How to Get Rid Of a Couch For Free

Get Rid Of a Couch As a landlord, especially if you cater to a low-income tenant base, you will no doubt have to get rid of many stuffed chairs, love seats, hide-a-beds, futons, mattresses, box springs and couches.  And more.  If you know how to get rid of a couch for free, it will save you a lot of money.

This posting is somewhat of a companion article to one of my previous articles about how to get rid of a mattress for free.  This couch was left over from when I asked my Section 8 tenant to leave.

Couch DispsalMy tenant obviously did not have the money to pay someone to get rid of the couch, so it was my job (how that job got transferred from her to me, I am not sure…).  Her deposit was more than used up, and I knew I was not getting any extra money from her.  She could have thrown in a ditch somewhere, and I would have been fine with that. Or bring it to a park and drop it off.  Or just dropped it off at a shopping center.  Instead, she left it for me.

Tip:  The above suggestions are probably illegal, but they are free options.

Never let an opportunity go to waste that will let you save some fast and easy money.  If you call “Two Men and a Truck”, 800-got-junk, or any of the other popular services, you may very well spend $150 for them to come out and get rid of the couch.  I do not blame them, it costs money and they need to get paid and dispose of it too.

When I bought my fifth four-plex, I had to get rid of several couches.  I believe there were four in the unit and one in the woods alongside the building.  The outside one was full of mud and bugs and was a mess.  The city even sent me a letter about a week after I bought the building demanding I get rid of the couch that was outside.  The previous owner was in foreclosure and was ignoring their letters.  No worries, I got rid of all of the couches for free.  Getting rid of a couch is a bit more work than a mattress, but still not a bad workout.

Get Rid Of a CouchThe pictures of the couch I am posting here, was actually a 4-piece sectional couch.  The same process applies to all four pieces, but only two of them have arms.  I could have called a charity, but no charities pick up couches that no one wants.

Craig’s list is a great place to get rid of items you no longer want.  Just advertise them for free and you might get some takers.  Take the ad down and post in again in another day, if it does not get taken away with the first try.  It is amazing how fast some items go.  Within minutes pf posting I have had calls and texts for some items.  But some items and not worthy to give away.

The Actual Disposal

The first thing you should do is get rid of all of the cushions.  Some will be loose, some you may have to cut off.  Cut off any padding that you can just to expose any frame members and so you can see what you need to cut with your saw better.

Get Rid Of a Couch I use my Makita reciprocating saw.  It’s 15 amps of cutting power that will saw a car in half in just a few minutes, if you have a sharp blade.  You do not need one that tough, and can get by with a sharp knife and a circular saw or even a hand saw.

I would recommend the saw though, it is definitely a beast.

 

Throw the padding and cushions in the garbage or a dumpster as soon as you can.  Get that stuff out of your way.  That is the easy part.  The cushions take up more space that you might realize.  Do not cram them in a garbage barrel, or it will be still stuck in the barrel after the garbage man leaves.

CAM00434
View from under the couch

Cut off any fabric that you can.  Once you have taken the bottom covering off, you should start to see wood frame members that can be cut.  Cut as many of the wood frame supports as you can, staying away from cutting springs, bolts and nails which will dull your blade.  This picture is looking at the bottom of the couch, with the fabric removed.  You can see the springs and a few pieces of wood I cut off.

As you take away the frame pieces, you will start to see that you can crush the angles pieces easily by hand.

CAM00435Once you get the couch down to small pieces, toss the pieces into your garbage barrel or truck to haul to a dumpster.  I have a 2-yard dumpster at one of my commercial properties that I use for jobs like this.  It helps to get rid of things and even when I have a remodeling project or an apartment turn.

 

 

CAM00438Some of the wood in my truck was from other trash I was getting rid of.  I believe some of the wood is from the old kitchen cabinets and other demolition that was done.

 

 

It was a good thing I took pictures of this project.  The garbage company attempted to charge me $35 for the couch disposal, even though it was in the dumpster all crushed up.  I called and was reimbursed.  At some point, the couch is just fabric and wood, not a couch.  Then it is just plain old garbage which is included in the monthly price I pay.

Bonus Money!

CAM00437As with any couch, you will like get some change out of it.  I have found as much as ~$2.25, all in quarters and smaller change.  I have never found a dollar bill.  Add that to your savings and you will be rich in no time!

 

 

Do you think your own couch has money in it?  Have you ever paid for a couch to be hauled away?  Have you ever broke down a couch on your own?

 

 

 

 

44 Replies to “How to Get Rid Of a Couch For Free”

  1. Hey,
    That’s actually an ingenious idea – usually like you said I’ll be loading everything into my truck taking the stuff cross cities to the cities that I know have bulk disposal day.. Do any of your properties (different cities) have bulk removal? It’s on my checklist of things to ask the realtor/seller when I’m buying to know exactly when I can get rid of all the leftover crap tenants like to leave behind.
    -Rich (27)

    1. I do not live in, or have rental property in, a city that has a bulk disposal day. It is a great idea, but it does cost money to everyone, whether or not you have a large item to dispose of. So, I just take my saw and chop it up.

      it is probably cheaper to haul your own stuff away than rely on the City. They typically only have one or two a year. It would not be when the tenants moved out either.

      1. Ahh gotcha, you’re definitely right I’m sure the city lumps everyone over the head come tax time for these services. The urban areas that I have properties in are pretty good though (every first Wednesday of the month is bulk day).
        I’m going to start checking for loose change now though 😉
        -Rich (27)

        1. You got it. It then depends on how much of the services you can consume, over the majority of the people. It’s like an “all you can eat buffet” at that point. If you only take one plate, you ‘cheat’ yourself.

  2. I remember a story of a homeowner who had an old working refrigerator he had replaced. Since it was a working unit, he put it on the tree lawn with a sign ** FREE **. It sat there for over a week.

    Next, he put a sign on it that read “$50” and it was gone the next morning.

    Thanks for sharing Eric. The cut and toss method usually works best for overstuffed furniture left behind. Charities don’t want it regardless of the condition.

  3. I bet if you posted it on craigslist in the free section for free couch, it wouldve been gone within 24 hours.

    Ive been able to get rid of old toilets, beds and tables all for free on craiglist. And they all pick it up for you. Its pretty great!!

    1. Thank you for the comment!

      I actually did post quite a bit of items for that rental, and not much was picked up. At other times, I have had people take stuff that I knew was going to be tossed in the dumpster.

  4. Sounded like you do tonsssss of work by yourself. Do you have time for anything else? Are you able to one day turn the business to someone else and just walk away and travel to Florida for 6 months of winter, then come back to MN for the cool summer?

    I do admire all the effort you put into your business, it shows.

    1. Thank you for the compliments!

      I do quite a bit, you do not make any money sitting still.

      I eventually will get a property manager, or start to sell the properties at some point. I can’t keep the pace up forever. I do my own turns and other maintenance too.

  5. NNL,

    In Houston we have a pretty sophisticated way to get rid of old stuff. Put the couch on the side of the curb with a sign that reads “FREE” Then wait about 30 minutes and voila! Martians from outer space pick it up. Either that or there are always people scoping neighborhoods for free stuff. 🙂

    MDP

    1. Thanks for the comment and Great job! At some point, some landlord, somewhere, will be wondering how to get rid of bedbugs that their tenants picked up from an old couch the tenants picked up on the curb…

      Of course, some would say the rich are just as likely to get bedbugs as someone who picks up furniture on the curb.

  6. This is actually great advice! On our former property (across the country), our tenants left a table, chairs and a desk. Since we were selling the property, we asked my sister in law (who we were paying to clean the property prior to listing), to list the items on Craigslist Free. She one upped it, and got paid for listing them.

    This exact topic is one reason that my husband and I are likely to stick to local real estate from now on.

    1. Thank you for the comment!

      Getting rid of old stuff is a pain. And when you have to hold it for 28 days, as we do in MN, it is even more of a headache. And when you have to then pay to dispose of it, it is a triple whammy. I always deduct from the security deposit when the tenant leaves items, as it costs something for me, in terms of time, to get rid of the things.

      I always figure the best investment property is one you can walk to.

  7. I had the same idea and now i see it here, and it worked because you had done it . I am going go out to buy an saw to cut my sofa in pieces and throw away 🙂

  8. I’ve never broken down a couch but I have taken apart a queen sized box spring, a large wooden desk and two solid wood 6ft bookshelves.
    It’s actually kind of fun and very “cleansing”.

  9. Have an old sleeper sofa here I have to dismantle just to fit in the back of the pickup to haul to the recycling center (10 tickets to get rid of, where a ticket = $2). Cheap enough for me, but I’ll need to employ my son for the heavy lifting. That’s worth $20 in pizza. :/ Price is going up.

    Fun read. Your responses in the comments are even better.

  10. This is useful for me too. I am a tenant and my landlord is my uncle. I don’t get handouts from him. I am low income, so I will disassemble the old sofa into pieces gradually disposing of them. I can’t afford to pay $200 to get rid of my old sofa.

  11. We just got a new couch, so we put our old one (well worn & had a slight smell due to baby spit up) out on the curb and posted it on Craigslist. It sat at the end of the driveway all Saturday, then Sunday afternoon we noticed someone took JUST THE CUSHIONS! So frustrating. Now it’s even more worthless to anyone. We might just have to take these tips and dismantle it. Kinda funny in that the couch is in much better shape than the cushions.

    1. Thank you for reading!

      It is extremely hard to get rid of soft furniture. People are afraid of bedbugs, and whatever else may be on the furniture. Good luck with the dismantling. It is a great way to go.

  12. How to Get Rid of the Problem of Needing to Dispose of a Couch for Free:

    Don’t organize your sorry, parasitic life around gaining a profit from the housing needs of impoverished peasants and you won’t need to concern yourself with the remnants of their derelict furniture.

    Problem solved, Senseless Slumlord

    1. Thank you for reading!

      You are 100% correct. That is why I advise landlords to stay away from low-quality tenants, such as yourself. There will be less issues with getting rid of couches and mattresses, and less beg bugs and roaches.

      Quality tenants will make the landlord the most money.

      1. Very well said!
        I am sure “Jayausi” is a recent immigrant from a 3rd world country in South Asia. Always cheap and looking for products and services free of charge!

        1. Thank you for reading!

          Tenants like Jayausi always think a landlords life is easy. They think it is the landlord’s job to cater to them, and help the tenant out of situations that are caused by the tenants themselves. Far too often, the situation is 100% preventable, if the tenant would lives like a civilized person.

          1. Jayausi is actually a property-owning, Ivy League-educated, US citizen who has the means and ability to slumlord like you, but refuses to perpetuate what remains of the feudal tenant system in modern day America. He’s made a modest fortune without resorting to the exploitation of those less privileged types you obviously despise — and even managed to greatly improve the lives of quite a few along the way. He is the antithesis of a greedy, couch-sawing slumlord. So, grit your teeth, bitch, and grind away. You’re still scum, and you deserve all the bedbugs, roaches and Section 8 tenants you attract.

          2. Thank you for reading!

            I am glad for you. Hopefully you can avoid tenants that leave mattresses behind. It is not a feudal system in the USA, until a tenant takes you to court. Then the Courts seem to take the side of a tenant.

            Are you a landlord in the USA, or in a different country? Do you have screening standards that just keep out the tenants that you do not want? Have you ever filed an eviction?

    1. Thank you for reading!

      I think the comment are probably more interesting than the article… If people would just take responsibility for their actions, landlords would not have to get rid of mattresses left behind.

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