It has provided the perfect resting spot for many post-Sunday lunch snoozes, been the companion to endless TV shows, and occupied a focal point in your living room for years. You have enjoyed many good times with your sofa.
However, you have recently come to notice that its glory days are well and truly over. The fabric is lacklustre, the once-plump cushions are starting to sag and, while you’ve tried to buy sofa-appropriate accessories, you can’t help but notice how old-fashioned it looks against your modern décor. Yes, it is time for a replacement.
And while this is an exciting prospect at first (Which new design will you buy? How will you experiment with new colours?) there is also a more practical question you need to address: what should you do with your old sofa? After all, throwing out a sofa causes irreparable harm to the environment, so you will want to find alternative methods.
For our top methods for getting rid of old furniture, read on.
While it might seem like a lot of hassle to find a buyer and move your sofa yourself, the financial – and environmental - benefits of selling old furniture make it worth it.
Thanks to the internet, owners of unwanted goods no longer need to hang around car boot sales, waiting to catch the wandering eye of passers-by. It is all done digitally now; sites like Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree are two of the most popular second-hand platforms. They’re also free and simple to use: all you need to do is take a few photos of your furniture and set a price.
If you’re not sure of your price, start a bidding war on eBay instead. Just list your old furniture, set a starting price and outline the bidding period. Then, all you need to do is sit back and wait for the offers to roll in.
TOP TIP: If you want to be rewarded with good offers and buyers who are eager to snap up your belongings, your sofa must be in good condition. This means the fabric shouldn’t be ripped, stained, or worn down, and the frame needs to be intact (so no squeaking or creaking when you sit down).
If you find that your sofa doesn’t meet this criterion, it might not be worthy of a resell and you should look at other options.
If the idea of negotiating a price with a buyer doesn’t appeal to you, do your good deed for the day and donate your old furniture to charity instead.
As long as the furniture is in good condition, you can drop it off at a charity shop and earn a few good karma points for your trouble.
However, you should bear in mind that charities can’t accept every item that comes through their door. Many follow the Furniture and Furnishings Regulations, for instance, which tell charities that they can’t sell second-hand sofas that do not have a permanent fire safety label attached.
Additionally, many charity shops are unable to take bulky donations. In this case, head over to Charity Retail and use their ‘Find a Charity Shop’ tool to find a suitable store to donate old furniture. There are even organisations who do all the heavy lifting for you – literally. The Furniture Donation Network, for instance, partners with nationwide charities so that you can easily book in a collection date for your goods.
TOP TIP: Can’t find your sofa’s fire safety label? Peek under the seat cushions -the label is usually sewn or stapled there. If you find that your sofa doesn’t have the fire safety label attached, check that your chosen charity accepts this before you load a delivery van.
While the adage ‘out with the old’ is typically followed by ‘in with the new’, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, there are far better ways to beautify your living space - just throw over a sofa cover or seek out a reupholstery service to give your old sofa a new lease of life.
Not only do these methods mean you no longer need to worry about chucking out your old furniture, it also means you can customise your favourite centrepiece to suit your personal style. It’s a win-win!
What’s more, sofa covers and reupholstery are great for your carbon footprint (and for your conscience). Where new furniture requires lengthy air travel to get it from the manufacturer to your front door, restoring is a far more local affair. For instance, at Plumbs our fabrics are sourced from UK textile manufacturers and crafted by trusted British craftsmen.
Sophie is a great granddaughter of the founders of the business - so fabrics and furniture are almost part of her DNA! Her interests include home interiors and upcycling, and her favourite show to watch after work is The Repair Shop. Some of the topics she covers on the Plumbs blog include sofa reupholstery and furniture protection.