Clearing out and moving on in lockdown

Issue date: 22 June 2020

Clearing out and moving on in lockdown

Moving out of your accommodation over the next few weeks? We've compiled some pointers to help you sort, shift and recycle your stuff.

Before you start

  • Have snacks at the ready! Consider it fuel.
  • Source some large bags or cardboard boxes – and a Sharpie for labelling. Your local supermarket should be able to give you some boxes if you ask (or just scan the shelves for empties!).
  • Check the bin collection dates: Bristol and South Gloucestershire

On the day

  • Crack out a good playlist to keep you motivated
  • Pace yourself. Focus on one room at a time. You'll see progress quicker that way too!
  • Think:
    1. What do I want to keep? Bag it.
    2. What do I want to donate or sell? Pass it on.
    3. What am I going to recycle? Sort it.
    4. What do I need to dispose of? Bin it.

Donating or selling

  • Want to shift some clothes, books or kitchen stuff you don't think you want to keep? Charity shops are reopening, so bag up your junk as it could be someone else's treasure!
  • Want to sell or give away stuff online? Try Freecycle, Gumtree, eBay, Depop, Vinted or Facebook Marketplace and local groups.
  • Make sure you practise social distancing when handing over anything... we're not out of the woods yet.


  • It can be tempting to just chuck what you don't want in the bin, rather than recycle. But every time you choose recycling over rubbish, the planet thanks you.
  • Cardboard, paper, glass, cans/tins and plastic can all be recycled 'kerbside' – so drag your boxes up to your front door and chuck in as much as you can (remembering to sort it as per your local council's instructions!).

Non-recyclable waste

  • Anything in a black bin goes to landfill or incineration – so the less in your black bin, the better
  • Non-recyclable waste should go in your black bin only and must fit in the bin itself – the lid needs to close!
  • Fly tipping (dumping of waste) is illegal and can incur a fine of up to £50,000. That's a pricey clear out!

More waste than you can handle?

  • If you have large items to dispose of or more waste than will fit in your black bin you have two options:
    1. You can arrange for a bulky waste collection for a small fee – around £25 (see: Bristol or South Gloucestershire).
    2. Take it to one of the local recycling centres – there's two in Bristol and several in South Gloucestershire.
  • You may be asked for ID to prove that you live in the local area – make sure that the recycling centre you visit is in the same local council area as the one you're currently living in.
  • There may be restrictions in place at the moment so best to check the website for the site you're planning to visit for updates before you visit, to avoid a wasted trip.

Happy sorting!

Back to top