Holly: Awhile back, we wrote about our early experiences with Freecycling, a grassroots movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. We gave away lots of kitchen items, baby clothes and toys, furniture, 27 inch TV, and on and on. We’ve received lots of things too such as a rocking chair, sofa, tools, and a baby bottle washer. We’re still fans, but lately we’ve been more on the giving end. But hey, that’s awesome! When you’re blessed that’s what you can do! 🙂
Joey: Last week I moved all the furniture out of the bedrooms in order to have the carpets cleaned. In doing so, I felt the urge to purge once again. So lots of clutter that had been stuffed into cubby-holes and nooks and crannies made its way into a big pile in the living room floor. But one item I had to seriously give some thought what to do with… Ivy’s very nice IKEA kid’s bed, which she doesn’t use anymore. It’s in her room with the “guest” bed, which happens to be a queen-sized Tempurpedic. Yeah, I’d go with the big bed, too, even if I were only 3 years old.
“Maybe we should sell this bed?” I hinted to Holly cleverly disguising my suggestion as a question.
“Or just freecycle it.” she answered quickly.
I was so amazed at her ready willingness to give the bed away that – after mulling over it for a day or so – I thought, “Yeah, let’s just bless somebody else and give that sucker away.” It’s awesome to see Holly go from having a mild chronic case of clutter-bug when we were first married to just freely and happily giving stuff away. It sounds cliche to say it is joyful to give stuff away, and even more new-agey to say the good-will comes back to you in a greater way. But it is all true! It is very satisfying to meet someone else’s need, plus it removes anxiety in your life caused by spending valuable time, energy, and space holding on to things just because of some subconcious value you have applied to it (or future value such as “I might need that someday”).
Holly: I posted the bed on Freecycle and within about 60 seconds I got a response. Yesterday, a very grateful momma picked it up for her 3-year-old, who had been sleeping with her since birth, because the family couldn’t afford to get him his own bed. I’ll admit, it wasn’t easy to let go of the bed… it wasn’t cheap (about $200), I liked it, and it looked good. But, honestly, it was going to get far more use and greater appreciation with that family than in our household, so I’m viewing it as an enrichment of both of our lives. I encourage ANYONE who can, to check out Freecycle (http://www.freecycle.org) in your area — whether you occasionally need stuff, or would like to directly impact those who need or are looking for things. It’s a good way to beat some of the current economic challenges we face in this country, and an excellent way to help out others, knowing EXACTLY where your donation is going. You get to meet the recipient face to face. That’s a good thing, no matter what!
Freecycle is based on the “Law of Reciprosity”. If you want to know more, try these links: