I am marvelling at the wonders of Freecycle today, which I have finally got into after months of meaning to.
Everybody has been telling me to register with it for ages – which unfortunately usually has the opposite effect with me. It’s the same with Facebook. People were endlessly inviting me to join it, but I resisted, until giving into the inevitable and signing up because I thought that it would help me keep in touch with friends while working from home. It sucked me in and to begin with I was almost evangelical about it, even persuading my Friends Reunite addicted mother to join. But now I can’t stand the thing and all the endless applications and daft quizzes people you barely know invite you to do all the time. OK…I’ll stop ranting now…!
So similarly I was wary of joining Freecycle. Not because I don’t agree with the fantastic idea of keeping your junk out of landfill by finding people who want it, but because I was afraid I would be tempted to fill our house up with even more rubbish – something which happened when I first started using Ebay three years ago. Watching too many antiques shows like Flog Your Grandmother convinced me I would be able to find bargain treasures online that would make me a fortune, which was of course nonsense. Instead I ended up with loads of cheap worthless tat which, when I came to my senses, ended up in a charity shop!
But after signing up to our local Freecycle and just safely reading the little digest messages without participating, I spotted one yesterday asking for a small computer table. Now I’ve been looking to get shot of an old Ikea one I’ve had for years which is cluttering up the spare room, and immediately emailed the lady back about it, who snapped it up in a flash. DJ and I had a bit of a job getting it down the stairs last night without scratching the paintwork. And I worried whether the lady would turn up and decide she didn’t want it after all, and we’d have to risk the wallpaper and hump it back up the stairs. But she showed up this morning with her daughter in tow, took one look at it and said “that’s just what I want!” and whisked it away. As I watched the two of them desperately try to fit in the back of their pristine white car, I felt a small pang of guilt at letting it go. I’m completely DIY-challenged and it was one of the few things I’ve ever managed to put together myself – although there was a lot of swearing and full volume Iron Maiden involved. But I’m sure it’s gone to a more appreciative home. And rather nicely, not a penny has ever really been paid for the table, as I first paid for it with an Ikea voucher someone gave me!
Now I’m sitting here wondering what other clutter I can get shot of through Freecycle. And whether this might be an ideal way of sourcing some items that we really need – like a kitchen spice rack and some much-needed garden furniture.
The only limiting factor will be what we can get into a Nissan Micra!
Do you use Freecycle? And do you find it useful? Do we throw away too much nowadays?