The Custom Furniture Business: Creating Beautiful and Timeless Designs
Small businesses are the soul of America

More people are interested in buying locally made products than ever before. You can capitalize on many consumers’ return to local shopping by emphasizing that all components of your furniture are made in the United States, or in your town or area. The same applies to handmade goods. Individuals who are tired of mass-produced goods are often the same people who are interested in buying locally. Given this climate, it is a good time to start a handmade furniture business.

Fine Wood Working

16 January 2019

Expert advice on woodworking and furniture making, with thousands of how-to videos, step-by-step articles, project plans, photo galleries, tool reviews, blogs, and more

Where to donate furniture and household items

‘Tis the season of giving

Sometimes selling used home goods you no longer want makes sense and sometimes it doesn’t. Perhaps the current market value of the items isn’t worth the effort or you just don’t feel like dealing with strangers, yet the products are still perfectly functional and it would be nice (and sustainable) to find them a new home. These are the times to look into donating.

Below, we’ve rounded up various channels for donating household items, from furniture banks to charity shops. Before donating, take care to accurately assess the condition of your items (consider checking with the organization first to make sure they’re in acceptable condition) and note that some buildings may require a certificate of insurance if movers will be coming in to transport larger items. And when donating to charities, don’t forget to get a receipt to claim a tax deduction.

The following resources, listed alphabetically, accept household items, furniture, and appliances of all sizes unless otherwise noted.

Furniture banks

With locations across the U.S. and Canada, furniture banks collect gently used furniture and household items and distribute them to families in need for...


‘Tis the season of giving

Sometimes selling used home goods you no longer want makes sense and sometimes it doesn’t. Perhaps the current market value of the items isn’t worth the effort or you just don’t feel like dealing with strangers, yet the products are still perfectly functional and it would be nice (and sustainable) to find them a new home. These are the times to look into donating.

Below, we’ve rounded up various channels for donating household items, from furniture banks to charity shops. Before donating, take care to accurately assess the condition of your items (consider checking with the organization first to make sure they’re in acceptable condition) and note that some buildings may require a certificate of insurance if movers will be coming in to transport larger items. And when donating to charities, don’t forget to get a receipt to claim a tax deduction.

The following resources, listed alphabetically, accept household items, furniture, and appliances of all sizes unless otherwise noted.

Furniture banks

With locations across the U.S. and Canada, furniture banks collect gently used furniture and household items and distribute them to families in need for little or no cost.

Freecycle

Freecycle is an international movement made up of people who give and get stuff for free in their communities. Find your local group to see what kind of “wants” and “offers” there are around you.

Social networks

Social networks like Facebook and Nextdoor have marketplace features where you can sell or give away items locally.

Local charities

Use Donation Town to find a local charity that takes furniture and home goods and schedule a pick up.

National charity shops

Goodwill and Salvation Army have locations around the country. Many of them offer donation pickups, especially for larger items like furniture.

Local nonprofits and businesses

Look into local organizations like homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, and thrift stories that may welcome furniture and home goods donations. donateNYC, for example, is a local resource for finding places to donate or find second-hand goods in New York City.

Habitat for Humanity ReStores

These Habitat for Humanity stores sell new and gently used furniture, decor, appliances, and building materials to the public at a discount. Most locations offer pickups for large items.

Savers

Found across the U.S., Canada, and Australia, these for-profit thrift stores purchase donations from nonprofits (you can contribute items to a participating nonprofit at a Savers location). Highest quality items are sold to the local community; unsold items are recycled or sold to resellers in developing countries. Small furniture and appliances only. Some locations do not take any furniture, so check beforehand.

Vietnam Veterans Association

Operating in dozens of states, VVA accepts donations of household items, as well as small furniture and appliances. Donation pick up is available in select locations.

‘Tis the season of giving

Sometimes selling used home goods you no longer want makes sense and sometimes it doesn’t. Perhaps the current market value of the items isn’t worth the effort or you just don’t feel like dealing with strangers, yet the products are still perfectly functional and it would be nice (and sustainable) to find them a new home. These are the times to look into donating.

Below, we’ve rounded up various channels for donating household items, from furniture banks to charity shops. Before donating, take care to accurately assess the condition of your items (consider checking with the organization first to make sure they’re in acceptable condition) and note that some buildings may require a certificate of insurance if movers will be coming in to transport larger items. And when donating to charities, don’t forget to get a receipt to claim a tax deduction.

The following resources, listed alphabetically, accept household items, furniture, and appliances of all sizes unless otherwise noted.

Furniture banks

With locations across the U.S. and Canada, furniture banks collect gently used furniture and household items and distribute them to families in need for little or no cost.

Freecycle

Freecycle is an international movement made up of people who give and get stuff for free in their communities. Find your local group to see what kind of “wants” and “offers” there are around you.

Social networks

Social networks like Facebook and Nextdoor have marketplace features where you can sell or give away items locally.

Local charities

Use Donation Town to find a local charity that takes furniture and home goods and schedule a pick up.

National charity shops

Goodwill and Salvation Army have locations around the country. Many of them offer donation pickups, especially for larger items like furniture.

Local nonprofits and businesses

Look into local organizations like homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, and thrift stories that may welcome furniture and home goods donations. donateNYC, for example, is a local resource for finding places to donate or find second-hand goods in New York City.

Habitat for Humanity ReStores

These Habitat for Humanity stores sell new and gently used furniture, decor, appliances, and building materials to the public at a discount. Most locations offer pickups for large items.

Savers

Found across the U.S., Canada, and Australia, these for-profit thrift stores purchase donations from nonprofits (you can contribute items to a participating nonprofit at a Savers location). Highest quality items are sold to the local community; unsold items are recycled or sold to resellers in developing countries. Small furniture and appliances only. Some locations do not take any furniture, so check beforehand.

Vietnam Veterans Association

Operating in dozens of states, VVA accepts donations of household items, as well as small furniture and appliances. Donation pick up is available in select locations.


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Give your business a name. Name your business something that indicates what you sell. This will come in handy later on, when you are marketing your business and want people to associate your business name with handmade furniture.
File a DBA, which stands for “doing business as,” at your local county clerk’s office. You may want to do a search to ensure that no other business in your town is operating under the same name. If you live in a large metropolitan area, a search is a necessity.
Create a line of furniture. You’ll need to have models of each piece of furniture that you intend to sell, so that customers can easily visualize what you have to offer. Add to your furniture line each year so that your stock stays fresh and on-trend.