Sprucing Up Your Furniture
If you are keen to donate it to a recycling project or charity rather than taking it to your local tip, it can pay dividends if the item of furniture has been made to look as good as it can be before it's collected.
For items like dining furniture, this can be as simple as giving it a good dust before thoroughly wiping it with some antibacterial spray to ensure it's totally clean. If your dining table has been subjected to a few marks over the years, it would be a great help for you to try and get rid of those, too.
Those white, hazy marks that can appear on wooden tables are the result of heat on the surface from hot items being put on the table and can be removed by simply placing a towel on top of them before pressing a steaming iron on the affected area. Wipe any wetness away quickly, and finish by wiping with a little olive oil to protect the table as much as possible. This method can damage the finish of the table, but will invariably remove the marking.
Sofas and armchairs
In terms of sofas, a little fabric care can go a long way. Though parts may look a little worn, giving it a wash if the covers are removable will be very appreciated by the project or charity you're donating it to. If the covers aren't removable, stains can be reduced by rubbing with baby wipes, of all things. Giving your sofa a good hoover can make all the difference, too. For leather sofas, a steam clean can work wonders, but if you've not got access to that kind of equipment, a wipe over with a leather oil or wax to give it a restorative finish.
Mattresses and beds
Notoriously hard to clean, mattresses can always benefit from a good vacuuming before you donate them. Though mattresses with large stains won't be much use to any recycling project or charity, small marks can be cleaned in the same way as fabric sofas. Sprinkling the mattress with baking powder and then leaving it for 24 hours can really help the appearance of the mattress too - just be sure to hoover it off before donating!
How to charitably recycle your furniture
Once you've given your item a good spruce, it's time to decide where's best to donate the item. Many councils will be able to point you in the direction of local community-based projects or charities, some of which will be able to come and collect your item.
Nationally, charities like the British Heart Foundation have a brilliant recycling scheme that can collect the item direct from your door, before selling them on with the proceeds going straight back into the charity.
However you decide to donate or recycle your unwanted furniture, know that in some way or form, it will be greatly appreciated - even more so if you ensure it's in the best condition it can be before you arrange a collection.