While you might have done your annual spring clean several months ago, we're going to bet that those bags of unwanted items are still sitting around your home, collecting dust. Luckily, there are plenty of things that you can do with all that stuff. In some cases, there's even money to be made. Consider using one of the many services below to rid yourself of unwanted clutter before you start preparing for next year's spring clean.
Reselling your items, particularly if they're big-ticket pieces, is a great way to get rid of your unwanted items while making some money. Anyone who has spent even a small amount of time in the UAE will know that Cash Converters (www.cashconverters.ae) and Dubizzle (www.dubizzle.com) are the go-to, reliable places for selling unwanted items. There are, however, several other companies throughout the UAE that offer similar services and are certainly worth checking out.
Souq.com – which sells everything from cricket bats to Casio watches – also allows its customers to sell their own items for cash. Once the registration form has been filled out, customers simply need to list their items. The website has an easy-to-follow “how to” section on listing products. For those who choose this service, remember, the more detail you provide, the more visible your listing is to shoppers. Once an item has been purchased, the seller needs only to prepare the order for pickup by the site’s courier.
If your home's decor could use a bit of a facelift, and you're looking to sell items such as furniture, curtains or carpets, consider Nefertiti Used Furniture (www.useditemsuae.com). Once an offer has been made and accepted, the company will pay out – in cash – and collect the item on the same day.
Alternatively, the new bartering service on EzHeights (www.ezheights.com) offers a way to trade unwanted items for similarly priced pieces. After registering – through Facebook, LinkedIn or by creating an account — listing an item takes only a few minutes. Submit the form and begin your search for an item to barter for; this can be found under the Classifieds section. To exchange, the two sellers simply need to contact one another via the "reply to ad" or "call now" buttons, and make the necessary arrangements.
For the odd Chloé bag or pair of Jimmy Choos that no longer tickle your fancy, there are several companies that specialise in reselling luxury items. The Luxury Closet (www.theluxurycloset.com), an online consignment shop, buys and sells preloved items, offering top brands such as Alexander McQueen, Chanel and Givenchy. Once you've registered, submit a request form for a quote. A free courier service is available to those based in the GCC. After the item is picked up, the company will take care of the rest. But be warned: there is an authentication process, which includes a Dh100 fee per item, which will determine whether the item is a counterfeit or fake. So, before you look to sell, double-check that your beloved handbag is the real deal. Also offering similar services are The Closet (www.theclosetonlineshop.com), Mia Swaps (www.miaswaps.com) and Bagatelle (www.bagsindubai.com).
Charitable acts shouldn’t be restricted to the holiday season. Many communities provide clothing bins on-site year-round, the goods donated to various charities around the country. If, however, your community doesn’t provide this service, or you’re looking to donate more specific items, there are several charities that will rehome them.
Though it currently acts as a disaster response project, and not a year-round charity, consider donating to Aid in Motion (www.volunteerinuae.com). The effort collects unwanted clothing around Dubai and provides them to individuals in times of crisis. The charity's most recent effort was a collaboration with the Maria Cristina Foundation. Aid in Motion collected and donated spare running shoes to 77 children who hoped to participate in the Dhaka 10K and half-marathon, but lacked the appropriate footwear. Keep an eye on the organisation's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/aidinmotion) for details of its next initiative.
Those with unwanted cat supplies, such as food, litter, carriers, toys and scratching posts, should consider donating them to Feline Friends Dubai (www.felinefriendsdubai.com). The charity, along with K9 Friends (www.k9friends.com), also holds book and garage sales throughout the city. The money made from these sales goes directly towards helping both initiatives.
Take My Junk UAE (www.takemyjunkuae.com) offers its customers a chance to donate or make money from their unwanted items. Send an email or SMS with a preferred date, time and location for a free-of-charge collection. You will receive an automatic response confirming your pick-up. While the company might pay you for your items – depending on the condition and what is available – the majority of the pieces are taken to a sorting facility in Ajman. There, they're repaired, sorted and given away to lower-income communities across the country.
If you can neither sell nor donate your unwanted items, a third option is to throw them away. Make sure, however, you're being as eco-friendly as possible about your disposal. Consider which items can be recycled. Many communities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai have recycling bins on-site for residents to use. Check with your community or building owner to find the closest one to you. Alternatively, you can check out Freecycle Abu Dhabi. The Facebook group (www.facebook.com/groups/658229277565564) allows individuals to trade items for free, with the aim of reducing landfill and consumption by rehoming unwanted goods.
Discarding your items becomes a bit trickier when electronics are involved. Items such as computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets add to the planet's ever-growing e-scrap problem. When not disposed of properly, these devices wind up in landfills, where toxic metals can leach into the surrounding environment and affect the water supply and soil. If, after wiping their memories, you're unable to sell or donate your electronics, have them collected by EnviroServe (www.enviroserve.ae). The company will recycle any unwanted electronics and follows international standards for handling and recycling e-scrap. To set up a collection, simply click on the "order a collection" button to send an email request. They even provide a recycling service, dubbed the Green Truck, for weekly recycling collections.
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