How to make the most out of your unwanted used furniture

There are over six million people in the Toronto Census Metropolitan area, according to Statistics Canada. That’s a lot of homes of all shapes, sizes and structures, and a lot of furniture filling those homes. Renovations and up sizing are popular for those with means, which leads to many Torontonians looking to move their unwanted used furniture.

A 2013 report from the Canadian Real Estate Association suggests that for every real estate transaction in Ontario, there is an average of $6,625 in related furniture and appliances purchased. Whether you’re moving across town or just upgrading your living room, what happens to your unwanted used furniture is often an afterthought.

You really have four main options, as outlined below with pros and cons for each.

Curbside for garbage collection

  • Pros: Ease of disposal–you can move the furniture to the curb and it’s out of your home in an instant.
  • Cons: When picked up by the city, you don’t know what happens to the furniture next and simply disposing of your furniture ignores potential environmental and sociological impacts for those around you, especially when the items are only gently used with plenty of utility left to give.  

Selling furniture through Craigslist, Kijiji or a private

  • Pros: You will potentially make (a small amount of) money by selling unwanted furniture and may have the good fortunate of having somebody come to you, to remove it from your home.
  • Cons: Selling furniture can be a long, drawn-out process with mainly false starts as online sales devolve into bargain hunters and no-shows.

Consigning your furniture

  • Pros: They will sell your furniture items for you.
  • Cons: selling items can take up to 6 months and most of the time you need to take your furniture back if it does not sell within this time frame

Donate unused furniture to charity

  • Pros: You’re giving back and keeping your furniture out of landfills. Easily the most satisfying option on the list.
  • Cons: It requires some effort to decide what organization should receive your donation and may cost to have your items picked up.

In the Toronto area, we have several different options for organizations that will accept your unwanted used furniture donations. As a reference, we’ve created this donation comparison chart to compare the process and impacts of donating to Furniture Bank versus donating to another organization. Ultimately, Furniture Bank accept any household furniture or housewares donation items that will benefit families and individuals transitioning out of homelessness and displacement set up their home. We hope the downloadable graphic will be a handy reference for helping in the decision process.

Click here to download the furniture donation comparison chart PDF.

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