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People move around from time to time, and this is especially true in the current economy that’s still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic and now dealing with high inflation. As if hiring the movers and relocating isn’t difficult enough, many people end up accumulating a lot of furniture. Tables, dressers, stands, sofas, mattresses, chairs, and so many more pieces can be accumulated during your time living in a place. However, when it’s time to relocate to a new home in NYC, what are you going to do with your excess furniture?

If you have too many items to take with you around New York City from Manhattan to Brooklyn, for example, you might be wondering what to do with these pieces of furniture. Are you just going to go drop it off in Queens? Leave it on the curbside somewhere?

The go-to option you’re likely to think of during this circumstance is to put your furniture into storage somewhere. Though even then, this is temporary. You’re not going to pay a storage bill for the rest of your life, are you? People go this route and hire local movers in New York to haul their items to a storage bin. But then what? It’s a good option for the short term but offers no long-term solution. Let’s go over some ways you can get rid of these large items and other pieces of unwanted furniture safely, legally, and permanently.

 

DUMP YOUR UNWANTED FURNITURE

For people who live in rural areas, furniture removal is as easy as dumping those bulk items like box springs, tables, etc., in a local landfill that’s rated for legal furniture disposal. In NYC however, any of its boroughs, this isn’t an easy thing to do. New York doesn’t have much space at all; it’s not exactly a rural setting. Outside of Central Park, everything’s basically concrete and steel.

A lot of buildings will offer you options, such as a legal Department of Sanitation (DSNY) dumpster to which you can request access. Keep in mind here, however, that even this option isn’t as simple as dumping and leaving. Because viruses and bacteria and things like bed bugs are an issue, you will need to properly wrap your mattresses and box springs so as to not potentially spread these things around. You might also have to put a rush on this, to beat out collection day. As that day approaches, more and more people are going to dump their bulk items as the pickup day arrives, which means you might not have room to dispose of your unwanted furniture unless you act quickly. The point here is that you want to go with this option sooner rather than later, if this is the way you’re going.

To get rid of furniture through junking, many will also opt for a quality junk removal service. They will show up to your NYC apartment and handle these larger items like box springs, old air conditioners, etc. A service like 1-800-GOT-JUNK might be a great option here. Another solid option to consider is asking the company with which you purchased your new furniture to dispose of your old furniture. Some of these companies have systems in place and will be willing to dump your old furniture for you. Whether the east side of Manhattan or a rent-controlled area in Queens, NYC has some stringent laws against illegal dumping, so you should also stop by the NYC.gov website and check out their “How to Get Rid of” resource.

 

Eco-FRIENDLY WAYS TO DISPOSE OF YOUR FURNITURE

Here are some eco-friendly ways to get rid of furniture that we’ll briefly touch on in a bullet point list. There will be more thorough information about these methods where needed.

• Give away your furniture to friends and/or family.
• Sell your furniture off.
• Donate your furniture to places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army.
• Hire an eco-friendly junk removal service.
• Find a legal rated landfill.
• Repurpose your old furniture to become new furniture.

LEAVING IT CURBSIDE

Can you actually just leave your furniture curbside in NYC? Even those that would think this is a way to go about dumping their old furniture, they would still likely believe there were differences in how this can be done in Manhattan vs. Brooklyn, for instance. Not all pieces of furniture are the same, and not all boroughs handle these situations the same.

You want to check with the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) and find out the rules about this. How close to collection day does this have to be? Do mattresses and box springs need to be wrapped due to bed bugs as with dumping the items? How large can the items be? Leaving your furniture out might be a great way to keep it in circulation, as others may pick it up. However, with COVID and labor shortages, etc., the DOS might tell you that this isn’t allowed. You need to check into the legality of this before you leave anything, especially large items.

CAN YOU LEAVE UNWANTED FURNITURE ON THE STREETS OF NYC?

As to whether or not you can simply leave items on the sides of streets in New York, keep in mind that the city isn’t a landfill. Nor is it some rural area that’s spread out. Leaving furniture out in front of your NYC apartment is literally leaving it in front of other people’s apartments. They live there, too. The sidewalk isn’t a dumpster for your personal needs.

If you go to the NYC.gov website, which is the “Official Website of the City of New York,” you can read about “Bulk Item Disposal.” To surmise what this site says, you’d be much better off calling some movers to assist you, or an eco-friendly junk removal service. The fact is that items too large for a trash bin need to be disposed of differently, typically by setting up an appointment or taking your items to a predetermined location before collection day.

You can put up to 10 bulk items out every collection day, but these items cannot be mattresses, box springs, electronics, or any sort of construction materials. The city wants them to be recyclable items. Most will have to be left in proper plastic bags. Please refer to the website for specifics.

 


 

DONATING YOUR EXCESS AND UNWANTED FURNITURE

The pandemic and inflation have hit a lot of people hard. There are tens of thousands of people in NYC right now who can barely afford to live. They need furniture, but they cannot afford it. You, having excess furniture that needs to be disposed of, can help here by donating furniture.

Now, of course, this isn’t going to work by going door to door and just dropping furniture off. You may actually know someone who can use a window unit air conditioner or a box spring, etc., but if you have a lot of furniture to get rid of, it’s best to go with different donation places. We’ll run through a quick list below, so you know how to donate your items. The good news here is that with some donations, you can even write it off in your taxes and get a deduction.

WHERE TO DONATE FURNITURE IN NYC

For furniture donations, here are some different places and methods for donating furniture in New York City.

• One of dozens of different Salvation Army locations
• Goodwill, and other area thrift stores/donation centers
• List on Craigslist, free for pick up
• Tell people about unwanted furniture; word of mouth gets around
• Take to Hour Children in Queens, and other similar locations
• NY-based nonprofit locations like Housing Works

 

SELLING YOUR UNNEEDED FURNITURE

It’s a shame to pay so much for something just to end up disposing of it. We all feel this sting especially among economic restrictions and inflation. So, why not attempt to sell off that furniture instead? Furniture isn’t an appreciable item, generally speaking, so you won’t get back what you put into it. But some extra cash can help you hire moving companies, buy new furniture, etc.

Here are a few options to help.

• Stop by a website like AptDeco, which was designed specifically to help you sell off furniture. To that end, you can find other sites like Letgo, OfferUp and Chairish to help you sell.
• Facebook is still the king of social media sites, and so Facebook marketplace is ideal for listing your furniture items for sale. You can also find and join groups there for numerous reasons, such as Buying and Selling Anything NYC.
Craigslist is still a favorite for many people.

For any of these methods, you want to take clear, vivid photos of the furniture and write accurate, honest descriptions about what you’re selling. Keep it short and sweet. When you’re all set to move, consider contacting our moving company to help you move individual pieces of furniture.

REUSING AND REPURPOSING YOUR FURNITURE

Another great way to get rid of furniture is to simply reuse it. Used furniture and unwanted furniture can become something fantastic when you transform old cabinets into a kitchen island, or an old set of end tables into an entertainment stand. There are tons of different housing works websites you can visit for tips and tricks to reuse your existing furniture by transforming it into something brand new. Turning your old furniture into new pieces of furniture is also something fun you can do with your kids.


When you are done repurposing furniture, you might still have a lot of scrap left that needs to be thrown out. These may not be recyclable items, so be sure to check out an updated sanitation site to find out what to do with it.

 

ARE THERE RULES FOR GETTING RID OF FURNITURE IN NYC?

There are certainly rules and regulations with which you must contend here, and many have just started new, or been dusted off and put back into circulation, due to the COVID era of city living. So, please, before you do anything, make sure you visit NYC.gov to ensure that you’re doing things legally. The last thing you want is a hefty fine when you’re just trying to get rid of old furniture.

Note: Post updated 3/25/2022 to include most recent information.


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