More Than One Way to "Stuff" A Recliner

Phyl CampbellStarred Page By Phyl Campbell, 31st Aug 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Humour>Off Beat

Have you ever had something that you couldn't even give away? And you didn't want to pay a steep extra fee at the landfill? Recently it happened to me. So here's what I did.

Free Recliners

My spouse and I don't believe in spending a lot of money on furniture. We certainly didn't want to buy something that our toddler - who is now 10 years old -- would wreck five minutes after coming in the door. So our furniture doesn't match, and that's OK with us.

The two recliners came into our home in the same usual unusual way. We saw the green one at a garage sale marked "free." That's right. No one wanted it. It looked comfy, and I knew I could fashion or buy a slipcover for it, and we adopted the recliner and brought it home precariously crouched on a toddler's wagon. It made its home in the living room for quite some time, but more recently became the comfortable reading chair in my 10 year old's room.

The red (we don't say pink, but it's somewhere in between) recliner came from my husband's co-worker. He brought it to the office to give away or throw in the dumpster.
It was a perfectly nice overstuffed red recliner. Yes, it had an issue with the reclining mechanism. We didn't care. We brought it home.

Happily Ever After ... For a While...

The reclaimed chairs lived lives of leisure for a few years in our home. They sat around and didn't do much, but that's what chairs are supposed to do. Oh -- and they ate video games. They didn't eat money very often, but they ate lots of video games. I hadn't known adventure until I had plunged my hand into the bowels of a second -, third -, or fourth - hand recliner on the off chance of finding a game cartridge roughly the size of a square quarter. The happy squeals and hugs from my son when I found his errant cartridges almost made up for the decade old cereal and chips I then had to scrub from my hands and forearms.

More than five years later for the green recliner no one wanted, two years later for the red recliner that was dumpster-bound, neither reclining mechanism worked. I lovingly attempted to take them apart, thinking perhaps from two broken chairs I could create one working chair. Alas, both chairs were broken in the same place. It may be a La-Z-Boy conspiracy to sell more recliners, or maybe I just didn't look hard enough on eHow, but finally I had to admit that I was beaten by the chairs.

Moving On

But the chairs still sat around and as long as I didn't activate the mechanism by leaning back too far, stretching, or moving too much, the chairs were fine. Until the day we needed to stage the house to sell.

House-staging, for the uninitiated, is the process of making one's well lived-in, well loved home for relaxing into a showplace where one is afraid to touch anything. Shabby old furniture must either be covered or moved out of sight. And to make the rooms look bigger, anything that can go -- should.

So I created a Craigslist add to give the chairs away again. I've given away lots of stuff on Craigslist. One woman's trash is another woman's home redecorating project, right?
And I did have a couple older gents come by. Both claimed to be in the furniture repair business. Both drove away without any chairs. I should have realized what a bad sign that was.

Unfettered, I posted a general ad for free stuff on CL, and cleaned out my shop building and several of my closets. Thirty people showed up. I gave away a desk, a computer and monitor, a TV, clothes, chicken wire, barbed wire, a broken washer and dryer set, a wheelbarrow -- know what I didn't give away? What no one wanted? Yep. After an hour and a half, and the last re-purposer drove away, I still had two recliners that no one wanted. So I dragged them to the curb. Surely someone will take them away from the curb.

But the chairs just sat there Even the garbage collection folks refused to take them as refuse. They kindly explained to me that they couldn't take anything that didn't fit in garbage bags, and I'd need to drop them off at the landfill.


So I called the landfill (which is visible from my current house) and asked how much I would be charged to dispose of two recliners. I had already removed the metal mechanisms from one chair and recycled them with a metal recycling shop. Really all I had left was two by fours gorilla glued together and then covered in stuffing.

"Seventy five dollars per load, no matter what it is." I was told.

I replied, "So you're telling me if I have 10 trash bags on the curb, garbage men will come to my house and pick it up for the taxes I already pay to have that done, but if I haul anything to you, I have to pay for it?"

"That's our policy." I was told.

This gave me an idea. My husband says when I get an idea, sane people should run.

I got out my chainsaw.

The Great Chainsaw Recliner Massacre

1. Curbside pick-up is free.
2. I didn't have suitable transportation to deliver the chairs -- hauling one chair with a toddler wagon along sidewalks is fine. Trying to haul two chairs (we've moved, see?) down a dirt road with a toddler wagon is insanity.
3. Curbside pickup only works for items in garbage bags.
4. The recliners will not fit in garbage bags.

The recliners were just two by fours and stuffing. I knew how to cut up a two by four. And my spouse recently bought me an electric chainsaw* for cutting (TREE) limbs and scrub from the property when I determined that my saws-all wasn't going to get the job done.

First, I used scissors to cut the covers off the recliners and expose the wood.
Next, I removed the stuffing and bagged it separately. I found many spiders along the way -- just fair warning.
I removed the foot rest and all the parts that would come apart with a screwdriver.
Once I was pretty much down to the wood frame, I laid it flat and applied the chainsaw*.
The result? Recliners that fit into garbage bags. Voila.

Curbside pickup was Wednesday. I had four more bags than normal -- the recliners. I watched from my window like I had bodies hidden in the bags. The collectors really had to heave to pick up the bags and toss (well, more like lug) them into the truck. So I saved $75, truck rental, and learned a valuable lesson about another way to "stuff" a recliner. All in a day's work.

*Please do not operate a chainsaw without care and proper instruction. Wear eye protection and gloves. Thank you for reading this public service announcement.

Write for Wikinut

Follow this link to write for Wikinut!

Credits for pictures I did not take myself are owed to MorgueFile.


Curbside, Furniture, Garbage, Give Away, Recycling, Regulations, Trash

Meet the author

author avatar Phyl Campbell
I am "Author, Mother, Dreamer." I am also teacher, friend, Dr. Pepper addict, night-owl. Visit my website -- -- or the "Phyl Campbell Author Page" on Facebook.

Share this page

moderator Steve Kinsman moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar cnwriter..carolina
31st Aug 2013 (#)

you are so funny Phyl ...I love your way of looking at things...

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
31st Aug 2013 (#)

Thanks, Carolina!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
31st Aug 2013 (#)

And thanks, Steve!!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Terry Trainor
1st Sep 2013 (#)

My old bed is in the post.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
1st Sep 2013 (#)

Really? Do you enjoy sleeping in chairs? (Sometimes, I do, too!)

Reply to this comment

author avatar Terry Trainor
1st Sep 2013 (#)

Only when I am round a friends house and they're showing me holiday cd's.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
2nd Sep 2013 (#)

We can relate to the way you handled this situation, Phyl. Where there is a will there is a way! Every cent counts - siva

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
2nd Sep 2013 (#)

Very true, Siva! And TT -- Ha!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Connie McKinney
2nd Sep 2013 (#)

Thanks for the laugh, Phyl. Very funny!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
2nd Sep 2013 (#)


Reply to this comment

author avatar Delicia Powers
6th Sep 2013 (#)

LOL... extreme solution from a very creative mind...!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
7th Sep 2013 (#)

Thanks, Delicia! ;)

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?