Is it stupid to sell/give away all your furniture when you move?

I’m moving from Dallas to Phoenix next month. I’m strongly thinking of just giving away most of the current furniture and buying new when I get there.
Why would I do such a thing?

Well, most of the bigger and bulky stuff is close to ten years old. The couch is shot. There is a computer desk which is heavy as hell and beat up. The kitchen table has seen better days.

The smaller items are nicer and are more recent. Still, it seems kinda pointless to move a coffee table and bookshelves if you’re not going to rent a truck or a pod. Why spend $2000 to move $1000 of furniture?

Disadvantages? Well, I don’t really want to spend my first days in a new city running around to furniture shops. Yes, I could rent furniture, but that really seems like throwing good money away.

So, do I just bite the bullet and freecycle/craigslist the furniture I have hear and spend money when I move?

The drive is 17 hours one way, so that prevents renting a truck locally. It would have to be a one way rental which won’t be cheap.

IMHO it would be stupid to go through the considerable trouble and expense of moving stuff that needs replacing anyway.

Freecycle your more worn out stuff (I assure you, someone wants it) and sell the remainder on Craig’s List.

There’s an IKEA in Tempe, AZ. People like to mock IKEA but the reality is you can get practical, attractive furniture at inexpensive prices there. I believe most IKEAs deliver for a flat $100 charge.

Have you checked the prices on Pods/U-pack? I would be really surprised if its $2K for one pod. And you can certainly fit, you know, your sofa and a few other favorites into one.

But if you don’t like your sofa then it’s probably not worth it. Most everything else you can just pick up in bits and pieces when you get there. You can live without a full set of furniture for a while. You order a mattress over the phone, you get one of the dorm-room easy chairs, set up boxes for a table and you’re set for a few weeks.

People mock IKEA? It’s the awesomest store ever. I love it.

I would get rid of your furniture. If you can afford it, then it’d be nice to have new stuff. No one says you have to go over there and buy it all right away. Buy it as you can afford it.

Ditto. Other than a bed and a computer desk you can live in an almost empty house and you’d be surprised how “not uncomfortable” it is. (I’m assuming you don’t have kids, which might change the equation.)

If you don’t have practical or emotional ties to your furniture then put a “Free to a good home” sign on it and skirt the hassle of moving it. You’re young, your taste is going to change, this way you can make that impulse buy sometime later when you suddenly come across the perfect piece.

A reasonably comfortable chair to sit in, too. I lived in our present house for a month before my husband and the U-Haul showed up, and since we have built-in guest beds, I grabbed one padded lawn chair with arms for the living room, and one dirt-cheap plastic folding chair to sit in for working, and I was fine.

I don’t advise skimping on the kitchen stuff, though – it bites to want to boil pasta if you don’t have a pot to boil the water in, or fry an egg if you don’t have a spatula, etc. Even if it’s crappy kitchen stuff and you want to replace it, the annoyance factor of being hungry precisely when you need a particular tool is very high.

Your surprise would be spot-on because it’s SHITLOADS MORE than $2k for a Pod, as I found out the hard way. :frowning:

A “Door-to-Door” unit that was 10x5x5 or some other ridiculously small dimension was $3k from Boston to LA.

We just tossed and plan to buy anew.

If your stuff is at the point of replacement anyway, it’s not psychologically or monetarily cost-effective to move it.

Fourthed. You can get by just fine building up one piece at a time.

I’d spend some good money on an air mattress. I was able to wait two months to buy a bed because the air mattress was good, and now I have a guest bed that I can store on a closet shelf!

I heartily agree with this too.

When I moved from Chicago to NC nearly two years ago I abandoned almost all my furniture because it wasn’t worth hauling 800+ miles. Most of it was ratty stuff I’d picked up used in the first place anyway.

About the only thing I regretted losing was a dining room set (table, six chairs and a buffet) that had belonged to my grandparents. But the table had a broken pedestal that I wasn’t sure could be repaired, and the whole thing would have had to have been kept in storage anyway because there was no room for it in my new place.

Another vote for getting rid of it.

We managed for more than a month with a tiny TV, 2 lawn chairs, a mattress on the floor, a fridge, and very basic kitchen stuff (think camping, only not even that much stuff).

We did hire a moving van for stuff we thought we couldn’t part with, but we just didn’t know any better. We could have left it all behind and replaced it for less than the cost of the movers.

IKEA has some cheaply built stuff, but most of it is better quality than the equivalent at a Target or Wal-Mart, and a lot of it is very well designed in terms of space and utility. It’s post-dorm-room furniture; not something you’ll pass down to the kids, but cheap and durable enough to use for a few years and then not twitch about giving away. Their bedframes suck, though.

Personally, I think giving away furniture for a move is a pretty smart idea; aside from the expense, why go to the effort to move a couch that would fetch $100 a thousand miles? Get a new (to you) $100 couch. The next time I move, it all gets chucked (except for an old library table that I picked up for $10) along with a few tools that I’ll likely never use again (painful as that is).

Books and kitchenware, on the other hand, have to be shipped. Frankly, that’s about the bulk of my possessions not already on wheels.


I have a suggestion. When you move to your new place, buy an outdoor dining set (table, 4 chairs) and set that up in your dining room. When you get a chance to buy the dining set of your dreams, move the outdoor stuff outdoors(duh!). Simple!

You know, I’m moving from Lansing to Dallas next month, and will only have my small Aveo to haul all my belongings. As such, I won’t own any furniture… I’m PMing you.

If you don’t move furniture, you can mail boxes of houshold goods to yourself at your new address. I have done it several times—it is the easiest way to move.

Y’know, my daughter is going to be moving into a dorm room at MSU next month, and we don’t want to haul anything besides her books and clothes from Albuquerque…

I don’t know what you plan to take with you, but when we moved just to the next TOWN we trashed all our worn-out furniture and bought new. The only furniture we kept was an antique dining table and my china cabinet. The non-furniture kitchen stuff, though, we kept.

Throw/Give away.


Buy new stuff.

You’ll be happier and less stressed. I’ve moved from Ohio to New York, New York to Nevada, then Nevada to California, then California to Ohio. Trust me.

Ditto Ikea.

Ditto mail books/kitchen stuff.

Heh, and I was thinking about moving to Albuquerque next month.
Well, not really, but it makes a good story. It’d be awesome if this works out for the three of you!

PM me. My girlfriend gets first dibs on things, but you are welcomed to anything she can’t fit in her new smaller apartment. Such as a computer desk, maybe a couch, end table, lots of apartment odds-and-ends like rugs and such…

Dopers helping Dopers, I love it.