Once you have decluttered, you need to get rid of your stuff as quickly as you can. I always try and throw away as little as possible as so much is still usable. Clothing and other items can go to Charity shops or be sold on Ebay or a car boot sale. But what about other things that are more difficult to recycle but still useable like redundant juicers or furniture. For these kind of things, I tend to use Freegle. There are also Freecycle groups and others that do the same thing.
Freegle and Freecycle
Freecycle started in the US in 2003 and since then has spread throughout the world, including the UK. However in 2009, there was a falling out between the American organisation and those running groups in the UK. The result was that many of the UK Freecycle groups left and formed Freegle. To find a local group go to either the Freegle or Freecycle website; they both have location finders.
How do they work?
Essentially, Freegle and similar groups are an online noticeboard often run through Yahoo Groups where you can Offer whatever you have to the rest of the group. You can also post ‘Wanted’ notices if you think someone may have something you want.
How to post
Once you have joined the Group you can start to post either by clicking on New Topic or by following the Message Maker link to the Freegle main site.
In the Subject line, you start with either OFFER (things you want to get rid of), WANTED (things you hope someone will want to give to you) or TAKEN (for when the Offered item(s) have been collected and you want to stop people requesting them}. Then you add a short description eg ‘Tall bookcase’ or ‘Garden pot’, followed by usually the town or area you live in and the first part of your postcode.
You can give a more detailed description in the body of the email and you can also upload photographs. I usually add a request to let me know when the item could be collected. At this point, do not add any personal details like your name and address.
Once you have uploaded your post, it will be checked by a moderator and, if everything is ok, will then appear on the group page. You should start getting replies from people interested in the item fairly soon. I usually give it a day before deciding who to offer the item to. I try and go for people who tell me why they want it and when they can collect as I have found them to be the most reliable collectors. I have occasionally had people request an item and then not reply to my offer email but this is very much the exception. Once I have confirmed with the collector that they still want the item, we then arrange a day and time for collection. And it is only at that point that I give my address. Most people that have turned up have been polite and friendly and I have felt that my item was going to a good home.
As soon as the item has been collected, you should post a TAKEN notice where you simply use the same info as in the Subject for the OFFER but precede it by TAKEN. In the body of the post, you just need to say that the item has been taken and thanks to all who replied. I used to email individually everyone who had replied but I just do the TAKEN post now.
If you join up to several groups, it is worth looking at Trash Nothing which enables you to manage all your groups in one place online with only replies to your postings being sent to your normal email address.
Freegle and similar groups are a great way of recycling items that still have life in them but that charity shops won’t take. It’s minimal effort and items are collected from you which is brilliant. Saving the planet couldn’t be easier!