It feels like someone is always moving to or from Hong Kong at any given time. While this adds to the dynamism and energy of the city, it is also a substantial contributor to waste. Taking a proactive approach to mindful decluttering not only helps the environment but also offsets the stress of moving and often saves time and money.  

Once you’ve found your next dream home, get your tape measure out. Figure out which big-ticket items can fit in your new place—and which ones you’ll have to offload.

Use your Time; as soon as you know you are moving, start going from room to room and making an inventory of items that you no longer want. Divide them into categories, such as furniture, home décor, children’s things, plants, clothes, and so on. Next, use colored stickers to mark which items to sell, donate, or pass to a friend. 

After organizing your items, find platforms for selling or swapping. Prep your goods beforehand (furniture and toys must be clean, all clothes washed and ironed/steamed) so that you can show them in their best light. For greater efficiency, designate a day or two to photograph and list all your items in one go. Be flexible with pricing, especially for larger pieces like sofas and beds. Remember: if your item doesn’t sell, you will have to pay a mover to dump it in a landfill, so stay open to negotiating if there’s an interested party.

Donating is a good alternative for the items you don’t end up selling. However, it is crucial that you research what the different charities in your community need. Donation items must be in good condition—nothing that is broken, ripped, stained, or missing parts. Test that electronic items and white goods are in working condition. Sort your donation items by charity and arrange delivery/pickups prior to moving.

When passing your items to friends, timing is key. We recommend doing this early, perhaps through a giveaway party, which is a fun way to share gifts and say goodbye. One of the best items I ever received from a friend who was relocating was her cherished plant. I loved taking over something she had nurtured over the years, which in my eyes made the gift priceless.

Don’t forget about food waste. To reduce waste, start clearing out your freezer and pantry a month before your move by planning meals around the remaining ingredients. You can also contact local charities to see if they have any use for food items. These are meaningful actions that ensure nothing goes to waste.

Moving responsibly can be accomplished with just a bit of planning, and it’s a rewarding experience that can serve others while also helping you to reflect on the things in your home and to make mindful purchasing decisions in the future. Don’t be surprised if you actually end up enjoying the process just a little.  



To learn more about the  government’s waste reduction efforts or to find a recycling station near you, follow the link to the HK Waste Reduction Website:

For the Free Collection of Regulated Electrical Equipment (REE or large household appliances) contact the official Government Contractor ( at 852 2676 8888

GREEN‌@WAN CHAI, for example collects: beverage cartons, fluorescent lamps and tubes, glass bottles, metals, paper, plastics, rechargeable batteries, regulated electrical equipment, small electrical appliances.