Is it better to move furniture or buy new?

Should you move furniture or buy new when moving house?More about Ethan Greenfield

It has become a cliché to say that moving house is equivalent to opening a new chapter in life. It is a chance to start afresh and change everything you didn’t like before – from your job and your reputation among colleagues and peers to your living surroundings and your home décor. You can leave all the frustrating, loathsome things from your past behind and create a happier new world for yourself.

What about the things you did like though? The things you don’t want to leave behind – your close friends, your favorite places in town, your cherished possessions? Sure enough, you cannot bring your pals and your preferred hang-outs along. What you can do, however, is take your old belongings to your new home.

But is it worth it? Is it better to move stuff or buy new, especially when it comes to heavy and difficult to move items, such as furniture pieces?

As with many aspects of moving, there is no definite answer – this is a personal decision and depends on a number of interconnected factors. Even if you wish for a brand new life, it may turn out that selling everything and buying new stuff after the move will be too expensive or too time- and effort-consuming for you to afford. Vice versa, even if you’d like to keep your old furniture, it may not fit into your new home or may be too costly relocate, etc.

So, in order to make the right decision, you need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of moving each individual item.

Should I move my furniture or buy new?

There are several important factors to take under consideration when wondering whether to ship furniture or buy new:

Your old furniture’s practical value

If you have stylish and comfortable furniture that perfectly suits your needs and your aesthetic preferences, you will most certainly want to keep it and take it to your new place. If your old couch is lumpy and worn-out, however, you will probably prefer a new one for your new home.

So, to make your final decision, you need to find the answers to the following crucial questions:

  • Is your old furniture functional and comfortable?
  • Is it high quality and durable?
  • Is it in good overall condition? – There is no point in moving an old item only to replace it for a new one a couple of years later – if a furniture piece is on its last legs, relocating it won’t be worth the money and the effort involved in the process, no matter how practical and useful it might be;
  • Will it fit your new home’s layout? – It is very important to measure the doors and the available space in your new home, as well as the size of your furniture, in order to make sure that a certain piece will fit through the doors and into the room where it is supposed to be located – if it doesn’t fit in, you should not take it along, regardless of how much you like it.

SEE ALSO: Why create a floor plan before moving

Your old furniture’s sentimental value

The sentimental value of a piece may be the primary factor in your decision whether to move it or not. You will probably not want to part with a treasured family heirloom or an item associated with an important moment in your life, no matter how difficult or expensive it may be to relocate the piece.

So, when making your decision, you need to consider if:

  • an old furniture piece is a family heirloom, passed down from one generation to the next for several decades or, maybe, even several centuries;
  • it triggers happy memories from the past or reminds you of someone or something special;
  • it is a favorite of yours (or of another member of your family);
  • it is a stylish, beautiful item you want to hold onto.

Your old furniture’s monetary value

While moving furniture is expensive, buying new furniture is even more expensive – especially when it comes to high quality pieces. Therefore, the financial worth of your old pieces should also be kept in mind when considering your options:

  • Is your furniture piece expensive?
  • Is it an antique, a vintage item, or a collector’s item?
  • Is it an exquisite piece of art?
  • Is it made of quality materials and crafted with skill and care?
  • Was it made by a famous manufacturer?

If in doubt, you may have your old furniture evaluated by a professional in order to get an accurate idea of its actual worth.

The risk of damage to your furniture

If the risk of damaging your old furniture during the relocation process is too high, it may be better not to move it, even if it has high practical, sentimental, or monetary value – after all, a broken piece is of no good to anyone. So, if a furniture item is impossible to disassemble and is too large, too heavy, too awkwardly shaped, or too delicate to survive the relocation safe and unscathed, you may want to leave it behind.

The cost of moving your furniture

More often than not, it will be the cost of moving your old piece that will determine your final decision.

Is it cheaper to move furniture or buy new?

Once again, it depends on several important factors:

Relocation distance

If you’re moving locally, it will be probably better to keep your existing furniture. Local moves are considerably less expensive than long distance moves, so moving your old items to your new home will almost certainly be cheaper than buying new ones.

If you’re moving cross country, the final moving cost will depend on the weight of your shipment. So, the larger and heavier an item is – like most furniture – the more it will cost to ship. Therefore, it may be financially wiser to leave your old pieces behind and buy new ones after the relocation. In order to be sure, though, you need to do a little research:

  • get a few moving estimates to determine exactly how much it would cost you to relocate your items;
  • browse through the Internet and some furniture store pamphlets to get an idea of the cost of new furniture items;
  • do not forget to figure in the delivery fee (as well as all the time and effort involved in the selection process) when calculating the cost of replacing your furniture.

Good to remember: If you decide not to take your furniture with you, you’re strongly recommended to sell as many of your old pieces as you can before the move. The money you get will help pay for the new furnishing you’re going to buy after the relocation and you will rest assured that your cherished old items have found a new purpose.

Complexity of the job

The more difficult to move a piece is, the more expensive it will be to relocate, of course:

  • A delicate or oddly-shaped item will require careful handling, higher quality packing materials and, sometimes, even custom packing services, such as crating, for example. All these things will incur extra costs;
  • A large, heavy piece will have to be disassembled for the move. Unless you can do this yourself, you’ll have to pay the professionals for the additional service;
  • A furniture piece that doesn’t fit through the door may have to be taken out of the home through a window with the help of specialized rigging and hoisting equipment (which will cost you dearly);
  • A special item (an antique, a grandfather clock, a piano, a pool table, etc.) will require the services of specialized movers.

All in all, the longer it takes to prepare a furniture item for shipment, the more specialized services its relocation requires, and the more packing materials are necessary for ensuring its safety, the higher the moving cost will be.

Value of the item

It is only logical that relocating a valuable old piece will be much cheaper than buying a new one of similar quality.

And yet, the decision is yours, of course. Make sure you never regret it.

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