Spring is here and with the warmer weather, a lot of Missoulians will be moving, especially students. Let's pack up those old couches and mattresses when you leave, ya?

I've lived all over Montana and even a good part of the country. Never have I witnessed the amount of dumped furniture strewn across town like here in the Zoo. It's become one of those "Missoula" things like getting your bicycle stolen or showing up to a house party and there is only Pabst to drink. I have to tell you, it's just not good. Both the abandoned furniture and Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Soon, many students will be leaving the dorms and apartments to start their summer or the next chapter in their life. I get it, you want to leave the past behind and start a gleaming new future, and that bong water-stained couch can't join you. Here is the first rule as you start your new adult journey. Take responsibility. That means you can't just dump your mattresses, couches, recliners, or any other furniture on a side street or dark alley and hope someone will deal with it. If you have driven around Missoula at all, you know they won't.

So, what should you do?

Is the Furniture In Good/Fair Condition?

A donation is always an option. Your local Goodwill or thrift store can take these items off your hands (usually). The cool thing about donating your couch etc. is if the place is a non-profit, you can use this as a tax write-off. I've done it many times.

Check around your local women's or children's shelters. Many times they are in need of good, clean used furniture. Not only for their buildings but for people getting back on their feet, something like this is a really big deal. Imagine a single mom moving into a new place and needing some basic furniture.

Is the Furniture Too Damaged or Used?

Is your garage chair, or frat couch way beyond saving due to years of spilled beer, and who knows what else? Well, this is where you are going to have to "adult up" and do the right thing. You can't just dump these items off by your garbage can for Republic Services to pick up as they are "large bulk items." That's partly why you are seeing them scattered all over Missoula. Scheduling a pick-up through Republic Waste Services is pretty easy. I called and asked about a couch pick up and it was super easy.

If you would like to skip the hassle of scheduling you can always load up the furniture and take it to the local dump. They will charge you according to weight, however.

Let's take a little pride in our community. I know it's a hassle, again. I've been there.

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