Anyone who received presents they didn’t want and can’t return, could consider organising a present swap with friends or relatives.
They could also be swapped or sold online at freecycle.co.uk and ebay.co.uk.
Unwanted presents could also be donated to a charity shop rather than just thrown out or put away, never to be used.
I’ve been a part of the Freecycle group for over a decade. For seven years now we have been doing an “adopt-a-family” event at Christmas.
What we do is find families in need and “adopt” them. Then, with the help of others in the Freecycle group, friends, family and local businesses, we get donations of gently used and new clothing and toys.
Once everything is gathered we have a wrapping party. All the gifts are sorted and wrapped. A few days before Christmas we deliver to the families.
For some it is a little uncomfortable or embarrassing when we arrive. It isn’t easy asking for help. But they relax as we are there.
We usually have the kids open one present and they can save the rest for Christmas morning.
This year we did something different and picked two senior citizens, sometimes a forgotten part of or community, especially if they do not have living family.
The point of the Simi Valley Freecycle group is to keep things out of the landfill by recycling & repurposing.
If you have an artificial tree, request a bulk trash pickup. If your artificial Christmas tree is still in usable condition, consider offering it for reuse on your neighborhood email list, Craigslist, your local Freecycle group, or similar places.
Similar to Craigslist, Freecycle is a website that makes it easy to get free items. While there are not as many posts on the website as on Craigslist, the competition for posted items is also lower. If you are searching for something in particular, like a queen size bed, you can also post on the site so people will contact you if they
have what they need. Go to freecycle.org and enter in Corvallis, or your town, to see available items.
Finally, here is idea I found intriguing. Moneycrashers has this link to a site called FreeCycle Network. Members of the FreeCycle Network post things they are giving away or looking for, and then you basically trade or give things away to specific people.You can get things like a new waffle maker, a computer, golf cart, card board boxes for moving, and more. It just depends on what the members are giving away. The idea is that a local group gives away free items. Obviously, the downside is you don’t know the people when you pick up an item so there are safety concerns. But it all has to be stuff you can legally give away–no drugs, guns, etc. This isn’t for everyone, but it could be for you.
Have a clear out
We are all guilty of hoarding items that we no longer use and these can take up a lot of space in the home. Be honest with yourself and try to get rid of the items that you know you will never use again. You can give items you no longer need to charity or list them on websites such as Gumtree, eBay or websites such as Freecycle, where you can give away the item for free to those in need.
If you’re struggling to let go, the 12-12-12 challenge is a great way to motivate yourself – simply pick 12 items to throw away, 12 to donate and a further 12 to be returned to their home.
Another idea; consignment stores. Shoppers can actually look at the merchandise and save 50 percent. Maybe even more because sometimes if a shopper can haggle the price down. Some of the older furniture is built better than the furniture that is in stores today.
And then there’s Craig’s list, freecycle and yard sales, estate sales and auctions. There are websites and apps that can help shoppers find em.
“I consider myself a minimalist, I am already seeing that I am so conscious while buying any item. Also, every purchase is respected – which means, I totally value what I buy and use it to the best. I also see that I do not throw away usable things any more, but I would rather ‘freecycle’ them. I have started a group called Freecycle Sharjah, which is a market place except that it is all for free.”
The site is inviting guest to do more than just chuck their unwanted holiday accessories. They want anything unwanted that can be used again to be left at designated areas around their site. This way they can be reused by other guests instead of taking up at dump sites and landfills across the country.
The freecycling scheme was introduced in the 2017 summer season and there has been a great following for the idea. The things that have been left behind are all you need for a great day at the beach. Buckets and spades, beach balls, rubber rings and many other items have been left for the enjoyment any and everyone at the park.