How to Get Rid of Old Furniture Like a Pro: 5 Doable Ways

Brad Smith
Written By Brad Smith
how to get rid of old furniture like a pro

Disposing of outdated furniture is a crucial step in decluttering, relocating, or simply updating the look of your living space. 

Recent advice from a variety of sources highlights both traditional and innovative approaches to responsibly getting rid of furniture, which can also benefit others or the environment. 

For example, local antique or vintage shops may take furniture on consignment or as a donation, particularly if it suits their style. 

Charitable organizations such as Goodwill and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore offer a socially responsible outlet for donating lightly used furniture, with the potential bonus of a tax deduction.

Recycling remains a practical solution for disposing of furniture made of metal or plastic, despite the challenges posed by the varied materials used in furniture construction. 

Upcycling has become a favorite activity for DIY enthusiasts, transforming old furniture into new, usable items. 

For those who prefer a less involved method, hiring professional furniture removal services or junk haulers provides an easy way to dispose of furniture, though costs can fluctuate based on the volume and size of the items. 

Moreover, selling unneeded furniture through online marketplaces like Craigslist or eBay can free up space and possibly generate some extra income, even if the speed of sale is uncertain.

For residents in Melbourne needing to dispose of old furniture, enlisting the help of removalists in Melbourne can offer a convenient and efficient solution tailored to your specific needs, ensuring a professional experience in managing the disposal or relocation of your furniture.

Local Antique or Vintage Stores

The landscape of local antique, vintage, and consignment stores is as diverse and intriguing as the items they house. 

ShowroomFinder has connected people with over 5,000 unique shopping destinations across the United States, emphasizing the variety and unique character each store brings to its community. These stores offer a wide array of items from various periods and styles, including art, clothing, collectibles, furniture, and more, catering to the tastes of collectors, decorators, and casual shoppers alike.

Nashville, for instance, is a treasure trove for vintage and consigned pieces, boasting shops that offer curated selections of vintage clothing, accessories, shoes, and home goods. 

The city’s vibrant scene is complemented by stores such as Anaconda Vintage, Black Shag, and High-Class Hillbilly, each known for its unique collection and thematic focus, from Americana and Western-themed wares to vintage concert tees. 

Similarly, Minneapolis offers a rich array of antique shopping experiences. Shops like Bella Galleria and Michael’s Lamp Studio cater to specific niches, offering antique furniture, jewelry, and an assault on the visual senses with an extensive collection of antique lighting. 

This varied landscape not only provides a haven for antique enthusiasts but also supports sustainable shopping practices by giving new life to old items.

Donating to a Charity

Donating to charity is not only a way to support causes you care about but also can offer tax benefits, provided you follow certain guidelines. 

It’s essential to donate to organizations recognized by the IRS as tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) to qualify for a tax deduction. 

Before donating, verify the charity’s status using tools like the IRS Exempt Organizations Select Check tool to ensure your contribution is tax-deductible. 

Remember, contributions exceeding 60% of your adjusted gross income may be subject to limits, but excess amounts might be carried over into future tax returns.

Goodwill Industries International exemplifies how donated goods can impact communities, with over 107 million donations received across the U.S. and Canada last year. 

These donations support their mission by funding employment training and job placement services. When donating, it’s recommended to use staffed donation centers to ensure your contributions support non-profit groups. 

Donors should keep the receipt for tax purposes, as the IRS requires you to value your donation when filing your tax return.

Recycling Old Furniture

Recycling old furniture is a multifaceted process that not only aids in decluttering your living space but also plays a significant role in environmental conservation. 

The core principle behind furniture recycling involves the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, aiming to divert items away from landfills and reduce pollution. 

Furniture comes in various materials, including metal, wood, fabric, and plastic, each requiring different recycling methods. For instance, metal components can be scrapped and melted down for reuse, while wooden pieces might be repurposed or used as kindling. 

When recycling, it’s crucial to remove all personal items and determine the base material of your furniture to decide the appropriate disposal method.

The environmental benefits of recycling furniture are manifold, ranging from reducing pollution and conserving resources to decreasing waste and deforestation. 

Landfills, which are significant sources of methane—a potent greenhouse gas—can be spared from the burden of discarded furniture, thus mitigating climate change impacts. 

Moreover, recycling conserves valuable resources by reducing the demand for new materials and energy required for manufacturing. 

From an economic perspective, recycling furniture can save money, as purchasing upcycled or second-hand pieces often costs a fraction of new items. 

Additionally, recycling creates jobs in the sorting, cleaning, and repair sectors, further supporting local economies and contributing to a circular economy.

Donating Furniture to Charity

Donating furniture to charity is a beneficial way to support those in need while also being environmentally responsible. 

Many national and local charities offer free pickup services for furniture donations, making the process convenient for donors. Habitat for Humanity ReStores, for example, accepts a wide range of donations including furniture, appliances, and building materials. 

Donations are sold in their stores with proceeds supporting the organization’s mission to build affordable housing. They offer pickup services for large items, making it easier for donors to contribute without the hassle of transporting bulky items.

Other charities like Goodwill and The Salvation Army also provide free furniture pickup and sell donated items in their thrift stores to support various social programs. 

The Salvation Army, known for its comprehensive aid programs, accepts large appliances and furniture, and you can easily schedule a pickup online or drop off items at their locations. 

It’s important to check with your local branches as policies regarding acceptable donations may vary. Additionally, specialized organizations like The Furniture Bank distribute donated items directly to families in need, although availability and specific pickup policies can vary by location.

Finding Free Disposal Options

Finding free disposal options for various items, including appliances, dirt, and even getting free compost, has become easier thanks to various programs and community initiatives. 

For instance, the EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) Program partners with retailers to offer free recycling of old fridges, freezers, and other appliances when you buy a new ENERGY STAR model. 

This program ensures that harmful chemicals are properly disposed of and the recyclable materials are recovered, reducing the environmental impact.

For those dealing with soil or construction debris, options such as contacting local landscaping or construction companies might provide a free disposal solution. 

These companies often require clean dirt for their projects and might be willing to pick up your surplus soil at no cost. Additionally, cities sometimes offer “free dump days” allowing residents to dispose of large amounts of waste, including soil, without a fee. 

This initiative helps reduce landfill waste and supports local recycling and composting efforts.

Moreover, for gardening enthusiasts looking to enrich their soil without the added expense, municipal compost programs offer a viable solution. 

Many cities collect yard waste and kitchen scraps, turning them into compost, which is then made available to residents free of charge. 

This not only supports local gardening efforts but also diverts organic waste from landfills, contributing to a more sustainable waste management system.

Each of these options not only helps individuals and businesses dispose of waste responsibly but also contributes to environmental conservation efforts. 

Whether recycling old appliances, finding a new purpose for cleaning dirt, or enriching your garden with free compost, these initiatives offer practical solutions for reducing waste and supporting community sustainability efforts.

The Last Resort: Dumping

In the agricultural sector, the decision to discard or dump products, such as crops or milk, is seen as a measure of last resort. 

This decision often stems from dire circumstances, such as significant disruptions in the supply chain or drastic drops in demand, which were notably exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Idaho, for example, the shutdown of food service channels like restaurants and cafeterias led to a surplus of agricultural commodities, including milk, potatoes, and onions. 

Despite farmers’ efforts to donate the surplus to food banks, logistical and economic challenges sometimes made this impossible, leaving destruction as the only viable option to prevent further financial loss. 

This situation highlights the complex challenges faced by farmers, where market forces can lead to the difficult decision to destroy products they’ve worked hard to cultivate.

Another instance of last-resort dumping involved the emergency disposal of volatile chemicals at sea, authorized by South African authorities. 

This decision was made to prevent a larger environmental disaster, as attempting to remove the cargo conventionally was deemed too slow to extinguish a fire that had broken out. 

Despite concerns over the potential impact on marine life, especially considering the toxic nature of some chemicals involved, this action was viewed as necessary to avoid an even greater catastrophe. 

The incident underscores the tough choices sometimes required in environmental management, balancing immediate risks against long-term ecological impacts.

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Written by Brad Smith

CEO & Lead Interior Designer

Brad Smith is an experienced interior designer and the founder of With a Master's degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute and a passion for creating safe and healthy living spaces, Brad shares his expert insights and innovative design ideas with our readers. His work is driven by the belief that home is where every story begins.