How to get rid of unwanted stuff in Dubai
If your house is anything like mine, junk multiplies in the cupboards. You put one shoebox into the laundry room and, the next time you open the door, it’s bred like a mono-sexual rabbit and there are 16 smug little shoeboxes in there, along with the box from DD’s stereo, the box from this month’s new iron and 137 new carrier bags.
But it’s not just packaging. When you have children, toys, books and clothes also seem to multiply at alarming rates, threatening to take over the house unless clear-outs are held every few months.
To be honest, I think the long-suffering Gerlie and I work from opposite ends of the spectrum. When she sees a cupboard, she thinks, ‘Fab, what can I stuff in there?’ whereas my attitude is, ‘Great, let’s see how long we can keep that empty.’
It’s a constant battle. If I let it, clearing out the house could be a full-time job. I want the house to be clutter-free, but I hate waste, so my goal is never to throw anything away. Here are a few productive ways you can get rid of stuff in Dubai.
Take my junk UAE – These guys will pick up almost anything and redistribute it to those in need. Not the best for barely worn Louboutins given their targets are usually labourers, but great for electricals, mobile phones, furniture, kitchen utensils and so on.
ELC toy drives – A fab way to pass your old toys onto those who need them. Listen and watch local press for info.
Various charity drives – Every now and then there’s a nationwide charity drive for clothes, blankets or medical supplies. Collection points are usually at the malls.
Clothes donation bins – Used, clean clothing is redistributed to those who need it. Collection bins are in various supermarket car parks, including Arabian Ranches, behind Burger King.
My Ex-Wardrobe – This is the place for your posh stuff. For AED 150 you can sell up to 20 items at MEW’s popular ‘pop-up’ events. They’ll take an extra 25% if you sell over AED 500 worth of gear, but given how much you could make on 20 items, it’s worth it. Especially to think your ex-clothes are being lovingly re-homed. Register on the website.
Dubizzle – Oh, who doesn’t love a bit of Dubizzle action? It’s our local version of eBay and totally free to use. Good for shifting anything at all from toys and jewellery to bikes, clothes, furniture baby gear and even your house should things get that bad.
Garage sales / flea markets – Price your stuff low and it will go! Tip: Get a friendly housemaid or six to post details of your sale on their Facebook pages and you’ll be beating off customers with a stick.
Give it away – In my community we have an unofficial ‘give-away’ system. Anything that’s not wanted is placed out by the bins on a Thursday night or Friday – by Saturday everything’s been relocated to new homes. I once put out a broken washing machine – even that went (I hope they had transport).
Ship it overseas – Back home, to those in need, or to you friendly housemaid’s home in the Philippines / Sri Lanka / wherever. I love to think of Gerlie’s home in the rural Philippines full of my old John Lewis duvert sets, curtains and crockery. And of her mum walking about the village in my barely worn Dune wedges!