Cutout shape of house in front of moving boxes

Realtor’s Guide to Recommending Furniture Donations [+ Free Checklist]

At New Life Furniture Bank, we’re on a mission to make sure anyone needing a fresh start has access to quality furniture in their homes. And guess what? We can’t do it without the help of the amazing Greater Cincinnati community we’re a part of. That’s where real estate agents like you come in!

We know you like to help your clients throughout the selling and moving process. Sometimes this includes advice on downsizing and what to do with furniture they no longer need. But instead of tossing it to the curb, why not encourage them to donate it to us? They’ll get rid of stuff they don’t want, give back to their community, and help people in need furnish their homes.

This guide includes everything you need to share New Life Furniture Bank with your clients. Let’s team up and make a difference for your clients and our community at the same time.

1. Inform Your Clients About New Life Furniture Bank

Let your clients know who we are, what we do, and how their donations can help. New Life Furniture Bank provides furnishings for families and individuals who are overcoming homelessness in the Greater Cincinnati area. By donating their unwanted furniture to us, your clients are making a difference right here in the Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Dayton areas.

Encourage your clients to check out our website to learn more about our mission and the impact of their donations. In the meantime, here are some quick stats from 2022 you can share with them:

  • 27,274 furniture pieces donated and delivered
  • 4,242 people served (almost ½ of them children)
  • 1,948 households furnished
  • 65 partnering nonprofit agencies

2. Discuss the Benefits of Donating Furniture

When you encourage your clients to donate furniture they no longer need, it’s a win for everyone! Share with your clients that by giving their unwanted furniture to New Life Furniture Bank, they’re:

  • Helping provide essential items for individuals and families in the local community.
  • Giving furniture a second life and keeping it out of landfills.
  • Reducing the environmental impact of producing new furniture.
  • Making it easy and convenient to downsize and declutter.
  • Saving money on disposal fees or the cost of hiring a removal service.

3. Let Them Know What We Accept and What We Don’t

Unfortunately, we can’t take everything. (That’s mainly because the spaces we’re usually furnishing are small and can only hold the necessities.) Click here for a list of items we accept. Please note we do not accept any items that are broken, stained, torn, havs pet hair, or are beyond gently used. The items we’re unable to take include:
  • King-sized mattresses or box springs
  • Armoires/entertainment centers
  • Lawn equipment
  • Waterbeds, platform beds, bunk beds, trundle/day beds, and captain’s beds
  • Baby furniture or baby equipment (due to numerous factory recalls)
  • Office/executive desks
  • Pianos/organs
  • Used stuffed animals
  • Large appliances: washers/dryers, refrigerators, etc.
  • Medical beds
  • Firearms
  • Hazardous liquids
  • Paint/building materials/cabinetry
If you or your client are unsure about a piece of furniture, please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions.

4. Provide a Checklist for Downsizing and Furniture Donation

Once your clients understand the value of donating furniture, make it easier for them to follow through. Below is a general checklist you can use to help your clients prepare their donation. We’ve even turned it into a handy download you can print out and share with them!

  1. Determine which furniture you want to donate: Go through your home and identify which pieces of furniture you no longer need or want to keep. Ensure that the furniture is in good condition and suitable for donation.
  2. Measure the furniture to determine if it fits through doorways or passages: Measure twice, move once! Make sure you can get the furniture out of the room without any damage. Some pieces may need to be taken apart.
  3. Clean and prepare the furniture: If you can, clean and prepare the furniture to ensure it’s in good condition for the next family. Wipe down surfaces, vacuum or dust upholstery, and repair any damage.
  4. Take photos of your furniture and share them on social media: OK, this step is totally optional—but we certainly would appreciate it! Doing this helps us spread the word so New Life Furniture Bank can receive even more donations.
  5. Determine if you need help moving the furniture and make arrangements: Don’t be a hero! If you think you’re going to need help getting your old furniture up or down stairs and out of your house, let someone know. (Payment in pizza is often accepted, especially by your favorite college kid.)
  6. Arrange for pick-up or drop-off: Once you have identified which furniture you want to donate, schedule a pick-up day and time. Your pick-up is free! Or, you can always drop-off your donations at the New Life Furniture Thrift Store at 12037 Lebanon Road in Sharonville or at our warehouse/office at 11335 Reed Hartman Highway, Suite 134 in Blue Ash.
  7. Get a receipt: Don’t forget to ask for a receipt or acknowledgment of the donation from New Life Furniture Bank. This helps you claim a tax deduction for your donation.

5. Coordinate the Furniture Pickup with New Life Furniture Bank for Your Clients

Wow your clients and go the extra mile (like you always do). Make the donation process even more convenient by scheduling the furniture pickup for them. As long as they’re in our service area, we can pick up furniture donations for free. Arrange a convenient day and time with your client and click here to schedule.

As you can see, these five simple steps provide some great benefits. Encouraging your clients to donate their unwanted furniture prior to a move is a great way to connect with them and help your community at the same time. The support of Realtors is invaluable to us. Thanks so much for partnering with New Life Furniture Bank to make a difference!