Dear PoPville – Tips for Getting Rid of Large Furniture

Photo by PoPville flickr user pablo.raw

“Dear PoPville,

I am moving in a few weeks and have some furniture that I need to get rid of. While some of it will sell on Craigslist, I am wondering what to do with whatever does not sell. I have looked into the Department of Public Works’ Bulk Trash Collection, and they only pick up at single family homes or apartment buildings with three or less units, so I am out of luck there. I have also looked into donating certain items to the Salvation Army, but they are very picky – rightfully so – about the condition of certain items and some of my stuff won’t make the cut. Any tips?”

28 Comment

  • justinbc

    If you live in a high traffic area you’ll probably have success leaving it on the curb with a sign that says “free”. Just don’t leave it out too long (re: overnight) or it will become a hazard and you’ll get complaints.

    • And don’t put stuff out when there’s rain in the forecast. (This should be common sense, but some people seem to think that if they’ve put something out on the curb, they’ve absolved themselves of any further responsibility or obligation.)

    • If you do this, please bring it in after a day or two if it isn’t gone. My neighborhood is a mess of “free” furniture that clearly no one wants and has been abandoned by someone too lazy to schedule a bulk trash pick-up.

  • Rent a truck and take it to the Fort Totten Trash Transfer Station.

  • Do you have a dresser for sale? Sort of looking for one for the future baby’s room.

  • Fort Totten Transfer Station!

  • Doesn’t Craigslist have a free section? And what about Freecycle? If your primary goal is getting rid of stuff – as opposed to getting a bit of cash back — those could be options.

    • +1 for Freecycle, it’ll be gone in days. Or do a curb alert on CL.

    • +1 put it on free and specify that they move. I’ve never had trouble with a good ad (3 pictures and a solid description – measurements are greatly appreciated) of getting rid of things within the weekend.

    • Agreed on Craigslist free section. I’ve gotten rid of some really random stuff that way – an enormous mirror that was left behind in the house when I moved in and two rolls of carpet leftover from carpet installation in the basement. So try that for anything that you don’t sell.

    • +1 Craigslist free section. Depending on what it is, you’ll get dozens of people trying to beat down your door to get it. You might need to coordinate with the person coming to pick up the item (unless you do a curb alert and just leave it outside) but it’s the best way to do it.

  • Fort Totten dump.

  • Dang, I want those chairs in the picture!

  • If it’s nice enough (i.e. structurally sound, no bugs), you can try donating it. I used A Wider Circle to get rid of a large wooden dresser a few years ago. The big benefit there was that they came to pick it up for me, since there’s no way I’d be able to get it out by myself. It was a nice piece, but definitely not pristine (lots of scratches, some intentional when I decided to scrawl my name on it with a straightpin as a child).
    Otherwise, like others have said, try Freecycle, the free section on CraigsList, or get a UHaul for an hour or two and take it to the Fort Totten transfer station. I’ve taken a lot of things there as well, usually goes pretty quickly, so you wouldn’t need a full-day rental. If you don’t have a car, there’s a UHaul in SW near the ballpark that is metro accessible.

  • I had an old sofa that was in decent shape but not great shape and I needed it gone in a hurry. I just posted on craigslist that I would give anyone who came to claim it $10. I figured that was easier than renting a truck myself. I wanted to pay instead of offer it for free because I didn’t want to the hassle of dealing with people who may have looked at it and decided not to take it. Two guys in a pretty beat up old van came within 20 minutes and 5 minutes after that I was couch free.

  • Mission of Love Charities, Inc. near Addison Road metro. I took my old couch there. They’ll take anything you have.
    6180 Old Central Ave
    Capitol Heights, MD 20743

  • Take it to the Central Mission (formerly of 14th and R st NW). They take everything. Seriously.

  • Before donating to Salvation Army, or any charity for that matter, make sure you understand what those charities support. The Salvation Army advocates for many things that lots of people would not support.

  • Do you live in an apartment building? Sounds like it. Have you talked to your building manager? They might be able to take care of it. For my building, we just have to tell the manager ahead of time and he arranges the bulk trash pick-up (from a designated area in the building, not from the apartment).

  • anonymouse_dianne

    When I was downsizing I used Junk-in-the-Trunk. They will come and pick up a truck’s full of stuff and work with charities to get the stuff donated. You don’t even have to be there. It costs, but you can get a tax deduction receipt.

  • 10+ years of putting stuff like this on Craigslist and it’s never let me down. Put it on the curb (in good weather!) and hit “post” the moment you do. It’s astounding what people will pick up for free and how quickly they’ll come and get it. Almost same thing applies if you can sell it for a few bucks, but then you have to be much more careful.

  • Dial 311 and schedule a large trash pick-up with the city.

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