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Moving? Why not use your existing furniture?

photograph of a forest

Your existing furniture can be upcycled or recycled; it’s great for the environment and good for your budget. We’ve put together some notes and guidance on where to focus your efforts to achieve the best results.

Focus on loose items

Pretty much anything can be re-used, but some things are easier to re-utilise than others.

The system desks or ‘clusters’ are the most difficult, for a number of reasons:

• There is a higher cost associated with breaking these products down into component form for transportation and re-installation in the new location.

• If the required configurations are different, there may be shortages of certain components e.g. ‘End’ legs and ‘Intermediate’ legs.

• The top/frame sizes may be larger and therefore less efficient than current, more compact standards.

• If top-up components are required, they may not be available in matching finishes.

• Standards have changed; fixed height desks are currently set at 740mm from floor rather than the previous standard of 720mm.

• We believe that height-adjusting sit-stand desks are rapidly becoming the new norm in office environments; the older fixed desks may have a shorter functional life than expected.

By contrast, anything that is ‘loose’ – e.g. chairs, mobile pedestals, storage, tables, soft furnishings – can generally be picked up and placed in a new location.

Such items are easier to replace in the new location without causing downtime or disruption to staff - so if your

budget won’t stretch to ‘all-new’, its best to prioritise the new desks, and gradually replace the loose items as and when funds become available.

A further argument for this approach is that the desking systems typically contain all the power and IT cabling; once this is ‘plumbed in’ it becomes difficult to swap them out without causing significant disruption.

Behind closed doors

Individual enclosed offices or meeting rooms provide an ideal opportunity to re-utilise existing furniture. Some pieces may not be ideal in style or finish, but they will not detract from the general look and feel of the new general office areas. Client-facing meeting rooms may require new furniture, but ‘back office’ areas are less critical.

Specialist items

Often forgotten in the new office design process, its important to remember that certain staff may have need of specific furnishings or equipment. Consider the staff member with back problems, who would like to retain their special ergonomic chair. Perhaps the finance department requires a safe, which will need to be located where there is adequate structural floor loading strength.

Donate to staff

Now that people work at home more than they used to, they will appreciate the opportunity to take home items that can support them, whether it’s a desk/table, chair or ergonomic monitor support – perhaps consider an internal sale to support a charity?

Interion can help you by arranging home deliveries.

Interion can help

We can survey your existing furniture and set out a photographic record with quantities, clear descriptions, dimensions, finishes and condition of each item.

We will also assess the items for Health & Safety compliance, ergonomic suitability and functions – for example, any foams should be of the CMHR (Combustion modified heat-resistant) type.

We’ll advise on the most appropriate items to be re-utilised, providing costs for relocation to the new facility.


If we have access to a detailed layout plan, we can produce an accurate budget forecast for the whole project, showing the savings that can be achieved by re-using existing items. For an ‘all-new’ indicative cost, use our online budget calculator.

Ethical Re-purposing

We can arrange for old office furniture and equipment to be cleared by ethical disposal specialists for donation to charitable organisations and schools in this country and abroad. Typically, 80% of products can be re-purposed, with the remainder disposed of in certified waste/recycling facilities.

Contact us if you have any questions regarding the re-utilisation or recycling of your existing furniture – we’re here to help you find an effective workplace future!

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