The change of seasons often brings on the freshening of our spaces. Whether you are moving homes before the start of a new school year, hitting sales and buying new furniture, or taking inspiration from Marie Kondo’s de-cluttering advice by assessing what sparks joy, and gently thanking and removing what no longer goes, you may be with a dilemma: what should you do with your large, heavy wood furniture you might no longer want?
From large dressers and armoires, to bookshelves and china cabinets, more often than not, these pieces of furniture are older, sometimes sentimental, and very well-made. Commonly seen with well-made, quality pieces of furniture, the pieces are made out of hardwood, which comes from oak, maple, mahogany, teak, walnut, cherry and birch. Solid wood furniture, while beautiful and ageless, is just as well known for its weight – real wood furniture can be really heavy.
TNT Moving Systems sees a variety of outcomes when it comes to heavy, wood furniture. Do you move it to your next house, and hope that in a new room you’ll fall in love with the piece all over again? Can you drag it out it to the curb and bet on the slim chance that city waste management will haul it away, or hope a handful of neighbors might tag team the curbside piece and give it a new home? Is the only way to say goodbye to those no-longer wanted pieces is to rent a truck to take it to the dump, or pay for a service to get rid of it?
How do you dispose of giant, heavy, wood furniture that just does not fit in your trashcan? Is there any way to salvage the pieces that no longer spark joy in their original form? TNT Moving Systems will take you through some options and tips that can save you time, heartache, and the hassle of dealing with or trying to get rid of your bulky furniture (though, the be fair, any option is probably going to take some time and a bit of hassle – we are dealing with huge furniture, here!).
First things, first: Is it real wood furniture?
While time may be of the essence for those moving spaces and who do not want the hassle of bringing furniture along, it may be worth assessing the value of the piece of furniture first. Then, you can determine if it is worth selling, flipping, donating, or tossing.
How can I tell if my furniture is real wood or not?
This probably will not come as a surprise to most, but the first indicator of whether a piece is real wood is…weight! Solid wood furniture is heavy; if it seems pretty lightweight, it is probably not solid wood. Most modern, fast-furniture from stores like Ikea are made from particleboard, and not real wood. Real wood does not always equate a greater monetary value, especially if it comes in a slightly more outdated and bulkier style. However, if the piece is truly timeless and made from real wood, it could be worth assessing.
What if the furniture is antique?
Sometimes, you might discover that you are actually holding on to a truly vintage piece of furniture or an antique that has been handed down through the family for generations. If you are not sure whether an antique is truly an antique piece of furniture, pay for an expert opinion. You do not want to trash a true treasure, or refurnish a priceless antique, especially if its value lies in the original form.
Antiques are furniture typically aged at least 50 years, and fine antiques are generally furniture 150 years and older. In the United States, fine antique furniture is pretty limited to traditional English and American Colonial styles – we probably aren’t going to find a Queen Anne chair in our basement or attic. America typically considers antiques to be pieces of furniture that came across Appalachia in a wagon or a piece made before the Civil War. However, some genuine reproductions can be worth as much as the originals.
Early furniture was typically made from oak, and from 1700 on, mahogany and walnut were more widely used. American antique furniture was commonly made from pine since it was widely accessible and easy to work with, but you may also find maple, oak, walnut, cherry, and mahogany in antiques. Because the same woods were used in antiques that are used today, the best assessment of whether something is an antique can be determined from workmanship and finish—this is why consulting an expert is worth the cost!
It’s not an antique, but it might be worth something. What are my options to sell?
Here are some options
for selling that do not take any cut of your money, and let you facilitate how the sell goes (i.e. porch pick-up, bring your own truck and lifting crew, etc.)
- Facebook Marketplace
- Offer Up (previously, the Let Go app)
- Host a yard sale
- Auction off furniture
My furniture is not an antique and doesn’t assess for a worthwhile monetary value to sell. What if I just want my furniture gone NOW?
You might be thinking: At this point, I don’t care, I just want it gone! We definitely understand. What you probably do not want to hear is to take a second, and wait. Remember how we mentioned the Marie Kondo methods for de-cluttering? The part of the process after acknowledging an item no longer sparks joy is to thank the item for its service in your life. We can feel guilty when discarding items we’ve held onto for a long time, and thanking our belongings when we let them go can lessen our feelings of guilt. Another way to respectfully let our items go is to donate them!
If your furniture is in good, usable condition, and you don’t want the hassle of selling the item, then donating furniture is a great way to give your furniture a second chance on life, and reduce waste at the dump. One man’s junk can be another man’s treasure – and bulky real, wood furniture to you might be a hassle taking up too much space and too heavy to move, but could be life-altering, truly nice quality furniture pieces to others that may not be able to afford new furniture.
Where can I donate furniture that does pick-up in the Charlotte area?
- Salvation Army Truck – The Salvation Army, by appointment only, can bring a truck right out to your home for free pick-up. The items are then sold in Salvation Army stores, and some proceeds fund Adult Rehabilitation Centers. Call 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825) to schedule an appointment. Availability can vary by location.
- Crisis Ministry Furniture Bank – Crisis Ministry accepts furniture, mattresses, and appliances in good working condition at the Furniture Bank location only. Limited pickup is available for large furniture items at 704-371-3001, and scheduling can take up to two weeks depending on seasonal demand. Crisis Ministry has served over 20,000 families in the Charlotte region. As of August 2020, the Furniture Bank is closed to customers, donors, and volunteers due to COVID-19.
- Habitat for Humanity – Charlotte Region Restore – Habitat serves Charlotte by making homeownership a reality for families in our communities through the resale of donations to fund the construction and repair of homes. You can fill out a request form on their website to schedule a pick-up for larger items you’d like donated, and the Habitat Donations team will reach back out to you. If you have questions, you call to contact the Donations team at 704-392-4495.
- Beds for Kids – Beds for Kids accepts mattresses, furniture, and gently used bedding, and offers pick up and drop off. They can be reached at 980-422-1192, or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org
- National Kidney Services – National Kidney Servies offers pick-up and drop-off donations for clothing, furniture, and working appliance, and they are devoted to collecting donations and raising funds for the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), a nonprofit health organization that supports initiatives for kidney disease research, education, early detection, organ donation, and patient advocacy. Donations are also accepted at any Charlotte area Value Village locations. Call 866-408-6464 or fill out an intake form on their website to schedule a pick-up donation.
- American Veterans – If you are able to assist in lifting the furniture, then American Veterans offers a 1-man pick-up and truck for free, and the donations support veterans. Contact 704-393-2359.
- Goodwill – As a national chain, Goodwill can also schedule a pick-up truck to accept donations, which are then re-sold in stores. Contact 704-393-6880.
What are my options to donate furniture, otherwise?
- Find a drop-off location for donation services. Organizations like Salvation Army and Goodwill have a number of trucks around the Charlotte area that accept these pieces if you’re able to drive the furniture a short distance. A team will be ready to help load those pieces on to the donation trucks.
- Contact local non-profits, half-way houses, and churches or reach out to family and friends, and ask if they are accepting items or know of a family in-need. With many non-profit intakes closed or accepting items on a limited basis due to COVID-19, the best way to find a needing person or family is through word-of-mouth.
Disposing of furniture: Where do I take it or if I pay to dump it, where does it go?
If your furniture is truly unusable or beyond repair, then it may be time to say goodbye. Here is your option in Mecklenburg County:
- Mecklenburg County Bulk Trash Pick-Up – This government run facility offers pickup for a fee and dumping for a fee with large item removals. Call 704-336-2673, or inquire on their website. You must request for bulk waste collection – items too large for a rolling bin, placed at the curb without scheduling will not be collected.
Want to keep your real wood furniture? Refurbishing can be the way to go!
What better time than in the age of social distancing than to take on a home project? With an abundance of internet resources out there between blogs, Pinterest inspiration, YouTube, and trusty HGTV shows, cleaning, sanding, and giving your wood furniture a fresh coat of paint and sealant can turn your old furniture into a new piece you’ll love for years to come. Painting can also cover minor dents, stains, and imperfections! Rejuvenate, repair, and refinish to extend the longevity of your wood furniture.
Most importantly, remember that if you like it, then the style is right.
Trends come and go. Ultimately, the furniture you choose for your home should be pieces that you love and want to go through life with. If a gorgeous cherry wood sleigh bed sparks joy in your home, then keep it! If you are really feeling the Scandinavian simplicity and downsizing to a simple, minimalistic bed frame, then adjust accordingly and find what fits your home.
The real point here is do not make a quick decision on your furniture, and certainly do not let the prospect of keeping it or disposing of it become the main issue influencing your decision-making – furniture is expensive, and you have probably invested a decent amount of money into just obtaining it in the first place, so be rational and thoughtful about where your furniture will end up.
TNT Moving Systems can get your furniture wherever it needs to go, no matter the weight or size. We care about getting you where you want to be. That’s why hiring moving professionals like TNT Moving Systems can make all the difference! Let TNT Moving Systems handle your next move. If you have any questions or concerns about your heavy, wood furniture in an upcoming move, give us a call and we would be happy to discuss your options. We hope these options and tips have given you a fresh outlook on what you might do with your real wood furniture!