Thursday, 19 January 2012

Decluttering: My First Freecycle

Today I entered the wonderful world of Freecycle. I can't imagine there are many frugal people who've never heard of it, but just in case...

Freecycle is a global network of local groups, where members post items to giveaway to others. Basically the idea is to get out of the consumer cycle and reduce waste. It's a way of recycling. Things offered on my local group today included a wardrobe, working dishwasher, top soil, lots of baby clothes, a small TV, a trampoline and a 3-piece suit of sofa and chairs.

Honestly, my post wasn't all that exciting compared to that stuff!

I've been having a bit of a declutter. I advertised that I wanted to be rid of a big folder full of plastic wallets that I used to keep my Uni work neat. I would never use them again; they are expensive, environmentally damaging, and you have to keep pulling the sheets of paper out to be able to write on them!!

Within a few minutes of the post going live I had four e-mails from people desperate for my second-hand plastic wallets!

I decided I wasn't too keen on the idea of someone coming to my house to collect them, so I asked the first replier to meet me outside the pub in the village. It must've looked a strange exchange; two cars pulling into a dark carpark, exchanging an unmarked bag with few words exchanged, then each driving off in a separate direction.. Hee hee!

Have you ever got anything exciting from Freecycle? There is certainly a lot I would've liked today but the point is to REDUCE my clutter, not add to it! The Boyfriend once got a load of educational books he needed for free, which I thought was amazing at the time, considering the cost of them.

Would you list your things on Freecycle? Would you let someone come to your house to collect them, or am I just paranoid? :)


Maria said...

I have both given and received from Freecycle in the post. Most memorably I received a set of three wooden chairs, and a small shelf! I didn't mind people coming to my house, but I do understand your concerns.
I gave up on it after a while, as I had too many experiences of people emailing desperate for something, and then failing to turn up at the appointed time/hour.
But I do still think it is a fantastic resource for avoiding landfill.

Meanqueen said...

No, I haven't given or received. I don't want people coming to my house. Nearly all my stuff is junk, no one would want it. Anything remotely usefull I ask people I know if they want it, or I take it to a charity shop, or I sell it on our cat rescue stall.

I have had a look at the web site for this area and haven't seen anything I want or need. I have enough clutter, ha ha, don't want any more.

I often wonder if people ask for free things, only to sell them to make some money.

Bryallen said...

I was wondering whether people would sell them too! In my case, the plastic wallets were not really sell-able, and things like baby clothes will hopefully be received by someone who wants them, but a lot of electronics could be resold.

I do donate most low-value stuff to charity - my Nana does a lot of work for the British Heart Foundation, so I am always giving her books and old clothes, etc. I like to think of it as my charitable giving, because other than a tiny Oxfam donation a month, I can't afford to give to charities right now.

never too old said...

ive done both,given and received.we had to move out of our home for about a year and it was a great excuse for a decluter.I think these sights are great

Spankthemagicmonkey said...

Whilst Freecycle in principle has been good in the past I have reservations about what some people actually use it for. For a long time I have been keeping an eye on a number of Freecycle message boards and there is a general theme of looking the other way whilst obvious business owners claim half of the stuff to later sell on. This is especially rife with computer goods that can be stripped down and put into other machines. I feel that if it was better maintained then yes it would be a good service, however as it stands it simply allows businesses to make a quick buck.

PS. I have also brought this violation of use to the attention of Freecycle moderators to only receive a general "we don't care" attitude.

PPS. Loving the blog.

Isa said...

Here in Malta I don't know if there's something like that but in Portugal we had Transition Mothers who swap stuff they don't use anymore and it's pretty cool, specially because children's items are expensive and become irrelevant in a few months...

saving for travel said...

We've given alot of stuff away.

We got Valerie our china hen from a lovely lady called Valerie.

Sft x

Frugal Down Under said...

Each group kind of have their own rules.

I don't care if people get my stuff from Freecycle to resell. The aim is to keep stuff out of landfill. So giving or selling the item for it to be used is keeping it out of landfill.

This week I got from Freecycle: 8 DVDs for Dolly and 2 sets of unwanted gifts of toiletry products. I'm using the soaps and keeping the creams and bath items for a gift for someone I'm hoping will stay with us soon. (I'll post about that when it's all good and she's here).

Personally I don't sell on any of my Freecycle stuff. But as I said I don't care if others sell my stuff because OUT of landfill by any means is OUT of landfill.

Shanna said...

Depending on the vibe I get from email or talking on the phone to the person is how I determine if they can come to my house or if I meet them in a public place. Obviously when I gave away a bed I had to trust that the person showing up was trustworthy. So far I have not had any problems other then people not getting back to my email when I respond to their posting of free stuff.

Anonymous said...

I used it the week before I was moving house, so I didn't really mind about strangers calling to the house because I wouldn't be living there anymore.

Things like books (heavy and bulky) take up space and cost money to transport for a house-move, so it was great not only to have to not deal with them but that someone else would get enjoyment out of them. Would certainly recommend it to anyone in that situation.