How to Use Freecycle.org

Freecycle.org is a wonderful website that I have been using for a couple of years now. The description from their website says that freecycle is “a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.” You can go to their website to learn more and to sign up for an account but I wanted to do a quick post with a list of a few things I recommend doing if you are looking to receive items from others using this website.

First, join more than one group. I suggest joining not only the group of the town you live in but all towns within a 10 mile radius. One time I drove 30 minutes to meet someone but I left with three garbage bags of baby clothes. Worth it? I think so.

Second, when given the option of how you want to be notified of new posts, choose the ‘individual’ email choice. Emails are sent out when offers are posted and things go fast. I’ve responded to posts less than 5 minutes after they were posted and gotten email responses back saying the items were pending pickup. It’s a lot of emails but if you are looking to get the most out of freecycle it’s the best choice.

Third, set up text alerts on your cell phone. I have alerts come to me every time the words “baby” or “child” are in the subject of an email since I have small children and most of the items I receive are for my boys. These text alerts aren’t always from freecycle (since any email with those words come through as a text) but if I am away from my computer it’s the quickest way to find out about new posts so I can quickly respond. While not all people give the item to the first person who responds, I have found that most people do.

Fourth, say “please” and “thank you”. If you aren’t polite there is a huge chance you won’t get the item. Keep in mind that these people are giving something away for free and they get to choose who they want to give it to.

Lastly, remember that freecycle is a community and that a community works best when everyone gives. Look around your house and if you have items that you are not using consider posting an “offer” ad to give those items a new home.

Happy freecycling! If you have any questions about using freecycle.org or have another tip to share with us just leave a comment. :)

August 2, 2008

I didn’t post last night because I decided to spend some time with my family and watch an episode of Criminal Minds (seriously love that show). Yesterday I went to lunch with my grandma and then talked with her and my grandpa. I really enjoyed this time. I realized how old my grandparents were getting as I sat across the table from my grandma and looked at her “life” lines (aka wrinkles). I have never had a close relationship with them and, even though I live about 20 minutes from them, normally only see them on Holidays. I went out to visit them because instead of sending money for my birthday my grandma wanted to take me out to lunch so she could see the new addition to our family. I had been meaning to call her and set up a time to visit for the previous month but can never motivate myself to pickup the phone, always putting it on tomorrow’s “to-do” list. So anyways, I was talking with them and it was funny to hear all their stories. My grandparents said they used to pay fifty cents an hour to their babysitter. And then my grandpa was saying how when he was in college he made $7 a week. I couldn’t believe how much times had changed. It was nice visiting with them and I decided to make an effort to visit them more because I don’t want to regret not taking the time to see them later.

Today was a great day as well, but for different reasons. I went to garage sales with my sister-in-law and we found some wonderful deals. One lady was selling all of her baby boy’s clothes for 6 outfits for a dollar! Though Jacob has more clothes than I do (and those that know me find that hard to believe) I couldn’t resist buying him more because they were such a great price. I’m the type of person who aims to not have to have him wear the same outfit twice. A little materialistic I know but that’s just who I am. These clothes were so cute and then I got some with matching hats and I can’t wait to put him in these things. We went to Goodwill, too and I bought a bunch of parenting books. I’m always interested to learn new methods and ideas in childcare and in raising children. Then if these deals weren’t enough, I went and picked up some free baby items from someone I found on freecycle.com. If you haven’t been to this website I highly recommend you go now… yes, I’m telling you to leave my page that is how much I love this website. To end the afternoon I had a crunchwrap from tacobell. I normally get the same thing each time I go but because of my 300 list I have decided to try new things.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow (or today considering it’s 12:14 in the morning) and all the great possibilities the day will bring.