4 Important Reasons I’ll Never Stop Rearranging My Furniture

published Feb 21, 2022
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

It seems like every time our house grows quiet for more than an hour at a time, my fiancé finds his way to the corner of our condo where I’ve been hard at work. Confronted with piles of our belongings grouped in new, creative ways, it dawns on sweet Ryan that his partner and roommate is “going through it.” And he’d be right: I rearrange furniture almost compulsively on a schedule that seems predetermined by the stars.

When I was a kid, I was struck by the reinvigoration that accompanies rearranging a living space. I probably get this gene from my mom, who is known for switching out her extravagant collection of seasonal decorations, of which all my friends have a favorite (for many, it’s “Fruits of the Season” season, the time between the Fourth of July and autumn when my parents’ house is adorned with everything watermelon and grape and lemon). Coming home from school to a freshly rearranged bedroom was the ultimate reset in childhood, and that feeling carried on to young adulthood.

On Fridays after high school football games, I’d come home by curfew and stay up late using all my might to shuffle my mighty chest of drawers across the room to its new spot. My parents would see what I’d done in the morning and exhale in frustration, knowing a pile of discarded items to donate had in no doubt manifested in our basement in the wee hours. 

And now I have my own home where I’m constantly… and I mean constantly… rearranging, reorganizing, and reinventing. It’s not that I’m never satisfied with my work. It’s that my needs frequently evolve, and as the personal/professional/physical/emotional/whatever demands of my life ebb and flow, my environment has to keep up. 

For me, rearranging my furniture is just as important to my home’s upkeep as spring cleaning and regular chores. I’m never going to abandon my compulsion to try out new layouts and systems, and I’m not sorry. Let me walk you through the four tried and true benefits that keep me ripping Tupperware out of cabinets and sliding the couch across the room.

It Keeps Things Fresh

Throughout the pandemic, staring at the same four walls day after day is tiring. Nationwide, folks coped by reinventing their spaces. Weekend DIY projects, creative home office setups, and all sorts of decor overhauls occupied our boredom. And once in a while, I think it’s not just appropriate, but fully necessary, to freshen up the place a bit

Testing out new furniture layouts keeps things in the home interesting. And rearranging your space offers the benefit of fresh perspective. The possibilities of what your imagination can create for any number of facets of your life is unlimited, and it might just require moving your love seat across the room.  

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

It Forces Me to Reevaluate My Belongings

My big rearranging projects all serve as quarterly-ish Marie Kondo tidy-ups and hootenannies. I’ve developed a habit of determining whether it’s time for a household object to find its new owner or whether I can store this beloved but currently superfluous item for future use. 

As my fiancé and I gear up for our wedding this fall, we’re doing a lot of reevaluating. Do we need an air fryer/pressure cooker/steamer/financial advisor/personal assistant combo, or can we scale down and register for the simple and countertop-friendly compact air fryer? Is it time to bid our chipped IKEA bowls adieu and consider purchasing more sophisticated and fully intact dishes? The best side effect of rearranging is decluttering and optimizing household efficiency. 

It Aids My Mental Health

Physical clutter breeds mental clutter. At least, that’s my issue. I can’t focus on any task at hand when I’m living in a total disorganized mess. As it turns out, I’m not alone. Decluttering has a myriad of positive effects on how we handle our stress load, and I know firsthand the benefits. Rearranging requires decluttering, and decluttering helps me gain a sense of control in my environment, thus bestowing upon me a sense of empowerment that’s critical for my motivation. Plus, knocking out my environment helps me focus on other tasks at hand, and lets me prioritize the various chores looming on my to-do list. 

It Ensures My Environment Evolves with Me

As my mom would lovingly remind me during the most stressful seasons of my formative years, who you are at 16 is not who you will be at 21 or 25 or 30 or 40. Heck, who I was in January 2020 is no one like who I am today. Rearranging furniture gives us the opportunity to evolve our exterior to match our interior. Like a dramatic haircut after the worst breakup of your life, sometimes it takes a bold choice to commemorate change. When you can’t change your address or your furniture, change the layout.