Declutter your way to a zen new home and make a tidy little sum along the way…
If you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo, you’ve obviously been hiding under a messy pile of clothes for the last few months. Star of Netflix’s Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, Marie has become a household name for all the right reasons.
The Japanese ‘queen of tidy’ has been travelling the world helping people declutter their homes using her KonMari method, a zen-style approach that makes it easier to say goodbye to clothes and belongings that no longer ‘spark joy’ and then introduces a calming yet methodical way to organise what remains.
But what to do with all that stuff you’ve managed to say ‘thanks but no thanks’ to? Here’s how to re-home those unwanted goods without sending them all to landfill… you might even make a few dirhams along the way.
Facebook flea markets
Gone are the days that the social platform was used solely to like your best mates’ baby pics, now it’s also one of the best places to flog your unwanted goods. Popular groups include: Meadows, Lakes, Springs Community Flea Market, and Dubai Sports City Flea Market.
If you have little ones, you know how quickly they grow out of the mountains of stuff you’ve been buying for them. Baby Bazaar is an opportunity to make some of that money back; sell pre-loved baby, toddler and maternity items while meeting fellow parents for a chit chat. The market takes place twice a month in Times Square and table hire starts at Dhs200 + VAT.
Although this might seem the most obvious choice as it’s free and popular, it can get a little mundane listing lots of smaller items so think about easing the hassle by selling items such as clothes, shoes, and books in bundles. Or save Dubizzle for more expensive goods like furniture and electronics.
Dubai Flea Market
As the Emirate’s biggest market, this is a good way to shift everything from unwanted clothes to accessories and artwork – to make some extra dosh. A stand with a table and two chairs will cost you Dhs295 +VAT. The footfall is high and you can choose a location that suits you from Zabeel Park, JLT and Al Barsha Pond Park to Sharjah Waterfront. During the summer, the market moves to evenings and to indoor venues such as Millennium Airport Hotel
Rags To Riches UAE
Unwanted sheets, curtains and clothes are just what’s needed from the ladies at Rags To Riches UAE to make their ‘Angel Wings’ reusable sanitary towels for adolescent girls in some of the world’s poorest and conflict-hit countries. They also run a knitting community to make clothes for younger under-privileged children. Visit the website for your nearest drop-off spot and next sewing bee meet up.
Let others enjoy the books you loved by donating your pre-loved reads to one of the many book kiosks across Dubai beaches. Head to Kite Beach, Al Mamzar Corniche or one of the other eight public beaches and drop off your novels for fellow bookworms to savour.
There’s a good chance that you’ve discovered some half-used or expired medicines and pills while having your clear out. The safest way to dispose of them is to take them back to a Dubai Health Authority pharmacy where they will be assessed and either disposed of safely or donated to those in need. The ‘Clean Your Medicine Cabinet’ campaign was launched in 2013 by the DHA, since then medicines worth Dhs21.3 million have been donated to various charities in the UAE.
Tel: (800) 342. dha.gov.ae
Take My Junk
This service has been gaining popularity, and rightfully so. The team at Take My Junk will pick up the things you no longer need for free and then sort, fix, clean and repurpose them to be either donated, recycled or sold at minimal cost to low-income consumers. They take clothes, toys, kitchenware, furniture, books, bicycles, leftover toiletries, and even the cardboard boxes you may have used to move house.
Tel: (050) 1794045. takemyjunkuae.com
We in the UAE are some of the biggest electronic consumers in the world and there’s no denying that we like the latest gadget as soon as it’s out. This can lead to a build-up of unwanted tech goodies that no longer excite us. Contact recycling companies such as Enviroserve and Averda to safely recycle or dispose of your e-waste items such as laptops, printers, tablets, mobile phones, TVs, stereos, scanners, copiers and fax machines.
Store and keep safe
Finding a storage facility is particularly useful if you’re downsizing, want somewhere to keep files you don’t need access to all the time, want to hold on to some kids’ clothes until you’re ready for baby number two or you’re just not ready to say goodbye to certain sentimental items that are taking up a little too much room. The UAE has a number of storage options, from self-storage lockers with easy 24-hour access at Morespace in Al Quoz (prices start at Dhs295 +VAT a month for a locker that can hold four large suitcases, discounts will be applied for multiple months) or large warehouse units at ExtraSpace, who can also help if you decide to ship things to your home country to store there instead.
Display sentimental pieces
Despite our love for a selfie and taking all our pictures on our mobile phones these days, you’ll be surprised at how many of us still have piles of old photographs filling drawers and boxes. Take the time to transfer them into photo albums that can be easily accessed for viewing. Pick your favourites to be framed in a traditional or edgy way by new UAE start-up Draft Frames, so you and your family can enjoy them every day. Framing might also be an option for small pieces of sentimental jewellery.
Words: Devinder Bains