Redecorating your office is fun. It allows you to rethink the whole office environment, and as committees go, The Redecorating Committee is much more fun than that sad Party Planning Committee everyone tries to avoid around the holidays. (Sorry, party planners: The virgin egg nog bummed us out.)
The only downside to snazzing up the place is that you have to figure out what to do with your used office furniture. You can’t just put it out on the curb. The trash man won’t take it, and as tired as you might be of looking at furnishings that were the height of fashion in 2001, it’s kind of irritating to see an investment like that sitting out among the garbage bins.
Never fear. There are plenty of creative things to do with your old office furniture that aren’t the equivalent of setting a pile of cash on fire. Here are four of our favorites.
1. Recycle It
You can now officially recycle anything, from plastic bottles to used computers to, yes, your old office furniture. The website Earth911 has a nifty tool that will help you find recycling centers near your office.
2. “Freecycle” or Donate It
Lots of communities have freecycling programs, either official or unofficial, that allow people and organizations to list furniture that’s free to anyone who wants it. Failing that, there’s always Craigslist, the Coke Classic of free furniture sites.
If you want the tax write-off, or just like the idea of giving your furniture to organizations who help people in need, there are lots of nonprofits that will take your furniture and either resell it or redistribute it, including Goodwill and the Salvation Army, as well as locally-focused charities like Housing Works.
3. Reuse It
Before you give away, toss, or donate all of your old furniture, ask yourself if any of it could be used in a slightly different way when combined with your new equipment. The furniture that once adorned the CEO’s office might now be perfect for a lounge area or informal conference room. This is the same theory that operates in many private households, where the living room furniture wends its way from the front room to the den to a college kid’s apartment over the course of a lifetime.
4. Sell It
Redecorating isn’t free, and selling your old office furniture can help defray the cost of buying new. There are lots of options for companies who decide to offload their old equipment in this way, from our old favorite Craigslist to quality used furniture companies like, well, us. (Contact Arnolds for a quote, here. We buy entire office buildings worth, as well as smaller lots.)
The greatest thing about selling your old stock? You get to “recycle” your furniture, and get paid for it.