Minnesota Furniture Removal
May 31, 2010 12:26 PM   Subscribe

Getting rid of old furniture. Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota.

Need to get a couple of items taken away. My only goal is not to have to spend much of my personal time, calories or hassle in getting rid of them. Selling is not a priority.

So what are my options? Donation, if someone will send over a couple of people to pick it up? If I buy something new, will the delivery guys haul away old stuff (like they do with appliances)? Can I pay someone to haul them away? Craigslist, etc. is a possibility, but my recent impressions of such places is that there can be a certain weirdo factor involved, particularly with free stuff.

Also, this is the City of Minneapolis proper, so dealing with the intricacies of city garbage collection ("soup nazi" garbage guys--fantastic when things work, terrors when they don't) is welcome, too.

Thanks--and answers that are not specifically good for me may be good for someone else. Keeping it general is okay.
posted by gimonca to Home & Garden (13 answers total)
Put them on Craigslist with photos and mention that the buyer needs to get them out of your house. If they don't sell in a few days put them on Craigslist and Freecycle with the mention of needing removal.
posted by k8t at 12:38 PM on May 31, 2010

I think the Craigslist experience must be different in every city. When living in Austin that was the best way to go when selling cheep or giving things away. When I was in DC it didn't work so well, maybe people hadn't discovered yet; that was long ago. This was especially true if you had a sidewalk where you could just set free things out. It was usually gone in a day, and you never had to deal with anyone at all.

Also donation centers very from place to place in when and what they will pick up (it depends on what the local landfills charge them I think.), but most want things like table and chairs. Most don't want 'soft goods', ie stuffed chairs and mattresses due to the processing cost though. Certainly worth calling and asking because, unlike Craigslist, you know it will help someone that needs the help.

Lots of mattresses stores brag about taking the old one for free, and with a mattresses that might be an advantage.
posted by Some1 at 12:47 PM on May 31, 2010

I once had to get rid of almost the entire contents of my house on short notice. I offered up the pieces on Craigslist for free, said buyer had to come get them and everything was gone within a week. I don't know if I had a magical Craigslist experience or what, but I experienced no weirdos or flakes. I was also explicit on what times I'd be available for people to come by, and didn't negotiate the times. I was in St. Paul proper when this happened.
posted by Zosia Blue at 1:01 PM on May 31, 2010

Here in San Francisco, my brother-in-law offered a free (working) refrigerator a few years ago on Craigslist, and got no bites/nothing but flakes. When he put it up again, specifying that whoever got there first with a six pack of beer in exchange for the fridge got the fridge, someone showed up very shortly thereafter, with the beer.
posted by rtha at 1:01 PM on May 31, 2010

My experience with giving things away (on sites like Craigslist or Freecycle) has been, as you noted possible, filled with "the weirdo factor".

I discovered that if you offer things for even ridiculously low prices ($20 for a couch in good condition) that it cuts on the weirdos and no-shows considerably. In many cases when individuals come to pick stuff up I have opted to give the items to them for free. Some have been eternally grateful, others have insisted on paying for the item despite my offer.
posted by labwench at 1:13 PM on May 31, 2010

posted by LokiBear at 1:20 PM on May 31, 2010

Salvation Army is usually the best bet if you don't have a problem with their politics. I have had them pick up used furniture at my house in St Paul with no problem. They obviously won't take it if it's completely destroyed because the point is to sell it at their stores, but they'll take most stuff.

You do need to schedule in advance, though, and sometimes it can take a few days for them to have an opening.
posted by lunasol at 1:30 PM on May 31, 2010

Best answer: The city of Minneapolis will pick up two large items per trash day for free. Just leave them next to your trash. They won't pick it up with the normal trash, but they'll make a note of it, and be back the next day. No muss, no fuss, no soup-nazis.

The only exception is if you live near the University of Minnesota (in Marcy-Holmes, SEComo or Prospect Park neighbornoods), in which case next week's pickup will still have a restriction on large items due to student move-out.
posted by DaveP at 1:46 PM on May 31, 2010

I put several working tvs out on my carriage walk (the official Mpls city term for the 'tree lawn'), and they were gone within 5 minutes. The 2 working CRTs didn't move in 3 days. So YMMV. CL free section is also plenty good here. (I'm in Powderhorn fwiw).

I also echo the "cheap, but non-zero" price thing for getting rid of flakes, especially if they have to enter your house.
posted by gregglind at 1:48 PM on May 31, 2010

Depending on how easy it is to get the stuff out to the curb I've never had any piece of furniture last longer than an hour with a "free" sign attached.
posted by MsMolly at 1:49 PM on May 31, 2010

Depending on what it is there might be some interest from Twin Cities Maker at the Hack Factory. We do have a lounge to furnish. If you are interested you could try posting on the forums at tcmaker.org.
posted by noise_is_life at 2:40 PM on May 31, 2010

Best answer: The Lupus Foundation will pick up household items for free. There might be a size limit but I know they make accommodations for larger items. Call 651-748-0400 or go here to schedule a pick-up.
posted by ramenopres at 9:24 PM on May 31, 2010

My family (SW suburbs near Minnetonka) has had bad luck with Craigslist. The Goodwill in Hopkins will take most kinds of furniture if you drop it off. We also sent a lot of stuff through Lupus.

The cool thing about Goodwill is that, at least in the Twin Cities, they really do make use of everything. Some things would stay in Hopkins, others were sent to a big sorting facility to go to other Goodwill stores and other organizations that had more specialized markets or needs. They also provide a number of jobs to people who otherwise wouldn't have them (special needs, post-rehab, etc). I can't speak for other Goodwills but this one is good people.
posted by whatzit at 3:23 AM on June 1, 2010

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