freecycle – it works!


Liz Jenkins


So we thought about having a rummage sale recently but we didn’t have a whole lot of stuff – and what we did have wasn’t really great. No furniture or kids things, you know, the type of stuff that most rummagers want. We had some cases of caulk, some lawn equipment, a mini fridge in ok shape but with dings and dents, things like that. I had recently signed up at to check it out for my clients. Thought I’d give it a try with the things I wanted to re-home. I tell you what – I posted the items at 10:30AM on Saturday. By 11, everything was claimed and by noon they were gone. I had over a dozen people respond. Two people picked up items at my house, and one of them (the mini-fridge), my husband met up with the woman who wanted it at the nearby True Value since he was driving right by there and it was close to her house. So, almost no fuss, and all of these items that were clogging up my garage are now being used by others.
Here’s a couple of tips:

  • The freecycle people only want you to sign up for one group (at least here in Middle Tennessee). If you live in Franklin, as I do, you can’t sign up for the Nashville group or others. Each group wants to encourage it to stay local.
  • Keep your posts brief and to the point – and be sure to post where the item is located in the heading.
  • Be clear on your posts about what you have. I had 4 cases of caulk that I didn’t know whether or not they were still good as they had been sitting in a garage for 2 years. I made sure to note this on the post so there would be no confusion.
  • Be sure to re-post when items are taken.
  • Make sure that the items are free, legal and appropriate for all ages (this comes straight from their site).
  • It is courteous to respond politely to those who email about items even if (or especially) if the item is taken. People like to know and everyone I emailed was very gracious and appreciative of the fact that I let them know.
  • Don’t take advantage of free items – it is very bad form to take things to sell.

It was a bit of a pain to figure out exactly how to sign up for the local group – you have to set up a yahoo account, and then get approved by the group moderator. But now that I’m a member, it’s a piece of cake. Highly recommended for those who want to be green and find new homes for stuff they don’t want. Give it a try!

On another note – the free shred day at Clean Earth through Williamson County went great! Bill took a truckload of papers over (ours, and several clients papers) and saw them being shredded for free! I saved one client over $100 by doing this. I’ll keep you posted on my site when the next one is coming up.