By now, the semester is really, really coming to an end. Besides being sad it’s almost over and trying to do as many things still left on your Dutch bucket list as possible, you might also have some practical issues: What to do with all the stuff you can’t take back home? Well, we have just the right solutions for you!
Of course, being able to sell all your leftover clothing and furniture is the preferable option. This way you can get back some of the money you spent on it, which is always great! One possible way to sell your stuff is by putting them on the Facebook page called Student Market Place. There is a lot of competition there however, especially around this time when many people are leaving. You could also try Marktplaats (in Dutch), the Dutch version of E-bay and a favourite site of many Dutchies.
If you really can’t fit any more shirts in your suitcase, but you really want to take everything with you to your home country, you can mail it to your home address. This will cost you some money though, but it is possible. Try for example DHL for online services, or go to a Post NL service desk (there is one for example in Hoog Catherijne, near the Albert Heijn). Prices differ depending on distance and weight, but using the mail you could take with you those few last items!
If the above options don’t work and you can’t find any destination for your stuff, you can always donate it. There are many charitable organisations operating all around the world with offices in Utrecht. Think for example of the Salvation Army, that has big green containers all around the city in which you can deposit your donation. The Army sorts the clothing and then sells it for a very low price to people in need, or gives it to refugees for free. You can give your furniture to the Kringloopwinkel, located at Hoogravenseweg 69, or post a message on the Facebook page Ik geef weg.
Another organisation that uses green containers is the Red Cross: the Sympany department also collect clothes and shoes. Sympany sells it to the Red Cross for a few cents per kilo and invests this money in projects in Africa. Besides these two big organisations, there are many more small ones helping people in need on a local level – and they are all equally happy with your leftover textiles!
It is quite easy to find tips and tricks online to pack your suitcase more economically. One of the best known tricks is perhaps to roll up your clothing instead of folding them. Well, it is worth a try! Check out this video for example to get you started.
Hopefully we have inspired you not to throw away the stuff you can’t take with you, because throwing away good stuff is always a shame – especially with so many other options. And in case none of the above work, you can always send a plea for help to your parents/boy- or girlfriend/bestie to come get you with an extra suitcase!
by Tessa Vermeir