When you no longer want a large appliance in your home it can be hard to find out where to get rid of it. This practical appliance disposal and removal guide will help you get pointed in the right direction to remove it from your home.
Today's mission is to declutter unused or broken large appliances. This will most likely be more than a 15 minute mission actually, because getting rid of these large appliances normally takes some planning and coordination.
So today's mission is to take 15 minutes, identify what appliances like this need to get out of your home, and then make a plan for actually getting them out in the near future. You'll get some help from me, below, to get you started in the right direction for many of the major types of appliances within your home.
This isn't an "exciting" decluttering task, nor one people think of as often, but I can tell you each of the times we've finally gotten rid of one of these big appliances that was wasting space in our home it was such a relief to be rid of it.
In fact, here's what one participant, Carmen, said when she did this mission: "I was so excited I forgot to take a picture, but I achieved one of our missions that has needed to be done for about six years. I had this refrigerator that had not worked for six years in my basement finally hauled away. I really am excited. When I got my new one at the time, I had had them put the other one in the basement so I could use it as a back up. I can now get in my basement and actually clean instead of having to work around that thing. I just needed the push of that mission to get it done!"
I've set out, below, to provide a general guide to help you get rid of large appliances in your home, because I myself have faced this issue, and it is actually confusing and hard to figure out what to do with many of these items.
Of course, it is hard to speak sometimes in generalities, so make sure you consider all these factors when deciding what to do with your large appliances you no longer want in your home.
If the appliance you want to get rid of works, but you just don't personally use it, you can either sell or donate it. But I do urge you to get it out of your house if you're not using it, since someone could, and with it gone you'll free up a lot of space in your home.
One thing I've learned over the years, especially after having to get rid of several appliances, is that whenever possible, go ahead and arrange to get rid of the old appliance at the same time you're replacing it with a new one. I've found that unless I ask this service is not often included when you buy a new appliance, and many times it also costs additional money. However, the extra money and bit of hassle is nothing compared to keeping the old appliance around collecting dust and taking up space, so I gladly do it when I can to save myself headaches in the future.
Another possibility for working appliances is to call around and see if any charity or organization can use it. If they can come pick it up for you, with their own vehicle, and people to lift it, all the better! You can learn more in general about how to schedule a donation pick up here.
It's a lot simpler to get rid of working appliances than it is to get rid of broken ones, but you can dispose of broken ones as well.
Some of the main choices you've got when you've got a broken appliance is to take it to the dump, to a place for salvage as scrap metal, or try to sell or donate it for spare parts.
Sometimes local used appliance shops will take or purchase, cheaply, your non-working models to have spare parts for repairs. You can call and investigate this, but you may need to put some effort into finding a buyer.
Each location has different trash and waste rules and regulations, but you can also call your local trash collection service, or local dump in your area, to see if they have collection days for items like this. Sometimes you can arrange for pick up that is either free, if you wait until a designated time, or it may cost you money to have the appliance removed and taken away.
Finally, you should consider taking old non-working appliances to be turned into scrap metal, which is discussed below.
Many large appliances are made with metal, and once they've outlived their usefulness as appliances they still have some value because of the parts they're made from. I first became aware you could surrender old appliances and have them recycled and used for scrap metal a couple of years ago when I had an old dryer that didn't work anymore sitting in my garage. My husband and I loaded it into our van, took it to the local metal recycling plant, and were paid money, based on weight, to let them have it for scrap metal. Sweet!
If you can find a place to take it this is a great option, because it gets these items out of your home, and they can again have a useful life, although in another form.
The picture above, to the left, is from a reader, Marci, who did this Declutter 365 mission and got rid of many of her appliances by having them turned into scrap metal. She explained about this photo, "Scrap metal out of the garage and back yard. Three dead appliances plus, all donated to the local high school Charity Drive - and they came and picked it up. :) Hooray!"
Unfortunately, not all metal recyclers will take all appliances for scrap metal, nor can you even take all of your old, broken appliances to a dump. The reason -- some of these appliances actually have hazardous waste in them. Most notably this is an issue with freezers and refrigerators where environmental guidelines prohibit places from taking such appliances because of the coolants involved, at least until the coolants are properly and safely removed.
My family ran into this issue not too long ago when we wanted to get rid of an old upright freezer the previous owner of our home left in the garage for us to deal with. It was a nightmare. Because of the coolants no one would take the freezer, and we ended up keeping it for years, unwillingly, collecting dust and wasting space until finally I heard about a government program that was encouraging people to switch to more energy-efficient units. They paid us to take away the freezer, with the promise that they'd dispose of it properly. It was heaven. I would have paid them by that point to have the thing out of my home and as the freezer was hauled away my husband and I did a happy dance. The money they paid us was really just a bonus.
So my point is make sure you investigate whether a place will take an old appliance prior to you hauling it somewhere, or having someone show up to pick it up. In addition, be proactive by talking to the waste management company in your area and asking them how they suggest getting rid of some of these items. They can help you discover ways you may not know about, such as the government program we finally discovered to help us get rid of our huge piece of garage clutter.
Finally, this is common sense, but transportation is a huge issue when figuring out appliance removal and disposal in your home. Many of these items are heavy and/or bulky. It may take a bigger vehicle than you've got to move it, or a stronger set of muscles than you've got to even haul it out of your home.
While ideally you would like to have removal not cost you anything, or better yet, get paid something for the appliance you once probably paid a lot of money for yourself, there are times when you need to be willing to pay someone else to help you get it out of your home.
I have found that if you let people have the appliance, broken or not, there will often be someone who will volunteer to come transport it for you. This could be a charity you are donating to, but it could also be individuals who will take these items for you. Even if it isn't stated in these terms, they are willing to provide you with the service of transporting these large appliances away, for free, for the opportunity to themselves take it somewhere for the scrap money.
Some people have success just leaving items like this out on their curb and having people haul it away for them. In my opinion that is not ideal though, since if no arrangements are made and no one comes to pick it up you've just junked up your own front curb.
But you can arrange for pickups through charities, fundraising projects, or even from individuals using Facebook buy/sell groups, or Craigslist (although you need to be mindful of personal safety with these methods!)
Point being though, where there is a will there's usually a way. The biggest part of appliance removal and disposal is often making quite a few telephone calls until you figure out the best way to get rid of it, and then arranging for all the steps to get the stuff taken away.
Now that you understand the basic issues of appliance removal and disposal in your home, here's a brief guide to disposing of several of them, plus some services which can help you with the process.
As mentioned above, there are specific environmental rules that need to be followed when disposing of refrigerators and freezers because of the coolants in them. Therefore, you will need to do a bit of investigation to make sure you are following the proper rules and procedures. Here's a helpful place to start your investigation for a refrigerator or freezer recycling program (link goes to the EnergyStar.gov website discussing this issue).
You may be able to get a rebate if you switch to a new, more energy efficient, dishwasher, stove or oven. The store selling you the new appliance will be most likely be able to tell you more about those government offers. But in addition to rebates, donation, or selling, you can also check with places like Best Buy, Lowes and Home Depot, all of which have services to haul away old appliances for a fee. These stores will have someone come pick up the old appliance (often as they deliver the new one to you) and make sure it is taken to a place to be recycled properly.
Washers and dryers can be disposed of in much the same way as dishwashers, ovens and stoves mentioned above. Along with checking with companies about their haul away programs for old appliances, another resource you can check out is 1-800-Got-Junk. This company specializes (for a fee) in removing appliances, along with other junk, from your home. They've already learned exactly how to remove different appliances and make sure they get recycled or disposed of properly, so you don't have to figure it out yourself.
Tell me below, in the comments, what appliances you've identified that you need to get out of your home, or if you've done this recently, what you did with various big appliances to help others get on the right track for disposing of theirs as well.
I hope this guide and information about removing old appliances from your home has inspired you to get rid of your appliance clutter.
When you begin to declutter the feeling you get is contagious, so if you're loving the results you're getting I would encourage you to keep going.
I've got a whole series of 15 minute decluttering missions (eventually 365 of them!) that you can do.
Just pick and choose the ones you want to do, that will make a big impact in your home. But if you want someone else to tell you the order you can also grab the 15 minute daily decluttering mission calendars and follow along as we all get our homes clutter free together!
You can also get more ideas for electronics disposal here:
I would love to hear from you, sharing your thoughts, questions, or ideas about this topic, so leave me a comment below. I try to always respond back!