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Freecycle - Thursday, January 24, 2019
In 2010 I joined a site called Freecycle at the recommendation of someone (I forget whom). This site is essentially a message board broken up into different neighborhoods, where members post offers or requests for household goods, electronics, furniture and more. The core tenet of the site is that everything has to be given for free. It's a great way to help find a new home for things that would otherwise be thrown away. Other sites/Facebook groups exist with the same purpose, but Freecycle is the one that I use almost exclusively.

In my 9 years of being on the site, I've responded to several offers but ended up getting three of those offerings: 2 pairs of ice skates, a Whirlpool washer bellow, and 4 spark plugs compatible with our Corollas. One of the pairs of ice skates I would later give away to someone else on Freecycle, and the other pair I wasn't able to find a taker for and then just donated to Goodwill.

When we moved into our house, there were a few things that the previous owner had left that I didn't want: wall art, decorative light switch covers, and a key hangar. I gave all of those away on Freecycle. In the past several months I've gotten really into decluttering, which has translated to an uptick in my postings. To date I've posted around 60 things. All with the exception of the following items were taken:
  • Broken rice cooker
  • Neoprene water bottle sleeve (one person contacted me but they were looking for a different size)
  • One of the pairs of ice skates
  • RC truck that is now sluggish and possibly needs a new motor (I got one reply but they ended up not taking it)
  • Hair gel (unused but several years old - yeah, no surprise that nobody wanted this)

And some highlights about the things I have given away:
  • Most expensive: Probably a three-way tie between an ASRock motherboard (mostly working but sometimes would crash), a Fitbit Charge HR (working but had a broken band), and a Moto 360 smartwatch (screen had some burn-in)
  • Least expensive: 2 college ruled notebooks and some colored paper (4 reusable bags and 4 rolls of wrapping paper were runners-up)
  • Smallest: A leather keychain from Florence, Italy
  • Most sentimental: 2000 Chuck E Cheese tickets (earned over several years of playing arcade games at Chuck E Cheese as a kid)
  • Had the most replies: 2 framed art pieces (got 4 replies)
  • Most unique: A stuffed plush pink letter 'A' that Priscilla had given me as a gag gift when we were dating
  • Most boring: 500 sheets of college ruled paper

Giving away stuff through Freecycle has been fun and liberating, and has been somewhat of an art for me. In my posts I include a detailed description and a photo. If the item is dusty, I'll try to clean it up first to make it more appealing. In the past I would keep the posting up until I had worked out pickup details with a person. This would often result in me getting replies from multiple people and having to tell the rest that the item was no longer available. Then I got smarter and realized that a person contacting me would almost always eventually show up to pick up the item, so I began taking down posts as soon as I got one reply. And originally I would have the person come by and get the item from me in person (perhaps partly because Priscilla and I lived in a quadplex where we had experienced some petty theft), but eventually I just started leaving the item outside for the person to pick up at their leisure (and having our own house helped allay concerns about theft).

Lately there's been one older lady who's taken several of the things that I've posted. Priscilla half-joked that we should let the lady walk through our house and pick out what she wants, since more often than not she's responded to each of my recent postings.

It's become somewhat of a hobby to give stuff away (I've also been throwing out things that don't seem usable), but it's become harder to do so since I've now gotten rid of most of what I can part with. But our place still feels cluttered, so the purging must go on!
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