Experts reveal when it's time to sell an old piece of furniture

Here's how you know it's time to let go

It's January and the Ideal Home team is in full-on decluttering mode. Some things are easy to part with - but that well-loved dining table that doesn't quite fit in your current home?

Not quite so straightforward. We asked experts how they know the time has come to give a piece of furniture a new home.

dining table

(Image credit: Neptune)

When to sell old furniture on

Harriet Wetton is the CEO and founder of homeware marketplace app Narchie. 'I always know it’s time to sell a piece of furniture when it’s no longer functioning as it should be, not because it’s broken but it’s just not working in the space,' she says.

'I recently sold a glass dining table that was too big and we hardly used it,' Harriet shares. We all have items we're attached to, that have followed us on many house moves. We still remember the moment we bought them however many years ago that might be.

However, we'd argue it's better to allow things to flow in and out of our homes a little more freely. When things feel cramped, it might just be that you need to try a new storage idea to free space up.

living room with sofa and floor lamp

(Image credit: Neptune)

Micaela Sharp is an interior designer and upholsterer who appeared on the BBC's Interior Design Masters in 2021. She knows how hard letting go of furniture can be, and shares three things to ask yourself:

  1. Does the item in question serve a function to the best of its ability?
  2. Does the item fit the proportions of your room?
  3. Does it work alongside your other furniture?

Whether you're looking for small living room ideas or compact hallway solutions, Micaela says if you can find a piece that will function better, then it's time to upgrade. 'Donate the original to a charity shop or sell it online before searching for a better fit.'

living room with sofa

(Image credit: Neptune)

She explains that furniture that's too big or small for a room can disturb the flow and look out of place. 'Remove the piece from the room and use masking tape to determine how much space you really have to play with before shopping for a piece with those proportions.

'If the aesthetic is wrong consider upcycling the furniture,' says Micaela. 'If this cannot be achieved then it's time to let the piece go and upgrade to something prettier!'

Millie Hurst
Senior Content Editor

Millie Hurst was Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home from 2020-2022, and is now Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. Before stepping into the world of interiors, she worked as a Senior SEO Editor for News UK in both London and New York. You can usually find her looking up trending terms and finding real-life budget makeovers our readers love. Millie came up with the website's daily dupes article which gives readers ways to curate a stylish home for less.