On average, Americans tend to redecorate their living spaces every two to five years. That adds up to a lot of furniture being hauled in and out. All that furniture has to go somewhere, and if it doesn’t end up collecting dust in the garage, it tends to get tossed out. Over 9 million tons of furniture ends up in landfills each year, and that number continues to grow. But as a society, we’re becoming more aware of how household waste contributes to climate change and sustainability; it’s just that more often than not, we don’t include furniture in our efforts to create less waste.
As we update our homes and try to stay on trend, we tend to forget the impact that tossing out furniture has on the planet. The solution? Be more thoughtful with what you throw out and how you do it. At AptDeco, we think your home should evolve as often as you do, and believe there’s a sustainable way to do it. So whether you’re looking to donate, sell it or toss it, here are a few ways to make the most of your pre-loved pieces.
If your furniture is in good shape and you’re looking to redecorate, selling your furniture is the best option. Resale marketplaces are becoming more popular, meaning people are potentially looking for the exact item you’re hoping to offload, meaning you can cash in quickly! Various online marketplaces offer different benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to pick one that works best for you.
We might be biased, but we love AptDeco for quickly selling pre-owned furniture. If you’re looking to do as little work as possible to get rid of your item (disassembling, haggling, scheduling), AptDeco is your spot. You can sell your furniture to verified buyers, have our delivery team pick up and disassemble the item for you, and deal with scheduling and payment completely online. The service also includes a free pricing tool that helps you determine the best price for your piece based on age, wear and brand name. When we say hassle-free, we mean it. We also focus on top brands and vintage finds, so the quality of what you’ll find on the site tends to be higher. Try it out. It only takes 2 minutes to list!
Other furniture marketplaces we can get behind?
Chairish—for your antiques and one-of-a-kind items. If you have a truly unique item that needs to be appraised then this is a great place to sell it.
Facebook Marketplace—similar to Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace is very do-it-yourself. You can sell your items quickly and find some serious deals, but be prepared for haggling and lots of back and forth.
LetGo—you’ll find a little bit of everything on this site. While AptDeco tends to focus on furniture and home decor, you can sell everything under the sun on LetGo.
If your furniture has had some serious wear or you don’t have the time to wait for it to sell, donating is the next best option. Thankfully, there are plenty of places to give your pre-loved furniture a second life. Our top recommendation is Housing Works. Housing works is NYC-based, and they offer to pick up furniture for free, which let’s be honest is 90% of the battle. Salvation Army will also pick up large items for free, however, their service is well-known so there can be a long wait at times. Goodwill is also a great option if you’re looking to donate your furniture. Unlike Salvation Army and Housing Works, there is a fee for pick up, but it’s still a great option if you’re looking to donate!
Last up? Discarding your furniture. We’re sure you’ve walked outside and seen a mattress or sofa perched on the curb. This is always an option, but there are a few things to know before you go this route. It’s the least eco-friendly option since your items will get taken straight to the landfill, but we get it, sometimes you have no choice but to pitch it. If you are stuck in this position, here are a few ways to make the most of discarding your items.
If you have more than one piece of furniture to get rid of or need to offload your furniture quickly, try enlisting the JunkLuggers. They’re a removal service committed to recycling and donating the items they pickup, helping to keep items out of landfills. There’s a fee to use the service, but they’ll take care of removing any unwanted items so you don’t have to do the heavy lifting.
Have no choice but to leave it on the curb? Add a note on your item letting passersby know that it’s free and workable. You can also send a photo to a local ‘street finds’ Instagram account so they can spread the word to locals in the area.
For Philly, try StoopingPHL.
For the San Francisco Bay Area, try Curb Alert SF
This gives the piece a chance to avoid the landfill, and if you live in a bigger city chances are someone might want it.
From here, depending on your address, there are certain collection dates that will apply to you. If you don’t want to deal with fines, be sure to Google your collection day. Specific items have rules (ex: mattresses should be wrapped because no one wants bed bugs). For more information about trashing large items, follow these links for NYC, Philly, and SF Bay.
The bottom line.
As long as your furniture is in decent shape, see if someone else can use it. Whether that’s donating it to one of the places listed above, or selling it to make a quick buck, you’re helping that piece of furniture avoid the landfill and letting someone enjoy your item just as much as you did.