The freebie box and curbside decluttering

The Freebie Box

A couple of weeks back Sanna left a comment about how she used the Freebie Box method for the first time and was surprised and delighted how quickly the stuff disappeared. I was a little surprised that she hadn’t tried this method before so I decided to write about it today thinking that perhaps I had taken it for granted that everyone knew about this idea and didn’t need any coaching on the subject. Then there is the Freebie Boxes bigger cousin ~ Curb Side Decluttering ~ which is yet another useful weapon in the declutterers arsenal for getting rid of things quickly.

The Freebie Box

I is as simple as having a cardboard box, writing the word FREE on it, filling it with things you want to give away and putting it in a prominent position where people will wander by and hopefully help themselves to its contents. use your imagination as to where to places the box but here are a few suggestions.

  • In the foyer or your apartment building
  • In a safe position on the side walk in front of your house or flat.
  • On the break table at your work.
  • Out front of your garage sale.

The amount you put in the box is only limited to how big your box is. You can also top up the box (add more things) as it starts to empty if you have more to offer. Make sure the word FREE is prominent so people know they are welcome to help themselves. Just remember if you are putting it outside only do so on a fine day, be mindful of any change in the weather and bring the box in at night time as weather conditions can change rapidly. Also make sure placing the box out will not risk injury to others or will be breaking any tenant or local government bi-laws if that is of concern to you.

Curbside Decluttering

This method of quick and easy decluttering is more for those larger items that you want to give away. I have used this method many times myself. I managed to declutter my BBQ, a trampoline, furniture and timber this way just to name a few. I make up a sign with FREE written on it that is easy to read from cars passing by, place it on the item, cart the item out to the footpath, place it at the curbside, go back inside and wait for a taker. This works well for me as I live on a reasonably busy street. If you live on a quieter street you might want to make up bigger signs to place on a pole at the nearest crossroad stating “Free Whatever This Way ➔” with the arrow pointing in the direction of your house. Please remember to remove the signs once the item has gone, not only because it would be very frustrating for people who go out of their way to follow it and find nothing at the end but also because it litters up the neighbourhood. One of my pet hates is people who don’t bring in their old garage sale signs.

Just like the Freebie Box decluttering method make sure you take the weather into account when using the Curbside decluttering method. Only put things out on fine days and keep vigilant about changes in the weather and bring the items in at night if they haven’t been claimed.

It is as easy as that.

CAUTION:~ Please don’t use either of these methods to dump useless stuff, nobody would want, out on the street. This is meant to be a quick way to find new homes for your stuff not a way to avoid haulage and tip fees. I see evidence of this all to often around my neighbourhood and it is infuriating. Be mindful about putting sofa’s out on the street also I have witnessed people coming along and taking the cushions for their pets and leaving the now useless shell of the sofa sitting there. Donate to charity or using Freecycle.org are two very effective ways to find new homes for items that are still in reasonable condition. 

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter A worn out or outgrown clothing item.

Today’s Declutter Item

I believe these are the last of the ski gloves hiding around my home. I wish I could say the same of ski jackets but I am working on that. They aren’t worn out or outgrown, just not needed any more.

Ski Gloves

“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

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow


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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.

Comments

  1. Debbie in Alberta :

    Years ago we lived in an older neighbourhood in a large city which has also been described as a ‘prestigious – old money’ neighbourhood (did not describe us in the least :)) We laid a tarp out on our front lawn with a large free sign with some material left from our renovations along with some other items.

    Our neighbour watching us said over his fence – in a very condescending tone – “that’s an interesting way of getting rid of things” – making it sound like no one would want our “junk”. Well when almost everything went in less than a day we were pleased to not only get rid of the stuff; but to prove our neighbour wrong. We also had a lady come knock on our door with one of the items in her hand – she asked if it was really free, we said yes and she was so grateful.

    It was an interesting experience!

    • Great story Debbie in Alberta. I am sure you got great satisfaction from proving the neighbour wrong. I find that people with money don’t get that way from throwing it away and they are often the first ones to grab a bargain when they see it.

    • Hi Debbie – I know what you mean about neighbours, I live in a fairly new middle class area, nothing worthy Home & House Magazine though. And we have a neighbour who actually has a copy of the covenents. I think he thinks we live in a gated community. And he brings them out the drop of the hat. When my garage got too full to put the car in it and I parked it on our driveway he came over and quoted whatever clause that residents may not park on their driveways. I put the roller door up and showed him the garage and said it was up to him I could drag this onto the front yard or the car could stay put…… thought he was going to have an aneurysm. I hope he doesn’t realise that my garage is now empty!

      • Hey Moni, do I have the wrong understanding of a driveway? Over here the driveway on your property is yours. You can park an elephant on it if you want. What the hell kind of nit-wit git tells people they can’t park their car in their own driveway? Am I right in thinking your said driveway is in front of your house? Not part of the council strip or a roadway? Here we can park on roads and any area designated for a vehicle, hell, we can park on the roof if you can do it safely!!! What kind of person gets elected to pass by-laws that won’t allow you to park in front of your house on land that you pay rates for. Sorry if I have the wrong end of the stick but if that person was my neighbour I’d be printing a few papers myself and maybe not just printed covenants either LOL!!!!

        • Hi Dizzy – good to hear you back on air. Exactly! Or apparently not. Apparently it is all written in the covenants. No cars on driveways – no boats or caravans in sight of the road – so on and so on. But 99.9% of people just mind their own business and be good citizens but lucky us we got that .1

          Its not a council bylaw it was something the developers wrote into purchase agreement for the subdivision. However, we weren’t the original purchasers and I’m pretty sure it had an expiry date.

          All the street’s debris blows onto our property as our house is facing the wind, so we do more than our bit to tidy up the neighbourhood.

        • You are correct Dizzy, so long as when Moni says in the driveway she means the part of the driveway within the boundary of her property she is probably correct. The driveway on the the footpath however does not belong to the resident of a property and is not meant for parking in. You are also not allowed to park across your own driveway in the street either. I had a friend who was booked for doing just that a couple of weeks ago.

          I walk a lot and it really annoys me when I have to risk getting hit by a car by having to walk out onto the road the get around someone parked across the footpath in a driveway. This happens way to often.

          That being said, the neighbourhood I lived in in America has it’s own covenants which I assume are a condition of home ownership in that area. If you want to change anything visually on your home, for example paint it a different colour or have the roof replaced you have to get approval from the Neightbourhood Comity. They also have rules on how long you can leave your bin on the street and when your Christmas lights have to be down by etc. I assume they could also include all residents cars must be parked with the garage of the property. That would have gone over like a lead balloon in the neighbourhood in question because most of the houses had three car garages but they were so full of clutter that their three cars were all parked in the driveway or on the street. The situation only got worse as the children all grew up and also began to drive.

          These covenants may sound like some sort of dictatorship but at least the estate always looks clean and tidy and this prevented anyone from hoarding trash all over their lawn bringing down the value of their neighbours properties. There is always one overzealous person who likes to rule with an iron fist given half a chance though.

          • By the way Dizzy I forgot to mention it is nice hearing from you again. I have been wondering where you got to. I hope you have been off enjoying a nice vacation somewhere.

          • Reading all these posts about neighborhood covenants and the overzealous covenant enforcer, made me laugh and reminded me of an hilarious movie called “Christmas With the Cranks” inspired by John Grisham’s book, “Skipping Christmas.” Both are great, but as usual, the book is better.

  2. We did this with a washing machine one time. We didn’t even live in a well traveled area. When we moved into our condo in that city the old owners left a washing machine that was in good shape and worked well. We already had our own washer and dryer. None of the places like Goodwill would come get it and at that time Craig’s List didn’t exist so to get rid of it we would have to either take out an add in the newspaper or find someone to haul it to a place that would take it. I just had the guys who were bringing in our laundry appliances haul it to the street. Within 3 hours someone drove by and asked us to hold it until they could get back with a truck. They had seen it from the street behind us and came around to see what was happening. They were a young married couple with a new baby and a washing machine that wouldn’t work. I was so glad for them to get it.

    • Nice Deb J, I bet it felt good to see the machine go to someone who really needed it. Well done.

    • About 8 months ago my neighbour starting doing this too and low and behold someone always picked it up. So we had some things too not enough for our councel cleanup which by the way goes to the tip so we too put it out and I had’nt even come inside and someone pulled up had a look and asked if they could take. it.
      Its a great way to declutter and someone who needs it will take it.

  3. Oh I do love curbside decluttering. Even the things I think no one will want are taken. My favorite was when we put out a pile of half used paint cans and other stuff of that type. A painter drove up as I put it out and was thrilled as he often needed small amounts or touch up paint. You never know what someone else will treasure.

    • That is correct Juhli, you do never know what someone else will treasure.

      • I was once part of a decluttering project for a charity where I volunteered. They had a storage shed full of donated goods, and it had been running for several years and there was a layer ofstuff which kept being passed over. We hired a skip and placed it on the office’s pocket hanky size carpark, righ by the window. Into the slip we places a 3 piece suite (sofa and 2 armchairs) with great difficulty. These couldn’t be donated as they lacked the required labels showing compliance with fire regulations, without which you can’t even give upholstered furniture away to charity in the UK.

        Exhausted, we went inside for a cuppa and when we came out 20 mins later………they were gone! It would have taken several people and we never even saw the going of them. We also had some huge, ugly and straggling Swiss cheese plants in the office and placed them on the edge of our carpark by the pavement with a Free! sign and they walked off in a hurry, too. It’s a great way to gt rid of things.

        • Well done GreyQueen.
          Interesting that you have to have fire code labels on secondhand upholstered items in order to be able to sell them. We have no such restrictions here in Australia.

  4. Perfect timing with this post! Think I will put 3 plants out by the curb this weekend & see if someone wants them.

    I’m housewatching/cat sitting my neighbors place & one thing I noticed with their home is how airy & wide open it is as compared to mine – and my house is bigger! Once I started to pay attention, I realized that they don’t have multiples of anything & have very very few decorative items & even then it’s just on the fireplace mantel & a small serving table thing. Most horizontal surfaces are clean & clear & there isn’t a lot of extra artwork on the wall – just a few very unique pieces. Each of these decorative items are singular, unique, pretty & your eye is instantly drawn to them. The airyness feels comes from the lighter colored walls as well as the airy space between their decorative items & furniture placement. It’s not jam packed & yet it’s not barren either. It’s just enough & not a hint more.

    So I head back to my house & realize that I have a LOT of decorative items in a lot of different places & none that stand out as unique or special because there are so many.

    So I began to take away most decorative items & put them in a hall closet until I can figure out what to do next. I only have 6 indoor plants but 3 of them were hidden behind a chair. Those 3 got sent out in the garage & will end out on the curb with a free sign this weekend.

    Thus far, I’ve removed 20 items from the main living room/kitchen area (it’s all an open-concept space anyways). Stuff that includes: 3 framed pictures, some old wrought iron piece, leaf-shaped serving platter, 1 small table lamp, 2 sweetgrass baskets, decorative urn thing, 3 candles, pineapple shaped door prop, those 3 plants, brown glass bowl, metal vulture (don’t ask), fake plant, empty serving bowl that gathers dust atop the microwave.

    It’s a little odd not having those things out – but as the day goes by the memory of what was once there is fading & I have to admit – my house is looking more airy & brighter already.

    The office, hallway & bedrooms are next!

    • Jane, you just gave me a great idea. I’m going to suggest that we take everything off of the walls and store it for right now. Once we have lived that way for a week of so then if Mom thinks we need something on the walls we will begin to replace things. I have a feeling she will start feeling less crowded. Now if I could just get her to do the same thing with plants/flowers. We have 10 real and 7 fake ones in the open concept living & dining areas.

    • Good for you Jane. Sometimes we need just a little prod to try something new and there is nothing like a good example as encouragement. Funny how doing your neighbour a favour has created its own favour in return.

      I dare say those plants will disappear in a heartbeat. They are one of the easiest things to declutter at the curb.

      • Ta-da!
        I noticed a lawn-maintenance company mowing my neighbors house across the street. They have a crew of 3 or 4 guys & all manner of lawn equipment that they haul around on a big flat bed trailer. So I ran out & asked if they need any plants or planters & the guy said sure as they also take care of indoor plants for large companies in the area.
        So I handed over those 3 plants I decluttered just yesterday along with the crazy fake plant & about 8 or 9 decorative pots & planters!
        Success!

        • You are on a roll Jane. This is just like Willow’s example ~ Decide to get rid of something the the vehicle for which to do it by turns up practically on your door step.

    • Ideealistin :

      Jane, great move!!!
      Storing decoration out of sight for a while is a good thing to do, I think. It’s so much easier to declutter decor if you can look at it with fresh eyes and have gotten used to your sparser place (and like it!). I store some decoration because I love to rotate. But since starting the decluttering I revisit my decorational items from time to time to see what never sees the light of day and ask myself why. If it is because it really doesn’t meet my taste anymore it can go.
      And: Please declutter the fake plant right away. I’ve never seen a place that would not have been better off without the fake plants (except some jungle themed restaurant in Vegas … but I guess one would have to be very weird wanting to recreate THAT at home ;-))

      • LOL – funny thing is that I didn’t even realize I had the fake plant – I thought for sure I had ridmyselfof those ugly varments years ago – but this one was up high on a bank of cabinets shoved out of sight!

        Anyways, last night I asked my husband if he noticed anything different or missing & he looked around & could only come up with 1 item & he was wrong about that one! LOL Just goes to show what he does & doesn’t notice.

        He did say we should repaint the interior of our house to a lighter fresher color – which I agree, but will wait till cooler weather. Our current interior color is a very deep saturated golden wheat color – too dark & dreary. Thinking now about a bright & airy color.

  5. Heather in Champaign, IL :

    I would add that, at least in some communities, there is freecycle.org. It’s a Yahoo group that you have to sign up for, but then you get posts and can create posts. I live on a small, out of the way street that doesn’t get a lot of outside traffic, so it’s useful to let people know there’s free stuff on the curb. When I post something, it’s usually gone in less than an hour, sometimes with additional people coming by to look for the free items. Tip: Let people know they should not come up to your door–when it’s gone, it’s gone.

    (I’ve been reading for a while and enjoy getting your posts in my email, but this is my first time commenting. I’ve been decluttering for some time now but am about to move across the country in a couple months and so have been stepping up my efforts quite a bit. Your posts have brought me great inspiration–thanks!)

    • Hi Heather in Champaign, IL and welcome to 365 Less Things. I would hope by now that my readers are fully aware of freecycle.org I have been plugging it for long enough but there are always new readers so thank you for bringing it to their attention. I have used freecycle several times myself and love it. I have got to the point now where I most have little bits and pieces that are easy to drop off at the thrift store so don’t use freecycle so much any more.

      Good luck with your move across the the country, does that mean you are moving to the West Coast. I lived in Seattle for seven and a half years and loved it there. We have just returned from a visit there and it was so nice to see old friends and places. I hope that I can keep inspiring you to declutter and live the simpler life with less.

      • Hi Colleen – we definately know about freecycle! I love it, love it, love it! I just listed something – unused underbed storage bins – and within two minutes I have had a request.

        Have my hubby helping me today, we’re making some progress. He has a bit of a tendancy towards the-glass-is-half-empty and said that place is looking so much better these days, but it really highlights the areas that need work ie our last remaining bookcase contains books, cds waiting to be loaded to itunes, family videos waiting to be digitised etc. Am about to re-direct him to his camping gear……this should be interesting!

  6. We love kerb-side decluttering and have de-cluttered quite a few big items as well as garden pots etc the last few years but it’s never occurred to me to put out small items in a freebie box .I think they would go just as quickly either kerb-side or maybe even at work.So there you go Colleen -it’s a new idea to at least one of us!

  7. I have to tell you about my son “Mr. Never shop at thrift stores” and his find on the curb of his apartment building. His roommate had moved out and JET needed a couch. Lo and behold, he came out one Sunday afternoon and saw a gorgeous one, seemed brand new to our son, by the dumpster. He sniffed it, checked it out thoroughly and then hauled it into his apartment, pleased as he could be, bragging to us about his great find! We have both put things out and picked things up. It’s great! Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Rozann – my son and friend saw a couch beside a road recently so parked the car and carried it to his friend’s house about 1 kilometre away. I said why didn’t you borrow dad’s trailer to shift it. He said they didn’t want someone else to get it first. I said why didn’t one of you just sit on till the other came back. Oh yeah. Just as well they are so strong at that age, cause they sure don’t seem to have a lot of sense!

    • hi Rozann, I hope that means your son has a whole new outlook on not new bargains. He’ll be off to the thrift shop with you before you know it.

  8. Love this method – works well at my parents house! Used toliets, old hot water tank (didn’t work with an outdoor table, but did get it to go with freecycle!).

    My apartment needs a free area – 155 different apartments, you can imagine the waste! I’ve got perfectly usable fairy lights I found in the bin room. There was a dishwasher the other day (if only they’d put a sign on it, so if I knew it worked, I could have freecycled it!) Every piece of furniture’s been through there in the six months I’ve moved in – including someone’s pantry contents (assumed that was an international student at the end of their time). I need to speak to the building manager about this, and the lack of ‘no junk mail’ stickers on our letterboxes (which are inside our secure building, so he must let them in…) hrmmm I don’t think he knows how crazy I am just yet, but he’s about to!

    • Hi Snosie,
      I would really try to get something set up in your apartment block if I were you. Check with your building manager, come up with a plan and then possibly post a flyer near the mailboxes to state your ideas and see if you get any responses. There must be a communal area in the building somewhere where a free area can be set up. There just needs to be a few rules guiding the use of the area and all should be good.

      Keep us posted. I would love to know how it works out.

  9. Great idea! We can also put up a sign at our HOA’s hq (where the pool is) and advertise that there is a freebie on our porch. We recycled an unwanted chandelier that way.

    • Oh! Just a couple of hours ago, I decided to remove the succulent plants from my front porch. The neighbor’s garden maintenance guy happened to be working across the street so I asked him if he wanted them, pots and all. He said yes! They’re gone!

      • Well done Willow. Like I said to Jane, plants are one of the easiest things to get rid of. And don’t you just love it when an opportunity conveniently presents itself just when you are ready for it.

  10. I once put a working vacuum cleaner out by the curb with a sign that read “Free but smells like dog”. I figured it was only fair that potential new owners were aware. Apparently someone didn’t mind as it was gone within a half hour. I’m amazed at what people will stop and pick up, but I’m glad that they do!

    • I like your honesty Erin. As you say it is only fair to warn people what they are getting. I like to be up front when giving away and selling my stuff too. I have Freecycled a couple of non-working electrical items that people were happy to have for the parts. There is usually someone out there who has a use for your stuff. Things are often worth more than the sum of their parts. The individual parts can be what a person is looking for.

  11. Unfortunately we live at the end of a cul-de-sac so this really isn’t an option for me as there is no thru traffic and I have a neighbour who would object strongly, but I do see it from time to time along other roads. I haven’t made much progress lately as my kids had exams to revise for and my youngest had several assignments to hand in over last and this week and needed help. However school holidays start Friday afternoon and the weather forecast is poor, so I have ‘booked’ my hubby to help me get at my next target area. There are a number of items around the house too that he keeps mentioning that he wants to put on Trademe but he hasn’t done anything about it, so we will also do that this weekend.

    • Oh I understand, end of semester what a pain. Liam has just finished his semester at uni which usually involves carting art work to and fro which can’t be done easily on his motorbike so that is where I came in. Hence why I scheduled my operation for the 21st because it was all over by then. He is nice and relaxed now and enjoying his break. Last semester he was working with models for his photography courses and my goodness what a pain that was trying to get them to turn up when he needed them. I hope he doesn’t do that next semester.

  12. I keep an ongoing FREE box just inside my front door into which I toss any random small non-garbage-but-not-good-enough-for-charity-item I come across in the household. About once a month (as you said: only on a fine day and never overnight), I put it out in front of the building while I go out and about. It’s nearly always empty (or gone entirely) by the time I get home and if it isn’t, I bring it back up to put out the next month with its new additions. It’s a fantastic system for me and only 1 item, a plastic hanger, took 3 cycles to find a new home.
    It’s probably bad feng shui to clutter up my entryway with the FREE box and the charity box but I see that as the “Out” area and temporarily storing “Out” items there reminds me to take them out with me when I leave the house.

    • You are certainly making good use of the Freebie Box decluttering method Mmm Yarn. Interesting that the plastic hanger should take so long to find a home. I wouldn’t worry too much about the bad feng shui, if the boxes aren’t bothering you or anyone else in the household then who cares.

  13. Ideealistin :

    My personal rule: I only put things out that one person can carry away as there is more walkig than driving round here (also, if I can’t carry it by myself there would be no chance to take it inside again with weather change.) If things are larger/heavier than that I try to get them collected by someone who wants them even if it is a nuisance.
    Colleen, I second you on couches soooo much: I’ve seen perfectly nice ones ruined by rain (or dogs, yuck!). That’s pure ignorance and lazyness to put them out in the street.

    • Exactly Ideealistin, sofas are best donated to and picked up they charities, sold or freecycled. Putting them on the street is lose lose from what I have seen.

  14. Hi Colleen!

    Actually, I’ve always been too shy to try that myself, as I’m not really sure about whether or not this is allowed here. I see other people doing it, though, so I finally brought myself to try it as well. As it worked so well, my concerns have vanished.
    Regarding the “useless stuff” warning, I think, one can try almost everything as long as one takes the remainders back in when they haven’t been taken within the day. As one says, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and you will never know whether someone would be delighted to take that “useless stuff”. However, if noone takes it, it is of course in your own responsiblity to recycle or trash it properly.

    • Hi Sanna,
      I am so glad you decided to try it and that it was such a success for you. And you are right one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and so long as you bring the stuff in if it is not claimed then all is well.

  15. I read this post and decided to try it out today. We put a box of stuff marked FREE outside and went out for the afternoon. Just got home to find someone has put more stuff in it!

    • Hi sunnymama and welcome to 365 Less Things. Well I have to say you have found yourself in a unique situation there. I have never heard of this happening to anyone else. Did you put the box out again the next day? Did the stuff get claimed in the end? Or did you give up in disgust?

  16. Hi Colleen and thanks for the welcome to 365 Less Things! I was so surprised to see more stuff in our freebie box as I did not expect that to happen at all. Some of the stuff we had put in the box did go but with the new arrivals there wasn’t much less stuff in the end. I will try again though and keep my fingers crossed that it doesn’t get filled up again!

  17. It happened again! I do suspect one of my neighbours thinks it’s a good idea too! I’ll keep going with the freebie box for now and try hard not to be tempted by the “useful” things appearing in it. I already have so many “useful” things I don’t need any more, lol. 🙂

    • My goodness Sunnymama, someone obviously either has the idea of the Freebie box a little confused ~ Like it is a collection box rather than a giveaway box or else they thing it is a good idea and is too lazy to implement their own. Perhaps they are just testing your resolve at getting rid of things. You will have to set up a video cam pointing at the box and see if you can catch the culprit. Fun and games!

  18. Laura (So Ca) :

    Our neighborhood has a freebie curb issue and we hate it. How tacky and ghetto. Most of our neighbors have a vehicle that can haul stuff to a local thrift store. Coming down in housing has taught us how tacky some people are. Sorry, but I hate the concept. We paid cash and remodeled all cash, and I find it appalling. We grew up dirt poor, got an education to do better, and don’t want to feel we live in a ghetto.

    • Hi Laura and welcome to 365 Less Things. I feel for you on this one. I have never lived in a neighbourhood where this has become a problem so I am still all for it. It is not something I can really do now because I live in the centre of the city in an apartment.

      • Laura So Ca :

        Urban living is way cool. Where?

        Downtown Los Angeles is in a Renaissance. The homeless are getting jobs and inexpensive apts. Hooray! The So Korean and Chinese Investment is really bringing it up, but my favorite part is the Adaptive Use Ordinance, which is saving some fantastic old buildings. I’m thrilled for you, if you’re in a good city. Our Music Center is giving free Samba Lessons in 2 weeks, and I’m going, taking the subway.

        Yeah, weeks of stuff curbside is annoying me to no end. We had a rule with our stuff, 24 hours and we pulled it in. Then it dawned on us, The Association For Retarded Citizens could use our good stuff. Art Prints, unused Bed Sets, $25 here, $50 there, could help those who can’t help themselves. Our “religion” is kindness (coined by Phyllis Diller-also a Pianist,, Artist and great Human). But FREE STUFF curbside…drive it to a charity. We can all agree to disagree.

        • Hi Laura, I only ever put things out on the footpath that I didn’t have a vehicle large enough to haul away. Nearly every piece disappeared in a matter of an hour so I didn’t need the 24 hour rule. However I do remember a couple of things that didn’t so easily disappear. I brought them in overnight in case the weather went bad and I think they went the next day when I put them out again. Here in most parts of Australia we have a bulk waste curb side pick up scheme. Where the local council designate a date for an entire area to put the bulk waste curb side and then the council picks it all up and hauls it away free of charge. In my area you have to book an appointment for this, giving you a date which they also give to others in your neighbourhood who also book in. It can take them up to about a week to collect the stuff and that does look messy for a while. Myself and a friend actually go to these neighbourhoods and go through the stuff and haul a car load of good items to the thrift shop that I volunteer. It amazes and annoys me that…
          1. People put things out that could easily fit in their trash cans.
          2. People put perfectly good stuff out that they could easily drop off at a thrift shop.
          3. People put stuff out that should have gone in their recycling bins.

          Sadly people can be so lazy, wasteful, ignorant or just don’t give a damn. Easy come easy go for them I suppose.
          Having it go on constantly would get pretty ugly. So I can assure you I don’t disagree with what you are saying.

          • Laura So Ca (USA) :

            Great news, Colleen. We have free landfill days as well in Sothern California USA, and many charities will pick up. As for the little stuff, I could only wish people would use a box. That would take thought, and my neighbors have cognitive dissidence on neighbor etiquette, for sure.

            There are times when I have picked up un-signed toddler and baby stuff almost on the sidewalk,, and throw it in my Volvo, and taken down to the Thrift Store for Teenage Moms. I hear you on the repurpose goal, for sure. We as a world (in industrialized countries) have an abundance of stuff, and we should all thank our lucky stars for all we have.
            We have CFL and Incessant Light Bulbs to give away. We’re going all LED. I will drive them down to the homeless shelter. I never waste anything. Somewhere someone can repurpose something I own. Keep it out of the landfill as long as possible, I say.

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  1. […] if curb-side decluttering will work for you. Just put something out with a FREE sign on it and see if it is taken. Please […]

  2. […] Curb Side  or the Feebie Box~  This method has also been very successful for me. In fact I used it just this week to give away some mini fluorescent light globes. (I have been switching to LEDs because they are better for the environment.) In this case it was a freebie box in the foyer but curb side is the same principle. You take the item you wish to give away and put it at the curb in front of your home. Or, as in my situation, in the foyer or other communal area of an apartment block, with a FREE sign on it. You could also take these items to your work place or community group. I have found that these items are claimed in very short time. I love to check on them just to see how fast they disappear. I put my light globes in the foyer at about 8am, when I knew there would be plenty of foot traffic down there, and they were gone when I went back down at around 10am. I am guessing they had been gone for a while at that point. […]