The freebie box

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. When our neighbors had a garage sale last year we put out a freebie box of whatever we could find quickly. It was awesome. I’m hoping later this year or next year they (or another neighbor) have another garage sale. 🙂

  2. Ann in Boston

    So nice to hear from you and see “365 Less Things” in my email.
    Great idea…it’s amzing what people will stop and take.
    My son lives in Brooklyn, NY and people put things; books mostly, on their doorsteps for others to take. It’s a very common practice. He is an High school English teacher, so he “loves” the thrill of looking for new books to bring to his classroom.

    Hope you are doing well.

  3. Enjoying your pictures when you put them out. I know you are having a great time. Are you getting tired of the travel yet?

    Here where I live we have designated freebie places in our building. If you have something to give away (even called or dry food) you put it in the designated place. Then on the bulletin board for that floor you hang a little ribbon bouquet so that people know to look. The items disappear fast most of the time. If they don’t we take them over to the Thrift Shop for them to sell.

  4. My senior apartment has a lounge area on the main floor by the front doors. There are sofas with tables and chairs by a small kitchenette. One of the tables is designated as the Magic Table for anything you want to get rid of: the day’s newspapers, magazines, craft items, clothing, household items, food in sealed packages or cans, sometimes medical supplies or equipment. It’s a handy place for people moving in or out or anyone having a clean out. The table is cleaned off every morning and anything not claimed goes into the dumpster. There usually isn’t much left but it keeps the area tidy since it’s visible from the lobby.

    • Joanie, I live in a senior living campus too. Thankfully, we don’t have to clean ours off every night as ours are hidden in drawers or cupboards. The food tends to go first but much of it goes before the day is over.

  5. Yes, we Germans love them.
    We also have “public bookcases” – weatherproof shelves to put books in, the “givebox” – similar shelf but for everything, and the “Umsonstladen” – the shop where everything is for free. The latter is run by volunteers, in a space provided by the city council. They take all kinds of donations, and offer them for free. If you have big items like a couch, they put photos on a pinboard, and arrange delivery when someone is interested.

  6. Great idea! Miss ya!
    My parents’ community’s freebie area got nicknamed “The Christmas Store”. The lamps in my living room came from there – touched up with some spray paint they look great! At work I used to put out freebies on Fridays on an empty table – all would be gone.

  7. It’s good to read 365 again. I kind of forgot how motivating it is. And I love the old posts.

  8. At my 50 birthday party I had a “Penny” auction. I had a table of give-aways with a cup for each item.
    Every person put their name in the cups of the items that interested them.
    A name was drawn from each cup and that person when home with the item.
    Everyone was happy!

  9. Debra-Lee Milos

    I really need help .My son is 30 and I still have his baby items .I drive into the garage and get up set every day with the amount of stuff I have kept . I have started to declutter in the kitchen yesterday and it feels good .I also love to travel and live in newcastle

    • Hi Debra-Lee, it is great that you have found an area inour home where you are prepared to start the decluttering process on. I have always said to start with the stuff that is easiest to let go. I am sure that your will to let things go will strengthen as you continue with the endeavour.
      By Newcastle do you mean Australia?

  10. We have an area in our building. I got 2 plastic tackle boxes I use one for each hobby. I also got a plant stand. I have taken tiny toys to the food pantry for their free table and also the free greeting cards I get in the mail. Our library takes magazines and gives them out free. I teach paper crafts and and indoor gardening so I also give away lots of plants. I use containers I get free. I seldom buy anything new.

    • Well done. It is great to establish ways of Shari g what you don’t need for yourself and enriching other people’s lives who might otherwise go without.

  11. I take magazines to the library where they have a free magazine area. I only want a page or two so either I make a copy or I tear out the page. I get books second hand at library sales. When we travel, we bring back pictures, ticket stubs, etc. My mother was a world class hoarder. For years, my brother and I would clean her out every few years. I still clean out and give away continually.

    • I must be deficit to deal with that situation with a loved one. I am lucky never to have been in that situation. I glad however that it has influenced you to it fall into the hoarding trap.
      And those are some good tactics you ha e to avoid clutter.