanted. We brought a set of Alex Drawers from the Craft Room added on the 2 Alex storage units and 3 more Linnmon Table Tops spending about $150 total. It looks a little something like this:
(Alex Drawers, Alex Storage Unit, and Linnmon Table Tops)
Looking at everything I purchased. I'm almost laughing. All from IKEA. All white. Trust me - my house is plenty colorful. These all just worked.
It's now been 2.5 years since we moved in and I've only spent $320 on furniture! I do have plans to build and/or purchase one or two items in the coming years but even that is more plans to upgrade not plans for more!
I'm SO glad I made that 6 month promise. It made me squirm in the beginning (especially when I saw amazing Craigslist deals) but it saved us money and made me focus a lot more on storage space and organization than I would have otherwise. We have put closet organizers in two closets and minimized furniture purchases even more by doing that! I actually have another shelf that I'm about to get rid of and have plans in the works to steal furniture from one room for another. Yes that's the way I roll now!
Have you made any large purchases after moving and then regretted them within months? What furniture could you not live without?