Wharfedale Observer: Small Change

We nearly all have an example of an ‘impulse buy’ which we have never actually worn. So, it’s brand new and someone else will want it and wear it. Take it to a charity shop, offer it on Freecycle or sell it on Ebay and recoup some of what you spent. One person’s ‘spur of the moment buy’ is another person’s ‘marvelous find’.

https://www.wharfedaleobserver.co.uk/news/20113515.small-change/

This Is Tucson: Fix your broken items for free with the help of Tucson’s first and only ‘repair cafe’

Those broken or rundown items collecting dust in your garage are getting a second chance at life with the help of Tucson’s first and only repair cafe.

Tucson Repair Cafe, a local organization working toward 501(c)(3) status, is committed to repairing non-functional items and educating owners on how to continue fixing them in case of needed maintenance in the future.  

The goal of the cafe is to help break out of the current “throwaway culture” and take a step toward zero-waste living.

https://thisistucson.com/todo/tucson-repair-cafe/article_bfbed72c-b53e-11ec-ae7e-eb74702ab7c4.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=user-share

The Sun: Six tricks to save money by sharing with neighbours – from car pooling to garden tools

WHAT A GIVEAWAY: Neighbourhood WhatsApp groups are great for giving away items, such as kids’ clothes, toys, old furniture and books.

Also explore apps like Nextdoor and Freecycle which have items being given away locally.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/18370697/tips-save-money-neighbours-community/

Los Alamos Reporter: Zero Waste Los Alamos: Your Complete Guide To Getting Stuff In Los Alamos

Zero Waste Tip: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Get FREE STUFF through Facebook groups like Buy Nothing Los Alamos, NM and Freecycle. I have seen everything from half-used bottles of detergent and moving boxes to furniture and drill presses given away on these sites. And beer! Plus, you get to meet your community and help them clear clutter from their lives!

HarperJames.co.uk: Meet the client: Deron Beal, Founder of The Freecycle Network

Our popular Meet the client series reveals the inside story on the organisations we support with legal services. This time, we caught up with Deron Beal, Founder and Executive Director of The Freecycle Network. He shares his inspirational story of building the largest nonprofit international gifting community and keeping over a thousand tons out of landfills and incinerators each day.

https://harperjames.co.uk/news/meet-the-client-deron-beal-the-freecycle-network/

The Honeycombers.com: Swap things up: Where to give away clothes and more in exchange for free goods in Singapore

2. Freecycle SG

When it comes to reusing and recycling, Freecycle is a global non-profit movement that aims to redistribute unwanted stuff among communities. Singapore has its own chapter: it functions as a platform (mostly on Facebook) to offer items you don’t use anymore. In turn, you’ll provide someone with what they need. But, keep in mind it’s not about taking items for the sake of getting free stuff. Focus on being a responsible member by taking only things you’ll use.

https://www.freecycle.org/town/Singapore

MSN: Money Talks News: 6 Easy Ways to Buy, Sell, Get and Give Stuff Away Online

Freecycle.org is a great resource started by people interested in keeping stuff out of landfills. There are more than 5,000 groups (usually community-based) around the world. Chances are there are one or more groups near you.

I belong to the one for my town as well as two nearby communities. This gives me more opportunities to get things for free and give stuff away. As a mom of two young kids, it’s been an invaluable way to get rid of outgrown toys.

Before you jump into the world of Freecycle, though, brush up on these rules of Freecycle etiquette.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/personalfinance/6-easy-ways-to-buy-sell-get-and-give-stuff-away-online/ss-AAU0McR#image=2

BBC.co.uk: The people fighting price rises by trying to buy nothing

At Freecycle, a similar site where participants typically offer up some 20,000 items each day, the number of posts each day has increased by about 15% in recent months, driven by the financial concerns, founder, Deron Beal says.

“People, understandably, they’re buying petrol or going to the store and seeing high prices…seek to pinch their pennies a little bit and Freecycle… is a good alternative,” he says.

Even families with higher incomes, who might ordinarily be insulated from the pressures, are reconsidering their ordinary spending, says Tania Brown, a financial planner based in Georgia, with more than 20 years’ experience.

“There is an across-the-board sense of worry about inflation: ‘How long is this going to last, how this is going to impact their daily life’,” she says. “I am definitely hearing differences and changes.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60237929

Komo News: Repurposing old clothes: What’s best — Sell, toss, donate or recycle?

You can also share your stuff with people in your local community – use the Freecycle Network or BuyNothing Facebook groups where members give and get free items.

https://komonews.com/news/consumer/repurposing-old-clothes-whats-best-toss-donate-or-recycle

Betsy’s Down-sizing Story: One member’s experience

MY DOWNSIZING JOURNEY: RE-EVALUATING THE MEANING OF THINGS

I’ve moved a total of 16 times as an adult. Many of these moves were not my choice. Properties sold, rent increases, life changes. These moves are typical for many people. With moving comes downsizing, especially when moving to a smaller place. As we age, we often do this. 

My last move was to a smaller apartment where I live by myself. It’s half the size of my previous apartment but fortunately, it is efficiently designed. My initial impression was not very positive. The apartments in my building are all the same – square beige-colored boxes with none of the character or personality that old houses in these neighborhoods have. Because my ‘box’ is half the size of my last apartment, I had to make a lot of decisions. This was a perfect case of having to down-size. I no longer had the storage space to keep everything I owned.

I used to pack everything when I moved. All my empty wine bottles, memorabilia – school citations, high school play programs, every class picture of every child I was friends with – would follow me like toilet paper on a shoe. As I put each item in a box, I considered whether it was something I wanted or felt I might need, the latter being a holdover from my mom’s generation who grew up during the depression. One of my earlier moves was cross-country causing me to let go of things I thought I would never use again – like my camping equipment. Although I haven’t needed it, I still have regrets about the loss. With things the way they are in the world, I sometimes think camping equipment might come in handy! Having second thoughts is the bane of purging. However, a good resource I have found is The Freecycle Network. People post things they don’t want, then other people make arrangements to take them. I am keeping my eye out for a tent and propane cookstove. I can also post things that I’m looking for, like camping equipment! 

My biggest regret when I purged during past moves was in getting rid of some mementos representing past experiences. Things like old b/w photographs of myself in school plays, for instance. As was my high school artwork, darn it.  

What I continue to hold onto and will never throw out is my collection of ticket stubs from every concert I’ve ever attended, starting with Jethro Tull in 1973. I plan to collage them at some point at a friend’s suggestion. 

The biggest challenge for me when downsizing is taking the context away. When I have to make myself let go of something that  represents memories, I remind myself that the item in question is simply a thing. Altho it can be difficult, I can let go of attachment. The decision of whether to keep or give away rests on what purpose it serves and does it bring me joy. I have held onto gifts from friends I’ve lost touch with over the last 40 plus years. The items themselves have no meaning so I took some advice and photographed them before they found their final resting place, be it a yard sale or posted on The Freecycle Network.

If I had to do it over, I would do the same thing I did when clearing out a friend’s apartment recently: Make a list of the furniture  including appliances; take photos; decide what to keep then decide what to sell on Craig’s List or at a consignment shop. The rest gets posted on The Freecycle Network or dropped off at a local thrift store like Boomerangs. I would also ask friends if they could use the items I culled. I did this for my friend but have never been that organized myself. Another suggestion is to put the things I couldn’t quite let go of in a box and after a year, donate it.

One later move had to be done quickly. It was time to pare my book collection. This is perhaps the biggest challenge that most people face. I based my decision on keeping books that I learned the most from and that had changed my life (mostly spiritual); I kept my most favorite authors whose writing styles impressed me (Pearls S. Buck, Louise Erdrich); and I kept those that I had enjoyed the most – ones that I might actually read again (The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings Trilogy). The rest I gave away, mostly in a yard sale. The process was a bit gut-wrenching, but once they were gone, I made peace with my decision.

The Freecycle Network came thru when I posted my friend’s book collection. After choosing a selection she might want to keep, the rest were grouped in categories and listed. It was gratifying when the books went to people who wanted them and came to pick them up.

My advice to anyone who has to downsize to a smaller place is to sit with the understanding that you are not your things. Start with the practical items and ask yourself: do I use this, will I use this? Can I replace this if I should ever need it? The same goes with clothing – do I wear this, will I wear it, can I replace it? Objects can be viewed as, does it bring you joy? Will a photo of it suffice? And there are all those duplicate things we own. Do I really need four extension cords? Downsizing is a process. Give yourself enough time so as to eliminate the feeling of panic. Relive memories as you go through your lifetime of things, take  photos and then let them go. It can feel like a burden has been lifted. Keep only the most precious things so that where you land, your new home is not cluttered but reflects who you are and what you love..

My views about stuff have changed a lot since my first moves as an adult. I was a much more possessive person and felt very attached to my things. They were part of my identity. Now that I am older and more mature, my things are a reflection of what I enjoy. I am no longer possessed by them. Sometimes I play a game where I ask myself, what could I never, ever get rid of? You’d be surprised at how unimportant most of the things you have are.

Moving is one of the most stressful things we can go through. Even when it’s a move to a better situation, it’s going to be difficult. If you have to downsize or want to downsize, you can. You can do it. Some steps you have to take may feel painful, but remember, it’s only things. As much as you love an object, it can’t love you back. Keep only those that you cherish.

PS. One last thought, what you have to give away could be to someone who needs it more than you. That’s why The Freecycle Network is an important catalyst. One person’s shit could make another person’s garden grow.

B. Lenora 1/26/22 (Somerville, MA)