Belonging is more than just belongings.

As part of our mission to improve the lives of people within the Private Rented Sector we want to help tenants make their rental property their sanctuaries. Once tenants have found their dream home through Umega we hope that they’ll remain part of the Umega family for a long and happy time. However, we understand this won’t last forever and all good things must come to an end (although we do hope that when tenants move on they’ll look back fondly on our time together). 

Shifts in the housing market are seeing tenants renting for longer and during this time belongings can build up. Even in a furnished property, many tenants will add their own bits and bobs during their tenancy. So, what should tenants do with things they don’t need or want when it’s time to move on?

The time of the eco-warrior is upon us; the David Attenborough Effect. The time to act is now so here’s some suggestions to help tenants reduce waste when they move home.

What can be recycled?

Well, probably a lot more than people think. Not only do we strongly recommend our tenants recycle their old goods, but it’s also illegal in Edinburgh to dump unwanted items in the streets or beside bins. Apparently  it costs the Edinburgh Taxpayers £10 million every year to clear up unwanted items dumped on Edinburgh’s beautiful streets and public areas. Think of what else this £10m each year could go towards if we all sprinkled a little Swedish recycling initiative onto our morning Cornflakes.   

The big stuff

Furniture can often seem the most daunting place to start when moving out. That beautiful, ornate wardrobe bought from a car boot sale which just won’t fit in your new modern apartment. There are loads of charities in Edinburgh which collect donated furniture. The Edinburgh Furniture Initiative collects goods right from your front door for free. EFI sell on the furniture and all proceeds go to helping homeless & disadvantaged people in Edinburgh and the Lothians. For anyone who is unsure on how to recycle furniture they no longer need, Recycle for Scotland has a fabulous website including which company/charity will pick up items for free. No hassle, no waste, no wasted time. If items really cannot be reused again, Edinburgh Council will uplift them from tenant’s homes for £5 per item. By putting in a little effort, our tenants can make a huge positive impact.

Ever thought about upcycling?

When deciding on what to take onto the next place, we’re asking our tenants to think about not only which items they need or want to take, but also if anything could be upcycled to find a new place/use in their new home. A brown chest of drawers that would be too dark and heavy for the chic, bright, modern new apartment? Try giving it a fresh lick of paint – it can give the piece a whole new look. Edinburgh Remakery not only collects unwanted furniture, but runs workshops on how to learn to upcycle. Not only is upcycling good for the environment – it can also be a cheaper alternative to re-furnishing a new property.

What about Upholstering?

Re-upholstering is the process of replacing the fabric and padding of furniture – it can give a tired piece a whole new burst of life, or completely transform the style of furniture. From shabby to chic, or even to shabby-chic. Don’t worry, there are no requirements to be the next Great British Sewing Bee, across Edinburgh there are shops which will do this for you professionally. Winner winner, a newly upholstered dining chair set for dinner. 

Those wee bits and pieces

Edinburgh is full of charity shops at every corner of it’s beautifully cobbled streets. These shops are always looking for good quality items to resell for a great cause. It’s easy as 1-2-3 to donate, just pop along to a local shop and hand over any unwanted items. Still unsure? – The Edinburgh Charity Shop and Reuse Map is any Edinburgh resident’s local hands on guide to donating and recycling unwanted or needed goods. 

Why me? Why not?

With companies making it as easy as chips to donate unwanted items, we’re struggling to think of a reason why not to get involved. Another benefit of clearing out a property of personal items when moving out, is to ensure no costs are charged to the original deposit payment. Any items left in the property which weren’t included on the original inventory will need to be disposed of. At Umega, our Relationship Managers (the ones who look after our properties, landlords and tenants during tenancies) will inform out-going tenants of items left behind. Anything regarded as rubbish, will be removed by a professional cleaning team and the charge will be deducted from the out-going tenants deposit. It’s only fair!


We know that a home is a place of belonging, but also that belonging runs deeper than just belongings. Not every item carries sentimental value and passes the Marie Kondo test. So let’s all play a part in increasing Edinburgh’s recycling efforts, it costs nothing yet the outcome really is invaluable.