When it comes time to move office locations one of the biggest logistical headaches can often be what to do with your old office furniture and computers. That can be especially true if you don’t want to pay to have your old stuff moved or are going to be getting new furniture delivery and installation at your new location.
Thankfully, finding a good way to dispose of old office furniture and computers doesn’t have to be such a headache. In fact, there are some pretty good ways to make disposal work to your advantage.
For part one, we delve into specific information for making the best out of old office furniture disposal. Come back and check out part two for tips on disposing of old computers.
Make a Complete Inventory of Furniture
The first step in disposing of old office furniture prior to a commercial move is making a comprehensive inventory of what you’ve got and what you don’t want to take with you. Include everything: desks, chairs, lamps, tables, cubicles, cabinets, and so on. The more accurate your inventory, the better you’ll do later on in the furniture disposal process.
To create and record the inventory, put one person in charge of collecting the information. For larger companies, put one person in charge for each floor in your building and have another person combine all of the lists together in a spreadsheet or database.
Once you have a complete inventory of furniture, you’re ready take the next step.
Sell to Your Employees First
Don’t overlook your employees when it comes to disposing your company’s old office furniture. Before you move your office, consider selling your old furniture to your employees at a discount. For example, some employees may like their office chairs and might pay $20 to take one home. Others could use a filing cabinet or a desk for a home office or study.
Offering to sell old office furniture to your employees at a discount is a win-win situation. Not only will it create an immediate revenue stream, it will demonstrate goodwill and ensure some of your furniture gets taken away for free.
Just make sure you update your inventory list during this stage so you can have accurate discussions with resellers, recyclers, and donation organizations as you continue your disposal process.
Sell to Used Furniture Shops Second
After you give your employees first crack at the furniture you want to dispose of, reach out to used furniture shops to sell the rest. At this point your inventory list should be updated so you’ll be able to have an accurate discussion with the reseller.
Not only will office furniture shops buy your old office furniture, many of them will also remove it for you, for a price. Normally a reseller will want to stop by your building and make their own inventory list, which you can compare to your own list during negotiations.
Try to negotiate a lump sum for everything you don’t want. That way you can sell all your furniture, and get all of it hauled away, instead of just certain pieces.
Recycle for Cash and Possible LEED Points
Recycling your old office furniture can be a worthwhile option if you’d rather not deal with a used furniture store. Since office furniture contains materials that may have value to a recycling center, including plastic, metal, wood, and cloth, you may be able to get cash for it.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering recycling office furniture:
- As a rule, less than 1/10th of one percent of office furniture can’t be recycled, so you should be in good shape when negotiating
- Make sure that the office furniture inventory you build at the beginning of this process records a list of materials your office furniture is made of; a recycling center will need that information to accurately estimate the value of your furniture
- Be mindful that the recycling center’s fees for hauling your furniture don’t exceed the cost of the furniture itself
The LEED Value of Recycling Old Office Furniture
As an added benefit, you may be able to earn LEED points for recycling your old office furniture.
While recycling isn’t considered an Innovation in Design (ID) strategy, nor does it fall under MRc3: Material Reuse, it can end up earning you MRc2 Construction Waste Management points. You’ll need to document everything carefully, but since you already have a detailed list of furniture and materials, you should be good to go.
Consider Donating for Benevolence and Tax Write-Offs
Lastly, you can always donate your used office furniture to a charitable organization if you’re more interested in helping people and generating community goodwill than making a quick buck. Of course, when you donate furniture you’re eligible for a tax write-off so you can still end up with some financial gain in the end.
As you can see, there are lots of pretty good ways to dispose of old office furniture and still come out ahead. Now head on over to part two to take a gander at some good ideas for disposing of old computers.