Your old couch has become a bit ratty and worn down, or the futon or sleeper sofa is no longer needed or just doesn't fit anymore. Maybe you're ready to upgrade your living room sectional. Whatever the case, it's time to donate or get rid of your old sofa to make way for the new.
A Couch for a Cause
If your old couch is in good shape, a nonprofit or charitable organization like the Salvation Army or Goodwill Industries may be willing to make a house call to take it off your hands. Habitat for Humanity is always looking for furniture donations to sell in their Habitat ReStores. Other local charities -- such as homeless shelters, women's shelters or children's homes -- may use these donations in their facilities, or sell them in thrift stores they operate and use the proceeds to fund the organization. You can search for charitable organizations through your local newspaper's website or online or through the United Way. If you're having trouble locating an organization willing to accept a donation, you can also try PickUpMyDonation.com, which partners with local organizations across the country.
Second Run Sofa
Another option is to donate your sofa to a local theater group in need of furniture to use on a set. Try contacting local high school drama programs or community theater groups to see if they're in need of a sofa or couch for an upcoming production. Occasionally, these groups might use items that are in rough condition that you wouldn't be able to donate elsewhere. Another option is to advertise your couch, sofa or futon on local web pages or local online garage sales -- college students are often looking for this kind of furniture, especially if it's cheap or free. If your sofa is in great shape, or it's a unique or retro item, see if a secondhand store will take it as a consignment.
If you can't even give your futon or sofa away for free, it's a good bet it's beyond the point of being usable. Many cities pick up larger items like beat-up couches that won't fit in a normal garbage bin, but you have to call ahead to request a bulky item removal; some cities may charge an additional fee for this service. You can also call and arrange for a bulk trash pickup if you use a private sanitation service.
Call in the Professionals
If all else fails, you may need to hire someone to remove the sofa. You can look up local furniture disposal services or junk removal companies and make an appointment. For a charge, one of these services will remove your heavy or awkward sofa. You can find these services in the phone book or online.
Rachel Zohn has a semi-obsession with tile, countertops, fixtures and furnishings -- and for that you can blame her work as a design moderator for Zillow Digs, the home inspiration section of Zillow.com. She is also a writer, specializing in blogging about home decor and home furnishing. Zohn has a bachelor's degree in journalism from San Francisco State, and is a former newspaper reporter.