(Scroll down if you want to get to the point!)
So I joined Freecycle earlier this year. Do you Freecycle?
For years now I've culled unwanted stuff by giving it away to friends and charities. I'm not very interested in selling on Ebay - I'm not sure that any money made would be worth the effort, and I think giving stuff away for free - even precious stuff - helps me to chip away at materialistic tendencies that lurk around inside me.
Still, sometimes it's hard to find a taker, or to get stuff to an op-shop. The benefit of Freecycle is that you're able to 'advertise' your stuff to a wide group of local people and thus will usually find a taker, who will arrange to pick it up - very swiftly! - at your convenience. Furthermore, people on Freecycle seem to want to take all sorts of crappy stuff off your hands.
"Empty DVD cases? Sure, I'll pick them up tonight!"
"Broken TV? I'd love it!" Strange, but true...
So far, I've found Freecycle a fantastic way to divest our house of things that aren't being loved and used. The things I've listed have been taken away within hours. It's kind of weird though. Melbourne Freecycle uses a 'Yahoo Groups' system and it's really clunky. You get several emails a day listing stuff that's offered, wanted or taken. From the swift responses I've had, I get the impression that there are some Freecyclers sitting at the computer all day, ready to pounce on whatever you're offering. Then it's up to YOU to decide who is 'worthy' of your old feather duster/bag of computer cables/copy of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.
Of course, I also like getting second-hand stuff for free, and I though perhaps Freecycle might prove to be a fruitful source of creative materials and tools. I'd heard of people getting amazing material stashes on Freecycle, and I wondered about finding an unloved overlocker.
Yeah... not so much. I've asked for a few things, but to no avail. And anything I've put my hand up for, I've had no response. Clearly, I haven't quite hit on the formula for responding to posts. I think you probably need to have a combination of heart-rending story and superhuman pick-up speed:
"Oh, I totally want and need your limbless Cabbage Patch Doll for my amputee daughter to play with. I can be there as soon as you want, in fact I'm sitting outside your house right now, yep that's me, staring eerily at you outside the kitchen window..."
Anyway, I have two items that I was going to Freecycle, but then I figured I may as well ask if anyone who reads this blog might like a look-in. Blogcycling, yeah.
1. The first is a Melbourne-only blogcycle - our Breville Breadmaker, in great condition and with instruction/recipe book. You would need to be able to pick it up from Brunswick (but at your convenience)!
2. The second I'm happy to post Australia-wide. It's a hug-a-bub baby sling, only used a few times.
First come first served for either (no sob stories required!). If no one wants them, I know there's probably a Freecycler already sitting outside my window just waiting, waiting for the word...