Do what I did: look around your room and your house and stop a moment to remember where things came from. There's probably a lot of stories lurking in your living room unless you're very rich and it's just a case of hunt and buy. We are so accustomed to the things we own that we forget how we came by them. We bought them, yes, but we also inherited them, borrowed (and kept) them, accumulated them somehow, by accident as often as by intent. What's the oldest thing in the room? The newest? That's what I mean by the private history of furniture. Everyone has a story to tell; every stick has a history. And these things do not disappear. Sometimes they own you. Some times the people who gave you stuff own you, too. I got launched on a series of bad choices in my first married digs because my parents' best friends gave me a hideous lamp in my unfavourite colours and then my father generously paid for huge, lined curtains on a track across the windows in those colours and I was stuck with them. It was years before I got rid of it all. I think people are smarter than I was/am and don't make mistakes like that. And there are now ways to rectify them, short of landfill. A Basement Boutique is one way. We have one. We - the other people who live in this apartment building - have a few shelves in the corner of the underground parking garage where we bring our discards, mistakes, unwanted or no longer useful items for others to salvage. It's recycling at its most refined and effective and it's often serendipitous. And it's another chapter in the history of my/our possessions. Hey, it beats hoarding.