A Few Good Reasons to Rearrange Your Furniture

Inspired by the outdoor temperatures plummeting from “apocalyptically hot” to simply “too effing hot,” the spouse and I decided to do some serious cleaning on Sunday. We live in a small one bedroom apartment, so a house-wide deep cleaning isn’t an enormous undertaking. But the thing that jumped out at me most, other than the fact that I hate cleaning, is what a strange and rewarding experience it was to move around our living room furniture. Once you move your furniture from its usual place, you become liberated and start to ask yourself why everything needs to go back to where it was. (The answer, of course, is that it doesn’t.)

I thought I’d share with you what I learned, and encourage you to try it too. What better way to do this than with a beloved listicle? Without further ado, a few Hattie-approved reasons to move your stuff around.

It will remind you that your furniture isn’t bolted to the ground. Since we were doing the serious kind of cleaning, the usual strategy of pretending the space under the couch or bookshelves didn’t exist was not going to cut it; there were dust bunnies under there that needed to die. Somewhat grudgingly, I scooted everything from the couch to the bunny cage away from their usual spots to allow me to clean underneath.

First of all, it was much easier to move my furniture than I had thought. Especially with Mr. McDoogs around to help, moving even large pieces of furniture wasn’t so bad. (We have wood floors, so we didn’t have the problem of drag on the carpet, but if you do you could always pick up those little disks that go under the feet of your furniture to help them slide along.) And second, while the amount of dust, crumbs and random debris is initially horrifying, it only takes a minute to clean it all up. The satisfaction of sliding everything into place knowing how clean it was underneath was significant.

You’ll become reacquainted with the layout of your own home. As I mentioned above, I moved pretty much everything in the living room away from the walls. The sheer visual strangeness of seeing these things out of place allowed me to really look at my apartment.

If you’re anything like me, you probably picked a furniture arrangement right after you moved in, and you’ve stuck with it since. Even if the placement of your stuff was well thought-out, and works for you, it’s still worth revisiting months or years later after you’ve settled in and really learned how you use your space.

Moving all of my furniture reminded me what the layout of my living room actually is. Thanks to an addition made to the front of my apartment some decades ago, there are some strange little nooks and corners that the spouse and I didn’t really know what to do with over a year ago when we moved in. Looking at those spaces again, without furniture in the way, really got me to think creatively about other ways to maximize the weird layout of our little living room.

It’s free. A lot of design blogs and magazines endorse colorful pillows and surface accessories as a cost-effective way to mix up the visuals of your home but avoid a total redecorating. This is certainly true, but it never worked for me. First of all, my apartment only has two real rooms (bedroom and living room), which doesn’t leave me with a lot of space in which to deploy the “pop of color” that a throw pillow or blanket could provide. Also, people with small apartments don’t have anywhere to store off-season stuff, so a heap of seasonal pillows and accent pieces is pretty much out of the question.

But guess what? Moving your furniture costs zero dollars, unless you break something, and changes a lot more about your apartment than a few pillows.

It doesn’t have to be risky. If you’d rather know what you’re getting into before you start shoving things around, then you can easily do so. Take a few quick measurements of your walls and furniture and you can make anything from a simple layout on paper with furniture icons cut out, to a full computer model using a program like Google Sketchup.

You can also refer to some of the many helpful design or DIY blogs out there for some ideas on what exactly to do with your furniture. You may not have a lot of options due to limited space, but even changing the orientation of a few things can totally change the look of your place.

Photo: Getty

3 thoughts on “A Few Good Reasons to Rearrange Your Furniture”

  1. Yes! Inspired! It’s a sign! Doing it today especially since the SO was just like ‘hey I made a to do list’ (it included vacuuming! Sweet Jesus what have you done with my man? Is this an alternate universe?) and I am going to seize this opportunity! Exclamation point!

  2. I rearranged my bedroom a few weeks ago and I love it! I went from mostly using my room to sleep and change to wanting to curl up and read/watch TV/etc. I initially didn’t think I needed to do those things in my room, so I hadn’t organized it with those activities in mind (I have a big living room, after all), but I like having an alternative place to lounge when my roommate is watching TV I don’t care about or when I don’t want to wear pants. And it was great! It’s like a whole new room!

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