If you are in the UK, then you will no doubt have heard of Freecycle by now. Freecycle is a, as the name suggests, a completely free website that encourages Brits to trade unwanted goods with each other. Generally, the money raised goes back into the local community. For example, we just had a quick look, and you can find a range of freebies from lawn mowers to baby clothes.
Sell it or give it away
Ask around to see if any friends or family members want the couch. If there are no takers, put an ad on Freecycle, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or Nextdoor letting people know that it’s for sale, or that you’re giving it away. Be sure to specify that they would be responsible for moving it out of your house and transporting it themselves.
Though it may be tempting to put the couch on the curb with a “free” sign, check your city’s rules before going through the effort of moving it outside. In some places, there are designated days for putting stuff on the curb to give away. In others, it’s never OK.
Many years later, I have a full house. I don’t mean three cards of the same face value along with a pair of identical value, which I had to look up! But, furniture for five rooms. I have been donating clothes to a thrift shop and posting some dishes, as well as excess sewing material and teaching supplies on freecycle for about a year. I drop books in the little book boxes on poles. With one exception, I have felt good about the give-away. My standard for eliminating things ranged from what-was-I-thinking, to, it will take another 75 years to sew all the cloth and read all the books.
Dealing with excess ‘stuff’
Jean Mayo asked, “Do we really need to keep on accumulating?” Freecycle.org can provide a practical and soul-satisfying alternative for stuff you don’t need any more, rather than tossing it out — and stuff you could have for free, instead of buying it. Hamilton’s active Freecycle.org group currently has posts offering track lights, Christmas lights, a vacuum cleaner, Christmas decorations, and a craft table, to give you some examples. Everything is offered for free. There are Freecycle.org groups all over the world, exchanging usable goods and extending their useful life. The site is free to join and participate. You might be surprised by what’s on offer and what you might be able to contribute.
When a frugal person needs something, they don’t just rush out and buy it. Instead, they’ll apply what I call “the frugal filter”:
- Do I absolutely need it, or do I just want it?
- Do I already have something that would work just as well?
- If I really need it, could I borrow or rent it, or maybe even find it for free on a group such as Freecycle or a Buy Nothing Facebook group?
- If I have to pay, what are the top options for getting the best price?
Don’t be a victim. Never pay for delivery of a Freecycle item.
The incidence of scams is on the increase, on Freecycle and elsewhere. Here’s how you can identify a likely scam:
- The offering member claims to have recently moved or posted to the wrong Town group and they need money to send the item to you.
- The post contains a photo of an email address.
- The subject of the post uses unusual punctuation or odd symbols, such as ~.ṀusicaĮ Įnstruments~
- The offer seems too good to be true, especially if the member has recently joined Freecycle or posted the item to multiple towns that aren’t near each other.
Any time you find a suspicious post, or are asked to pay for an item or delivery of an item, please use the “Report” button on the post detail page, or send a message to your town moderators. Please don’t become a victim of another delivery scam!
Thanks for helping keep scammers out of Freecycle!
The e-commerce site eBay was started with the simple idea that one person’s trash is another’s treasure. It’s also a great way to make money and avoid sending things you don’t want to the landfill. But when it comes to heavy items like furniture, eBay is not a great option, since heavy items are expensive and difficult to ship. Instead, look at local used-item sites like Craigslist, FreeCycle (where every transaction is totally free) and even growing companies like Kaiyo, which picks up your furniture and sells it for you.
You can give mattresses away via a local gifting group, like Buy Nothing or Freecycle.
One way to help reduce waste is to skip buying a new costume wrapped in plastic and make your own, or find a used one instead. Take sheets, old and unwanted clothing, and check out websites like freecycle.org or swap.com for free costumes. You can also check your local free/buy nothing groups on Facebook and other social media sites.