What Do I Do With My Old Furniture?
I often get texts and emails from clients asking if I have any clients who could use a piece of furniture they are selling. The truth is, that pretty much never ever happens. My clients are typically looking for extremely high quality, new products. On the rare occasion they are looking for a used item, they'll hit up our local thrift stores or estate sales. It is not a part of the search that I am typically involved in.
However, because it means so much to me that we reduce waste, and there is a right place for everything... well, let's talk about what the options are for that old side table or beat up sofa.
It can be costly, and we don't get a shiny new piece out of it, but we get something much more valuable, nostalgia along with the knowledge that we didn't contribute to waste. Sometimes we outgrow a style or the piece just isn't a high enough quality to warrant repairs. But, for those that are worth the money and effort, this is definitely the most sustainable solution. Islanders: look at Phoenix Upholstery for reupholstering your project, Raven's Nest for re-envisioning furniture pieces (Owner, James may also be interested in buying or taking donations of old pieces), Northwest Refinishing to restore your wood pieces as well as kitchen and bathroom cabinets and other millwork.
2. Sell Locally
This is the option for those looking to make a few bucks off their old piece. It's not unusual where we are to find a buyer for your used items.
As a side note, while I don't think it's the best use of a designer's time to peruse the classifieds, I will happily look at your finds to see if they fit our plan. Keep in mind, however, that you're paying someone $150+ an hour to help find a bargain... it is a bit moot unless your priority is sustainability, not savings.
On Vashon, we have great resources to donate our used goods to Grannies and Keith Urban. Other resources include Goodwill (who will usually pick up!), Habitat for Humanity (again, they often pick up for gently used or new items).
Some items just aren't able to be sold or donated. Maybe there is too much damage and the other options just won't work. I know it is tempting and easy to load it up in a pickup and drop it in the trash, but please try to recycle it first. Angel's Junk Removal picks up in Seattle and will provide referrals for those outside the delivery area when they can. Consider organizing a neighborhood effort where several people can split the bill!
Now, I have to go into my Reduce, Reuse, Recycle speech, because I think it is so easy to look at reuse and recycling and we often forget the first R is REDUCE. Reducing our consumption is one great perk of working with a designer. We will work with you to buy right the first time. The best designs are when nothing more can be removed (not added). Consider taking minimalist approaches with your large furniture purchases, or any purchase for that matter. Make a plan before making a purchase and stick to the plan.
Waldron Designs is happy to refer you to wonderful organizers locally so that this reducing mentality can begin! And, remember... baby steps! This is actually not just a matter of buying less, it's a lifestyle change. Living minimally requires planning, consideration, and conversation (you know all those gifts that you don't end up using?).