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Scrap It: A Junk Removal Plan That Works

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You’ve read up on all the best methods for decluttering, you’ve got your handy list of items you’re going to ditch or donate, and you’ve checked off everything on your spring cleaning checklist. Yet, inevitably, you’re left with one or two hulking pieces you just don’t know what to do with. They might be old, they may be broken, they may just not fit your new design aesthetic. What they are is junk. 

So what do you do with them? Just toss that old couch or mattress to the curb, in the rain, with a hastily scrawled FREE sign taped to it? Don’t be that neighbor. You do have options to donate, recycle, or dispose of junk furniture responsibly — and those options are based entirely on the condition of the piece.

Donating Used Furniture or Appliances

This is a first and best option for parting with junk furniture or appliances. There are people who would be glad to have furniture or working appliances you’re parting with, and it’s better than adding more to the landfill.

For donations, pieces typically have to meet some basic standards for continued use:

  • They’re not broken and don’t need significant repairs
  • Upholstered furniture shouldn’t have stains, bad smells, rips, or tears
  • Wood shouldn’t have any major damage to surfaces
  • There should be no known infestations with bed bugs or mildew
  • Appliances should work and have no water damage or cracks
  • Mattresses must be in exceptional or new condition (many donation centers won’t take them, no matter the condition, so be sure to double check in advance)

Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, and the Salvation Army are great options for donating furniture and working appliances. But you’ll want to call in advance or check their website to see if they’re accepting what you’re hoping to donate and if there are any special requirements for the furniture’s condition.

Recycling Used Furniture or Appliances

Your community or country recycling center is the first, best place to check whether your piece of furniture or appliance qualifies for recycling. They often have clear rules stated online for what they’ll accept, and whether they charge any fees for accepting over-sized items. Some appliances, like refrigerators, contain coolant or other chemicals that require special handling.  Mattresses, which can be complicated to donate, are often good candidates for recycling. If your local recycling center won’t accept them, they will often point you toward other community resources for mattress recycling. And, bonus, these organizations often also accept furniture donations, which is helpful if you have a few items you need to part with.  

Where to Throw Away Furniture or Appliances

If you’ve exhausted your options for donating and recycling, your furniture’s condition beyond what anyone will buy or accept for free, or your appliance is totally busted and dead, the dump may be your best option. If you’re dealing with furniture, you’ll want to break down the piece as much as possible, throwing away cushions, drawers or bulky and heavy pieces of wood in your own trash bin. This will minimize the size and weight of the item you’re throwing away, and will likely save you on fees. For appliances, consider removing drawers, lids, doors and other items that may also add to the weight.

Your next step is to coordinate with your local garbage utility. Many cities offer pickup for a fee but often have limits to what they’ll take, and will not remove larger items without special (and complicated) appointments. Clear — even courteous — communication is rarely a priority.

So if you want the job done quickly, efficiently, and affordably, you’re left to fend for yourself, and figure out options for removing junk furniture or appliances from your home or apartment. Most of us don’t own trucks large enough to remove the larger furniture and appliances the companies we initially purchased from delivered to us long ago. And when is the last time you tried to deconstruct IKEA furniture and put it back into your car? Yeah — we thought so.

In the past, this is the point where you sucked it up, rented a local truck, and drove to the dump yourself. Now, there’s an easier way to get it done.

Junk Removal Services

Thankfully, you just don’t have to do that anymore. Junk removal is now easier than ever. And many companies are out there – but their services and service models aren’t often well suited for picking up one or two items. They charge minimum costs, require space minimums on their trucks, and often require lengthy account set-up processes — like phone consultations and on-site visits — before you can book a job. Total overkill for a last-minute decision to part with junk furniture or appliances, and prohibitively expensive to boot.  

Ideally, you want a company that can handle:

  • On-demand pickups of single items, or single items plus an additional box of junk, the day you decide to part with them,
  • Offer minimal time windows that work for you (even on weekends)
  • Advanced pricing so you don’t experience sticker shock after your furniture is on the truck.
  • Clear communications from booking your service through to the job’s completion.

We designed Dolly for this exact reason — because we’ve been there and done that with moving. We get it: most of the time, when it comes to parting with your furniture and appliances, or clearing a garage of a few boxes of assorted junk, you haven’t planned days or weeks in advance. You need help when you need it, and as affordably as possible. And we can hook you up.

But don’t take our word for it: get Dolly. We’ll give you a quick quote for junk removal, and put you in touch with one our professional Helpers who’ll schedule a pickup at the best time that works for you. Then, we’ll get that junk furniture or appliance off your hands same day. 

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