It’s that time of year again… suddenly, the year is over, it’s time to shift out of your flat, and you realise how much junk you have managed to accumulate over the last year (or three). So, what are you going to do with it all?
Even if you aren’t leaving Christchurch and your flat for the summer, there is no doubt it is time for a late spring clean out. It can be pretty overwhelming when you realise just how much ‘stuff’ you actually have, and don’t actually need….
The Sustainability Office has put together a few tips and ideas for how to shift out of your flat in the most sustainable way possible! Our goal is to help you reduce the amount of waste that is unnecessarily sent to landfill as a result of moving flats. Read on to find the best places to take your unwanted furniture, household goods, clothing and general bits and bobs (provided it is in clean, useable condition!).
The ol’ side of the road trick isn’t going to cut it round here anymore, so check out the list below of charities that will gladly take your belongings off your hands, and give to those in need!
We’ve also put together easy ways to clean your flat using every day household ingredients – no need to buy chemicals from the supermarket (which come in so much packaging!) when nothing beats a bit of baking soda and a lemon!
So, where is the best place to start when you are shifting flats, or moving back home?
The best place to begin is definitely the de-clutter phase. There is no use spending time packing up items that you no longer need or use into millions of boxes, only to unpack them at your new place, and still not need them.
But please, lets not just dump it! There are plenty of other options for your unwanted goods. Remember.. your trash could be someone’s treasure….
I would always recommend a ‘box’ system – you can get free boxes from your local supermarket, have a sniff round their cardboard skips! If they are flattened, all you need is some decent tape.
Have bags or boxes for items you want to keep, boxes for things to be donated or given to friends, a box for recycling, and a box for unavoidable rubbish. Be harsh! If you haven’t used or worn something for six months (or forgot you owned it) then in the donation box it goes….
Lets skip the bubble wrap too eh? If you have items that need to be kept safe during the move, wrap them in your clothes instead! The same goes for bags – you don’t need to use plastic bags to shift. Use your reusable supermarket bags, cardboard boxes, your laundry basket, suitcases… get creative! You can cut handles into the sides cardboard boxes to make them easier to carry.
Best places to take your household goods, furniture, clothing and general bits and pieces:
Follow these links below to find charity stores in your area that will accept your second hand goods! Some of them will even pick up your goods (provided they are in acceptable condition, no mouldy couches please) so there is no excuse to take them to the dump!
- Salvation Army Family Stores: The closest one to campus is at 355B Riccarton Road – it’s open Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm, and Saturday 9.30am – 2.30pm. Give them a call on 03-341-8539 to check what they will and won’t accept if you are unsure. If that’s not in your area – check out this map of all the Sallies family stores in Christchurch!
- Red Cross Shops: The closest Red Cross Shop is at Church Corner – 14 Yaldhurst Road, Sockburn. Open from 10am-430pm Monday – Friday, and from 10am util 2pm Saturdays. They also offer a pick up service, so give them a call on (03)-341-5379 to arrange a pick up, as well as check what they are accepting at this location.
- Habitat for Humanity Stores: they have two locations, 189 Waltham Rd, Sydenham and 567 Wairakei Rd, Burnside. They are open Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm, and Saturdays from 10am until 4pm. The best part is – these guys pick up your donated goods, so no excuse to be lazy! Call them on (03)-420-4342. Clean out your flat, and know that all profits from Habitat for Humanity goes towards building homes for Christchurch families in need. Win-win.
- Christchurch City Mission: based in town, the City Mission is another one to contact for a collection service! Give them a call on (03)-365-0635 to arrange a pick up. They will accept household items, clothing, furniture, bedding etc.
Got a pantry full of food you can’t eat in time? Toiletries you don’t need? Try the Christchurch City Mission Food Bank, they gratefully receive food donations (non perishables) if you call or email ahead and arrange a collection. The City Mission sees around 30 families or individuals per day requiring food assistance.
It’s not exactly on this side of town, but check out this awesome initiative that has come out of New Brighton – The Community Fridge and Pantry! They aim to keep the shelves always stocked for those in need, so if you have any food to giveaway, and a friend who drives over that side of town, then it is a place worth thinking about. They take non perishables too – just make sure food donations are within the use before date.
On that note – have a read here if you want some ideas around reducing food waste and uneaten leftovers in the first place – The Love Food Hate Waste site has heaps of clever ideas about how to reduce the amount of food that is thrown out of NZ households per year (which is 122,547 tonnes!)
Cleaning your flat – it can be cheaper, and less wasteful than you think!
Hopefully, you’ve boxed up your belongings, called your local charity store, and they have taken away those desk chairs, coffee tables, old desks… and you have recycled everything that you possibly can. Now, the dreaded final clean (possibly the only flat clean?) remains between you, and summer freedom.
Invest in some reusable spray bottles, a ton of budget white vinegar and a box of baking soda, and you’ll be able to clean almost anything! Avoid using paper towels and cloths that come in plastic packaging – cut up any old ratty clothing lying around home and use it as a rag, plus it can be washed and used again!
– Add 10 drops of tea tree oil to 1 litre of white vinegar.
– Decant into a spray bottle
– Spray on to surfaces and wipe off with a clean cloth.
2. Vinegar Window Cleaner:
– Mix one tablespoon of white vinegar to one litre of water.
– Using white vinegar when cleaning glass or windows stops awful streaks from grease build-up.
3. Remove Lime residue:
– Electric jugs and irons build up lime deposits over time. When they get really bad, fill them with white vinegar and turn them on.
– Turn off before rinsing.
– Rinse it out, fill with fresh water and run it again.
4. Drain Cleaner:
– Boil two cups of vinegar and pour it down the drain a small amount at a time.
– Allow the vinegar to remain in the drain for about 5—10 minutes before pouring a pot of very hot water down the drain.
– The alternative is to use ½ cup of baking soda poured into the drain followed by ½ cup of warm vinegar.
– Cover the drain and allow to stand for 5—10 minutes before running cold water down the drain.
General cleaning tips:
– Put an open box of baking soda in your fridge. This will help to get rid of any nasty odours.
– Rubbing baking soda directly onto clothing removes the smell of vomit…
– Lemon juice mixed with vinegar and/or baking powder can be used as a cleaning paste for dishes, surfaces and stains.
– Salt poured directly onto carpet can soak up red wine spills!
So there you have it – some tips for making your moving day (or days) as waste free as possible!
Have any waste free moving day tips? We would love to hear them! Send them through to us on Facebook, or email us, we are always keen to hear from you…