How to Know When Furniture Is Past Its Prime
by Catherine Conelly
It’s easy to get rid of small furniture and decor items, but when it’s time to throw away a bulky piece of furniture like a couch, mattress or coffee table, you’ll need to put in a little more forethought and planning. This is especially true if you’re redecorating an office or workspace with extra-large office furniture such as a conference table or set of desks and chairs. Luckily, before you start weighing your options for where to throw away furniture, you might be able to salvage it. Let’s weigh some options for determining when furniture is past its prime.
Couches and Recliners
Experts suggest some couches could be past their prime at around seven years while others may last up to 15 years. The popular furniture store Living Spaces says a quality sofa should last about 15 years (three times longer if it is leather). If it doesn’t feel stable or it’s creaking a lot when someone sits down, it’s probably time to kick it to the curb. Not there yet?
When it comes to salvaging a sofa, minor upholstery wear and tear (like fading, holes, rips) can be fixed. Contact local furniture stores to compare quotes for reupholstering it. This isn’t always cheap, but in some cases, it may still be cheaper than buying a whole new couch. The insides matter, too — if cushions are sunken in and losing their structure, you can pay to have them re-stuffed. This gives the sofa or chair new life before investing in a new one.
This is one of the more-important categories. Your mattress affects your sleep and your sleep affects your health. That’s why the National Sleep Foundation recommends replacing your mattress every six to eight years. It’s not the kind of item you can refurbish, but you can prolong the life of your mattress by rotating it every couple of months. If your mattress is approaching six to eight years and you’re uncomfortable when you sleep, wake up achy and generally aren’t sleeping well, it’s probably time to shop for a new one.
Coffee Tables, Dining Tables and Dressers
According to Living Spaces, these items could last as little as five years to as long as 20 years. It all depends on the quality. You can reinforce wobbly legs with glue, but that’s usually a sign the piece is losing stability and you might want to consider replacing it. Luckily, scratches aren’t a deal-breaker. A little wear and tear can actually add rustic style to these pieces.
If that isn’t the look you’re going for and those scratches are starting to add up, you can use powder pumice and mineral oil to buff them out with extra-fine steel wool. There also are plenty of other DIY methods for staining or buffing out scratches, including lemon juice, shoe polish, and a vinegar and oil mixture.
Baylor University put out a white paper about knowing when to replace an office chair so organizations can plan for this in their budgets. When components fall off or a chair looks worn and is no longer comfortable (this affects employee productivity), those are good signs it’s time to toss. For desks and tables, it’s similar to dining and coffee tables: Is it losing stability? Toss. Are there some nicks and scratches? Buff these until you’re ready to buy new.
In the end, if it’s time to throw away some of your bulkier furniture, don’t worry about hauling it to the dump, renting a truck or borrowing a neighbor’s truck to get the job done. We can help clear your old furniture from your curb with a safe contact-free pickup. Simply compare quotes from the Curb-It Haulers, who will do the heavy lifting of your old furniture so you can make space for the new.
Catherine Conelly is a former beauty and health editor turned freelance writer and digital marketer.
She’s written for Shape, Thrillist, PopSugar and StyleCaster. Her work has also appeared in Forbes,
Entrepreneur, the Glassdoor blog and Adidas Game Plan A.