Elizabeth woke up this morning in her brand new loft-style Condominium, yawned and smiled knowing all the boxes are unpacked, the art is hanging and the furniture placed just right.
She walked into her kitchen to start what she imagined would be the best-tasting coffee she ever had until wait, something is off. “Oh my goodness,” she thought, “that dining room table is stealing the room. What was I thinking?”
From empty nesters who have weaned their flock from their bank accounts to young couples starting out, and from that guy or girl enjoying single life to those of us who just love existing in the heartbeat of the City, the Urban Lifestyle has much to offer.
We love to think about the walkability and easy transportation to great restaurants or our favorite coffee shop, pondering the latest installation at the art museum, downtown events with that significant other or gathering friends around the dining room table in our new Urban Loft!
Wait minute! Dining Room table? What dining room table? Did you move from that sprawling mid-century modern Ranch Style house in uptown and drag that big dining room table with you?
Like Elizabeth, you are not alone. Many of us brought with us what is now a monstrosity, just like that big box of sweaters you almost never wear.
We know why that table came with you. It has been the main stage to so many events in our lives. Those Thanksgivings where it has served as the intersection to all those quirky family personalities or helping that one-year-old blow out his first candle, and laughter echoing across it with half-empty wine glasses serving as an unintentional, yet perfect centerpiece. There is an emotional attachment to it because it’s where we break bread and sew many memories that last a lifetime.
Transitioning to the “Urban Lifestyle” has so much to offer but yes, there will be some sacrifices and one of them is probably going to be that dining room table with the two extra leaves. There are, however, ways to think differently about “letting it go”
“Everything we own is a time machine,” says Christine Kell, decluttering coach at Gaining Space. “People like to revisit the past because they think it was a better time, but if you focus on what’s behind you, you’re not present enough to create new memories, which could leave you quite melancholy.” -Good Housekeeping article – Clearing Sentimental Clutter, How to Get Rid of Emotional Items.
Shift your perspective. Maybe think of yourself as more of a “minimalist” or someone who is creative and can tell your friends “looks at this great alternative I thought of”.
Have you thought about donating it to someone who could “really use it”? What about a family member taking that table from you? Maybe someone you know and love needs it. What a great thought to know that if you have that much emotional attachment to your old table, at least it’s still in the family and most likely you will still be sitting at it from time to time. Believe me, from my own experience there is more joy in giving away items to someone who needs it then I could ever receive by keeping it. Especially when there are alternatives to still enjoying those dining table experiences.
It’s not the table that created those memories, its the people around it that did. So ditch the table and keep the friends.
Some of us have that new breakfast bar that came built into the place, which at times can seem less intimate than what you imagined seating your friends around.
The good news is that there are alternatives. Think about a sofa table with leaves that fold up, a coffee table that expands and rises up to a fun dining occasion. Or think about downsizing that table to one that fits your new decor and offers you a gathering spot to host friends and family for new memories in your urban digs.
Get creative with your new space. Thinking outside the box not only ensures you a great gathering spot but you may even find yourself sitting at a conversation piece.
In the meantime, here are a few ideas to consider while on the hunt for your perfect dining solution.