Sunday Mail column
So we’re moving. AGAIN. I know, I know. I move house like someone who’s on the run from the police. But Brad’s job means we get shifted like a Rubik’s Cube – at least for the next few years. On the down side, there’s the packing, the cleaning, the expense, the stuff that inevitably gets broken (stuff always gets broken), the stuff that inevitably gets lost (stuff always gets lost). On the up side …What are you on drugs? There is no upside. I hate moving.
Okay, there is an upside. We get to shed. Shed as a verb, not a noun. There’s nothing like moving house to motivate you to get rid of the stuff you just don’t use. My parents? They lived in the same house for thirty years. So when they moved– Lordy, it was a nightmare. We were all ordered over there to clear out our junk. I use that word loosely. There is nothing “junky” about my Grade Seven assignment on the Alsace-Lorraine region of France. My French teacher, let’s call her Mrs Yoplait, LOVED me. And that assignment rocked.
Where was I?
The upside of moving. Right. See, you’re forced to spring clean and get rid of the clutter. Some stuff goes straight into the bin. But what about the items you don’t want but still love? The things you want to send to a new home where someone else can use and appreciate them. What to do with them?
Selling things at garage sales and in the paper can be disheartening. At my last garage sale people were trying to buy our practically new computer printer for $5. I decided then that I’d rather give it away to someone who really needed it then sell it to an eBay hunter for $5.
Well now you can freecycle. Freecycling is all about giving away your no-longer-needed stuff to someone who could really use it. Or as they put it “It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their local areas, thus keeping good stuff out of landfills.”
It’s like a free version of eBay. And the best bit is that YOU get to choose who gets your items. You list your lamp or kids bike on the site and people get in touch with you through email. My friend Al says the key is to not give your item to the first person that emails you. Wait until you get a few emails from different people and then decide who you’d like to give it to. (This way you’re more likely to give it to someone who genuinely needs your item rather than someone who just wants to get it for free and then sell it somewhere else for cash).
The whole process is free. All you need to do is join up at www.freecycle.org then type in your city or region. There are more than six million freecyclers across the world. Why not be one of them?
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Over the past 25 years Rebecca Sparrow has earned a living as a travel writer, a television publicist, a marketing executive, a magazine editor, a TV scriptwriter, a radio producer, a newspaper columnist and as an author.