Landlording stuff ahead! Thinking “where can I dump a couch”, “how to get rid of an old couch”, ”
how to dispose of a mattress” for free? Check this out!
One of the problems I’ve been having as a landlord (and a rehabber/flipper) lately is dumping and getting rid of stuff in a proper way. Although only a few Real Estate books talk about the subject, this is actually a pretty popular topic among reference sites for landlords, like Real Town. Most distressed properties come with immense garbage, which we can’t simply dump at our door. In fact, when I bought rental property #3 (RP#3), it had so much garbage that I spent about 3 days cleaning it up and dumping old stuff. After one hour of work, I already had a lot of things to dispose:
Sometimes tenants have no money (or will) to take care of this problem, and so you, as the landlord, will have to solve it. Dumping couches (chesterfields, as my fellow Canadians say) or mattresses is not a trivial problem, though. Even if you own your home and want to get rid of a couch or a mattress, you must follow specific rules and take specific action; leaving a couch or a mattress at your doorstep is no solution. If you drop a couch at a public random place, like a park or a shopping center, you can get a fine. Depending on your location, it could reach thousands of dollars.
How to get rid of a couch for free
There are many services to haul and dump your stuff (“Two Men and a Truck” is one company that comes to my mind right now) but those will probably cost you at least $100-$150. Depending on the price you get, it may actually be a fair price, but most people can’t afford to pay that much to dump a couch. As a landlord, I need a more systematic solution, because my margins are pretty slim and this may happen all too often.
Before going any further, I will provide you with two different options to get rid of your old couch for free: 1) call up a few charities and let them know you’re giving away your couch. Now, it is a very old couch, do not expect them to want it. 2) give it away for free to people. Craig’s list (or anything similar, if you do not live in the US) is a great platform. I also print out a few ads with my cell phone number on them, and say “free couch – call me”.
Now, the most effective solution is getting rid of the sofa by yourself:
Step 1) Remove all staples first.
Warning: this may actually be tough. I always use a hard screwdriver to remove staples.
Step 2) Take off the fabric, to see how the sofa was built.
At this point, you can see pretty much the structure/foundation of the sofa, and how to proceed next. Sofas are far from being identical in the inside, but most follow common principles.
Step 3) Cut as many wood frame supports as possible.
I typically don’t simply cut them once, but twice (thus removing a few centimeters off of ever support). Stay away from cutting springs, bolts, and nails.
Step 4) Get the couch down to very small wood pieces.
I personally use them to start the fire in my fireplace, if they are real wood (and not a toxic material). As for the other pieces, toss them into your garbage barrel or carry them to a proper dumpster. In Germany, you have cage dumpsters in most neighborhoods. In Portugal, you need to pay to use them, so I typically carry the garbage to a municipal dumpster, which is free to use.
I will leave you two videos which explain how to execute these steps in practice:
BTW, its common to find a few coins in every sofa. If you do, you’re welcome to share! 🙂
In the future, I will share more posts on where to dump or get rid of a couch, get a rid of a mattress for free, how to dispose of a mattress for free and where to dump old furniture.