With the new year I thought it would be a great time to purge some old, unwanted stuff around my home – outdated stereo equipment, shoes I only wore once in the past 2 years, toys, clothes my kids outgrew – even the old hardware from my cabinets I replaced recently.

I recently learned about Freecycle, a series of local online groups around the globe where people give and get stuff for free in their own communities. I joined my local group and was soon on my way. Within the past week I gave away several bags of clothes, shoes, equipment, and toys – all by posting offers on my local freecycle community group. All you have to do is post an offer – and typically leave the goods on my front porch at some prearranged time for pickup. For the most part, this works really well!

There are some (what I think are) strange aspects to Freecycle. I see posts like: OFFER: 1/4 can of refried beans and I can’t help but laugh. I really shouldn’t. There are folks who are struggling and could use this stuff. That’s why I love Freecycle.

I noticed people posting requests for items as well, sometimes for themselves and sometimes for others in need. Judging from the activity within my own little group, there is quite a following for this sort of thing. There also seems to be many requests for goods to help others in need.

Freecycle is a simple and genius concept – as well as a great way to build community, recycle, and help others at the same time.

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