Don’t Just Dump That Old Couch or Fridge: Furniture and Appliance Re-use

old-furniture-for-sale

Have you finally grown weary of that natty couch that has sat in your living room for twenty years? Certainly, it is still quite comfortable, but the years of abuse by children, cats, and snoozing guests have taken their toll, and you realize, with some regret, that it’s time for it to go. Or perhaps your old fridge has turned itself into a milk-spoiling machine, by opting for a more temperate interior climate, right after you filled it with a week’s worth of groceries. By all means, replacement is in order. To help fund this new purchase you may wish to consider help from a payday loan.

What you might not have given much thought to is what is best done with these previously expensive items that no longer serve you. While they might well provide a designer’s touch to the local landfill, there are other, more productive destinies that might serve them (and your community) better. Think of it as a new phase in their lives, rather than a funeral.

Donate.

There are plenty of charities that will gladly take old furniture or appliances, so long as there’s still some life left in them, either intact, or broken down into usable components. Even an ugly old sofa might have a perfectly sound frame which can be turned into a lovely piece of “new” furniture with a freshening up of the upholstery. And that old fridge likely has a hundred pounds of scrap metal in it that a charity could cash in at a salvage yard.

By donating your unwanted items to a charitable organization, you’ll be helping people who really need assistance, and who could well realize some economic advantage for your generosity. If you haven’t the foggiest where to donate your unwanted items, ou might have a look at the Furniture Re-Use Network’s website at http://www.frn.org.uk/. They’d be glad to help you find a good second life for your stuff.

Salvage.

Perhaps there is a small furniture or upholstery shop in your town that could rework your old furniture into salable items. They might even pay you something for that old sofa or chair. Not much, but it will be cheaper than the fine you’d likely be assessed for putting the thing out on the street. And in the case of old appliances, even non-functioning ones, there might well be a market for inexpensive used parts that are still usable. If you think that’s unrealistic, check the price for anew door handle for your fridge. And consider chatting with your local appliance repairman to see if he might be willing to take the fridge, salvage what parts he wants, then sell the rest to the scrap dealer.

Do both

Through organizations like Giveacar, you can scrap your car and donate the cash to charity, in one easy stroke!

Be creative.

You’d be surprised at just how useful an article that you no longer use can be. Got old pots and pans that you aren’t comfortable putting food in any longer? Imagine how interesting that old teapot would be as a planter in your garden. Who says that all plants must be in clay pots or the ground, anyway? You might find yourself creating a whole new look to your flower beds, possibly  even giving some of your other utensils an “early retirement” to round out your designs.

Even that old, non-working fridge can be useful, in the garage, as a dry place to keep tools or papers, or even in the back yard – with a nice paint job, of course – in which to store your gardening tools and such. Some people have even been known to convert old refrigerators that are all metal inside into mini-smoke houses where they can preserve delicious meats and fish. The trick is to think “outside the box,” as the business motivation types are always going on about.

Truth is, many of the things we typically think of as trash are really useful gems, just waiting for the right idea to come along and extend their lives. And with everything getting so much more expensive every day, it only makes sense to wring as much use out of everything as you possibly can. The ideas above are but a scratch on the surface of what is possible. With a bit of thought, the list of possibilities can only grow.

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