Wouldn’t it be great if there were an easy way to give your unwanted but perfectly good stuff to someone who needed it? And a way to get stuff that’s perfect for you but doesn’t work for your neighbors any more?
There is, and it’s called Freecycle. It’s a great way to work with your neighbors to save money and save the environment by recycling within the community.
You can find a group near you at Freecycle.org. Once your membership has been approved, you’ll receive an e-mail with instructions. Read through the rules and then offer items you’d like to give away and watch the postings for items you’d like to receive.
Each Freecycle group has its own personality and rules. It’s important to learn how your community works, so you’re better off reading the emails for a few weeks before you jump in.
Good items go quickly, and many Freecycle members have learned that it doesn’t pay to hold items for people because too many people don’t show up. It pays to be courteous and show up when you say you will.
If you’re not comfortable with having strangers come to you house, invite a friend over when you’re expecting someone to pick up you unwanted goods and take a friend with you when you visit other homes.
I have found Freecycle a good way to find new owners for large pieces of furniture you can’t sell on Craigslist, cleaning products, nonperishable food and other items I wanted to shed when I moved. In return, I’ve received a colorful Brazilian painting, the best lamp in my house and a full set of Crate & Barrel white dishes.