Monday, April 6, 2009

Free yourself!

Bleatings from EnviRambo.

With several deadlines looming, three events approaching all too quickly, and one hell of a messy house, this recycled post off my personal blog seemed fitting for today.  Many of you have or are about to embark on a major spring cleaning.  I wish I was among you!  Where did all this stuff come from? And, where did the maid go? Unfortunately, until my schedule clears I am unable to free myself from this pigsty I call home.  Until then I am lusting to be FREE!

At least once a year our home goes through a major purge. It is amazing the amount of crap one can collect in a year's time! Even if you do not buy much, there always seems to be unwanted gifts, something your relatives guilted you into taking, toys or clothes your kids have outgrown, and even things you may have outgrown yourself. Like the lamp that was too good of a deal to pass up a few years ago; only now, you have come to the realization it was such a steal due to its sheer hideousness. Yeah, you know have something similar in your house right now.

All of that compounded with items we gave up in pursuit of a "greener" lifestyle
the clutter has reached critical mass in our household and it is time to purge. I have slowly been clearing out my clothing collection, the chitlins have purged their bedrooms, we organized the basement, and cleaned out the garage. A small mountain of castoffs now stood before us. I highly value my time and can think of a million other things I would rather do than load up all this stuff and make multiple trips to the local thrift store. Not to mention the cost of gas! Likewise, spending the entire weekend haggling over fifty cents for a garage sale does not sound like much fun either. Admittingly, we probably could have made a couple hundred bucks having the sale, but spending time baking with the chitlins or taking a family bike ride is much more valuable to me. Free table it is!

We set a FREE table out by the road and over the course of the weekend got rid of everything! You would be amazed at what people will take if it is free. While replenishing the table I met lots of interesting people. Everyone was very polite and overly thankful for the items they took. I heard many stories of how the items were going to help So and So, about troubles people were having in their lives, answered many questions as to why I was giving away so much stuff - No, I am not moving, and learned how my items were filling a gap in theirs. It was wonderful. The many thanks and smiles will always out weigh the potential dollars.

Some of things that went to good homes:
  • cleaning supplies I quit using over a year ago in favor of vinegar and baking soda
  • plastic cooking utensils replaced with bamboo
  • tupperware and ziploc food containers
  • excess serving bowls
  • many coffee mugs
  • reusable lexan water bottles
  • a small fryer
  • dish drainer
  • partially used cans of paint
  • half burnt candles
  • Christmas decorations
  • picture frames
  • shoes
  • all of my purged socks and bras
  • tons of toys
  • doll house
  • Barbie cars
  • remote control cars
  • transformers
  • moon sand
  • coloring books
  • crayons
  • children's books
  • vhs and dvd movies
  • snowpants
  • swim suits
  • clothing
  • aquarium and everything you would need, minus the fish
  • vacuum cleaner
  • bathroom trashcan
  • shower curtain hooks
  • toilet brushes
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste and mouthwash
  • tampons - I'm a Diva
  • cosmetics
  • many lotions
  • shampoo
  • bath salts
  • air fresheners
  • razors
  • hotel toiletries
  • pictures
  • curtains
  • entertainment center
  • bookends
  • books
  • magazines
  • chafing dishes
The list goes on and on. I realize this is not exactly a way to be thrifty yourself, but if you take into account the time and gas it would take to haul everything to the thrift store or the enormous undertaking of a garage sale you might have a different perspective. Plus, keeping all of this out of the trash is a great way to help the environment and others. On man's trash is truly another man's treasure.

Next time you purge consider setting up a FREE table. Free your home of clutter, free your valuable time, free your sanity and free yourself!


EcoBurban said...

We do the "Free" table too... It's amazing how much stuff you can get rid of in a short amount of time. My neighbors think we are total hilly-billies, but I am betting their closet is more cluttered than mine! And, in this economy, sometimes a free car seat / blanket / chair / toy brightens someones day.

KLund said...

My Dh just did this yesterday as a matter of fact. He was cleaning out the garage. We have a lot of immigrants in our neighborhood and it is amazing the stuff that disappears. I still have a TON of stuff to go through, but hate deciding whether to keep something or get rid of it.

JessTrev said...

We do this when things are not taken on Freecycle. Stuff almost always goes - we live close to a bus stop so a zillion people pass by. I love it! But yes, sometimes I wonder if my neighbors are like, ah, are you going to put a parts car out on the sidewalk next?!

Electronic Goose said...

Oh, it *does* feel so good to get rid of clutter! And you did it in a fun way! We did this last year and advertised it on Freecycle. Everything was gone! Only then I have to wonder, more clutter for them even if it's less for me ... We once came across a "free table" at our neighbor's that included brand-new wedding gifts--coffee makers, crystal, beautiful appliances--just because they didn't want to bother driving to the store to return it. EcoBurban is right--it really does brighten someone's day!

Wonder-ful said...

Our community has a once-a-year clean up day. Things that people don't want (but don't want to pay the fee to haul it to the dump) go out by the curb the week leading up to the pick-up day.

It's really fun! I call it "freecycle christmas" because families take a truck and drive over town salvaging things that other people no longer want. We had a set of patio chairs that were nice, but we couldn't fix ourselves and didn't want to deal with it (the dog got ahold of them... keeping the chairs invited future repairs to furnature). A family from the next street over picked the chairs up and were able to fix them.

It's a great time to get furnature and materials for diy projects.


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