Moving out…and your unwanted stuff
Moving out of your flat at the end of your lease can be a busy and stressful time, especially when you are faced with getting rid of a pile of unwanted belongings. Plan ahead, and read on for our best advice on what you can do with all that stuff.
There are good reasons for leaving your flat clean and clear of your own belongings, as many landlords and letting agents may charge tenants extra for the removal of rubbish or unwanted items, or they may try to deduct cleaning costs from your deposit.
Borrowed items: You may find that you have accumulated lots of extra belongings over the time you have stayed in your flat. Some of it may even belong to other people! So, first of all, make sure you return anything you have borrowed to their rightful owners, such as books, library books, clothing, or even utensils, glassware and crockery.
Stuff you no longer want: There are so many different things you can do with your unwanted stuff, and plenty of ways of selling it, giving it away to new owners, or recycling it, so that others can benefit, or you can even make some money out of it
Small items, shoes and clothing
If your things are still in good or unused condition, you might be able to sell them in second-hand shops or by advertising online them to buyers on the Buy/Sell area of Student Voice, your local Gumtree site or auction websites such as Ebay.
You will have to set up a seller account, or seller ID, and take photos of the item and provide an accurate description for it. You also have to consider the cost of postage or delivery of your item.
Check that the stuff is yours to sell first though. Your landlord is probably not going to be very pleased if they find that you have sold or thrown out some of their stuff along with your own by mistake, and may bill you for replacements.
Books, CDs, Videos and DVDs
Some second-hand books shops will be willing to buy your books from you. The price you can get will depend on things like the condition of the book, and also the subject, or if it is an academic textbook, price will reflect the particular edition.
Other second-hand bookshops
Even Amazon can sell your books, CDs, or DVDs for you. But first you have to set yourself up with a seller account, describe the condition of the object. Don’t forget to include postage costs in your price and also Amazon seller fees.
Some charity shops will accept donations of books, CDs, DVDs. One example of this is Oxfam on Byres Road, but many charity shops will be happy to accept donations.
You can sell bigger items, but you may have to stipulate, ‘buyer collects’ or ask the buyer to arrange and pay for courier delivery. Obviously you should consider your own safety before arranging for complete strangers to come to your house to collect their purchase. Usually common sense measures should be sufficient, such as having a friend with you, or telling someone that you are expecting a visit from a purchaser.
Car boot sales
If you have a lot of things to sell, you can try your luck as a stall seller at car boot sales. Ones in Glasgow include Blochairn and Polmadie. Usually you will need to register with the organisation as a trader and pay a small fee for a pitch from the sale organisers.
You don’t have to sell things. You can give them away for free! For example, on Freecycle.
Furniture and large items
If you have furniture or large items which you want to get rid of, Glasgow City Council has its own online donation service. If your item is in good condition and could be used again by someone else, please use the National Re-use phone line on 0800 0665 820. If you have bulky items such as beds, sofas, tables, chairs and bikes that are in good condition, could be re-used, haven’t been left outside and still have the necessary fire labels (for sofas and armchairs), you can donate online. These will be collected free by local organisations that will ensure the item stays in use rather than going to waste.
There are quite a few charities which are always on the look out for good quality furnishings and furniture.
Clothing and other small items
Charities are always looking for donations. Most of the local charity shops on the high street will be delighted to accept donations of clothes, toys, household items, as long as they are in good condition which they can then re-sell to raise funds for their cause.
Some shops are unable to handle electrical items, so please check beforehand.
Most households are fully expected to recycle the following as a matter of course; paper, cardboard, tins and cans, plastic milk and drinks bottles and some containers, and glass jars and bottles. In some houses even food waste and garden rubbish will be collected.
If you are not sure what you can or can’t recycle, please see the link below on how to recycle things and where:
In the city, most household collections will be for cardboard, paper, tins and cans and plastic bottles,. Most plastic bottles will have a small embossed symbol on them. This is normally a triangle with a small number in the centre. This usually means milk or juice bottles, and sometimes shampoo and detergent bottles if they are as #1 PET or PETE and #2 HDPE. You may find that glass bottles and jars are not collected from your accommodation, but instead there are glass recycle bins dotted around. They will usually take clear, brown and green glass, but sometimes they will collect these separately.
Anything which you cannot sell or give away as donations, will be eagerly accepted by most kerbside collections, recycling centres or the local ‘dump’.
To find where is your nearest dump, please check Glasgow City Council’s website
Local dumps consist of a variety of large skips which ask you to sort the rubbish into different types. From white goods, to electronics, or old mattresses to cardboard.
It is probably best to pool with friends/flatmates and take along a car-load if at all possible.
If you want the council to take large items away for you, you would need to tell them in advance and arrange a date and time for collection.
Sometimes this means leaving them out on the pavement outside, but this should be only a temporary measure.
We are being encouraged to recycle things because it is better. But can you recycle for money? Usually not, but with a few exceptions.
Old clothes and rags
Some organisations are happy to take even old clothes which are unfit for resale or donating as these can be shredded and reused as rag. Find out from your local charity shop if they accept rag, or sometimes kerbside clothing bins will accept clean rags.
Dumping unwanted belongings into the street or out in the countryside, is known as fly-tipping. This is a criminal offence in Scotland and is unsightly, a waste and costs the taxpayer every year. If you see someone fly-tipping, including landlords, or letting agents, you can report it to Glasgow City Council, even anonymously, if you prefer.
Zero Waste Scotland has more information on flytipping.
Final things to do before you go!
Read all the meters before you leave – preferably with the landlord in attendance, and get the readings written down or recorded;
If you have a landline or broadband account which cannot be transferred to another property, check directly with the supplier how to bring the contract to an end;
Make sure your inventory is checked – preferably at the moving out inspection with the landlord;
Make sure you have cleared the fridge/freezer of unwanted food, and de-frost and clean it;
Take digital photos before leaving, in case there is a dispute about the condition in which you left the flat.