Now I know I said I would be blogging more. And I have all of these things I’ve wanted to write about…I’ll even think through blogs in my head in the shower or while driving. I’ll make lists of things I want to write about. But when it comes down to sitting down and writing, it just hasn’t happened lately. Yet. I said after the first trimester I’d have more energy to and then something magical happened when I hit that second trimester…the nausea and fatigue finally started to let up and I turned into crazy energizer cleaning bunny! The last 3 weeks have been spent turning our house upsidedown – literally – cleaning and getting rid of every possible piece of clutter we owned. And god was there a LOT. I went closet by closet, shelf by shelf and room by room getting rid of everything we didn’t need and reorganizing what was left.
It left me feeling so productive and content. Knowing that the things that are left in the house are things we really care about, want or need. I’d be way too embarrased to count the number of trash bags we ended up with. There was a large pile of goodwill stuff. My clothing swap friends are in for a ridiculous amount of stuff at our next one. We donated 15 trader joes bags full of books to the SPCA book sale, are selling a few things on craigslist, and finally, we used freecycle.
Which is mainly what I wanted to share on this post. Freecycle is an awesome, awesome thing. Most people I know haven’t even heard of it, but there are 7,000+ members in just the Sacramento group alone. My dad had originally heard about the site several years ago in Kona, and I’m so glad he did.
The premise of freecycle is “Changing the World, One Gift at a Time.” The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 5,110 groups with 5,253,315 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. Membership is free.
Basically, you join your local group and post stuff you are getting rid of. And you really have to think “one man’s trash….” cause there are so many things I’m surprised get scooped up. Then you get responses from whoever is interested in your stuff. You get to pick who you give to. You can give it to the first responder, you can decide based on the responses. Whatever you want. The things I love about it are a) it’s not like the free stuff on craigslist…people don’t waste gas trying to get stuff that someone has thrown out on their curb. b) you get the opportunity to give something you are no longer using to someone who may really, really need it and perhaps couldn’t afford to buy it at a thrift store or elsewhere. Sure, there is the hassle of coordinating pick ups…the flake outs… but there are some instances that make it so worth it, I have to always sing it’s praises. This go around, we gave 30+ items to 12 different people. We had a pile of old too small bedding that went to St Johns Women’s shelter. A very thankful mom of 4 took our old computer cabinet that had already had life at my parents and with us for several years. A single mom took a bookshelf that we had actually gotten on freecycle several years ago, as well as chris’s old xbox console. Which appararently made her 12 year old cry. I could go on and on. Seeing our old stuff make other people so happy, just makes me feel so much joy. These things probably would’ve ended up in landfills or at goodwill if it hadn’t been for freecycle.
And I also believe it really gives good karma, because a few days after the last person had picked up stuff from us, a very generous woman gave Chris and I a nice crib and matching changing table in the dark wood that I totally would have picked out myself! We were so grateful and happy and she was incredibly happy to see the items that had served her kid so well going to a new home. I wish she wasn’t all the way out it granite bay, or I would love to teach her sweet daughter piano lessons. It’s good stuff, guys, this freecycle thing – I tell you.
The other cool thing you can do is post things you are wanting to acquire. We did this recently to get a DVD player for the living room. I got many responses. Another lady was looking for a chair for her sewing table. We had an old mismatched kitchen chair that I was considering putting in the trash pile until I saw her post, and she picked it up that same day.
So the next time you are making your piles for goodwill or considering what to do with your old stuff – please check out freecycle first! You might just make someone’s day or life a little bit easier.
And really, I promise I will start writing more…