Everything You Need To Know Before Getting Rid Of A Couch

How to Prepare, Plan, and Execute Your Couch or Sofa Removal

old blue sectional couch

Getting rid of an old couch, sofa, loveseat, or sectional requires proper planning and preparation in order to execute safely.  Couches are often bulky and heavy, and can cause significant damage to your walls or your back if not done correctly.  Whether you’re looking to get rid of the couch yourself or hire a company for a professional couch removal service, we’ve compiled a step by step process to follow, with relevant questions to ask yourself for each step.

Step 1: Assessment and Decision-Making

thinking about removing an old sofa

As with any decision, it’s best to know your options first.  What have other people done?  What are the potential difficulties that may arise when doing this myself vs hiring a professional?  Do I even need to get rid of my couch, or are there other options?  Check out the questions below to help you assess the situation and make the best decision.

What is the life of a recliner?

The life of a recliner is 7 to 15 years on average, depending on quality of materials, usage, and maintenance.

Is it worth repairing an old sofa?

repairing the upholstery of an old sofa

When considering if it’s worth repairing an old sofa, you need to account for the quality of the materials, the overall condition, the sentimental value, and the estimated cost of repairs.  Reference the table below for our assessment on whether or not it’s worth repairing an old sofa.

Worth Repairing? Quality of Materials Overall Condition Sentimental Value Cost of Repairs
Yes Low Fair Yes Minor
Maybe Low Fair Yes Major
No Low Fair No Minor
No Low Fair No Major
Maybe Low Poor Yes Minor
No Low Poor Yes Major
No Low Poor No Minor
No Low Poor No Major
Yes High Fair Yes Minor
Maybe High Fair Yes Major
Maybe High Fair No Minor
No High Fair No Major
Maybe High Poor Yes Minor
No High Poor Yes Major
Maybe High Poor No Minor
No High Poor No Major

Should I disassemble furniture if I want to throw it away?

You should always disassemble furniture if you want to throw it away.  Whether you’re placing the item in your city trash bin or on the curb for a company to pick it up, disassembling the furniture minimizes risk of damage to your property and your health.

Step 2: Understanding Sofa Structure

If you’ve got this far and decided you want to remove your old sofa instead of repair it, next you need to understand the moveable and removable parts to assist your removal.

removing the back of a recliner

Do most reclining sofas come apart?

Most reclining sofas come apart for ease of transport. Typically the backs come apart, and sometimes each individual seat can come apart as well.

Do backs of recliner sofas come off?

The backs of most recliner sofas come off in order to facilitate moving and transport.  Typically there are two tabs that need to be pulled simultaneously in order for the back to be removed.

Do all reclining sofas have removable backs?

Most reclining sofas have removable backs, but not all.  Check the back of your sofa to see if there are tabs on the frame that are locking the back in place.

Step 3: Preparation and Safety Considerations

measuring the hallway before moving a recliner

Preparation for Moving Heavy Furniture

Make a clear path, picking up any kids toys that could be lying on the floor.  Watch for any decor that could get knocked over as well, moving it to a safe location.  Cover any tight spaces with a protective blanket if needed.

Safety Measures

When lifting a heavy couch, make sure that you lift properly.  Lift with your legs, not your back.  Make sure not to lift anything too heavy by yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if needed!

Step 4: Planning for Removal

Will a 40-inch wide sofa fit through a 36-inch door?

Fitting a 40-inch wide sofa through a 36-inch door may require the following:

  • Tilting the couch
  • Standing the couch up on its side and pivoting it through the doorway
  • Removing the legs of the couch
  • Removing the backrest
  • Taking the door off its hinges

a large sectional sofa

Can you take a couch apart to fit through a door?

Yes, it is possible to take a couch apart to fit through most doors.  Many times you can remove either the legs or the back of the couch to give you enough clearance.

How do you move a sofa on your own?

The following are methods we use to move a sofa on our own:

  • Sliders
  • Moving blankets as sleds
  • Furniture dolly

How do you move a single couch?

Move a single couch by one of the following methods:

  • Having a friend help move it
  • Using a furniture dolly
  • Using sliders
  • Putting a moving blanket underneath and pulling it like a sled

Step 5: Disassembly and Cutting

Is dismantling a sofa easy?

Dismantling a sofa is fairly easy with the use of an Allen wrench and a screwdriver.  Most modern sofas can be dismantled into three parts: the legs, the back, and the seating portion of the couch. Look for the screws/bolts on your particular model that connect those three parts of the couch together and remove them carefully.

How do you break up an old couch?

Break up an old couch using the following steps:

  1. Grab necessary tools (screwdriver, Allen wrench)
  2. Remove the cushions
  3. Remove the legs
  4. Remove the back
  5. Cut the frame if necessary with a reciprocating saw

Does the back of Lazy Boy recliners come off?

The back of Lazy Boy recliners come off in nearly all models.  Make sure to locate the tabs in the back of the couch.

Can I cut a sofa in half?

Yes, you can cut a sofa in half.  Using a reciprocating saw and the proper blade, you can cut sofas with wooden and metal frames in half.

Step 6: Where to Dispose of Old Furniture

There’s many places you can dispose of your old couch.  Make sure to check out your municipal or local waste management services.  Another great options is recycling centers.  And lastly, a private hauling company can make sure to properly dispose of your couch.

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About the Author: Nicholas Krygier

Nick is the co-founder / owner of American River Hauling and Junk Removal llc. We take pride in doing what's best for our community, answering the phone, and delivering on promises.