You might have a piece of furniture that is damaged or has seen better days, and you want to get rid of it. Or perhaps you’re moving out of your flat and your bed is not going to fit in your new place. Maybe you’d love to sell your desk before you move, but you’re in a bit of a hurry and there’s too many other things to do. So the big question- how to dispose of furniture in London?
Unwanted furniture can be particularly difficult to shift due to the size of most large items. In London, many of us don’t have a car to rely on to transport our furniture either. And the tube? It’s not appealing at the best of times, let alone with a chair in tow.
Ideally, you’ll want to dispose of furniture in London for free. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to do that. There’s also some low cost affordable options too if you need to get rid of a few items at once.
Dispose of furniture online
How to dispose of furniture online? It’s actually quite simple. Many existing marketplaces give you the option to list an item for free, as ‘free to collect.’ Just snap a few photos with your phone, and you’ll be rid of that unwanted bit of furniture before you know it. Even if an item needs a repair, someone might be willing to take the chance if they’re getting some free furniture in London.
Olio is a free app which allows you to list food and home items for collection. The app is tailored so that users can see what is nearest to them and can easily come by and collect from within their local neighbourhood.
Create an account, snap some photos of your furniture, add a title and description, and list for free! It’s super simple. Before long you’ll be sure to have someone messaging you to take your furniture off your hands. Be sure to turn on notifications so that you can respond to any questions or queries promptly.
The original online marketplace, eBay, is not only somewhere to sell things, but also to give things away for free. You can list items as ‘free to collect.’ This means someone in your local area (or perhaps even further afield!) can collect your unwanted furniture.
All you need to do is create an account, upload some photos, a title, and a description, and list as free to collect. Be sure to mention in the description that you will not arrange delivery, and that the item is collection only. It can be a bit of a faff to help arrange a courier and pack up a piece of furniture when you want to get rid of it quickly, so this is best avoided.
Top tip: download their app for a seamless experience listing your furniture online quickly!
Another community marketplace is Facebook Marketplace. If you’ve got a Facebook account, you can again list an item for free using photos and a description. It’s a great idea to do this in tandem with other platforms like Olio and eBay, because you have better chances of disposing of your piece of furniture quickly.
Again, Facebook Marketplace makes the most of your local community. It will show your listing to those who fall within a radius of your local area.
Similar to other marketplaces, Shpock is an app which again allows you to list items for free. In the past at Thrifty Londoner HQ we’ve listed a broken lamp and a couple of broken suitcases on Shpock. They both got collected within the same day! It just goes to show that many people are happy to take on a repair job if they’re getting the item for free.
Just like with other online marketplaces and apps, all you need to do is snap a few pictures of your furniture item, add a description and list it for free.
The original free furniture classified site, Freecycle is often the place to go if you want to get rid of an item for free. If you haven’t already heard of it, it’s a grassroots, nonprofit organisaton who aims to help people give and get stuff for free in their own towns. Pretty cool, right?
You can list stuff online, membership is free, and you’ll also be helping out the environment.
Perhaps the best known online marketplace for home furnishings. You can list just about anything on Gumtree (it’s almost the UK version of Craigslist) and it’s also a great place to list things for free. As with the other options in this list, all you need to do is take a few photos, add a description, and list as free to collect. Gumtree is also free to use, meaning you’ll pay nothing to get rid of your piece of furniture.
By combining one or more of these suggestions, you are casting a wider net, and therefore you are hopefully in with a good change of getting rid of that item of furniture without having to pay a penny! Because who wants to pay out more money when they’re moving house?
Offer furniture to neighbours
Your local neighbourhood is a great place to investigate to get rid of your furniture, for free. One person’s trash is another’s treasure, after all. As well as apps and online marketplaces that focus on your local community, you can also reach out on a more personalised level too.
Good old Facebook groups are still very popular in local communities across the UK. This is especially true in London. Check to see whether your local area has a ‘buy nothing’ group where you can post a photo and a short description of the item that you’re getting rid of.
You might be surprised at how many people are keen to snap up a freebie- and they might even see the potential of an upcycle or resale opportunity.
As with any online listings, be clear about the condition of the item. Add photos of any flaws or breaks to avoid disappointment from the person who collects the item. Make sure you also add any disclaimers regarding delivery and specify that it must be collection only.
Old fashioned noticeboards are still in use in London. Whether it’s your corner shop, local supermarket or community centre. Post a note card or a flyer describing the item you are getting rid of, and leave your phone number or contact email.
Friends and family
You never know who might be looking for a new piece of furniture. Mention to your friends and family that you are looking to dispose of furniture in London. They might even travel to collect it from you! Using your current network to share unwanted items can be really valuable and will help save your loved ones some money.
Did you know that sometimes landlords will agree to keeping extra furniture when you vacate a property? If you’re renting, it’s worth reaching out when you come to the end of the lease. Your landlord might agree that it can stay in the property and they will take it off your hands. Be sure to get this in writing though, as you don’t want it turning up on your exit report inventory!
Alternatively, your landlord might be able to put you in contact with the new tenants who will be moving into the property. They may purchase furniture items from you, or alternatively agree to take them for free.
Perhaps a slightly controversial option, but leaving a small item of furniture on the curb can be a great way to dispose of furniture in London for free. Add a piece of paper saying ‘free to a good home’ and you’re sorted! Just make sure that you are courteous of your local environment. Only keep the items on the curb during the day before bringing it in at night.
You also don’t want to leave furniture out in the rain, or leave it out for an extended period of time. If no one is interested in the furniture, you can go down a different route and list it online, or arrange a collection for a fee.
Did you know that many charities will take furniture donations? Some charities that specialise in second hand furniture are always keen for more donations, providing the item is in a satisfactory condition. Not only will you be getting rid of an item of furniture you no longer want, but you’ll also be providing the charity with an opportunity to make some money.
Look in your local area for second hand furniture charity shops. British Heart Foundation and Emmaus have quite a few furniture-specific charity shops in London, so they could be great places to start looking.
Most charities will even collect the furniture for free, as long as you are in their local area. You can usually book a furniture collection with them online or over the phone.
Cities have recycling centres too, but granted, they’re not usually as accessible as out of town options. Usually, you’ll need to have a car. Use the recycle centre locator on London Recycles to find your nearest centre that accepts furniture.
The downside to recycling centers is that your furniture gets processed rather than getting reused directly. You may also have to pay to dump the item too. The free options listed above are likely to be the most favourable, cost effective, and low effort.
There may also be options with your local council, search for ‘bulky waste collection’ on your council’s website to find out what options you have locally. Or visit gov.uk and enter your postcode to see what your options are. Some councils will offer a free collection service, and others will charge a fee depending on what you are disposing of, and how many items. Your furniture will usually then be reused or recycled. Some councils will have specifications on the condition of the furniture, so do take this into consideration.
Furniture removal services
A paid option is to pay a removal firm to take away your furniture for a fee. Since there are other free options, it’s worth exhausting these first, but if you are not getting any interest, or you need to dispose of multiple large items of furniture, it might be time to book in with a removal company.
If you’re in a situation where you need a house clearance, it might be wise to pay for this service as it could be overwhelming to try and dispose of every single item online or in your local community. This will incur a fee, but you may feel like this is a preferred option, especially if there is some heavy lifting involved.
Furniture removal, waste management and disposal services available will vary between different boroughs and your local area. Check out businesses such as London Waste Services and Recycle Zone to get started. A Google search will also go a long way, and you might be able to find a local firm who can help for a lower fee.
Furniture storage in London
If you don’t really want to part with a piece of furniture, you could opt to store it in one of London’s cheap storage options. A brilliant option is easyStorage, part of the easy brand portfolio (think easyJet and the like) who will come to your home with a dedicated storage pod and store your furniture for you. It’s super simple, and could be a great solution if you need short term storage solution at an affordable rate.
You can also opt for private storage options using a garage or unused room in someone’s home. Just like you can rent someone’s parking space in London, you can also rent out storage space.
Top tips for how to dispose of furniture in London
- Be honest about the condition. Although you don’t need to be afraid of listing or passing on an item that is broken or damaged, it’s important to be upfront about the condition and any defects. The worst thing would be for someone to come and collect an item, only to leave without it because their expectations were not met.
- Measure up. When you’re listing an item of furniture online, even it’s for free, be sure to include measurements so that people can get an idea of whether it will fit in their home. It avoids extra admin when you inevitably get messages from people asking for the measurements!
- Exhaust the free options first. Why pay for furniture removal, storage or disposal when you don’t need to? Try the free options before paying out to save money.
- Check for fire safety labels. With some furniture items such as mattresses and sofas, the item must have a fire safety label in order to be collected and sold by a charity or another organisation. Make sure you check to see whether your furniture item meets the required labelling standards.