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items i won't toss

No Matter What the Rules Say, I'll Never Part With These Items

As someone who loves design, I find myself tweaking my space more often than most. I love experimenting with new pieces, layouts, and even styles. One day I may be feeling all things classic, and the next, I may be introducing a more modern element to my apartment. Yet even after five apartments and countless purges and shopping trips alike, there are tried and true pieces that I don’t plan to part with anytime soon—as well a few items that I’m always repurchasing as needed.

Read on to see which items I simply can't live without.

My Mattress

It may sound weird to be so obsessed with a mattress (and mine isn’t even from one of the trendy companies that caters to millennials), but the one I own is truly magical. It’s soft and cloud-like, which is exactly to my liking, and it’s traveled with me to all five of my apartments across three different states.

I know that eventually, I’ll have to replace it, as mattresses are only good for so many years. However, I’m someone who highly values my sleep and has always required a lot of it, so starting from scratch with each move just wasn’t going to cut it. Not to mention, mattresses don’t come cheap, so I’m happy to hold onto the same one for as long as I possibly can.

Favorite Decorative Objects

Decorative objects on shelf.

Lauren Zillinger for Laura Metzler Photography

Whenever friends of mine are in the process of styling their shelves or shopping for home accents, I always urge them to take time looking for decorative objects—whether at flea markets, on their travels, or while around town—rather than simply loading up a cart of trinkets at a chain store and calling it a day.

The small items that I have collected over time are the ones that have ultimately moved with me from place to place and will always have a spot on my dresser or built-ins. These include a small bust sculpture I purchased with my mom while antiquing, a woven African basket my friend gave me upon returning from the Peace Corps, and lion-shaped bookends that subtly pay homage to my last name and were a vintage store find.

In addition to being more unique than mass-produced items, these pieces have sentimental value, too, and it’s always fun to share their stories with guests.

Nice Kitchenware

The kitchen is always my least favorite room to pack up prior to a move, between the oddly-shaped items, breakables, and random ingredients that I discover but am too hesitant to toss. However, I’ll always happily transport my favorite mugs (you know, all two dozen of them), special glassware for entertaining, and timeless investment pieces—such as the Le Creuset pans my mom passed down to me in my early 20s.

I know how difficult it can be to source full, matching vintage sets of plates, bowls, or cocktail glasses, so when I do come across these gems, I’m in no hurry to part with them.

Even inexpensive items, like the set of banana leaf-printed dinner and salad plates I scored at Goodwill, have traveled with me to multiple homes. I know how difficult it can be to source full, matching vintage sets of plates, bowls, or cocktail glasses, so when I do come across these gems, I’m in no hurry to part with them.

The Classics

In this category are pieces I’ve purchased and repurchased time and time again. Technically, I’ve had to part with some of these exact items over the years due to wear and tear, but I always keep coming back to the same overall styles.

One such item? A jute rug. These rugs are so versatile and work with all types of décor, whether your style leans traditional, coastal, or even more modern. They look lovely on their own or with a weathered, vintage piece layered on top. Plus, they’ll never go out of style.

I’ve also frequently repurchased basic decorative accessories like velvet pillow covers. Of course, these sometimes fall victim to stains or lose their luster after a few years, which is why I opt for extremely affordable pieces from H&M Home and Etsy.

Last but not least, I’m always holding onto coffee table books. Sometimes I’ll resell or donate titles that I know I’m done admiring, but my base collection has remained pretty consistent over the years. While moving heavy boxes of books is never ideal, I’ve always found it to be worthwhile in the end. Coffee table books really liven up shelves and coffee tables, for one, but they also provide tons of inspiration, which is truly a gift that keeps on giving.