I have three main methods of disposal when it come to rehousing my clutter.
- I donate most of my items to the thrift store. I have used the same thrift store since the beginning of my declutter mission and now I volunteer there as well.
- I sell items that I feel inclined to recoupe my losses on, by auctioning them on ebay. It is a love hate relationship but all in all I have done pretty well out of it.
- And then there is Freecycle.org This is my go to place for when I am trying to responsibly dispose of items that are not appropriate for the thrift store or that are too awkward to sell on ebay.
Freecycle, like ebay, can have its love/hate aspects as well. I have come across more than one potential recipient who messed me around, not turning up and generally wasting my time. There is at least one lady that often tries to claim my stuff that has surely got to be either a hoarder or owns a secondhand store. Either way she is hopeless at showing up on the first attempt. But I can forgive these little inconveniences because of the many time I have successfully rehoused items that may otherwise have gone to waste.
- There was the broken guitar amplifier that one man was happy to tinker with
- A lamp that needed rewiring
- My old motorcycling leathers that were stiff from lack of use over 20 years and no longer fit me. These were eventually donated by the Freecycle recipient to a vintage motorcycle club to be auctioned to raise money.
- The hutch from my entertainment unit. I kept the bottom as my lowline TV unit and Freecycled the hutch section. It was collected by a carpenter who was thrilled to use the lead-light doors and was also going to salvage the timber for other projects.
- Numerous baseball souvenirs that weren’t worth the hassle of selling on ebay
- Some Snoopy toys
- A television that even the thrift store didn’t want. (Not featured as My Daily Declutter Item yet only collected on Saturday)
- A selection of collectable Coca Cola bottles that I felt iffy about selling on ebay because they were full and awkward to post. I didn’t think these were appropriate for the thrift store either because someone might have bought them to drink and they were way past their used-by dates. (Friday’s declutter item)
- And today’s declutter item, some seat cushion covers and back cushions for a pair of Ikea tub chairs. I doubt anyone would have wanted to buy these on ebay or at the thrift store but I found a taker on Freecycle within the afternoon or advertising them.
I know that there are a number of disadvantages of getting rid of your stuff this way…
- Sometimes people don’t show up when they say they will or at all in some cases. I usually just put the item on my front stoop and the people pick it up when they are ready. What do I care if someone steals it, I don’t want it anyway. It is somewhat annoying though when people don’t show up to collect an item that I don’t feel comfortable putting outside, such as the television. I make a time, I wait around, then I get a text saying “Sorry something else came up.” and I have wasted my afternoon. Grrrr! For me though, I will suck it up for the satisfaction of finding homes for my stuff and keeping it out of landfill.
- Another deterrent is the fact that you are giving complete strangers your contact and address information. Who knows what sort of people they are and soon they are going to turn up on your doorstep. I don’t let this bother me. I am sure there is only one fruitloop in a million and I haven’t encountered one yet. For the sake of extra safety, plan pick up times when you aren’t home alone.
In relation to people not turning us a arranged ~ I often pull the trigger too soon by being overeager to make arrangement with the first person to email in their interest in the item. I think it is probably better to wait a while, read all responses and pick the one who seems the most keen. Their eagerness may inspire them to be more punctual and accommodating. I will try this approach the next time I list something and see how it turns out.
The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,989 groups with 8,800,647 members around the world. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by local volunteers (them’s good people). Membership is free. To sign up, find your community by entering it into the search box or by clicking on ‘Browse Groups’ . Have fun!
If you haven’t tried it yet why not give it a go. You have brought all of this stuff into your home. You have come to the conclusion that you no longer need or want it. The responsibility is now yours to dispose of it responsibly. I have had people say to me “Finding ways to get rid of clutter is such a bother.” My response to that is “Try harder!. You got yourself into this mess and it is up to you to do the right thing by the environment while getting yourself out of it. Think of it as penance from your past indiscretions and as an incentive to be a more responsible consumer in the future.”
Today’s Declutter Item
Some time ago I bought some slip on covers for my ageing Ikea tub chairs. Included were seat covers and back cushions so the ones below became excess to my needs. I stuck them in the bottom of a closet where they hid for years. Last Friday I finally got around to advertising them on Freecycle.org and lo and behold someone claimed them. She was happy, I was happy and the cushions were saved from landfill and stopped cluttering up my closet. Win Win!
Something I Am Grateful For Today
Finding the time to get started on making my Christmas cards. I got the housework out of the way, even pulled down the microwave and cleaned the little nook it sits in. Meanwhile I did three loads of washing and answered lots of blog comments. Snuck in the odd coffee and a piece of chocolate here and there and still found time to make some cards.
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast