Furniture Consignment Gallery Blog

Parenting in a Pandemic Requires Creative Solutions to Prevent a Mom Meltdown

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, February 06, 2021 @ 07: 39 AM

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Diana, my wife, is at wit’s end and it’s no wonder. Our three boys are at home. All. The. Time. Our oldest son is home from college. Our middle son is muddling through his last year of high school without any of the traditional senior activities to keep him busy. Then, there’s Robbie, 12, who is doing zoom classes at home three days a week.

 

What that means is a lot of meals, a lot of shopping, a lot of laundry and a lot of frustration. Never has the house been such a mess. When Diana and I get home from work at FCG, there’s a trail of debris from the stove to the countertop to the family room and up the stairs to the bedrooms.

 

Like millions of other working moms, Diana is desperate for guidance on how to navigate pandemic parenting. In a podcast for moms, she heard about a game that aimed to make tidying up fun and financially rewarding.

 

So earlier this week, she declared the start of the Frucci Clean-up Challenge. Our boys could earn points for making their beds, shoveling the walkway, taking out the trash. Ka-ching! Replacing the old trash bag with a new one? More ka-ching! The boy with the most points per week earned hard, cold cash.

 

Her chart was ignored for days. Then, Robbie, eyeing his brothers’ careless disdain of the challenge, figured he could lock in an easy victory for minimal effort. He grabbed a shovel and cleared a path through the snow, earning a point. Then, he moved on to the trash. The money, he chuckled to himself, was his for the taking!

 

Eventually, his two older brothers realized they were being outsmarted by the young whippersnapper. A flurry of cleaning erupted. Beds were made. Floors were swept, dishes washed and put away. For our boys, even cash doesn’t have the same lure as some old-fashioned competition.

 

At FCG, we understand the appeal of winning. After all, furnishing a home is a challenge. Our consignors score victories by selling their high-quality furniture. Our smart shoppers find bargains in our ever-changing inventory. Covid has made our lives a lot more difficult, but some things never change: everyone loves to be #1.

Tidying Up the Attic? Here’s a Useful Tip: Don’t Call FCG

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, January 30, 2021 @ 07: 42 AM

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Thanks to the pandemic, there’s a new national pastime: cleaning, organizing and de-cluttering.

Last week, my mom texted me and my brothers a photo of a heap of trash bags full of things she intended to throw away. She’d been spelunking in closets and had finally finished the job. All that remained were the trash bags, destined for the dump, and three boxes of family treasures, one for each of her boys. (Of course, my younger brother, now forty-something, immediately complained that my box is bigger than his. He's always started all the trouble. Right Mom?)

Meanwhile, on the other home front, namely mine, Collin, 18, has undertaken an excavation of his own, selling off my childhood collection of sports cards on eBay. Our dining table is the hub of this new enterprise. He’s earned enough to put gas in his car for a few weeks, but much to his disappointment, there weren’t any blockbusters stashed in the box.

We’ve all learned an important lesson this week: our stuff is valuable but only to us. There is truth in the old proverb that holds one man’s treasure is another man’s trash.

At FCG, we bump up against this notion a lot, especially this winter. Confined to home, many are cleaning out attics and basements and testing the market for the loot that’s been moldering there for decades. FCG is getting lots of inquiries from folks eager to consign old rocking chairs and cobwebbed steamer trunks.

 I’m usually the one who has to dispense the bad news. While these items may be loaded with sentimental value, they aren’t going to put cash in your wallet anytime soon. Of course, some folks won’t give up. “What if I paint it?” they ask. Ummmm, still a hard no. 

As experts in the market, we’ve learned some lessons and thus we are qualified to offer some wise advice on the subject of reselling your family’s flotsam and jetsam.         

Whatever you’re digging out will be more valuable to you than anyone else. Brace yourself for the likelihood that it might be worth little or nothing though it was a pricey item back in the day. FCG generally won’t take anything older than ten years.

Once you pull something out of the attic, don’t put it back. You’re doing the right thing saving your heirs from cleaning up after you. Don’t let a heap of old items pile up in the corners of your house. Finish the job with a trip to Goodwill or the dump.

Enjoy the process. Digging into family detritus can yield powerful memories and emotions. Savor them, then continue the clean-out. In the box filled with my sports cards, I found a yellowed page from the Boston Globe dated 1984. The Celtics had just won the NBA World Championship. Larry Bird was MVP. Oh, joy! Oh, history! Oh, yeah, into the trash it goes.

Visiting FCG Is a Must After a Big Consignment from a Top Home Stager

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, January 23, 2021 @ 07: 03 AM

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Despite all the laws and regulations aimed at keeping things open and honest, real estate can be an opaque and mysterious business. That’s even more evident now that the market is hitting new peaks. Houses are being bought and sold so fast that old-school practices like listing, showing and selling with a real estate broker are fading away. Nowadays, a house can be sold on a whisper.  

 

That’s causing consternation among real estate professionals. As a result, they’re doing a lot of soul-searching these days, including one of my favorite customers. She’s a talented home stager whose skill at making homes inviting has helped sell millions in real estate.

 

Her business is changing rapidly. Not so long ago, she was spending most of her time staging suburban homes, changing the décor by rearranging furniture and dressing up the place to make a good impression on potential buyers. Now, with suburban houses flying off the market in days or even hours, there’s no need for staging.

 

She’s re-focusing on city condos. They’re lingering longer on the market as folks flee the city in the pandemic. A city condo demands a completely different look than a classic suburban manse, that is, smaller, more modern furniture.

 

What’s in this for you, fans of FCG? Well, furniture, of course, and lots of it.

 

Last week, she opened the doors of her warehouse to FCG. Inside, there were dozens of pieces of furniture, all of it used only for staging: sofas on which no one had ever sat, dining sets that never saw a meal, chairs, consoles, coffee tables, side tables, servers and more. Pre-owned? Yes, but never used.

 

  All of her staging furniture is upscale and very high quality, perfectly sized for a suburban home. Some of it was used only once to showcase a specific multi-million dollar mansion. She bought only the best brands, including Restoration Hardware, Mitchell Gold and West Elm.

 

 We loaded these pricey props into our delivery trucks and brought them to our stores. They are priced and on display, but there was so much furniture that it will take a few days for our photographer to get the photos on the website.

 

Don’t miss this opportunity to buy quality, stylish furnishings at discount prices. Best of all, you can take home this nearly-new furniture the day you fall in love with it. Hurry in to our stores in Natick, Hanover or Plymouth. As always, the good stuff goes fast.

Looking for the Simple Country Life Isn’t So Simple in a Pandemic

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, January 15, 2021 @ 04: 57 PM

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One of the most stunning impacts of the year-long pandemic is the mass migration of our species.

 

City dwellers, eager to escape their tiny apartments, are moving in droves to the ‘burbs. Suburbanites are decamping for the country. And country folk, dismayed to encounter a traffic jam of two or three cars at the town’s only red light, well, they’re moving out to places where the tarred road turns to dirt like northern Maine.

 

What all that means is that real estate markets are tougher to navigate these days than the most turbulent whitewater rapids. Home sales in the U.S. are at a 14-year high, according to the Wall Street Journal. Bidding wars rage in the hottest markets. To gain an edge, buyers are sweetening their offers for homes with extraordinary goodies: donations to sellers’ favorite charities, tickets to special events and ball games, rock memorabilia.

 

Vacation homes in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region have almost doubled in price in certain areas; the wealthy are lapping up lakefront homes like a thirsty puppy in a puddle.  Meanwhile, Boston’s apartment buildings are emptying and rents are plummeting just as they are in other cities.  

 

With the end of the pandemic in sight, I’m wondering whether this relocation frenzy will last once we’re no longer Quarantine Nation. Now that everyone’s gotten comfortable working from home, will anyone want to commute to the office anymore? Does that mean the end of the commuting suburbanite? The 8 a.m. parking lot on the Mass Pike – is that a thing of the past? Or will city folk tire of birdsong and yearn once again for the howl of sirens and honking horns?

 

No one knows, least of all me. One thing I do know for sure, though. Moving is confusing, stressful, and expensive. If you’ve decided to join this mass migration, FCG is here to help.

 

Are you looking to sell all the trendy furniture you bought for your loft in Back Bay because you and your family are heading for the hills of Vermont?  Are you hoping to furnish the little cottage you just bought on the South Shore in time for summer fun?

 

 FCG has skill and the staff to help make your big move a little easier. We’re always in the market for high-quality furniture consignment. And our three stores are chock full of amazing furniture bargains for you to feather your new nest. Check out our inventory online at furnitureconsignment.com

Clogged Global Supply-Chain Got You Down? FCG Has Just the Remedy

Posted by Jay Frucci on Tue, January 12, 2021 @ 01: 01 PM

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Admit it: your sofa was your bestie in 2020. Whether you were binge-watching television or clicking into a zoom meeting, you two logged mucho quality time together – and it shows in a luxuriant crop of lumps and stains.



Time for a new sofa?



Well, you’re a latecomer to that party. Millions of homeowners started major renovation and redecorating projects last summer, causing a surge in demand for home goods. Facing more months of quarantine, they’re seeking to improve or expand their homes for long-term working, exercise and family time.



Making matters worse, the pandemic has disrupted the global supply chain, causing lengthy delays in procuring just about everything for the home: dishwashers, drywall, furniture, fabric, wood, wallpaper, and blow-up kiddie pools. Folks are enduring waits of weeks or months to get even the basics.



Online furniture retailers who once prided themselves on quick-click shopping and speedy deliveries are just as hamstrung as traditional retailers. Delays seem to be random and arbitrary, according to a recent article in the New York Times. For example, an Urban Outfitters $1,300 grey tufted sofa is on back-order until November, 2021, the article says.



Don’t expect a quick fix for this problem. There’s no slowdown in home improvement, especially with the delays in getting the coronavirus vaccine distributed to massive numbers of people. And the kinks in the global supply chain won’t be resolved anytime soon because it is a vastly complex web of trucking and shipping systems.



Does that mean you are destined to spend the next year with a lumpy couch? Or, even worse, the side table your kid made in shop class as your desk?



No! We’ve got the perfect solution: pre-owned furniture. In our three showrooms, FCG has acres of high-quality consignment furniture from the most stylish homes in New England. Best of all, you can buy it today and take it home with you. Or schedule a delivery within a day or so with our expert team of furniture movers. Either way, lumpy-sofa problem solved!



And, while you’re solving your problems, think of that resolution you made on New Year’s Day. Something about doing something unexpectedly kind for at least one person every day? Well, here’s your chance.



Think of a friend or relative who is gnashing their teeth over the endless delays and disappointments with their home-renovation project. Forward them this email and lessen their frustration. They won’t have to wait until next fall for a sofa, a desk or a dining set. They’ll probably find the perfect one at FCG. And you might just be the first one invited over to their house when the pandemic is over!

Tilton Cleaning Takes Our Name! It’s Really Part of the FCG Family Now

Posted by Jay Frucci on Tue, January 12, 2021 @ 12: 58 PM

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If ever there was something to cheer, this is it: the year of the virus is over! Goodbye and good riddance, 2020. Maybe 2021 will bring a return to normalcy but, apparently, that won’t happen overnight.



I’m thinking this ruefully as I’m gasping for breath after a crushing workout in my basement. Sadly, the gym has been off limits since the start of the pandemic. My cardio workout now is jumping rope on the concrete floor in a dismal, dimly lit underground bunker. Good for the heart, I guess, but hard on the joints.



What we’re all yearning for is a clean break between 2020 and 2021. Instead, I’m beginning to realize, we’re going to fumble our way back to a new normal for the next few months. We’ll shed some of the practices of 2020; others will linger. As evidence, I’m starting the year with a new mask.



We’ve made a few changes at FCG in the last days of 2020.



In September, we acquired Tilton Cleaning, Boston’s premier cleaning and restoration company. After four months of learning about the business and integrating it into FCG, we’re taking the big step to change its name to FCG Home Services and Restoration. On New Year’s Eve, we launched a new website for this important service: FCGHomeCleaning.com. You can find it now at fcghome.com.

Our new service has been very busy in the last few months cleaning many of the upholstered items now for sale in our three showrooms. We know that gives our customers peace of mind when they’re considering buying pre-owned. You’ll find a metallic sticker on many upholstered items which will let you know those pieces have been deeply cleaned.



Remember, you can buy, sell, clean and restore with FCG.



Are you looking for someone to restore a favorite chair in need of repair or reupholstering? Our experts have the skills and dedication to devote to your beloved furniture. Contact us at info@furnitureconsignment.com.



Do you have Oriental carpets that you want cleaned? Drop these items off at any of our stores. We’ll clean them and return them to the store nearest you for pick-up. Email us at clean@fcghome.com for a quote or to schedule a drop-off.



And while traditional furniture retailers are struggling with clogged supply chains, resulting in long delays for new furniture, FCG has dozens of newly consigned items arriving in our showrooms every day. If you’re eager to finish that home-improvement project, come visit our stores where you can see it, buy it and take it home today!

Do You Hear What I Hear? A Delivery Truck Rumbling Down the Street

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, December 18, 2020 @ 07: 01 PM

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Like every other neighborhood in the U.S., ours feels like a bustling truck depot these days. From dawn until dark, the delivery vans cruise the streets dispensing packages with the rapidity of a blowgun. We may be enduring quarantine, but thanks to the heroics of Amazon, UPS and FedEx, we won’t be without presents this Christmas.



But the daily traffic jam can be very challenging for our twelve-year-old son, Robbie. He’s been on high alert for weeks, anticipating the arrival of new toys and games for Christmas. Every truck that rumbles down the street has his rapt attention. It must be downright exhausting for the kid.



Last week, Robbie and Roxie, our dog, spent a few hours in the front yard trying to burn off some energy with a vigorous game of frisbee. With each throw, Roxie would gallop across the lawn only to skid to a halt when a delivery truck rounded the corner. Then, both boy and dog would stare at the truck, their necks swiveling slowly in unison as it meandered by, as if willing it to stop.



Some of the trucks would seem to inch by as they neared our house. Roxie’s tail would quiver with excitement. Robbie’s eyes would widen. Maybe the drivers were checking an address. Maybe they were taking in the spectacle of a dog’s ecstatic joy at playing with a boy. But they’d roll by without so much as wave.



Then, tauntingly, an Amazon van grinded to a halt at the curb in front of our house, paused for a few minutes then roared off down the street. No package for the Fruccis. Robbie strode furiously across the lawn growling at the van. Roxie took up the angry chorus out of sympathy.



Then, as if to rub salt into the wound, the driver pulled up in front of a neighbor’s house. He hauled an enormous box out of the truck and staggered to the front door with it where it landed with a thud. Robbie was irate. “What the heck!” he bellowed at the clueless driver.



As 2020 winds down to a frigid close, I think we can all relate to his sentiments. What the heck happened this year? What the heck is in store for us in 2021? Here’s hoping for some relief from all our frustrations in the next few weeks. We’re wishing all our wonderful buyers and consignors a wonderful holiday season – and lots of visits from those delivery trucks, and if you’re lucky, one might read Furniture Consignment Gallery on the side of it.

Looking for Some Comfort and Joy? There’s Plenty at FCG’s Showrooms

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, December 11, 2020 @ 07: 49 PM

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“Dad,” Collin, my middle son, said, glowering, as he wandered through the house laptop in hand seeking a stronger signal, “the wifi sucks.”



For a teenager these days, them’s fightin’ words. Collin was multitasking efficiently, trying to complete an online college application, sign up for the SATs, and finish his calculus homework. But when all feverish activity on his laptop slowed to a crawl, he issued a howl of protest.



Robbie, 12, his younger brother, joined the chorus of complaint. If not technically a teenager, Robbie was developing the same ravenous appetite for wifi as his two brothers. He’d just finished an online class and he wanted to relax by watching some comedy skits on YouTube. “Dad,” he said, frowning, “did you remember to pay Comcast?”



Powerful home wifi is a must-have now that we’re in the long winter of pandemic hibernation. Diana was folding laundry while catching up on one of her favorite shows on Hulu. Upstairs, Cade, our oldest son, was attending one of the last online lectures of his strange junior year at college before finals.



We need a Mississippi River of data-streaming but we’re stuck with a trickling creek. Everyone’s frustration had reached a peak. I’d been trying to plow through all the urgent consignment requests in my email when the slowdown struck, so I decided to pull the plug at home and head to my office in the showroom. Sure, I’d be wheezing through a mask but at least I’d get good wifi.



Aren’t we all weary of this Covid 2020? We need our kids back in school. We need a night out at a restaurant. We need to shed these masks that are killing us softly through suffocation. What we really need is a Christmas Miracle.

I drove to our store in Natick. When I arrived, suddenly all seemed right with the world. The store was loaded with spectacular furniture, which offered endless possibilities for our customers.



One of them called to me as I walked through the showroom. Her face was masked and her eye glasses foggy, but I could tell from the crinkle at the corners of her eyes that she was smiling. “I don’t know how you guys do it in the middle of a pandemic,” she complimented “but you’ve got so much amazing furniture here! I’m so happy I stopped in. Christmas is going to be just perfect now that I’ve found everything on my list!”



And with that, my frustrations faded away. Nothing could be more delightful at this time of year than to hear from a customer that we’ve helped her achieve her perfect Christmas. Comfort and joy, folks, that’s what it is all about in the waning weeks of this most difficult year. Comfort and joy: FCG was able to give it to her, and she gave it right back to me.

Holy Hot Cocoa! Mrs. Claus Puts Christmas in Peril with a One-Woman Strike

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, December 04, 2020 @ 04: 16 PM

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After a full day wrestling with the ten-foot faux tree in our showroom in Natick, Diana, aka Mrs. Claus, was getting tired. She’s gotten most of the tree assembled only to realize that the final piece – the top – had been left behind at our warehouse. Frustrated, she climbed down the ladder to survey her work and, without thinking, splashed some sanitizer on her hands.

 

I’m quite sure they heard her shrieks at the North Pole. Diana hadn’t quite noticed that her hands were laced with cuts from the tree’s sharp metal branches. Because of the alcohol in the sanitizer, Mrs. Claus’ paws stung ferociously.

 

2020 has been rough on everyone, with its seemingly never-ending fears and frustrations. The tree debacle seemed to be the final straw for our normally merry and bright Mrs. Claus. Clearly, a year of coping with chaos had taken its toll. She announced she was on strike.

 

FCG has enough talented elves to pick up the slack even if its decorator-in-chief was in a funk. I knew they’d create a sparkling winter wonderland. That’s not what had me worried. Without Diana’s shopping, wrapping, cooking and organizing skills, the Frucci family Christmas would be in peril.

 

Days passed, and not a single garland was strung at home. Mrs. Claus wasn’t budging. After a few days, Robbie, our twelve-year-old, and I decided we’d try to deck the halls. We dragged the tree out of the attic into the middle of the living room, hoping our fumbling efforts would soften her resolve. She scowled, saying nothing, as she walked by the mess.

 

Robbie and I struggled manfully with the tangled snarl of lights. We clumsily dropped ornaments that dashed into pieces all over the floor. Then came the damn bows. We tried to attach them, but they tilted drunkenly. We did our best, but our tree looked like it had been decorated by cyclone.

After a couple of hours, we declared the job done, gave each other a low five, stowed the boxes and turned on the TV. Surely, I thought, this pathetic scene will get her off the picket line.

 

Sure enough, by the following day, the tree was straight, the lightbulbs were strung, the ornaments hung and bows placed with perfect precision. Mrs. Claus didn’t say a word, but I thought I saw a bit of a sparkle back in her eyes. 2020 may have been a catastrophe, but I now believe that nothing is going to get in the way of a merry Christmas.

How I Mined Frucci Family Shenanigans for Years, Undiscovered – Until Now

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, November 27, 2020 @ 01: 51 PM

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I was in the kitchen on Thanksgiving morning swilling down a mouthful of coffee cake and coffee when my twelve-year-old son strolled in and casually threw his arm around me. “Dad,” Robbie said with a knowing grin, ”I’ve been reading your blogs.”

I froze. I felt like a teenager who just discovered his mom had been reading his diary – or, to use a more up-to-date analogy, his midnight texts to his girlfriend. Oh, no, I thought. I am soooooo busted.

Admittedly, Robbie has had a starring role in many of my blogs over the last ten years, and for good reason. Since he was a rollicking red-headed toddler, our third child has provided a lot of fodder for my writing with his entertaining antics and his unfiltered observations and questions about the world.

Now, apparently, he’d discovered a treasure trove of stories starring him, age 2 to 12. Which ones had he read? Did he see the one about our visit to a horse barn when we stumbled across a very graphic display of Sex Ed 101? Robbie had a lot of questions, as you might imagine.

Apparently, his online burrowing hadn’t yet uncovered that nugget. Still, I could feel the panic rising in me. Would he be offended? Would he be angry that I’d mined his hilarious and endearing precociousness for entertainment purposes?

Turns out, folks, he loved the spotlight, especially the blogs that highlighted his mischievousness. “Dad, that blog when I spray painted the fence out back?” he crowed. “Good one!” And he really liked the one about how we cleaned his room while he was at summer camp. I wrote that it was less of a cleaning and more of an archeological dig, unearthing toys and petrified food from years ago.

My panic subsided as we laughed about those old blogs, which in fact had been some of my greatest hits. Then, a small niggling worry took hold.

What if Robbie, soon to be 13, began to see the blog as an opportunity to go viral with his shenanigans? After all, this is the age of stupid competitive challenges on Tik Tok. “You don’t have to do anything special to make the next blog,” I told him, a bit pleadingly. “Just act normal. Seriously! No crazy stunts or anything! You’re funny just the way you are!”

Robbie meandered off, chuckling to himself. I’m sure his teenage years will provide plenty of entertainment for my readers over the next few years.

 

*Cannot be combined with any other offer or promotion. Cannot be used on prior purchases. ALL SALES ARE FINAL. Promotion ends Monday November 30, 2020 at midnight.