Tuesday, October 10, 2006


My garage mostly contained stuff - by which I mean objects that were gathering dust. Even after moving house twice this year, decluttering each time, and then taking half a dozen carloads of stuff to the charity shops, my garage was still crammed full of stuff.

A good example of "stuff" was a generic TV-video player from circa 1996. It cost me a few hundred pounds then - ten years on, it probably has a resale value of about twenty pounds.

Its value to me though was more like minus twenty pounds, seeing as how it blocked the garage and had to be shifted around sporadically whenever it was in my way. And since I couldn't imagine when I'd ever use it again, it was likely to stay in the garage until it rotted and had to be taken to the tip.

I decided to use Freecycle for the first time.

When I put the items on the local Freecycle bulletin board (simply a Yahoo Group) I got more than a hundred replies. This did make me pause and wonder whether I should be selling the stuff instead. Nah - I wanted to get rid of it as soon as possible, and I figured any small return wouldn't be worth the hassle.

So I narrowed down the requesters to those who lived within a mile of us. I also discriminated in favour of women to spare my wife having some hairy bloke turn up demanding our stuff.

And without pain the stuff went and now my garage is a stuff-free zone.

Freecycle is a win-win-win :-

(Win 1) Stuff doesn't go into the landfill.
(Win 2) Someone gets something they want for nothing.
(Win 3) I get my garage back.

The only bad point about this is that because someone unexpectedly got my second-hand TV, they didn't go out and buy a new one. So it's entirely possible that I may have wrecked the British retail and the Japanese electronics industries.

Whoopsie !

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