06 January 2009

EnviroHint #4: Freecycle

Happy New Year! Now that it's 2009, I've decided to start shedding all of the extra "stuff" that takes up space in my apartment for no reason. If and when I decide to move again, getting rid of this extra stuff will lighten my load significantly. Besides, if I haven't worn those shoes in 3 years, chances are good that I won't be wearing them again any time soon, right? In any case, I'm purging, but I'm trying to do so constructively. Here's some thoughts for anyone else that might want clean their home out in the new year:
  1. Give to Goodwill. I take it for granted that this is everyone's first choice. There are other places to go too, like St. Vincent de Paul and what not. But Goodwill is closest to me. However, when I have something like a box of tile grout that I figure no one at Goodwill could really make use of, I .....
  2. Freecycle! If, like me, you have a lot of stuff in your closet that isn't really worth enough to put on Craigslist but it seems like a waste to give it to Goodwill, try Freecycling instead. The Freecycle network is national, and most major metropolitan areas have chapters. You can sign up for your local network and then, when you have stuff to give away, you simply post an entry with a description and there's a good chance someone will snatch it up. The good news is, you can get stuff that you need through others' Freecycling as well....and of course, it's all FREE.
  3. Give to the homeless. It make take a little more effort than giving to Goodwill...or maybe not? Your local homeless shelter may be closer than your nearest Goodwill. For me, giving to the homeless means putting something conspicuous in the alley behind my apartment building and waiting for it to disappear.
  4. Make your favorite t-shirts into rags. If you are also like me and you have a hard time parting with favorite t-shirts (see my last 3 Envirohints), make them into rags. You will smile each time you use them since A) you still have them and B) they are saving you money that you would have spent on Swiffers.
  5. Create a re-gifting pile. OK, so this one requires a bit of strategery. Clearly, you can't give stuff that you don't need or use to people who gave it to you or to people who know them, since you could be foiled. But, frankly, I have a small but significant pile of stuff that's never been used and is fine for others, but just not for me. This is the start of my regifting pile! I can't wait for the next person I know to have a birthday! :o)
I am still finding stuff to get rid of but the last few days have been quite a flurry of Freecycling and giving. Go ahead and try it, it's liberating!

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