7 Furniture Tips for Frequent Movers

Some folks live in the same place all their lives, while others change residence every few months. If you fall into the latter category, you may move due to employment, education, finances or just plain itchy feet. Whatever your motivation, if you want your house, however short term, to feel like a home, you’ll need some furniture. While the idea of renting a furnished apartment or buying cheaply secondhand may sound sensible at first, upholstered items and bedding come with the risk of allergies or insects. Particularly in large cities like New York, bed bug control is a serious problem. Besides, having a few useful and attractive belongings of your own is psychologically soothing and will help ease the stress of frequent relocation. Try these tips on practical furnishings for frequent movers.


Have you ever gone backpacking – or gazed admiringly at folks carrying all their worldly goods in a knapsack? Then you’ve no doubt picked up the first principle of easily movable furniture. Anything that can be rolled … a cotton futon couch/mattress, a sleep hammock, cloth or macramé wall art instead of framed paintings (to give just a few examples) … is far simpler to pack, not to mention more likely to survive yet another move unscathed.


When you move often, you can expect the unexpected, as the old TV program used to say. Every new home will have a singular layout and differently sized rooms. Go for flexibility – for example, two or three comfortable chairs to be grouped or not depending on the situation at hand, instead of one oversized couch. Modular furniture such as sectional sofas, which can be put together in myriad ways, just might be a sanity saver.


You’d be amazed at all the different types of furniture that can be folded. Beyond yesteryear’s rickety card tables and metal chairs, today you will find beautiful, stylish dining tables, desks, sofas and beds which are compressible into surprisingly small packages. Some even come with carrying handles to simplify transport.

Use Furniture as Storage

Furnishings that multitask are the most practical for your lifestyle. When you have pieces such as beds and ottomans that open up to reveal “bonus” storage space inside, you’ll have less need for dressers and shelves.

Use Storage as Furniture

Another side of the same coin is to choose storage that can also serve as furniture. Steamer trunks, which act as solid shipping containers when transporting fragile possessions, are in vogue right now as coffee tables. Hard plastic storage units are a less esthetically pleasing alternative, but you can dress them up with an artistic touch of paint or some attractive fabric. Or try oversized wicker baskets for your casual clothes – you will need much less drawer space as a result!

Take Advantage of Technology

In decades past, some of the heaviest moving boxes were those that held books. These days, an entire collection of literature can be stored on a device as small as a Kindle or, better still, as an app on your laptop or mobile device. By the same token, you can photograph treasured mementos like children’s art projects or programs from favorite theater performances and keep them forever in cyberspace.

Think Small

Ultimately, frequent relocation is likely to have a profound effect on your thinking. You will tend to zero in on what is most important to you in material and even spiritual terms, reducing your belongings to a relatively small number of treasured possessions and focusing more on your experiences and memories.

Laura Firszt writes for networx.com.
Image credit: Stacie via Flickr.

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Semo Kabout a year ago

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Carole H.
Carole H3 years ago

interesting and particularly apt for me at the moment - thank you

Jessica K.
Jessica K3 years ago

I like the idea of taking pictures of things that are to be donated or recycled, have done it before. Thanks.

Teresa W.
Teresa W3 years ago


Vicky P.
Vicky P3 years ago


Barbara M3 years ago

When you're nomadic, textiles are your friend -- think of the Bedouin, the original stylish nomads. A beautiful small carpet, a really wonderful bedspread (for the bed and/or the wall), some gorgeous scarves -- they fold down to nothing, and can create a real sense of home and continuity, as well as beauty.

Graham Parker
Graham P3 years ago

Interesting,some good ideas and others not so good.There´s a word in the world of Decoration and that is personality it makes a big difference when you use it in your home!

Gloria picchetti
Gloria picchetti3 years ago

Invest in a good hand truck.

Magdalen B.
Magdalen B3 years ago

"all their worldly goods in a back pack" apart from the stuff still at their parents' place.

Margaret Szelmeczka

Boy is that timing, I'm in the process of moving and down sizeing