How to Get Rid of Old Furniture Without Hassle

Furniture

There are times when you may need to dispose of your old furniture. Whether moving to a new place, trying your hand at minimalism, going for a fresh new look, or moving in with someone, sometimes old furniture has to go.

But how do we dispose of old furniture responsibly? You want to protect the environment while contributing to the circular economy.

Let’s explore the seven best ways to dispose of old furniture and some helpful tips for proper disposal.

7 Best Ways to Get Rid of Old Furniture

1. Giving it to Friends or Family

Your friends and family are among the first places you can look for furniture disposal. Maybe you know a college student or recent graduate needing some gently used furniture you no longer need or want.

Maybe you know someone starting from scratch due to divorce or another unforeseen life event.

Your old furniture can be a Godsend to someone in need. Just be sure that whatever you give away is in good, usable condition.

Also, they may or may not be able to pick it up. So that’s one thing to consider. But it beats taking it to the landfill!

2. Donate It

Donating your gently used or old furniture is a wonderful way to reduce waste and help someone in need.

Local charities and non-profit organizations often need furniture and will gladly pick it up in some cases.

In the worst-case scenario, you may have to haul and drop it off. Call the local charity or non-profit of your choosing to find out.

Some organizations that can benefit from your furniture donation include:

  • The Furniture Bank Association of North America (FBANA) – Is a network of furniture banks that provide items at little to no cost to those in need in an effort to combat furniture poverty. Many customers include former abuse victims who are leaving a hostile environment. Depending on your local network, some may offer pick-up at your home.
  • Goodwill or Salvation Army – These organizations create jobs for those in need and give your gently used items a second life. Some locations do at-home pick-ups. Call your local store for information.
  • Habitat for Humanity ReStores – This non-profit organization picks up your gently used furniture, large appliances, and even building materials to re-sell at a reduced price. The proceeds go to help Habitat for Humanity provide affordable homes for needy families.
  • Homeless and Women’s Shelters – These non-profit organizations always need help as they usually have low budgets, and the need is always great.
  • Churches, Community Centers, Community Theaters, and Schools – These organizations can always use a little help. Whether it is to replace old items for use in an event or meeting or simply add to their amenities, it never hurts to ask if they are in need.
  • Local Animal Shelters or Humane Society – That worn-out recliner, love seat, or old sofa cushions can provide a comfortable place for the furry little ones to curl up. Call your local organization to find out their needs.

3. Sell or Trade

Another great way to contribute to the circular economy is by selling or trading unwanted furniture instead of throwing it out.

Plus, you can make a little money or gain a new item at no extra cost.

Classifieds, like Craigslist, are a great place to start. Not only can you list your item, but you can also check to see if people are looking for what you offer. Some people may offer a trade instead of money. Be ready to haggle.

Virtual platforms that sell used items, such as Facebook Marketplace, Next Door, Letgo, or OfferUp, can also be great places to sell your old furniture. Most platforms are free and user-friendly.

With classifieds and virtual platforms, you can even stipulate the buyer must pick up the item if that is important to you.

Garage or yard sales are also a great way to get rid of unwanted furniture, along with other items you may no longer have a use for. This is a great way to clean up your home, make some money, and let the buyers haul away the furniture.

4. Repair of Repurpose

Do you have a knack for repairing old items, or have you ever wanted to try refurbishing old furniture?

Sometimes, old items just need a little love and attention to get a second life.

Repairing old furniture keeps it from going to the landfill, helps the environment, and can save you money in the long run.

Instead of buying a new, more expensive piece, you can breathe new life into your old item by sanding it, repainting it, or reupholstering it.

You can even make it into a new item to use around your home or garden. And if you are truly tired of it, you can refurbish it and sell it!

5. Take it to a Scrap Metal Dealer

That old metal chair, table, or bedframe may be recyclable and earn you money in the process. Some places even recycle spring mattresses if you remove all the fabric beforehand.

Some scrapyards like to differentiate between ferrous and non-ferrous metal because non-ferrous items cost more to dispose of. Most places do take both.

To figure out the type of metal furniture you have, simply hold a magnet to it. If it doesn’t stick to the item, then you have non-ferrous metal.

Contact your local scrap metal dealer to learn the details. To find a scrapyard near you, go to the iScrap App.

Do consider that you will very likely need to transport your furniture item to the scrap metal dealer.

6. Call a Junk Removal Service

Junk removal services will send a junk removal expert to your home and appraise the cost of removing your items.

The fee will usually depend on the volume of items to be removed. Appointments can be scheduled ahead of time, and the good news is that you do not have to haul any of the items away yourself.

7. If All Else Fails – Landfill It

Sometimes, you have no other choice but to send your old furniture to the landfill. Whether the item is beyond repair or it has a bedbug infestation, there are instances when there’s no other option.

Check with your local curbside pick-up program for a schedule for bulk pick-up. If nothing is scheduled soon, you may have to drop off your item at your local landfill.

Some locations offer free bulk waste disposal days. However, it is best to call beforehand since some locations aren’t open to the public or may not accept certain items.

Illegal dumping harms the environment and can result in costly fines.

Tips for Proper Furniture Disposal

Researching Local Laws and Regulations

Each town, city, and state may have different laws and regulations for proper furniture disposal.

Take the time to research your municipality’s curbside and bulk pick-up rules and schedules. Often, you can place your furniture on the curb, next to your waste bin, and they’ll pick it up, but you must inform yourself before doing so.

Some towns and cities have bulk pick-up dates when you can place your big items on the curb for pickup, say once a month or a couple of times a year. Reach out to your local trash and recycling service to better inform yourself.

Additionally, your local landfill may or may not allow bulk or furniture waste disposal. Or they may only allow certain items or only on certain days.

Furthermore, some municipalities may require you to seal upholstered items in plastic before curbside collection to accept them.

Knowing What Can and Cannot be Accepted

Again, inform yourself about your local guidelines before disposing of your old, unwanted furniture, whether it is the trash and recycling services, the landfill, or the charity you choose.

Each place will have rules and regulations before accepting used or unwanted items.

Some charities, such as the Vietnam Veteran’s Association, will only accept small furniture and appliances.

Depending on your local government or charity, mattresses, large appliances, and electronics may have specific disposal instructions.

In some states, such as California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, for example, you are legally required to recycle mattresses according to the guidelines set by the Mattress Recycling Council.

In some places, your new mattress retailer can pick up your old one upon delivery for recycling. There may be a small fee associated with the removal, but it saves you the hassle of finding a recycling location and hauling it yourself.

Appliances with coolant or refrigerants may require draining before being discarded or picked up.

Preparing the Furniture for Disposal

You may need to prepare your furniture before disposing of it. How you prepare it may depend on your disposal mode.

If sending it to the landfill, you may need to seal upholstered items in plastic, or you may need to drain refrigerant from large appliances. If you recycle your mattress with a scrap metal dealer, you may need to remove all the fabric.

If you are donating, passing down to friends or family, or selling old furniture, make sure:

  • The item can be used as is, requiring little to no repairs.
  • Ensure the upholstery is free of major rips, stains, and odors.
  • Check that the wood is free of major scratches or gouges.
  • Ensure the items have NEVER been infested with bedbugs or other pests. If it has, send it to the landfill. No one wants pests in their home.

Always inform the interested party of any issues before disposing of it, giving it away, or selling it. Allow the potential new owner to decide if they are okay with the issues or if they may be able to fix them.

If you plan to sell furniture with issues, be prepared to negotiate the price with potential buyers.

The Takeaway

Sometimes, old furniture just has to go.

Figuring out how to dispose of old furniture responsibly is a great way to prevent waste while giving your unwanted items new life when possible.

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