How to Help the Furniture Bank, Right Now. (I did!)

OK, yes, I’m gloating. It’s not every mid- January you can say you’ve accomplished your first goal of the year. Guess what I did? Went to the gym every day? No. Learned Russian? Nyet. Polar bear dip? Not on your life. I finally got around to dealing with my storage locker.


Storage lockers: substitute basements or garages paid for monthly

When you think about it. The business of renting storage lockers, is pretty straight forward. It’s a large, enclosed, relatively secure facility where you store stuff you’re not using. It’s also one of the most popular entrepreneurial pursuits. There’s money in storage. Buy land, build a box, compartmentalize it with doors and drywall, throw up some fluorescent lights in the hallways, forget heat, ventilation or air conditioning, and charge people rent. Every month. It’s a direct result of us living in smaller spaces, with less… but still owning everything.

What’s in your basement? Garage? Storage locker?

If I owned a house, I would hide stuff in the basement or garage, or as I like to say, “the place where furniture goes to die”. Alas, I live in a one-bedroom condo plus den and my style is decidedly minimalist. So, any “clutter” has to go. That’s why I have an off-site locker.

Storage locker

Are your family heirlooms holding you up for ransom?

There are important pieces from my childhood in the locker, heirlooms that came with family from Scotland to Canada. The solid wood dressing table and chest are beautiful, carved, hand-made pieces I would never consider selling, for sentimental reasons but I haven’t used them in years. In the back of my mind I tell myself one day I may move into a larger home with a guest room, but it’s not a good enough reason to continue to pay ransom, every month.

Take that used furniture to the bank

As 2017 was ending in a deep freeze, my brain, also in a state of numbness, concluded it’s time to stop paying that extra rent and donate the pieces to the Furniture Bank. After all I’ve been promoting and supporting this non-profit, Canadian organization for years and it was time to put my money (and furniture) where it could do some good. It was time to say goodbye and let a new family treasure the well-loved pieces.

Furniture Bank Logo

Find out in advance what they will take

I phoned the Furniture Bank and gave them a list of what was being donated, making sure the items were needed and acceptable. There are some pieces, like bed frames, they won’t take but they’re happy to accept desks, chairs, dressing tables, chests and in this case a large armoire.

Enlist an organized friend or relative to keep you on task

With the date, time and cost set, I had a deadline to meet. No backing out now, I made the commitment. I enlisted my brother to help keep me organized and on task (he’s great at that) and prepared the locker for both the furniture pick up and 1-800-GOT-JUNK to take away the rest.

Pay now, helpful tax receipt later

The movers arrived on time and very efficiently loaded up my treasures and offered me a choice of payment. They’re equipped with the means of taking a credit card. For the record yes, it costs money to have them pick up the furniture, but the tax receipt more than makes up for the cost and the furniture will get a second chance in another home.

Next steps

There is another benefit to repurposing your unused stuff. It clears your head, lightens your conscience and makes you feel renewed. Now, on to resolution #2, Russian 101. “Bal’shoye spaseeba!” (Thank you very much!)