Five Steps to Getting Rid of Old Furniture


Disposing of old, unwanted furniture can be challenging whether you're moving or simply decluttering your home. You can't just dump that shabby couch on the street and expect the trash collectors to pick it up. And you may not want the extra expense of paying to have it disposed of at a dump.   

If you have old furniture lying around, hold back on your initial disposal plans. There are other, potentially more gainful, ways to deal with the problem. Here are some suggestions. 

1. Refinish, reupholster, or repurpose it

This method is one of the best ways to get rid of old furniture. In effect, you get rid of the old by turning it into something new. You waste nothing and gain something in the process. 

Consider refinishing or reupholstering your old furniture instead of throwing it away. You can take the furniture to a skilled restorer or save money by restoring it yourself if you have the skills and the time. A fresh coat of paint or a few embellishments can renew the look of your furniture.  

If the furniture is in good condition structurally, consider reupholstering it. Choose the type and design of fabric that will give your furniture the look you're going for.  

If you're innovative, you could think of ways to repurpose old furniture. Put a piece of furniture to a different use, for instance, or disassemble it, then reassemble some of the parts to create something new.  

2. Donate or recycle it

Keep in mind that your trash could be someone else's treasure. Your couch may no longer match your wallpaper, but it might be perfect for someone else's den. Your old stool may no longer be serviceable, but you can turn it into something else just as useful.  

Rather than throwing away your old furniture, consider giving it a second chance by donating it to a charity or resale shop. A tax-deductible receipt is frequently the preferred mode of payment for donations, so this can be an advantage for you.  

If you can't deliver your donation yourself, look for local pick-up services that can transport your donated furniture to your chosen charity. You could also look at donation organization websites relevant to your area to identify charities that will pick up your discarded furniture for free. Donation Town is one such organization, with a network of volunteers in the U.S. and Canada. 

Another alternative is to post your unwanted furniture on websites like Freecycle, a global network, where you can arrange for its pick-up with someone who wants it. It's also possible to make donation pick-up arrangements with a Salvation Army store if you live in the U.S., or a Goodwill store if you live in the U.S. or Canada. 

You may also want to donate your used furniture to a local animal shelter. The furniture can be dismantled and recycled into litter boxes and animal beds. Donating your old furniture to shelters instead of dumping it in the garbage is a great way to help homeless and disabled animals and help reduce environmental waste at the same time.  

3. Post it online

Use social media to make some quick money or get something else that you want. Try posting on Craigslist or joining your town's local Facebook swap page or trade network, and list the furniture items that you'd like to get rid of. Swapping and trading are simple ways to get involved in the circular economy.  

Two things to remember if you take this option: Make sure the furniture you offer for swap or sale can still be used or repurposed. And keep an eye on your private messages when using social media platforms since interesting information can spread quickly. 

4. Resell like the pros

A yard sale or garage sale is an excellent way to get rid of things you don't need anymore. As with the online posting option, be sure the furniture you put up for sale is still usable. Remember also that this option will need the most effort on your part, and you may need to obtain a permit and promote the sale. Ask friends or family members to assist you with the labeling, pricing, and promotion processes.  

5. Host an estate sale

Consider holding an estate sale if your old furniture qualifies as antique (a hundred years old or more). If you take this option, it may be best to have professionals in the field handle the process for you.  


We have looked at ways to get rid of your old furniture in an environmentally-friendly way. Your options range from making the furniture reusable or new again to donating it and selling or trading it. Choose what works for you and make the most of your choice.

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