As you think about making room for all the items you will be receiving as gifts this holiday season, you may be in a bit of a bind. Where is any of it going to go? Storage units are an easy solution, if only in the short-term. If you have no plans to make use of that old couch in the future, then now might be the time to arrange its permanent removal.
There are plenty of ways to get rid of old furniture. Some retailers will include a haul-away service if you purchase new furniture—be sure to ask before you finalize paperwork. If you are not concerned about recovering any costs, consider donating old items to a friend. When you don’t know anyone that will take the items off your hands, it is time to turn outward. Send your items to a donation center and you can reap a tax credit. You could also try your hand at selling, for example at a yard sale or via a Craigslist ad, where you will do all or most of the work of assessment and transport. Other services will handle the heavy lifting, both literally and physically, for a price.
We break down all your options in detail. In order to ensure you clear house as much as possible, don’t put all your eggs in one basket: List items on more than one service. If all else fails, there is no shame in leaving a sign on your old furniture as it sits on the sidewalk and letting a stranger take it for free.
We all would love to recoup the full price we paid for our furniture, but unless you only sat on your couch for a week, this is not a realistic mindset. Be honest with yourself about the worth of any old items that you are trying to get rid of, and determine if their condition would be appealing to a consignment shop—is the upholstery clean? Are the pillows fluffed? Is the pattern in style? Your local shop may have its own standards; call to find out if your furniture would be accepted.
Consignment shops typically take steep cuts of the final selling price, but they will also take care of listing and advertising your items for sale. There are also apps out there that have similar on-demand services, which may earn you more cash depending on how they split their fees. AptDeco is one such service, with a maximum cut of 30% on your final sale. You can also find a good payment split on Chairish, though their listings are limited to—you guessed it—chairs. The app known as Trove is a friendly way to browse or list furniture. Even artisans on Etsy are willing to buy secondhand furniture, especially to refurbish for their own storefront. Other sites for classified ads can also be a great way to get eyeballs on your listings, such as Oodle and eBay.
Whether you can’t find a reliable buyer or you simply want to give another person the chance to love the furniture that once made your house a home, consider a donation. Other than the fuzzy feeling of the kind gesture, you may also earn yourself a tax credit. Also, most donation centers will send a crew to haul your items away; you should inquire with the organization of your choosing. Some options that you may already know: Goodwill, ReStore by Habitat for Humanity, and the Salvation Army.
As with your selling options, there are apps that will help you donate your items. GoShare operates like a hauling service, where they will take your things to the donation center for a fee. DonationTown will take all the guesswork out of the process, matching you with donation centers close to your ZIP code. Pick Up Please is another reliable option, though they will only pick up items small and light enough for just one person to carry.
When you are out of patience, time, or both, it’s time to head to the dump. Hauling away large furniture may still cause you headaches, though, as most public trash services do not pick up oversize items. Call your city to get the details; most large metro areas do have alternative days for large haul pickup, which may work in your favor. Wayfair is (usually) helpful in calling up information about your area based on your location.
Otherwise, you may be left to the wolves. If you can’t pawn it off on a friend, get anyone to buy, or even donate your furniture, you will need to figure out how to transport it to the nearest waste facility. Naturally, there are services that will do this for you, and we do not recommend actually doing this yourself. Inquire at 1-800-GOT-JUNK or JDog Junk Removal for rates.