The good news: You moved into a new apartment.
The bad news: Buying furniture is expensive.
The worst news: A family member insists on giving you hand-me-down furniture.
It’s probably “that ‘70’s couch” that’s already seen a second life in your parents’ basement rec room. It’s the bedroom set you grew up with that looks as if it came off the set of “Little House on the Prairie.” Or it’s a kitchen table set from an elderly relative who can’t use it now that he or she is now is living in a nursing home.
How can you possibly say, “No thank you?”
Often, well-meaning “gifts” like these are loaded with sentimentality of the giver who can’t see past your sense of style and independence. Sometimes they feel a great sense of pride in doing you a huge favor by helping you save lots of money, especially if you’re strapped for cash.
If you refuse, you’ll likely be cast as ungrateful and unappreciative. Sometimes, you have to run that risk. Remember, that’s their problem, not yours. Chances are whoever will hear the story of your refusal from the giver may see things from your point of view. If you’re lucky, that person may speak on your behalf and explain where you’re coming from. More than likely, it will make sense if it comes from someone else.
You could say, “This really isn’t the style I had in mind, but I could paint or reupholster it?” Even then, you could run the risk of insulting their “good taste” or “ruining” a perfectly good piece of furniture. One way of backing away from their “generosity” is to suggest how they could use that item in their home.
What about piece of furniture will never fit in your apartment or would be too expensive or cumbersome to move a couple of years down the line? Ask if that person would be willing to help with the moving expenses or help carrying it down a flight of stairs when it comes time to move. Chances are, they’ll say, “No.”
Often, givers like these are insistent on keeping “perfectly useful” furniture in the family. Suggest that they ask another relative you know who will be making a move soon and say they may be able to use that piece of furniture.
Sometimes, how much something was purchased for — even if it was 30 or 40 years ago – evokes a sense of worth to a giver. Try saying, “If you think it’s worth something, post it on Craigslist or eBay to see how much you can get for it instead of giving it away to me.”
If you accept a hand-me-down just for the sake of having something in the meantime, be sure to ask what to do with it when you no longer need it. The giver may take offense if you sell it or give it to someone they don’t know. Make sure they value it enough to take it back.
This article brought to you by the good folks at Urbane Apartments Royal Oak Michigan, Urbane Apartments Ferndale Michigan,Urbane Apartments Birmingham Michigan, and Urbane Apartments Dearborn Michigan