5 Pieces of Furniture You Don't Really Need

Barbara Bellesi Zito
Updated October 12, 2021
Clean office space in bright room overlooking front porch
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When it comes to furnishing your home, less is more

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Whether you like sleek, modern furnishings or prefer a more traditional look, it’s important not to overcrowd your space. If you want a room to feel more spacious, it might be time to say goodbye to some of your furniture.

5 Pieces of Furniture to Declutter From Your Space

Beauty and function are in the eye of the beholder when it comes to furniture. Ideally, you want your pieces to have a bit of both. Here are five suggestions to get you started on freeing up more space at home.

1. File Cabinet

Yes, you should indeed keep several years’ worth of tax returns on file. But no one says you have to keep the paper copies in a file cabinet that is the size and weight of a middle schooler. It’s time to move fully into the digital world with your personal records.

Try This Instead: A Scanner and a Flash Drive

Most bank records, bills, insurance policies, and other essential documents are likely housed in your online accounts anyway, so start shredding or otherwise disposing of those paper copies. If you don’t have those documents online, use a scanner app on your tablet or smartphone to capture them digitally and download them all to your computer or a flash drive for safekeeping.

2. End Tables

An end table or two starts out as an elegant addition to a room, but they have a way of ending up (pun intended!) as cluttered messes. Besides, how many times have you bumped into an end table on a daily or weekly basis? 

Try This Instead: A Double-Tiered Coffee Table

Try a double-tiered coffee table if you want more surface space in your living room or family room. You can use the two levels to serve refreshments, store your coffee bar essentials, display books, or place the TV remote.

3. Entertainment Center/TV Stand

TV mounted on wall in open concept living and dining room
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Chances are you have a flat-screen TV and, if so, it shouldn’t sit in a bulky entertainment center or on a TV stand. Don’t use the excuse that you’re using the furniture to store video game equipment or DVDs, either. It’s time to store them elsewhere.

Try This Instead: Mount Your TV on the Wall

The beauty of a slender TV screen is that you can easily mount it on a wall—no furniture necessary. Sell your DVDs at a yard sale or by using an online service and apply those funds to the streaming service(s) of your choice. If you’ve got a video game console or audio speakers, add floating shelves beneath the screen to keep things tidy.

4. Ottoman

This piece of furniture takes up a lot of floor space, plus it can be quite difficult to move once it’s there. Even if yours does double duty as storage, it’s time to reclaim some square footage in the room.

Try This Instead: A Storage Bench

You can still have the storage and seating you need with a bench, but it will take up less room on the floor. Push one up against a wall to make even more room, or create a DIY window seat by putting it under a sill.

5. China Cabinet

Sideboard in large open dining room area
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Entertaining at home has come a long way from the days of setting a formal table with delicate plates and glasses to impress your dinner party guests. But even if you love a classic table setting, do you really need a dedicated piece of furniture for dishes you only bring out on special occasions?

Try This Instead: A Sideboard

Rather than that behemoth of a china cabinet that rattles whenever you walk by, store your china in a low sideboard. The drawers and shelves make it easy to access your place settings, but you also have the lower surface to use as a buffet table, a coffee bar, or any other type of dining room display.

To be clear, not all furniture has to be fully functional. If you have antique pieces or other furnishings that you cherish for their looks or sentimental reasons alone, by all means, keep them if they make you happy. But if you need more room in your home, these suggestions can help you limit what you don’t need so you can have more room for what you want.

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