Furniture gets the heave-ho

EVERETT — Trucks and cars were lined up around the block bearing heaps of memories.

Donations at Everett’s first furniture recycling day on Saturday ranged from unique to downright ugly.

There was a child-sized, lime-green desk with bright blue paint patches showing through the scratches. A furlike teal chair that a family cat had gotten the better of. A 1970s lampshade, dressed for that era in yellow and orange tassels.

And then there was Grandma’s organ, which once was intended to become a family heirloom.

Instead, 12-year-old twins Tyler and Kyle Greene helped their dad bring the organ to furniture recycling day — without Grandma even knowing about it. No word on whether she was going to read the paper today or not.

Tyler Greene had been learning to play the now-abandoned family heirloom.

"It’s just not for me. I’d rather be working on my curveball," he said.

Kyle Greene said Grandma will probably say, "Oh well, it needed to go" when she finds a chair in the place of the organ in the family’s living room.

More than 400 vehicles dropped off enough junk from Everett garages, basements, living rooms and yards to fill 23 dumpsters.

Volunteers of America’s furniture and clothing salvage operation collected seven truckloads of reusable furniture, which VOA plans to spruce up and sell starting this week in its thrift stores in Everett, Marysville and Arlington.

Store manager Tami Longstreet said the turnout blew her away.

"I totally didn’t anticipate this much," she said, adding that she was happy that so many people decided to donate their furniture. "The stuff would have ended up on the street, in the garbage or in the basement."

Rather than spending money on storage space, Volunteers of America will hold a huge furniture sale in the next few weeks.

But first, some of the pieces will need some sprucing up.

As a case in point, Longstreet showed how an antique dresser with warped doors could be painted, the doors removed and wicker baskets inserted for a complete new look.

Bud Wessman, Everett’s code compliance director, said the city sponsored the event to help clean up the city.

"We in code compliance have to deal with this stuff in people’s yards. Here, they get a direct benefit from their tax dollars and the chance to help make Everett a cleaner place," Wessman said.

Those who did drop off their family relics got a tax-deductible receipt. The city will probably hold another furniture recycling day in the future.

"I didn’t know there was this much ugly furniture in Everett," Wessman said.

Reporter Pam Brice: 425-339-3439 or

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