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The Fan

Keep Richmond’s alleys clean, support the community with local furniture pickup services

The end of July is Richmond’s biggest apartment flip date, and students and other residents often leave behind furniture and other unwanted items. But it doesn’t have to be this way!

Trevor Dickerson

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Photo: Heaton Johnson V

The week around August 1st is arguably one of Richmond’s biggest moving weekends, especially in The Fan and Oregon Hill neighborhood surrounding VCU. As students prepare to go back to class (or graduate), leases flip and apartments turn over at the end of July, leaving couches and other furniture, boxes, trash, and other unwanted items in the city’s alleyways and creating an unsightly mess that isn’t cleaned up quickly.

It doesn’t have to be this way. If you’re moving out of your apartment–or know someone who is–there are a number of local organizations that will pick up your unwanted items and help keep Richmond’s alleys and sidewalks free of furniture, trash and debris. It’s good information to file away any time of year.

Diversity Thrift

Diversity Thrift, a thrift store benefitting the Richmond Gay Community Foundation, will pick up your items, free of charge, in the City of Richmond as well as in Henrico and Chesterfield Counties seven days a week. The nonprofit accepts used furniture, boxed household items, bagged clothing, and more! Due to high volume of calls, the organization asks folks to call several days in advance to schedule a pickup.

To schedule a pickup: Call 804.353.8890 or email [email protected] and include your address and contact phone number.

CARITAS

The Richmond chapter of Catholic charity CARITAS provides a furniture bank serving over 800 Richmond area families struggling with poverty each year. The organization offers fee-based pickup services of household items and focuses on their clients’ most needed items, which include mattresses, boxsprings, dressers, kitchen tables, sofas, and bunk beds. Fees range from $30 to $50 based on your location; a two to three hour pickup window will be given by the organization. Pickups are available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM.

To schedule a pickup: Call 804.887.1593 or email [email protected] and include your address and contact phone number.

Goodwill

Goodwill operates thrift stores that supplement its job training services and other programs all across the country. Goodwill Virginia accepts a laundry list of items including clothing, shoes, furniture, sheets and towels, jewelry, antiques, books, dishes and housewares, flat panel TVs, small appliances, and newer model computers–a great choice if you’ve got a large variety of stuff to offload. The organization offers a priorty pickup service known as “College Hunks Hauling Junk” if you need to get rid of your items fast, but there’s a fee involved.

To schedule a pickup: Get an online estimate for pickup or speak to a local representative to inquire about pickup services by calling 1.888.461.5241.

The Salvation Army

The Richmond chapter of the Salvation Army, which operates thrift stores to support its mission of helping rebuild broken lives, has flexible pickup options around Richmond and accepts donations of clothes, books, furniture, and more. Pickup is free and all items must be on the first or second level of your home to be accepted.

To schedule a pickup: Select your ZIP code, fill out the online donation form and choose a pickup date.

Items not generally accepted for donation

Since most organizations intend to repurpose or resell your used household items in support of their services, many items may not quality for pickup. Check with the group you intend to work with to see if your item(s) will be accepted, but here are some general guideline as to stuff that’s probably not going to make the cut to get you started:

  • Old model “tube” TVs, projection TVs, old computers and CRT monitors
  • Cribs, strollers, and child car seats (due to safety concerns)
  • Rusted, broken, damaged, wet, or excessively dirty items
  • Large appliances (refrigerators, stoves, washers) over five years old
  • Pianos, organs, or other super heavy items requiring more than two people to move or lift
  • Paints or flammable items like oils or fuels

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