Guest Blog Post By Order In The House, and Jennifer Young
Last update: October 16th, 2020 by Stella Dogovic and Kat Anielak
Doing a quick online search for furniture removal in Toronto will bring up a wide assortment of options.
But what are the differences between each of them?
Which one is the best for your situation?
Whether you are moving, selling your home, downsizing, clearing out an estate or just decluttering, there are multiple options when it comes to furniture removal in the city. However, it’s important to know what kind of services are out there and what each one can offer. So, we’ve decided to break down your options when it comes time to give your furniture the old heave-ho!
Let us help you make the most informed decision.
1. City of Toronto Curbside Pickup
If you live in a house in Toronto, check the City’s calendar for scheduled garbage collection days. Furniture that can’t fit into the City garbage bins (such as mattresses or sofas) are considered oversized items and extra pick-up tags are not required. The pick-up is free but all furniture will go straight into the City’s landfills. Please note that renovation waste will not be accepted for the City of Toronto curbside pickups. See the list and requirements HERE.
NOTE: As a result of the City’s COVID-19 response, some in-person services have been suspended in City buildings and divisional phone line hours may differ. If you experience any difficulties contacting a division, please contact 311.
2. Junk Removal Companies
Heavy and bulky items can be difficult to get out onto your curbside. Junk removal companies (such as 1-800-GOT-JUNK, Just Junk and 1-800Rid-OF-IT ) will come into your home for a fee and movers will haul away your unwanted furniture. These companies are for-profit but many claim to recycle and donate whenever possible, plus you don’t need to lift a finger. It’s easy!
This Toronto Junk Removal companies list might help.
NOTE: They all have COVID-19 messages on their website and some of them provide “no contact pickup” so please ensure you read their listed policies or call them directly.
3. Thrift Shops
There are many thrift shops in Toronto that will accept gently used furniture. The most common shops are Value Village and Salvation Army. Some of the proceeds may go towards a community charity. Unfortunately, most thrift shops do not have a pickup service.
NOTE (from Value Village website): “Initial hours will be shortened to allow for additional time to thoroughly clean and stock our sales floors.”
4. Habitat for Humanity ReStore
If you are planning a home renovation, consider contacting your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. They will come into your home to dismantle and remove your old windows, doors, functional appliances, kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities, and even light fixtures. This salvage service is free! The items will then be sold at Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores – where all proceeds go back to fund Habitat for Humanity activities. The ReStores also accept donations of selective furniture items, lighting fixtures, and more.
NOTE: Opening hours, including donation drop-offs or pickups, may be affected by the COVID-19 situation in your community. To find out how to make a donation to support your local Habitat and Habitat ReStore, we encourage you to click here to find your local Habitat and contact them directly.
5. Consignment Stores
If you’re downsizing to a new condo and require smaller pieces or visa versa, then this is a great option for you. Prior to placing furniture on consignment, it’s important to consider its condition, era and quality – these details will all play a factor in whether or not they will be accepted under the store’s terms and conditions. Keep in mind that terms do vary between vendors, but you’re typically looking at a 45-55% return on the sale price if and when your item sells. However, if items do not sell after a certain period of time, you are usually responsible to make alternative arrangements for the items. Here’s a list of local stores.
Some consignment stores offer pick up services, which are usually subcontracted to a moving company. However, you may be required to find your own solution to deliver the furniture to some consignment stores, so keep that in mind when considering this option.
NOTE: Most of the places have new policies regarding their showroom and pickup/delivery services.
6. Online Alternatives
When it comes to selling online, there is no shortage of options. Kijiji, Craigslist and even Facebook groups are a great option when trying to make a little return on some no longer needed furniture. You may want to price a little higher so you have room to bargain with potential buyers. Some of the disadvantages that come with an online option include dealing with multiple inquiries, scheduling pickups and bargain hunters. If you have a demanding schedule, this may not be the right avenue for you.
Most online ads for furniture stipulate that the buyer is responsible for transport. If you don’t have a vehicle that would allow you to move large pieces with ease, be sure to indicate pick up as one of your conditions. On that note, if you have a garage or shed that can properly store your pieces of interest, we suggest you take them out there prior to selling. It’s always safer to have strangers stay outside of your home and to make sure you have a witness with you when completing any face to face transactions.
And, like with all the other options, make sure that both sides of the transaction follow the social distancing and safety rules.
7. Furniture Banks
For a fee, most furniture banks offer a furniture pick up and removal service for your gently used furniture and household items. A truck will come to your home (they offer distanced pickup as well!), the driver and helper will remove your furniture, and bring it back to their respective furniture bank to give to families and individuals transitioning out of homelessness and displacement. You will also get a tax receipt for the fair market value of the items you are donating.
It’s simple. You can eliminate landfill waste, help a family, avoid the heavy-lifting, and you get a tax receipt for your furniture donation.
Here’s a list of furniture banks across Ontario:
- Furniture Bank (Toronto) (that’s us!)