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May 02, 2007

Things I Love - Freecycle

I know, I know - I may have mentioned how much I love Freecycle a time or two since starting this blog, but I've never actually dedicated an entire post to it. Just in case there are some of you out there who haven't yet taken part in your local chapter of this wonderful online community, I'm doing that today.

We all know how important it is to recycle these days, and Freecycle is a great way to encourage that. For those of you who may not know what it's all about, Freecycle is a Yahoo group where people post items that they no longer want, and where you can post requests for items that you need that someone might have gathering dust in their basement. It provides a forum for the exchange of items that second hand stores might not take and prevents them from going to the landfill. We've found new homes for plants that there was no longer room for in the garden, as well as magazines, toys, and numerous building materials (including the carpet that we tore out when we redid the kids' bedroom floor). I will likely be posting a lot as I pack and try to downsize before our move.

We've also been on the receiving end of some great freecycled items (anyone remember the washing machine?). This gorgeous nightstand is the latest example, and it came from a woman whose parents had it in their house for 40 years before passing it on to her. The stain is chipped and bubbled in spots, but it looks so well loved that I'm having a hard time deciding whether or not to refinish it (any thoughts?).

This recent aquisition makes my heart go pitter pat. I worked my way through highschool doing various odd jobs (from babysitting, to shelving books in the library, to working in a kids bookstore), and most of the money I made went towards expanding my beloved record collection. We've moved hundreds of albums around for the past (egad) almost 20 years, but I haven't been able to listen to any of them in decades because a) we've never had a house big enough to set up a turntable and b) my record player had its arm broken off during a past move (I still think my darling hubby might have had something to do with that - he's been pleading with me to part with them for years). Well, that is no longer a problem since I picked up this little beauty last week. Anyone up for an 80's bash?

The exchange of goods isn't the only great thing about Freecycle, it's also a fantastic way to get out into your community and meet other like minded folks. I've met lots of interesting people that I never would have met otherwise, and it always feels good to know that something you no longer need is being put to good use by someone else. I've recently gotten my mother hooked, and she's quickly becoming a regular poster.

If you haven't Freecycled before, what's holding you back?

12 comments:

Carla said...

I wish we had freecycle here. I hate just throwing things out if I think they can still be used but have no problem giving it away to someone else

Cheryl said...

Carla - I just checked on their website, and it says there is a Nelson chapter. Just click on "Groups in Your Local Area" on the left hand side to find it.
Good luck!

Midlife Traveller said...

What's holding me back? Good question. I think the fact that I can take one carload of stuff to the local Salvation Army, drop it off at their door, and never look back. Easy peasy, right? But I so want to Freecycle, I just need that boost. So thanks to your post I am off to check it out.

Chelee said...

Yay! I love freecycle too.

My husband is a record collector also. His collection is almost extensively 80's music. LOL

If we lived closer, we'd totally have to do an 80's sing along record party.

Steffi said...

Cheryl,I agree full with Carla.I hate it too.But I give up some things to local social stations.They need always good things like clothes or other things.So we give up toys from my childrens to a kindergarten.

Bye,Steffi

Cheryl said...

Midlife Traveller - I can relate to that, sometimes it's just easier to drop it all off at once rather than looking for homes for individual items. But there are lots of things that the Sally Ann won't take that are still useable, and that tends to be the kinds of things that I Freecycle.

Chelee - You guys seriously need to consider moving closer! :D

Steffi - Thankfully there are lots of great organizations out there.

Carla said...

Thanks, I'll definitely check it out. What we do have that I've enjoyed is "Trash to Treasure." There are certain weekends that everyone puts out on the curb what they think might be useful to someone else but they no longer want and people can wander the city checking it out and taking what they want. I know someone who picked up an amazing baby stroller that was in perfect condition. There really are some good finds.

Kim said...

Hi! I read your blog and love it.
I'm de-lurking to say don't refinish the nightstand. It's perfect just the way it is.
peace~
Kim in IN

(((((HUGS))))) sandi said...

I LOVE Freecycle! Your nightstand is gorgeous! (((((HUGS))))) s andi

Gregswife said...

Hi Cheryl,

I have been lurking for awhile and just needed to introduce myself. My name is Stephanie and I live in California. I love your blog and find it very informative and I adore your picutres. I was a littl hesitant to post as we are complete opposites when it comes to our political and environmental views but with that said, our common ground is homeschooling, and living a simpler life. So I hope you don't mind if I drop a post every now and then.

Gregswife said...

Hi Cheryl,

I will try this again, I lost my first post I think.

Anyway, I would like to introduce myself after lurking for awhile. My name is Stephanie and I am a homeschooling mom who lives with my husband and daughter in Califoria. I love your blog and I adore your photography. I find it very informative.

I was a little hesitant to post as we are complete opposites when it comes to our political and environmental views. But we have mothering and homeschooling as well as living a simpler life in common.

I hope to post a few comments now and then and direct you to my blog after I get it up and running.

Stephanie

Cheryl said...

Kim - Thanks for coming out of lurkdom and saying hi!
I think you're right about the nightstand, thanks for weighing in!

Sandi - Thanks for stopping by!

Gregswife - I'm glad you decided to say hi, I certainly don't think we have to agree on everything in order to learn from each other! I look forward to following along on your blog.

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