Is your sofa starting to get a little too old and worn for comfort? Some furniture ages gracefully. We’ve all seen beautiful vintage leather sofas that get better looking with every passing year.
Other furniture, however, doesn’t age quite so gracefully. From fabric sofas that are covered in tears to cheap leather furniture that’s cracked and discoloured, sofas that have aged are often better replaced than repaired or reupholstered.
In fact, sofas needn’t be aesthetically worn in order to be worth replacing. Over time, cheap sofas can sag and sink. Even your favourite comfortable seat can become hard and unpleasant to sit on as time and use takes its toll.
That awkward moment when u sell ya old sofa and ur new one is not coming for another 2 weeks — sarah denner (@sarahdenner) September 2, 2014
When it’s time to replace your sofa, it’s important to dispose of it responsibly. From donating your used furniture to charity to disposing of it using an authorised waste carrier, read on to learn how to get rid of your old sofa the right way.
WHEN SHOULD YOU GET RID OF A SOFA?
While many sofas are built to last, others aren’t. Sofas can age in a variety of ways – some become worn down and uncomfortable while others age stylistically and just go out of fashion while still being perfectly usable.
There’s no ‘wrong’ reason to dispose of a sofa, but there are plenty of right reasons to dispose of your old sofa and buy a replacement. Good reasons to dispose of a sofa or armchair include:
- Its fabric has been worn down over time and is not worth reupholstering
- It was stored in a smoke-filled environment and now smells unpleasant
- Its leather has cracked and faded over time and is not worth replacing
- Its cushions are worn down, uncomfortable and no longer offer support
- It's structurally damaged and unsafe/unsuitable for use in your home
In all of these situations, it’s best to dispose of your sofa. Sofas that are cosmetically damaged (for example, leather sofas with a heavily cracked finish) are best donated to charity than disposed of.
New fabric is inexpensive and many furniture experts may be able to reupholster a sofa or armchair on request. On a budget? Instead of reupholstering, simply cover your aging sofa or armchair with a slipcover to give it a fresh new look.
DONATING YOUR SOFA TO CHARITY
While you may no longer like your sofa, someone in a less fortunate situation might love the idea of refurnishing their home. Giving away your old sofa or armchair to a charity is a great way to dispose of it while helping the community at the same time.
Did you know that more than £435 million in repairable furniture and household goods are thrown away every year? Donating your furniture not only helps those less fortunate than you; it also helps the environment by reducing waste.
If you’ve got a sofa, armchair or any other furniture that you’d like to donate, get in touch with the British Heart Foundation. This charity – collects unwanted furniture items and resells them to raise money for important research.
Another option is the Furniture Re-use Network, which operates a large network of local organisations around the UK. Like the Furniture Donation Network, they’ll pick up used furniture from your home and offer it to people that truly need it. Don’t think that your sofa is undesirable just it’s scuffed and weathered.
According to the Furniture Re-use Network, there’s a 37% lack of supply for quality furniture throughout the UK. Donating your sofa or armchair can truly make a difference.
GIVING YOUR SOFA AWAY FOR FREE (OR ALMOST FREE)
Even if you don’t want your sofa, someone in your local community might. If you’d like to give your sofa away locally instead of donating it to charity, you have a wide range of options to find someone willing to collect it locally.
All types of used furniture is in demand, and even the most worn down sofa could look perfect inside a local student flat or living room. Good options for giving away your sofa or other furniture locally include:
- Freegle, an online free giveaway community dedicated to recycling items and reducing household waste
- Craigslist, which has a “Free Stuff” section for many regions throughout the UK and a relatively active user base
- If you’d like to sell the sofa for a small amount, you can always list it on eBay as a no-reserve auction
DISPOSING OF YOUR SOFA LEGALLY AND RESPONSIBLY
Not all sofas are suitable for donating to charity or selling online. If your old sofa has sharp springs pointing out from odd angles or rough, splintered wood, the only truly safe place to store it is in the local landfill.
Dumping your waste – whether on the street outside your home or in any public or private space – is against the law and can attract serious fines. Unless you’d like to pay as much as £5,000 in penalties, it’s important to dispose of your sofa legally.
It’s important to remember that you could also be subject to fines if you hire a waste carrier that isn’t certified. Some rogue waste carriers dump the items they collect in public areas or on the side of the road, leaving you liable for any fines!
Luckily, your local council might be able to help. Many local councils will collect big and heavy items like sofas, fridges and beds from your home for a small fee. You can check availability in your postcode online using the UK government website.
Pricing is relatively affordably, with most councils charging less than £20 to collect and dispose of one large item. Gedling Borough Council, for example, charges £14 to collect a single bulky item and £22 to collect up to five large home items.
HAVE YOU ALREADY REPLACED YOUR OLD SOFA?
If you haven't already, then make sure to browse our many different styles of new sofas. Alternatively, to complement your sofa we have many accessories for the living room like traditional and contemporary coffee tables to choose from.