Give your furniture a second life | How to Repair, Sell, or Donate Furniture
Whether you’re moving home, moving out, or moving overseas, we all need to get rid of furniture at some point. But instead of taking it to the tip, you might be able to give it a second life!
You can repair, sell, or donate furniture to get more out of your items. It’s good for you, good for someone else, and good for the environment, by reducing landfill.
Here are the best ways sell, repair, and donate furniture in Australia. We’ve also included services that offer furniture pick-up. We’ve also got some advice on furniture disposal, if it’s unavoidable.
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A quick note: If you have to move some furniture yourself, you’ll need the right vehicle. GoGet members can hire vans by the hour, and there are hundreds of vans all across Australia. Check out our rates here, or get your first year’s membership free here (a blog only offer!).
How to Repair Furniture
If your couch, bed, or dresser is broken, a little work could get it back into shape! We’re sometimes a throw away society and we forget we can fix things when they break. Luckily, you don’t need to be very handy to make a quick repair. Read on for some of your options.
Furniture Repair on the web
Google is your first stop for finding out how to fix something. If you search for the job you need done, you’ll likely find someone who’s already done it.
There are a few sites to look out for. Family Handyman has how-to articles on a range of items, including furniture. Handyman.net.au is a good local site too. You should also look on YouTube. Lots of people put repair videos up, and it’s great to actually see the process.
Repair cafes in your city
If you’re not very handy, there are people who can help. Australia has hundreds of repair cafes, with volunteers who’ll help fix broken items and teach you to fix them at home.
The best part is repair cafes rarely charge. They’re local services run for the community and the environment. But if you do visit a repair cafe to fix your furniture, they’d love a donation!
We’ve listed some repair cafes in Australia’s big cities below. Check their sites for opening times. To find cafes near you, Melbourne Repair Cafe have a Fixit Aus map. You can also check this world repair cafe map on the official Repair Cafe website.
- Sydney Repair Cafes: The Bower (Marrickville and Parramatta); Repair Cafe Sydney North (Lane Cove).
- Melbourne Repair Cafes: Inner West Repair Cafe (Yarraville), Ringwood Repair Cafe
- Adelaide Repair Cafes: Adelaide Repair Cafe
- Perth Repair Cafes: Repair Cafe Perth
Furniture repair services
If you can’t fix broken furniture yourself, or don’t have a repair cafe close, you can pay someone to come to you. Airtasker has lots of workers with furniture repair skills. You could also go old-school and use the Yellow Pages.
Paying someone is a costly option, but it might be right for you.
Here’s a bonus idea. If your furniture is from IKEA, you should check for IKEA hacks online. These combine one or more IKEA products to create something new!
How to Sell Furniture
If your furniture is in good condition, then selling it the best bet. You’ll make some cash, and someone else will use the items in their own home.
Below are the best ways to do this.
Newspaper classifieds, and the old Trading Post newspaper have been replaced by online options. Gumtree is the biggest stand alone site in Australia, and you can place ads for free. You can also use Facebook Marketplace.
A quick note: Taking furniture to the tip will cost you a fee, so sometimes giving stuff away for free is the best option. Classifieds sites are the best way to do this.
Sites like Ebay are also an option, but you have to pay for their larger network. For furniture that can’t be easily delivered that might not be the best value option. It has better seller protection than unpaid sites though, so it might be a good option for more valuable sales.
Take backs, or sell it to a store
Some retailers have a take back program, that let you sell used furniture back to them. They’ll then sell it back to someone else for a discount. Check with the place you bought the furniture from to see if this is an option.
Second hand stores could be interested in your furniture too. If it’s expensive or antique, there are second hand furniture stores that could offer you a decent price, and might even pick it up for you. Google ‘second hand furniture’ to find a shop near you.
Garage sales feel old-school, but they still work! There are lots of people who hit the road every Saturday to land a bargain. If you have a few large items to sell use them as a teaser for the sale overall!
Holding a garage sale is also a great way to sell other items you no longer need. You can also team up with neighbours to make your sale more attractive to potential buyers.
How to Donate Furniture
So what if your furniture still works fine, but it isn’t valuable enough to sell? Or maybe you could sell it, but you’d rather it be use by someone who really needs it?
First, props for being a great person. Read on for options on how to donate furniture.
How to donate furniture locally
Most cities have charities that get old furniture to people who need it. They make it easy for everyone involved by organising pick up and delivery!
In Sydney, check out The Generous and Grateful. They are a great team that do regular pickups and deliveries using GoGet vans. We help them out by giving them a great deal on the vans. (fyi, businesses and charities can also get cheap GoGet with no membership fees).
Here are a few charities in other cities that we know offer furniture donation pickups.
- Melbourne donate furniture pickup: The Brotherhood of St Laurence offer a pickup service in Melbourne.
- Brisbane donate furniture pickup: The Animal Welfare League op-shops will pickup bulky items and furniture if you give them a call.
- Adelaide donate furniture pickup: The Lyell McEwin Volunteer Association will pick up furniture for their op-shops in the northern suburbs.
Of course, you could donate furniture to traditional op-shops like Vinnies or The Salvos. Some of these offer furniture pickup if you ask, but many don’t have the time or resources. They’re run by volunteers after all.
If you’re able to get the furniture you want to donate to the shop then this is a good idea. Always call before you do and check they have the time and space to take your donation.
There are other organisations a bit like op shops, but not really. Reverse Garbage is one such spot in Marrickville. RG have a warehouse of discards they think have potential for new projects. There’s lots they can’t accept, so be sure to call ahead.
Despite our best efforts, sometimes you just need to get rid of your furniture or other items. Here are a few options for getting rid of your unwanted items.
If your old items have no chance of being fixed, updated or sold, there are still ways to keep them out of landfill. Specialist recycling services often deal with items that council services can’t recycle. Here are a few examples (check Google for more!).
- Your local IKEA store can recycle light bulbs and batteries.
- Mobile Muster can help recycle mobile phones.
- Planet Ark will sort out old printer cartridges.
- Soft Landing can recycle mattresses.
- SITA Resource Recovery and Service Centres can help recycle e-waste, televisions, and computers.
Curbside cleanup (chuck-out week)
The days of chuck-out week are growing old in many areas, but lots of councils still hold them. Normally your street will have two weeks each year where you can place hard rubbish, including bulky items like furniture, on the curb for collection.
There’s a growing trend for councils to offer this service on an appointment basis instead. The idea is the same, but instead of a whole suburb putting their rubbish out at once, you manually set a date with the council. Call your local council to see what the arrangement is.
Taking furniture to landfill
If you need to get rid of furniture quickly, you can always pack it into the back of a van (maybe even a GoGet van!) and take it to the tip. It will cost you a fee and take up your time, so consider it a last option.
Council cleanup or giving furniture away for free on Gumtree are both options you should try first.
However you finally get rid of your unwanted furniture, we wish you luck! Remember to take your time moving things, and bend from the knees!
On that note, the right vehicle can make a furniture move a lot easier. We reckon GoGet is the best way to rent a van, with hundreds of vans across the country available to rent by the hour. You can get a free year’s GoGet membership by signing up with this link.