You’ve had that couch since college, and though you hate to admit it, it’s time to bid it adieu. Outgrowing a beloved piece of furniture can have you laser-focused on replacing it with something equally as amazing, so much so that you forget you actually have to remove the old piece from your home.
For larger items (beds, sofas, sectionals), it’s not as easy as tossing it on the curb or dropping it off at a donation center. These pieces require hauling away in a large truck or van. There may also be local ordinances about when and how furniture can be thrown away or recycled.
Let’s talk about options for old furniture and ways you can save it from the furniture graveyard (or a landfill).
Because we have the luxury of being able to buy virtually anything we need without even leaving our homes, it’s easy to simply replace a piece of furniture that might still have plenty of life left.
If you have a piece of furniture that’s made with quality materials, it may be possible to have it repaired. Check your furniture’s frame to see how it is made.
- Furniture made from wood and fastened with wood screws or nails can likely be repaired. A furniture repair shop can examine your piece and let you know if a repair is possible.
- Furniture made from a thin metal frame and joined with staples may be less repairable and may not be worth the effort or cost.
If you have an antique piece of furniture made from solid wood, you can likely have the piece refurbished without damaging the structure of the frame.
More often than not, the reason we consider disposing of furniture isn’t because it is broken, but because it is old and somewhat outdated in appearance. Styles change, and if you’ve been holding on to a particular piece that was trendy two decades ago, it’s definitely time to update the style.
To determine if your furniture can be updated, there are a few details to consider:
- Is the piece structurally sound? The frame should be in good shape, with no damage that could make it unusable. If there is damage, can it be repaired? If not, it’s probably best not to attempt to update it.
- Is the structure of the piece able to be updated? Some pieces of furniture have shapes that are so stylistically specific a simple coat of paint, or new upholstery won’t make them current enough to fit your tastes.
- Are the cost and effort worth it? If your furniture is already on its last leg, it may not be worth the investment of time and money to update it, especially if you won’t get much additional use.
Plenty of companies offer reupholstering services, and updating furniture is something you can also attempt on your own. If updating doesn’t work for you, consider upcycling.
Upcycling refers to giving an older item new life by reassigning its purpose. Upcycling can involve taking apart a piece of furniture and using the parts and fabrics in another project or making a piece of furniture that was designed for one use into a piece designed for another use.
If you don’t think you can use your furniture but still believe it’s in good shape, consider repurposing it into something else that you can use. A curio cabinet can have the doors removed and be upcycled into a storage shelf. An old desk may be able to be converted to an accent table.
It goes without saying, donating your old furniture items is an easy way to get them off your hands and help out those who are less fortunate. However, you’ll need to arrange to have a donation center come and collect the items you donate if you can’t deliver them yourselves.
Many pieces of furniture are simply too large to fit in your car or trunk. However, many well-known donation stores also offer pick-up, making it as easy as a phone call to arrange the removal of your old furniture.
You can also contact The Furniture Bank Network for local charities that collect gently used furniture for people in need.
You may not want it, but chances are someone else might. Social media networks are fantastic places to buy, sell, and trade your old furniture pieces. Have a particular new furniture piece you’ve been saving for? Sell your old furniture and use the money to invest in the new piece.
Make sure you follow all recommended guidelines for selling furniture on the network you use. Unfortunately, these types of selling forums have become a popular avenue for scammers.
Dispose of it Properly
Sometimes you just can’t salvage a piece of old furniture. You could be dealing with furniture that is infested with a pest or covered in deep down stains of unknown origins that can’t be cleaned. When your old furniture is of no use to you or anyone else, proper disposal is in order.
Most municipalities have specific days assigned for leaving large items, like furniture, curbside for pickup.
However, if you can’t find information where you live, try contacting your local government to learn how your municipality organizes recycling and proper disposal. If there’s any possible way to recycle your furniture and keep it out of a landfill, they’ll be able to help you find that resource.
When To Say Goodbye
Maybe you aren’t sure if your furniture needs to be salvaged or scrapped. Here are three tips to help you decide if your furniture is worth saving or if it’s time to say goodbye.
1. When It’s Dangerous
Sofas that sag, box springs that are no longer springy, and chairs that have wobbly legs may be able to be repaired, but if you’ve tried to find a professional to handle the job and been turned away, chances are it’s time to get rid of the piece.
Many pieces can become a hazard when they begin to break down, so disposing of them is the best and safest option.
2. When It Doesn’t Fit
Moving into a new space can create the need for different furnishings. Your dining room table may have fit perfectly in your one-bedroom apartment, but now that you live in a larger home, it may feel inadequate for the space.
No amount of refinishing or reupholstering can make a piece larger or smaller, so if it doesn’t fit your room, it’s time to let it go.
3. You Can’t Update It
If you don’t have the resources to update a piece when it’s necessary, or you simply don’t want to take the time, then scrap it and start over. Some furniture items are hard to update, and if upcycling isn’t your thing, then donating the item and starting fresh is the best option.
Picking Timeless Pieces
You can save yourself the trouble of deciding what to do with old, outdated furniture by simply making more careful buying decisions. When you purchase new furniture, try to avoid extremely trendy pieces that may only last a few years.
A better option is to select pieces that:
- Fit your space
- Meet your needs
- Have timeless elegance
- Feature neutral tones
- Are constructed with durable and attractive materials
Modloft is your go-to solution for modern pieces that have purpose and style. We combine form and function to create elegantly understated pieces that easily flow with practically any decorative approach.
At Modloft, you’ll find our pieces are made from unexpected materials like concrete and steel. We combine these industrial elements with soft fabrics, comfortable upholstery, and unexpected patterns to deliver furniture that is unique and captivating.
Our designers are obsessed with creating art through their pieces. You’ll love the attention to detail and flawless execution of each piece.
Our pieces are built to last. We believe when you surround yourself with beautiful and intentional things, you’ll create a beautiful and intentional life. Life unfolds in years, and our pieces are crafted to stand the test of time. From the selection of materials we use to the construction, you’ll be impressed with the longevity of our furniture.
Out With the Old…
There are numerous options for your older furniture pieces, but when it’s time to let it go, don’t be afraid to say goodbye. Modloft offers furniture that is accessible, long-lasting, and able to fill the space your older pieces leave behind.
Embrace the change, and opt for clean lines, exceptional durability, and unmistakable style with Modloft.
The Furniture Bank Network | Your resource for Furniture Banks in North America
How to Buy Furniture Online (Without Any Regrets) | Better Homes and Gardens
How to Upcycle Furniture: 11 Ideas for Repurposing Furniture | MasterClass