It’s amazing how easily we accumulate stuff, especially in Beijing, where it’s hard to pass up a good bargain. Yet, when the time comes to move on, it is sometimes better to leave some things behind. The easiest way to get rid of your belongings is to leave them by the dumpster, where someone is bound to pick them up – but this isn’t the most responsible method. Instead, here is a guide to passing along your items in a more sustainable way before you take off.
The Small (to Medium) Stuff
Getting rid of the little things in your life (toys, clothes, gadgets) will really take the weight off your shoulders. It’s recommended that you start this process two months in advance.
There’s nothing wrong with going the old-fashioned route and hosting
your own garage sale. If it’s convenient, you can host one from your
apartment or compound garden. Otherwise, many schools have their own yard sales. To find out about the latest events or to list your own online, visit beijingkids or the Beijinger’s websites.
Regarding recyclable items, people will actually pay you for your excess cardboard, paper and plastics. They won’t pay much, but at least they’ll take it off your hands. They’ll even pay for your old appliances and furniture. They can also move furniture for you. This will cost you, but you can negotiate a fair price. Simply seek out one of those people on the street with a bike trailer and arrange for them to pick up your stuff, or ask your management office if they can help arrange a collection for you.
Donate, Don’t Dump
You may also choose to give some of your belongings a new lease on life by donating them. Roundabout Charity Distribution Store accepts toys, clothes, home electronics, and kitchen supplies – pretty much anything that can be carried. The charity asks that everything be in good, clean, working condition. Freecycle Beijing, a Yahoo group open to all, is for those who want to pass on their goods to others in the community. Everything posted must be available for free.
Tongxin Huhui is a charity organization that helps migrant workers in Beijing. They accept donations that can help migrant workers, such as clothes and home electronics as well as funding. With eight spots located at different areas in Beijing, the organization welcomes people to drop off any donations at their spots as well apply online for getting donations picked up by the organization workers.
Sun Village is an organization that helps children whose parents are in prison. They welcome donations, such as clothes, books, toys, home electrics and anything that is suitable for children aged 1 to 18.
Be warned: The toughest thing in Beijing to make a clean break from will be your car, especially since the license lottery has taken effect. Nowadays, person-to-person sales can only take place when the buyer already has a car permit. Don’t let this discourage you though. It’s worth trying to find someone for a person-to-person sale, as you will have a better chance of selling your car for the price you want. Put your car on the market as soon as possible. You can advertise the sale on the Beijinger and beijingkids classifieds.
Another alternative is going through a used car dealership. Huaxiang Used Car Market is Beijing’s largest used car market with over 300 dealers and over 3,000 cars on any given day. Places like this are both good and bad; you will probably sell your car, but you’ll have to negotiate
like crazy and in the end, will probably end up selling at a less than desirable price. If you do end up at a used car lot, bring a translator and don’t give off the impression that you’re desperate to sell.
AAA Expatcar offers car and driver services, in addition to being a second hand car dealership – with English service. If you are intimidated by the market, bring your car to them.
Whether you donate them, or simply pass them along to friends or strangers, getting rid of your unwanted belongings can lessen the burden of a big move. Slowly, but surely, you’ll feel lighter as you move on to your next destination.
the Beijinger Classifieds
Roundabout Charity Distribution Store
Mon-Sat 9.30am-5.30pm. Opposite East Gate of the International School of Beijing, 10 Anhua Jie, Shunyi District (137 1801 1124 English, 137 1805 3814 Chinese only) www.roundaboutchina.com 顺义区安华街10号（北京顺义国际学校东门对面）
Mon-Fri 8am-5pm. Bldg 8, Huajiadi Nanli, Chaoyang District (6473 2513 Chinese only) www.tongxinhuhui.org 朝阳区花家地南里8号楼 See Directory under Community and Organizations for more locations.
Daily 8am-5pm. Banqiao Village, Zhaoquanying Town, Shunyi District (6044 3523, firstname.lastname@example.org) cn.sunvillage.com.cn
Freecycle Beijing Yahoo Group
Huaxiang Used Car Market 花乡二手车交易市场
111B, Nansihuan Zhonglu, Fengtai District (135 2050 6800) 丰台区南四环中路B区111
Daily 9am-5pm. 18 Liyuan Beijie, Tongzhou District (8152 3060, email@example.com) www.expatcar.com 通州区梨园北街18号院