“This event is very helpful for people. One one hand, it is a great way to clean out the house and bring unwanted, reusable goods that are stuck in houses and transfer them to others who can use them. At the same time, it’s part of the cycle of giving and helping the environment,” said Graciela Robinson, coordinator of the event for the Woods Memorial Library.
The swap is one of two held annually at the library in conjunction with Freecyle, a Tucson-based nonprofit on a mission to “change the world one gift at a time.”
Founded by Deron Beal in 2003, the organization is now the largest recycle and re-use web community worldwide, with more than 5,000 groups comprised of more than 9 million members in 100-plus countries.
Beal said freecycle.org offers a free venue where members can give items they have and don’t need and receive items they need and don’t have.
“It is like Craigslist for free, with a healthy dose of community thrown in,” he said.
1. Donate extra belongings
Money isn’t the only way to donate to a good cause. You can also donate any belongings you’re not using, such as clothing, books, furniture, toys, appliances, or electronics. In addition to helping others, this is a great way to declutter the house.
Where you take your donations will depend on what you’re donating, but the local thrift store will work for most goods. With books, another option is the library. And if you prefer to do it all online, you can list your items through Freecycle or on the free section of Craigslist.
1. Give It Away
While many of us would scoff at the thought of a secondhand mattress, just as many of us would jump at the chance to get a free one. Think about family that might want one, such as nieces or nephews off to college or whoever else might be after a high-quality mattress for the cost of picking it up. Then, there is always The Freecycle Network, Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
Finally, there’s the place where you can save the most.
Craig’s list, Freecycle and yard sales, estate sales and auctions: there are websites and apps that can help you find them.
Your ‘trash’ could be another man’s ‘treasure’! Do you have items that no longer serve you, but might be of use to someone else? If you do not want, or do not have the means, to load-up and transport items to a recycling center, visit freecycle.org to post your item(s) and people can pick them up directly from you.
If your budget won’t accommodate a badly needed new or refurbished appliance, you may be able to get it gratis from a local interested in parting with his. Freecycle.org is an online recycling network that has thousands of local chapters where you can snag free used microwaves, dishwashers, and other appliances as well as furniture and accessories.
There’s actually a lot of cool stuff you can get for free, from mulch to cleaning supplies. If you’re looking for something unusual or specific, check out your local Freecycle community. And you can always give gently worn and new items to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore donation centers
Check Local Groups on Facebook, Craigslist or Freecycle
If people have a lot of leftover paint for a project, they’ll sometimes either sell it for a pittance on a local Facebook or Craigslist group or list it on Freecycle to be given away. Pay attention to those groups in the months and weeks leading up to a potential paint job, and you may wind up with plenty of paint for very little cost.
Have you ever seen lightly used household items — things like lamps, books, toys, furniture and clothes — piled up on the curbside and wondered if somebody wouldn’t want that stuff?
The answer is probably yes, and it might be easier than you think to connect your unwanted things with new owners.
One way to do that is through apps and websites. Craigslist, Bunz, Listia and Freecycle allow you to swap or give away just about anything. People often use Meetup to get together and swap records, books and clothes.
2. Reselling Apps and Websites
Apps like LetGo and OfferUp allow shoppers to connect with local sellers who want to get rid of their excess stuff. You can find nearly any item imaginable, especially if you live in or near a big city, including furniture, housewares, and home décor items.
Similarly, Craigslist is still a popular option for people who want to sell items they no longer need, making it worth checking as well. Facebook also has thriving community marketplaces, usually hosted in groups focused on a location. If you need something and want a chance to get it for free, consider signing up at Freecycle as well as people are not allowed to charge for anything they offer up on the site.