Monday, March 8, 2010

Freecycle: Your Clutter Is Someone Else's Treasure

As long-time readers know, I'm a huge fan of giving things away on Freecycle, and this photo shows one reason why. Some recipients are kind enough to send along notes - or photos - letting you know how your items are being used. When I offered up some Mardi Gras beads that a client no longer wanted, I had no idea they'd wind up adorning a Buddha!

Related Article:
My Freecycle article in CoastViews Magazine

Related Posts:
Short Takes: Funny Stuff Found on Freecycle
The Things You Find on Freecycle
How to Reply to Offers on Freecycle


Julie Bestry said...

That photo is a hoot, Jeri. It's calling out for it's own caption, like "Beware of Buddhas Bearing Beads".

Bneato said...

now that is awesome! i'm often surprised about how many folks don't know about freecycle--thanks for helping get the word out.

Claire Josefine said...

Oooo... I like it! And Freecycle is a great way to practice sharing. I encourage my students/clients to shift their thinking from "I'm getting rid of this" to "I'm putting this back into the world so someone who loves or needs it can have it." That change in perspective often makes it easier for them to allow things they no longer love or need to move on.

Claire Josefine said...

Bneato -- I'm often surprised by how many folks don't know about things like Freecycle, too. It's (one reason) why Jeri's posts are so valuable. I was at the grocery store the other day, bagging my purchases in one of my canvas shopping bags, when another shopper commented that she'd never heard of bringing your own bags, let alone realized that the store gave you money back for doing so. Wow, I thought everyone had at least heard of this by now. So, the work of educating through example continues, eh?

Jeri Dansky said...

Julie, I'm so glad you reacted to the photo the same way I did! As soon as it popped up in my e-mail, I sent a reply asking if it would be OK to share.

Claire, one thing I love about Freecycle is that I can often pass along notes or pictures - or in one case, a video! - showing my clients how much their items are being used, and how much they are appreciated. When they see that, they get inspired to declutter even more!

Bneato and Claire: I agree about needing to spread the word! I was recently talking to someone who discovered Freecycle just a couple weeks ago, and wished she had known about it long before.

Undead Molly said...

I have heard (from psychologists) that Freecycling can be an important therapeutic tool for hoarders who are in treatment for their problem. Many of them have tremendous emotional difficulty throwing thing away, but knowing that they're releasing an object to someone who will use and appreciated it can ease the trauma a little.

It's important that they use Freecycle only while currently undergoing treatment, of course, because otherwise it might be a tempting route to accumulating more stuff.

Julie Bestry said...

Jeri, since you know how I abhor spelling and grammar mistakes, I have to correct my own post. That'll teach me to type while rushing. I should have said "It's calling out for *its* own caption."

I'm curious, as I'm not a Freecycler...pretty much everything I get goes to the local social service agency that runs a domestic violence shelter. (OK, I don't know what they'd do with a bead-bearing Buddha.) But where/how do you arrange the hand-offs? I'd never advise clients to tell strangers their addresses, even to leave such things outside, and I'd never give a stranger my address. Do you meet people at public places, like the library or the front steps of a school? Are there commonly-known drop-off/pick-up points?

Jeri Dansky said...

Julie, I wondered if you would see and correct that it's!

I give a number of things to our local thrift store, which benefits a good cause, but some items are too odd for the store, or are just not things the store accepts. And then I use Freecycle.

When you post the offer on Freecycle, you just indicate your general location - for my group, that means the city, since we're a group of small towns.

But when I choose someone to give the item to, I do indeed give that person my home address. I suppose you could arrange something else, but the folks in my group seem to be fine with the home address thing.