Menu Close

Thirty-Eight Years of Used Furniture 

new couch

Several weeks ago, Polly and I bought a brand-new loveseat and couch. This was a monumental decision for us. Prior to this purchase, we had never owned a brand-new couch. Never! Over the years, we bought second-hand furniture or used family castoffs. Our thinking went something like this: there is no need to buy nice furniture as long as you have children. As any parent knows, children are hard on furniture. From spills to flops, children can turn nice furniture into something from a CSI crime scene in a few years. And then came grandchildren, and we repeated the process all over again. Our last loveseat and couch came from a nearby secondhand store. I believe we paid $399 for the pair. Weathering the abuse of our grown children and grandchildren, this furniture had reached what they call in the tech industry its end of life. But even then, after eight years of service, we couldn’t bear to haul the furniture off to the landfill. Instead, several of our sons hauled the furniture out to the curb. We placed FREE signs on the furniture, hoping that someone might haul them away. Less than an hour later, a noisy beat up pickup truck pulled up to the curb and its passengers exited the truck, excited over their new find. They quickly loaded the furniture on the truck and drove away. Mission accomplished!

Polly and I love our new furniture. It’s nice, even at this late date in life, to have something new. Of course, we’ve turned into furniture Nazis, not allowing the cat or dog on the furniture, or allowing the grandkids to get anywhere near the furniture with food or drinks. Now if we can just get our adult children sippy cups for their beer and coffee, all will be well. In time, the new furniture will settle into the rhythm of our home, and then the dog and cat and grandkids too will know it’s okay to sit on Nana’s precious (said with Gollum’s voice).

After Ashley Furniture delivered the loveseat and couch, we decided that we also needed a new end table. We did not buy a new table, choosing instead to go to the used furniture store to find a table that would match the new furniture. The end table set us back $69. After that, we decided that we wanted to replace our entertainment center with something a little more understated, giving us more space in our small living room. For this purchase we bought ready-to-assemble (RTA) furniture from the Sauder Woodworking Outlet Store in Archbold, Ohio. Polly chose a unit with colors that matched the new loveseat and couch. Thanks to a 35% employee discount, the new entertainment center cost $120. I spent time last night and today putting the unit together. Polly helped me finish off the project today. I am happy to report that I successfully put the unit together without swearing and without getting into an argument with the love of my life. My children will know that this is a huge milestone. Our older children likely remember the time Polly and I decided to hang wallpaper — together. Needless to say, things didn’t go well, with both of us realizing that we loved each other deeply, but hanging wallpaper together was a sure way to end up in divorce court. I am glad after 38 years of marriage that we are now able to somewhat work together on household projects. Who knows, we might just stay married.

How about you? Do you have any furniture stories to tell? Do you work well with your spouse or significant other? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.


  1. Avatar

    I have been single now for 17 yearrs. Have remodeled my entire house, and have done most of the work myself. There have been many times I wished I had help. But there are many other times I was so glad I didn’t have to negotiate or argue with someone about decisions and changes. And some of these times have involved wallpaper. My son still quivers in fear when I bring home paint samples.

    When I gutted and rebuilt my kitchen, I bought cabinets that I had to assemble. When I had to get a corded power drill to get the screws in place, my concerns that they were flimsy or second-rate disappeared. They still look great!

    I have bought three chairs from IKEA — or as my nephew calls it, “The Icky Store, because that’s how it’s spelled.” The pictures-only instructions were a trip!

  2. Avatar
    Becky Wiren

    Bob was on a kick to have leather furniture. Well, at the time the cats were declawed but guess what? Those back claws did a lot of damage. And now 2 out of the 3 cats are NOT declawed. (We lost the other declawed cat last year and replaced her with 2.) Henry successfully argued that getting a cat declawed was wrong.

    So…cats and leather. They don’t go together. 🙂 It’s nice you got new furniture. Maybe we will too! If what you got is that picture, it looks nice.

  3. Avatar
    Karen the rock whisperer

    Your comment about wallpaper made me laugh out loud. When we were still dating, then-Boyfriend (now Husband) and I took an engineering lab together, and decided to be lab partners. It was very nearly the end of the relationship. We swore never to make that mistake again.

    Fast forward a few years, when we were two young married engineers and bought our first home. The bedroom had ghastly wallpaper, and we decided to re-wallpaper together. Shades of the engineering lab again! Nope. Just nope. The universe never intended for us to work that closely together.

    For major remodeling projects since then, we split the tasks into clearly defined spheres with no overlap. I paint, he wallpapers. I choose materials, he tiles and hangs blinds. We admire each other’s work, and make a point of ignoring the flaws that the person who did the task sees. Makes for a much better relationship. Besides, in the long run, who gives a fat rat’s patootie about a paint drip or an oh-so-slightly mismatched sheet of wallpaper? Life is too short to worry about that stuff.

  4. Avatar

    We once did the wallpaper in my bedroom when I was a teen. It was only a small room but the amount of time it cost for the four of us (parents, me and my brother) even with some borrowed equipment of family that has a painting-wallpaper-business. We succeeded but it was hard! To get the wallpaper to match each other, be in a straight line, not overlapping, and fixing it properly on the ends….. Just awful. Quite difficult. Not to mention getting the old layers off with some steam-machine. Since then, we’ve always just hired our relatives, getting family discount instead 🙂

  5. Avatar

    “furniture Nazis” – “adult sippy cups” ROTFLOL! giggle

    Many moons ago, Biker Dude came home to find me painstakingly chipping away at red velvet wallpaper in a downstairs family room. (Here when we bought the house.) The look on his face! He had no idea I would do such a thing. *grin*

    Poor guy. He pulled up a chair, leaned over, head in hands and was heard to say, “Where did I go wrong?”

    A call was put in to our friends, expert wallpaperists and they helped us get through it, pretty much the entire time laughing at the situation.

    Celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary this year. A miracle! Maybe there is a god? 😉

    No wallpaper for me! (In my best soup Nazi voice.)

  6. Avatar

    Congratulations on the new furniture!

    My husband once put together an Ikea shelf/TV stand by hammering in the little, metal connecting rods with a can of soup. (The manual recommended that we use a hammer, but we didn’t own one).

    It was funny to watch, but it worked really well. We still use that piece of furniture to this day! LOL.

Please Leave a Pithy Reply

%d bloggers like this: