Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ode to Freecycle.org

Raise your hand if you LOVE hosting (not perusing) garage sales.

Hm, almost no hands.

Okay, raise your hands if you LOVE loading up your car and driving to your nearest thrift store, only to be told they can't take some or all of what you're offering.

Ah, fewer hands.

Finally, raise your hand if you LOVE having odd clutter around your house that you just can't think what to do with, but know it would be criminal to throw away.

Not surprisingly, no hands.

If you're like me, and didn't raise your hand once, and you live in a reasonably large community (this is sort of key to what's coming, so if your town is smallish, stop reading now), I am about to share with you a fabulous find.


What is freecycle.org, you ask? It is something like Craigslist, but free and so much more satisfying to use. It's a huge online garage sale, but again, EVERYTHING IS FREE! People send out emails announcing what they have, when and where it's available, and all you have to do it claim their stuff. Really, that's it. And, there is some pretty cool stuff out there. People are lazy and this is a great way to embrace your laziness and still purge, who doesn't want to get in on that? And, you can even request stuff. For example, let's say you're like "someone" I...ahem..."know" and you're looking for a desk. You send an email to your freecycle peeps and voila! Within hours, sometimes minutes you will find yourself in possession of a perfectly serviceable, sometimes fabulous, but always FREE desk.

I know what you're thinking now, how can you too join in the fun? SO EASY! Click on the above link, type in your community, send an email and wait for confirmation of membership in your local freecycling universe. Once confirmation magically pops into your inbox...WHOA NELLY! The free stuff will be flying and you will find yourself thinking, "maybe I do need various pieces of balsa wood" or "we've been looking for a economical jogging stroller for ages, can't do much better than free." It is incredible the stuff that is available and even more incredible what people want. Just in the last 24 hours we have unloaded a floor lamp with no shade (broke in storage), a single 25 lb. barbell, and 2 boxes of law books from 2003. Our trash, now their treasures, and all we did was send an email. Think of the possibilities!!

One final thought, I am still a big advocate of donating to charity and with this post am in no way suggesting that charities should not be your first stop for the more typical donation items. But, we've tried and failed to give stuff to our local charities more than once in the last month and this website has been a very painless solution to a more than mildly frustrating problem. Especially the law books, NO ONE wanted hardcover, slightly out of date text books and the thought of putting them in a land fill just made me ill. But, they have now gone to a happy home and freecycle gets all the credit. Try it...you'll see.

4 comments:

alisa and sometimes brandon said...

LOVE it. Used it. Benefited from it (on both sides).

IWA (e - va) said...

Before our move that's how we got rid of most of our stuff.. It was neat to see that people were so grateful for our Free Junk!

Jessica said...

I SO needed this post LAST week, Linsey. COuld you please time your posts to the finishing of my basement a little better please?

Austen | EcoBees Recycling said...

I agree that charities should be the first to benefit... but when they won't take stuff that still has a lot of life left in it then it would be madness to throw it away so Freecycle is an excellent solution... a similar reuse initiative if EcoBees and using EcoBees you can automatically post your ads to your Freecycle group too - worth a peep: www.EcoBees.com

 

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