Sold (for free): Ikea bookcase. Marketing language: This bookcase can hold a lot of crap. Photo by author.

Sold (for free): Ikea bookcase. Marketing language: This bookcase can hold a lot of crap. Photo by author.

Over the past couple of weeks, the Kiwi and I started selling and giving away our furniture on Craigslist DC. I really hate the idea of throwing stuff away when it can be recycled. Here are a couple of lessons and anecdotes from our Craigslist usage:

1. The D.C. area has few cheap options for bed recycling (Goodwill doesn’t accept beds), so it may be easier to just give it away on Craigslist. At least via Craigslist, there’s a good chance it doesn’t end up in a dump.

1.5 If you do give a bed away on Craigslist, make sure you know the hours of operation for the storage unit where said bed is stored.

I put up a posting giving away a bed and table that I stored in a unit, and made arrangements for the recipient to pick them up in the evening. What I didn’t remember: my storage facility ends access after 7 p.m. The recipient showed up with a U-Haul truck and two friends, watching me trying to get my code to open the doors to no avail. The official term for how I felt was “schmucky”. (I mean, what I could I do at that point? They showed up with a U-Haul and I showed up with incompetence.)

The recipient agreed to come back the next day, and I offered to give him $50ish for that day’s U-Haul rental. He took the bed and table, I closed out my storage unit, and now paying for a storage unit is one less thing to worry about.


2. Funny and or honest Craigslist postings can only help.

This week, I put up a posting for a free Ikea bookcase, which I have used as a room divider and store-er of crap. I posted a photo of just how much crap it can hold (answer: lots.) I also mentioned that the recipient would have to take the bookcase out unassembled, and then assemble it in his/her own home. I think that sounds like a pain, but you’d have to do the same thing if you bought a new bookcase from Ikea.

After I put up the listing, I received about 100 emails. One hundred emails, for a free bookcase that someone would have to take out piece by piece and reassemble. You’d would have thought I was giving away free Chipotle, based on the response to the ad.

We found a winner to take the bookcase. I’m amazed by how many people would be willing to take stuff off our hands. This is reassuring, especially when moving out is an awfully tiring process.


There will be more to giveaway on Craigslist. The move is slowly, and yet at the same time suddenly, feeling very, very real.