Help me get rid of some old furniture.
December 18, 2011 10:03 AM   Subscribe

What is the easiest way to get rid of old furniture?

I'm in an apartment in a decent sized city in the U.S. I'm moving to a new apartment soon, and I'm thinking of getting some new things -- maybe a new bed, desk, and small kitchen table. What I have now is basic Ikea stuff that is in fine shape and is not broken.

I understand one option is Salvation Army, and they may be available to come pick stuff up. I know Craigslist is out there, but arranging everything sounds like it could be a hassle. I'm not really worried about making money selling stuff -- I just want this to be easy for me.

Are there any other options? Can anyone share their personal experience with how things went?
posted by J. Wilson to Home & Garden (21 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Put it out on the curb. It will disappear.
posted by carmicha at 10:06 AM on December 18, 2011 [10 favorites] is one possible option.
posted by yoink at 10:08 AM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]

I probably should have clarified -- I'm in a big apartment building that's set off a little, and there's no immediately adjacent curb where I've seen people leaving furniture before. So I don't really know for sure, but dragging stuff down to the curb might not be a great option.
posted by J. Wilson at 10:11 AM on December 18, 2011

At least in my town, the local Habitat for Humanity group will pick up donations.
posted by Hither at 10:14 AM on December 18, 2011

Try calling the Salvation Army. They do pickups in my area.
posted by runningwithscissors at 10:23 AM on December 18, 2011

I've found it easier to use the craigslist 'for free' section than freecycle. I just put up a posting, and say the address where its on the curb, and when I notice its gone, pull the posting. The item is usually gone very quickly, within a few hours, at least in this university town. If there's no curb, I imagine it would work almost as well to have them come to your apartment, if that doesn't skeeve you out too much.

Whereas with freecycle, I had to join a mailing list, wait to get approved to post on the mailing list, send the post, and then repeat the whole process. Because the admins for my local group, for whatever reason, expect you to put something up every day, and kick you out if you don't.
posted by Hither at 10:25 AM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

I put an ad on craigslist saying I'd be around for the next few hours. Put my address and said first come gets it. Everything was gone in a few hours. I refused to hold anything. Make appointments. Nothing. I said as soon as anything was taken I'd take down the ad right away and I did. It worked perfectly.
posted by whoaali at 10:30 AM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

GoodWill will also come and pick up stuff like that.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:33 AM on December 18, 2011

As an alternative to the Salvation Army, you might also want to check around at smaller, local or regional thrift stores. They may be more flexible/accommodating. When I moved back to Cincinnati from Boston, I was able to schedule a specific time with a smaller thrift store for them to come out to my place, pick up furniture I didn't want, and give me proper documentation for donation-related tax purposes. It was a breeze and required about 20 whole minutes total of my life.
posted by LittleKnitting at 10:34 AM on December 18, 2011

Given that it's a big building, what about putting a sign in your elevator, by the mailboxes, near the garage entrance or other high traffic area/specially designated bulletin board?
posted by carmicha at 10:49 AM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Are you hiring movers? I had movers once who were more than happy to take my kitchen table and chairs when offered.
posted by mochapickle at 10:54 AM on December 18, 2011

Seconding Craigslist free listings. A whirlwind will descend upon you, likely within an hour, and leave with your unwanted furniture.
posted by TheRedArmy at 11:22 AM on December 18, 2011

Are you willing to pay for easy? Last time I moved, I paid these guys to come and get rid of everything -- and I mean everything -- I didn't want to take with me. They took away an eleven-year accumulation of broken stuff and not broken stuff and I didn't have to lift a finger. Then they swept up the entire apartment.

I'm in San Francisco, but your city may have a similar service.
posted by trip and a half at 12:21 PM on December 18, 2011

Nthing Craigslist free section. Put it outside and put a listing up with the address of where the free furniture is. State in your ad that it's first come, first serve and that you won't hold anything for anyone. It will be gone within the hour. Take the ad down when everything is gone. It's easy and hassle free.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 1:04 PM on December 18, 2011

As a professional organizer, I find that the biggest external obstacle my clients often face is finding an easy way to get the things they DON'T want out of their space easily and inexpensively.

While relatively few charitable associations do pick-ups these days (compared to ten years ago), two options that work very well for my clients are Habitat for Humanity Re-Stores and area furniture banks. Your profile doesn't indicate where you're located, so the quickest way to check what's available to you is the list at the National Furniture Bank Association web page.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 3:07 PM on December 18, 2011

A lot of large apartment buildings have an internal equivalent of the curb. It may or may not be sanctioned by the administration, but chances are there's a known spot by the dumpsters or across from the elevator doors in the basement or what have you where furniture is left and taken. Do you know anyone who's been in your building a while, whom you could ask?
posted by d. z. wang at 7:15 PM on December 18, 2011

Is your city Chicago? If so, private-message me and I may come pick up a bunch of it within a day or two. I've just moved in to a totally unfurnished apartment and need things free or cheap. That's easy, no?

Otherwise, nthing Craigslist, especially the "free" section (if you want it out of there pronto).
posted by aintthattheway at 7:16 PM on December 18, 2011

In our city, the Association of Retarded Citizens (yes, I know, the name predates political correctness and it's a terrific organization) will take donated furniture to furnish homes for disabled folks who are able to live outside an institution.

Also, if there is a refugee resettlement organization in your area (it's Catholic Charities in our neck of the woods, but I think the agencies vary), they will also be happy to take your stuff.
posted by elizeh at 8:51 PM on December 18, 2011

If you use Craigslist, I find it's better to charge a small amount like 5 or 10 bucks. The word "free" brings out the crazies.
posted by w0mbat at 1:12 AM on December 19, 2011

The word "free" brings out the crazies.

You don't have to deal with anyone when you post to the Craigslist free section. All you have to do is put the stuff out on a curb, make a post with the address where stuff is, state that it's first come first serve, and the stuff will be gone probably within the hour. Remove the post and you're done without having to deal with one single person.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 7:01 AM on December 19, 2011

Garage Sale with flyers at key locations.
posted by pakora1 at 11:13 AM on August 13, 2012

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