A Life Without Debt: Valuing the Old

I’m constantly amazed by how little value we place on the older things in our society these days (and our older people, but that’s a whole other issue). I can remember looking around my grandmother’s house and seeing the piano that had belonged to her great grandmother, the quilts that her mother and grandmother had made, the furniture that once sat in her mother’s house, and sets of china that belonged to several prior generations. My grandmother had very little that was new, especially when it came to durable goods. I remember her speaking fondly of all of her treasures because they brought her comfort and good memories. Even though she was well off financially, she


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10 Responses to A Life Without Debt: Valuing the Old

  1. Breton Wench says:

    So true: And your furniture will be unique and unlike anything on the TV:
    Our double bed was found lying in a friends garage, just taking up space. I admired the woodwork in it, and was told it was made by her grandfather in Wales in the 1920 s. And then she just offered it to us, so I am now the delighted owner of a handmade bed
    Treasure trove furniture is always more interesting because of the stories behind it.

  2. Mark says:

    I agree that, “They don’t make it like they use to.” Older stuff is generally of better quality.

    I run into a problem though when we are offered too many old things from others.

    My wife is too sentimentally attached to items because her grandfather used a desk in 7th grade.
    Actually, she is too attached to 3 desks that her grandfather used over the course of his lifetime. But she doesn’t use any of them and they all just take up space.

    Don’t get me wrong, all three desks are nice, but what’s the point if sentimental feelings block the utility of an item? To me they are all clutter.

  3. Ashley says:

    I and several of my friends actually love to find those “gems” at thrift stores and flea markets in order to update them. A bit of sanding and some paint, and even scuffed and bumped pieces look brand new and very in style for a fraction of the cost.

  4. Emily Booth says:

    It’s kind of ironic that they sell furniture to look old at C & B and PB.
    I also wonder about the landfill. Where does all this new stuff end up after 5 yrs? The landfill.

  5. teresa says:

    I usually always get hand-me-downs or buy from yard sales/Thrift Stores but thought I wanted a new couch when we bought our house, big mistake. It has been the biggest piece of crap I have ever owned!! I need to stick to my theory that I will let someone else break it in and find out if it will last before I get it.

  6. Gayle says:

    Now that my parents have both passed away, the antique furniture that I have surrounded myself with provides me with the wonderful memories and comforts I have from my childhood. There truly is no substitute for furniture that has been passed down for generations.

  7. rob62521 says:

    Well put! I have some pots that were my grandmother’s. I love them because she used them and they are well made. They aren’t Food Network stylish, but I don’t care. My grandmother had a quilt top she made and my mom had it quilted and I cherish it. And when my mom decided, in her 60s, to learn to quilt, she made me some quilts that are on my bed. My bedroom doesn’t look like House Beautiful, but it’s comfortable for me. And the best part…I don’t know owe anything on any of it!

    I think part of the trend of buying all new is trying to fill a space in their lives. Some folks are never satisfied with what they have so they are on the constant lookout for the next “high”.

  8. Larabelle says:

    I agree that some people are attempting to fill the void in their lives by always purchasing new stuff. I also have a housefull of old furniture …but I also buy it at thrift stores. I can not believe the prices of the junk they call furniture at new furniture stores. It is so poorly made.

  9. Olivia says:

    We were scoping out a replacement for a very beat trashpicked gift dresser we used to hold videos and CD’s. After searching Overstock and regular stores on line, we realized, in scanning the reviews, all the pieces in our price range were junk. On a lark, we popped into a very crowded used furniture place in a bad neighborhood. For $89 delivery included, we found a beautifully veneered, dovetailed, 1920’s chifforobe. This we switched with the old bedroom chest of drawers. The chifforobe holds the clothes upstairs and the chest now holds our entertainment stuff downstairs. Besides the economy of it all, our older furniture has character and a human scale new things lack. And it seems if you love something it natuarally “goes with” everything else. Oh by the way, we put our junky dresser out front with a “free” sign, and someone picked it up within a half hour.

  10. Gail says:

    Often I see pieces of furniture out by the road waiting for the garbage men. I’ve never seen anything truly old (purhaps savvy scavangers picked it up) but you see modern furniture that looks positively worn out. I don’t understand how people can wear out even the new junk so badly until you realize many people don’t stop their children from jumping on the furniture, etc. Not only is the newer furniture not made to last, if treated poorly it won’t even last 5 years. Our granparents and the greats for the most part took care of what they had because they valued it and didn’t let people jump and crawl all over it or spill pop and beer and food on it, etc. Even poorly made furniture will last a while if taken care of and used gently. This goes for linens, dishes and all household goods. I was so glad to save handmade doilies my son’s great granmother had made when her daughter-in-law (my ex-evil MIL) was going to toss them!

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