Donate it? Drive it back to the shop? Deposit it by the roadside? How do you dispose of your used furniture?
It’s hard to get rid of the items that help make our space a home, especially when it’s still in working order.
It’s harder still when that item is physically larger than you. Not only do you have to pivot, twist, rotate and maneuver the item out of your home, you then have the logistical challenge of actually getting it to a new home and keeping it out of landfill.
I recently went through this when I purchased a new sofa. Our older sofa had been handed down between family members for long enough that it was practically an heirloom, and unfortunately we were the end of the line, so we’d have to find another option – and fast.
Given the size of a sofa’s carbon footprint – roughly 90kg, according to the Furniture Industry Research Association – and that my furniture still had years of life in it yet, I was determined for it not to end up in the bulky waste collection. So what’s the best way to give your furniture more life?
Donating or reselling
My usual avenue of getting rid of reusable items is via a local charity shop – especially useful if they’re able to collect it from me. Some of these, like the Reuse Network, Emmaus, or Recover, aim to actively repair and reuse the donated furniture, in some cases helping to employ and empower people in the process.
With some items I’ve also found it useful to resell online for local collection, or even give away via Freecycle.
I’d also been intrigued by IKEA’s furniture buyback scheme, where you can return fully-assembled furniture to IKEA for vouchers, with the item being resold in the bargain area. While my sofa wouldn’t be eligible, it may help rehome my older BILLYs and EXPEDITs.
Those were the usual options, but unfortunately it was an unusual time. The coronavirus restrictions in place at the time meant that each of these options would need to wait.
What options work for you?
In the end my neighbour ended up helping me out. It turns out their son had moved out to his first flat and was struggling to get furniture delivered for the same reason I was struggling to get rid of mine, so they ended up taking it off my hands later that day.
I’d be interested in hearing, if you’ve been in this situation, how do you get rid of your older bulky furniture? Are you happy for it to go in a waste collection, or will you go out of your way to repair, reuse, and rehome it somewhere else?
What other organisations do you know of that would take and reuse/repair/resell furniture?
Let’s have a chat in the comments.