Thursday, January 27, 2011

311. Rearranging The Furniture

I know what you’re thinking. You read the title of today’s blog post and you say, “Aha! MOV is going to write about how moving your furniture around is a metaphor for life, that if you take your normal surroundings and change them, you can get a fresh perspective on life.” Uh, no. I was going to talk about literally rearranging the furniture.

I became obsessed with rearranging furniture at a young age, maybe four years old. I had a dollhouse, and I remember taking every little chair and table and armoire out and then putting them all back in again, but in different rooms. Who says this has to be the bedroom? Why not make it the garage. The kitchen doesn’t have to be on the bottom floor—maybe move it to the third floor instead.

Later, I morphed into a teenager who got bored easily, and what better way to stave off monotony then to move the furniture? Let’s see what this dresser looks like on that side of the room. What about that shelf next to the bed? There was no problem so big that it couldn’t be fixed by pushing a piece of furniture to an adjacent wall.

This caused, as you might imagine, a bit of friction in the family. My mother would walk in a room and declare, “You moved everything again? That’s what, the third time today? It looks good, just leave it now.” With no warning, my little sister would come running into my room fully expecting to jump on my bed, and would unceremoniously land on the floor instead—PLOP!

As I got older, I took this addiction fun little habit on the road. I lived with my grandmother while I was in high school, and I quickly came to realize that her living room might look a little bit better if she only moved the couch facing the fireplace, and the TV over by the window. She discovered the changes to her home the way all of my victims did: by stubbing her toe. “MOV! MOV, you get in here this instant! Who told you that you could move all my furniture? But … this does looks fabulous, and now I need your advice on where to put the desk in my study.”

That was the thing, the reason I was never stopped: everyone loved the changes. In college, roommates and sorority sisters wanted my advice, as did the UPS guy (he got a glimpse of my newly-rearranged living room and then made a quick sketch of his family room for me to give my opinion). Flash forward to today, and my girlfriends are not offended in the least when I say, “Have you ever thought of putting your dining room table in front of the fireplace?”

The Husband, however, remains unconvinced. His attitude toward furniture can be summed up in two words: status quo. He gets very grumpy when he comes home and can’t find the coffee table that was there just this morning. After 14 years together, two apartments, and three houses, he should know what to expect. Lucky for him, the size of our current house (teeny tiny) makes furniture rearranging prohibitive. The dining room is only 9 x 9 feet, which means the dining room table can go … in the middle of the room, under the chandelier. Our master bedroom (master!) measures in at a whopping 10 x 8 feet, meaning the bed can go on the one large wall and nowhere else. Complicating matters is the fact that our 1942 home has radiators in every room, which hinders original furniture placement let alone its subsequent rearranging.

We discuss our future plans to expand the house someday, perhaps adding a huge family room on the back with walls of windows looking out at the beautiful trees in the yard. Whenever I bring up the dimensions of the new room, The Husband gets a panicky look on his face. “So, you want the room to be 22 x 22 feet? Uh, where would the sofas go?” And then I impress him with all the myriad possibilities, sofas facing the fireplace, sofas facing the window, sofas facing the patio … and then I lose him: “We could even put the sofas diagonally if we wanted!”

He is overwhelmed. He goes in the bathroom, turns on the water, and fills the tub. I knock on the door. “Why are you taking a bath right now? It’s 2 PM.” He answers simply, “Because you can’t move the tub, I know exactly where it is.”

Maybe I have taken this furniture rearranging too far.

(“Moving Our Village”)


  1. I need your help. Can I email you a plan of my living room? No. I'm not joking.

  2. I checked out your blog, teatimewithmandy, and if your living room looks anything like your refurbished kitchen, then I'd say your in good shape. :)
    Thanks for leaving the comfort of those fun and funky Canadian blogs and checking out a blog based in good ol' Crazy Town, USA.

  3. well, I rearranged my bedroom lastnight!! Not that I wanted to. But it was move the furniture around or somehow figure out how to sleep in the bed with a pan in the middle of it to catch water from the drippy roof (Darn you Ice Dam!!).

  4. I'm the same way! I need to move furniture around at least once a season or else I get antsy. My first year at college, I convinced my roommate to move our furniture around at 3am because I could absolutely not stand it anymore that the furniture looked the same two months into the semester. It's a problem.


  5. Hi MOV: You didn't inherit this trait from your dad who likes furniture in exactly the same place for at least ten years. (He OK'd this message)


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