City building outlines

Festive Clear Out tips for Apartment Owners

Christmas tree - Photo by Jochen van Wylick on Unsplash

As the nights are getting darker and Christmas is drawing nearer, many property and apartment owners are gearing up for the festive season. One of the main tasks that many households undertake in the run up to this national holiday, is a major clear out and deep clean in advance of the festivities, the perfect rainy day activity! Forget spring cleaning! The winter clean is not to be underestimated!

Clearing out unwanted toys/gifts; finding new homes for previous loved pieces, making room by clearing unwanted/unnecessary bulky items; and a deep clean before the relatives arrive – can soon become a mammoth task! 

This month’s blog is therefore focused on hints and tips to help you navigate your Christmas themed clear out

While many private homeowners are able to fill up a car load and head to the charity shop or tip with unwanted rubbish. It can be slightly more difficult for individuals who either don’t have access to a car, or whom have limited refuse space because they may share a communal refuse store, such as many apartment owners do. How do you effectively clear out unnecessary mess if that is the case?

First of all, you need to decide on your clear up parameters- personally the author of this blog chooses to throw away any item that is not important, does not bring joy, is not seasonal, has sentimental value, or has not been used in the last 6 months.

Then there is a choice of either undertaking this task drawer by drawer, cupboard by cupboard, room by room, or to clear the property as a whole. If you are limited on refuse space, then the drawer by drawer option may be more suitable, so you can slowly empty any refuse over a period of time.

Divide your clear out items into three piles: Sell – Charity Shop – and Throw.

If you have large items within your refuse pile, and you share a communal refuse store, then these items should not be left within the store. Bulky item removal incurs costs, and those costs would be recharged to your service charge requiring all owners/leaseholders to pay, which is unfair when it is your responsibility to arrange for removal of the item. Councils in many major cities such as Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool will actually undertake bulky item collections, and these can be booked online via the respective council websites, and arranged for a fee, this fee can vary on average from £30-£80 dependent on the number of items, and is only applicable to council tax paying individuals. Managing Agents such as ourselves for example can arrange bulk waste collections, but these would need to be undertaken by private contractors, and would only be arranged, if it was the desire of the management board at your block to facilitate such a collection. Come January, Christmas trees are one of the most common items dumped in refuse stores, causing missed collections due to blocked bin stores, and incurring additional costs due to the need for private waste removals. To prevent this, you can either break the tree down into smaller chunks so that this can go with your green waste; arrange for this to be taken to a local tip; or many councils actually have a Christmas tree charity collection scheme, so it is worth checking your local authority website. We have even heard of replanting schemes within some councils which help to enhance your local environment. 

Charity collections – There are over 9,000 charity shops in the UK, and if you are unable to take items to your local shop, there are many locations where charity bins are available for you to drop off items at any time of the day/night. Failing that, if you have a number of large pre-loved bulky items, your chosen local charity may be willing to arrange a collection to pick these up from you, alongside any additional smaller items that you may have collated. One particular development that Realty manage is predominantly rented, and leaseholders there have chosen to install their own charity box to prevent the clogging of their refuse stores, and this has been a great success.

Alternatively, you may have a number of pre-loved items that could be sold, and the proceeds could contribute towards making this next Christmas season extra special! There are plenty of apps online that can be used to do this, that you can pay a fee to use, such as Ebay, or you could choose to list for free on Facebook marketplace and your local area pages. If you have a photograph and brief description of the item, it may also be worth adding this to a community notice board, or your building notice board if you live in an apartment block, and your Manging Agent/Development board of Directors are happy for you to do so.