Sunday, August 30, 2009

Freecycling vs blogcycling...

(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..."

The point...
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...


  1. We freecycle too! Have found it a good way of ditching odd (often tech) things that Savers wouldn't quite know what to do with - with Freecycle you can get things to people who actually know what they are... But yes, disconcerting sometimes having to choose...

  2. I would die to have a hug a bub and I know someone who would love the bread maker too!
    did you collect your gift yet? x x x x x

  3. Like you I have the issue with not getting anything. Its such a great idea though. I like blog cycling better though. We would love a bread maker but a trip to Melb for one is not very cash effective!! Hug a bub's are awesome!! I used one with Moo till she was 3 (I had to leave for work at 5.30am and I would just pick her out of bed and put her in.) I have a friend
    having a baby and a few who have had babies. But you should Give it to Mim for sure... Don't want her to die!! hehe I might do a blog cycle too hey!!

    xo Steph

  4. I don't want anything but love the idea of a blogcycle. Great idea! I live in a country town where this basically doesn't ever happen but I did score a tv one time -probably the only time my town will ever get a mention.

  5. brilliant idea! We have a bread maker and no need for a hug a bub but nonetheless thought I would leave my two bits worth ... think I might try a little tassie freecycling myself when the penchant takes me!

  6. I'm a huge freecycler and the blogcycle idea is an interesting one unless you have to pay shipping. I've gotten some great stuff through freecycle and given new homes to so many things. It really does echo the one man's trash is another man's treasure mantra.
    Happy Freecycling!

  7. LOL... crack up of a post!

    Good luck with the blogcycling... I am finding Freecycle a bit hit & miss too, and think you have to step carefully along the line between polite-but-perhaps-too-considerate, and fast-and-demanding-but-perhaps-get-a-bad-rep!

  8. I've freecycled quite a bit of stuff - expecially when we moved house. It was so much easier than taking it all to the op-shop. I've also scored some great pieces. Sometimes the amount of emails gets annoying (especially when people really are just trying to get rid of absolute crap and they keep re-posting after no-one wants it).
    I would love a bread maker but I don't have a bloody powerpoint to use it!

  9. Oh, thank you for this, Gina - SO funny! What a funny old world we live in!! My friends in London sing the praises of Freecycling but from what they've said, too, it's more about getting rid of things. I'm not putting my hand up for anything, btw - just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed this post :) K

  10. : D Great post! I've heard about freecycling, haven't tried it though...I do like the idea of blogcycling too

  11. DOOZY of a post Mrs! Am sitting here staring at all my potential freecyclables, getting all inspired and minimalist-like...except that if you haven't already found a home for your breadmaker, we'd love it! (All that kneading is therapeutic and all, but a bit labour intensive on a school night)...

  12. I had never heard of this - but have now joined the canberra one. Most of my stuff ends up at op shops or the school fete.

    Now an overlocker would be nice!

  13. Love the idea of blogcycling. Great catchword!

  14. I think you're onto something here Ms Clutterpunk.

  15. How fantastic! Oh yeah, there's def a film script in that story. : D

  16. Love this! Seems much easier than leaving bags of stuff sitting near the door to go in the car, tripping over it numerous times, finally getting it loaded, having it clog up the back seat/ front seat/ boot then eventually making it to the op shop after spilling contents all over the car for a couple of weeks!

    The baby sling sounds great for lugging around my oversized 5 1/2 month old who wants mama to hold him ALL THE TIME!

  17. Hi Gina... great idea! I think I might try and do something similar for all the stuff I'm hoarding! Mim told me about this post, and said she put her hand up (for me) for the bread machine. She knows I've been coveting one... Is this still up for grabs?

    Is there anything YOU want or need? :o)

  18. Ha ha! I've been wondering about Freecycle, not so much to acquire but to declutter but I have to admit I don't like having to join yahoo to do it, just another address to maintain. Now blogcycling, there's an idea!


“Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
~Albert Einstein