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How to donate used furniture & who picks it up?

Updated December 15, 2016

When you get new furniture, don't simply toss your old furniture out with the trash. You may no longer want it, but maybe someone else would be glad to have your old couch or recliner. Fortunately, donating your used furniture isn't difficult--there are many ways to go about giving it a second life.

Ask friends and family members if they want the furniture, or if they know of someone who might. People on a tight budget, like college students, may think that your used furniture is a first-class find. If you find someone who wants it, let him know that it's his responsibility to pick it up, unless you're willing to lend a hand delivering it.

Post an advertisement for your furniture online and in newspaper classifieds. Many websites, such as Craigslist.com or Freecycle.org, allow you to post items with no charge in their "Free" sections. Post a photograph along with the ad for the best results. Include contact information and whether moving the furniture will require a truck or van. If you prefer to post in paper classifieds, look for free community newspapers like "Pennysaver" and "The Green Sheet", which charge little or nothing to post ads in their lists of free items.

Call Goodwill, the Salvation Army or your local thrift store if no one has volunteered to take your used furniture. Make sure to specify that the furniture must be picked up so you don't get stuck having to deliver it. If donating to a charity, ask for a receipt so that you may deduct your donation at tax time. You may also want to look into lesser known charities, including the National Furniture Bank Association and Vietnam Veterans of America. Donating your used furniture can be an opportunity to contribute to causes near and dear to your heart.

Prepare your furniture for pickup. This may include a quick dusting or a thorough vacuuming. It's up to you--you don't have to do anything. You may also want to move the furniture close to your front door or bring it outside so that it's easily accessible.

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About the Author

Cynthia Gomez has been writing and editing professionally for more than a decade. She is currently an editor at a major publishing company, where she works on various trade journals. Gomez also spent many years working as a newspaper reporter. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northeastern University.