Goodwill and other thrift stores have seen an increase in donations recently — which seems great as households minimize their lives — but can ultimately be a problem as clothes and household items go unsold and may ultimately end up in the trash anyways. As much as possible, I try to donate items to places that only take specific items (i.e. shoes to Zappos, old towels to the animal shelter) — that way I know that the donated item is more likely to get used. But what about those completely random items that, yeah, could go to Goodwill but maybe, just maybe, has a better home out there?
It might not look like much but, man, does it work. Freecycle is a “grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and neighborhoods. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.” Pretty great, right? AND — there are online groups in most states/cities. I’ve had a 100% success rate of getting rid of the most random items. Some items I’ve Freecycled:
– Craft supplies
– IKEA chair
– Builder grade light fixtures and ceiling fans
– Shower curtain rod
– IV pole
– Towels and blankets
– Foil insulation bags
– Cordless drill
You can also ask for items. For free. (But nothing crazy.) Just as I was about to pitch a bunch of old candle wax (the dregs from the bottom of the jar), a man posted a “wanted” listing for candle wax! His daughters got the supplies needed for their school project and I kept candle wax out of the landfill. Win-win. I find Freecycling incredibly easy as well. I take a picture of an item, write a sentence about it, and post it to the group. I also say the item is only available for porch pick up. Usually within hours. I have a handful of emails of people willing to pick up the item. I go with the person who can pick up the soonest and leave the item on my front porch. It’s gone by the end of the day and I know it’s gone to a home where it’ll be used.
If you have a pile of items waiting to be taken to the thrift store, try posting it online and see if you can direct your stuff to a good home!
Anyone else use Freecycle (or something similar) before?