What do you do when you want to get rid of stuff you aren’t using anymore? If you have stuff you want to get rid of because they didn’t sell in your garage sale, or you have unwanted or unused stuff piled up in your closets, basement or garage, join the free recycle movement at Freecycle.org.
Millions of people have joined Freecycle groups in their cities and neighborhoods around the world, where group members give stuff away for free to people who want or need them, and group members can get free stuff online that they need or want for their own use.
What is Freecycle?
The Freecycle Network at www.freecycle.org is a grassroots, completely nonprofit gifting movement of like-minded people who give and get stuff for free in their own communities, with currently over 4900 groups and over 8 million members worldwide.
Freecycle’s mission is to educate the public on recycling, reuse and keeping good stuff out of our landfills by reducing waste and saving precious resources while also enabling Freecycle group members to benefit from the kind and free giving of others.
Freecycle is about kindly and generously sharing and giving away items for free that still retain usefulness. Through Freecycle groups, community members are helped by clearing out unused clutter and giving away stuff they no longer have use for to those who have need of those items.
Freecycle is not a place to get as much free stuff as you possibly can get, nor is Freecycle a way to get things for free to auction off, resell on eBay, etc. Freecycle is most definitely not the place for getting rid of broken stuff or various other kinds of junk that truly belongs in the dump.
As a member of a couple of local Freecycle yahoo groups, the various kinds of things people give away for free include free furniture, beds, dressers, mattresses, dining room tables and chairs, clothing, baby stuff, toys, moving boxes, computers and laptops, TV’s, refrigerators, stoves, small appliances, magazines, cars, pets, coffeemakers, fabric, gardening stuff, tools, toolboxes, building supplies and much more.
No item is too large or too small to get or give away for free on Freecycle.org, however everything given away must be 100% free to the recipient with absolutely no strings attached and legal. No alcohol, tobacco, drugs, firearms/guns are allowed.
Anyone can sign up as a free member of Freecycle, post free “offers” of items to be given away, and respond to offers made by community members. Members of Freecycle may also post “wanteds” of things wanted or needed, where fellow members can reply that they have those wanted/needed items to give away for free, and are then able to make private arrangements for pickup/meetup.
Each Freecycle group has its own set of rules, which each member is responsible for carefully reading before posting offers or wants, or replying to either. Everything posted on Freecycle.org must be free, legal and appropriate for all ages. Signing up for and navigating the Freecycle website and group postings is easy.
Although it is recommended that members set their email settings to “individual emails” for each new item listed, switching email settings to “daily digest” will greatly reduce your chances of being inundated with hundreds of emails daily from Freecycle Network member postings.
How to Use Freecycle.org
To become a free member of freecycle.org, simply go to www.freecycle.org and type in your city and state in the search box, or click on “browse groups” on the upper left corner to find your local groups and join the group or groups closest to you. Be sure to read the FAQs and member rules for each local group you join, and be sure to follow the Freecycle recommendations on protecting your privacy and safety. Spend some time familiarizing yourself on how others have posted their offers and wants, so you can have some good ideas on what to say and what not to say.
To post an offer or wanteds on Freecycle, login to your Freecycle account and click on the “make a new post” button link within your specific group. Follow the easy instructions on how to list your offer or wanted item with the dropdown menu selections, add a short description and very generalized/approximate location (not your address or phone number), and then add more detailed information about the item wanted/offered in the box shown. Click on “make the post” and you’re done.
Watch your emails for responses to offers made for your item (check your spam folder just in case replies filter there). Who receives the item you’re offering is up to you. Some give the free item away to the first person who responds, while others choose to give the freebie away to the person who seems to have the greatest need. It’s up to you who you give your free stuff to.
Make arrangements on how/where the item will be picked up. Most members of Freecycle.org require the gift recipient to pick up the item, but where the meetup or pickup takes place is up to you. Meeting up for the gift transfer in public places is advisable to protect your safety, however, some members of Freecycle simply arrange a specific time of day for the recipient to pick up the gifted item(s) on the front porch or curb.
Once the free stuff you have offered has been picked up and taken, be sure to let your Freecycle group members know the item is no longer available with a new brief post indicating such. Finding free stuff online can be challenging, but freecycle.org makes it that much easier to find good, recycled, usable stuff for free and it’s legitimate. Plus recycling helps our environment and we’re able to do our part toward that great cause. Have fun and enjoy Freecycle. We sure do.