Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The joy of freecycle!

As a fervent recycler from decades back, and thrift shopper and maker and inventor, anything is more interesting than just buying at retail -- Woody Allen's family sin -- I have taken to our local Freecycle with great vigor.

I've shed a lot of good stuff that we simply don't use any more and rather than eventually leave HS with a ton of good but useless stuff after we both shuffle off this mortal coil, it seems better all around to share the goods while I can.

Crow on lookout duty for incoming Freecyclers.

And it brings great new ideas and people and options into your life, too. Such as a large box of bed linens, much better quality than the ones I have, and anyway I had too many, plus a box of clothing, small and medium size, which to my amazement almost all fitted. To wit: two designers blazers, which HS tells me look good, numerous tops of various colors I don't usually go for but now like, and three cardigans, and running pants, and pjs and there were a few items that didn't fit, so I freecycled them on in my turn.

Then I overhauled our bedlinens and replaced with the new stuff, and freecycled on a lot I never used plus a few of the incoming items that didn't work for me. Except that I also kept a nice toile bedcover, and a designer top sheet, and an interesting animal print sheer which now hangs over the laundry area to replace the doors I took off years ago, too dangerous for HP when he was falling a lot.

And a scarf, the tubular sort which is colors I don't like to wear, but will make a great door snake, draft excluder thing when I stuff it with batting and stitch it up the middle, to make that shape where half of it is one side of the door, half the other, opens and closes with the door instead of tripping people all the time.

So the outgoing stuff took up its departure position on the bench outside the door, and was swooped on by a number of applicants, there was a waiting list.

This is all good. There is however the flake element in freecycling, which I ran into this time around.

Usually I take people in the order they get to me, since I figure if they're that needy, they should get in line first! so I did this, for a nice lady who said she had a large family, could she take the whole lot, and I agreed that would work fine.

I asked her to tell me a day and time she would swing by, giving her the address, since the weather's bad and I didn't want the stuff out in the elements any longer than necessary. So she writes back asking me when she should come. And where I live. Figuring that the email had gone astray I repeated all the stuff but asked for a time, etc., since the mom of a large family can't fit into my schedule very well.

So she writes and says oh this will be great, when shall I come. Whereupon I said, okay, it's outside NOW, why not come over asap before it rains. So she writes and says, oh, actually I didn't mention that I'm across the river in Pennsylvania, about an hour away, and I can't get there before March 15 when I have another appointment in that area, is that okay?

So I politely said, no, not okay, going to the next person on the list.. which I did and the whole transaction was completed in about two hours start to finish! I love people who know what they want and go ahead. And especially when they email back after they've got home with their haul to say they're happy!

I just have this amused sense that stuff is traveling in small circles all the time, not getting into the landfill till all else is exhausted.

Receiving Freecycling is a little excursion/adventure, too, since you go to new places (safe addresses around here, and people put stuff out in a designated spot to pick up), find streets you never knew existed, and make armslength acquaintance with new and interesting people.


  1. I love freecycling, it's so handy! To date I've found a dressmaking dummy, some walking boots & a brand new coat, all for nothing! I do return things into the system though, Freecycle wouldn't work without putting something back. Sounds like you got some great finds, and offered up a great bundle too :D

  2. I always feel guilty that I don't meet them to hand over the stuff, which I would do if I was more of an extrovert... Sounds like you harbor no guilt for this, Liz :)


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