Monday, July 23, 2012

What to do with those unused items

So I'm trying to purge items that we have never used or have not used in a very long time. I once read that if you don't use or wear something in more than a year, than you should get rid of it. The "get rid of it" part bothers me. I don't want to just throw everything in the trash and add to the already overflowing landfills. We have also held many yard sales over the years and we don't have enough to make for a great sale, even if we recruit our neighbors.

Recently, I've been using Purple Heart and the Vietnam Veterans of America because both organizations will send a truck to your door and take clothing and other small household goods.

Last Mother's Day, I asked for a water barrel to help catch the rain and to use that rain to water my thirsty garden. As always, my husband took the time to special order the "rock" shaped barrel from the dog-eared page in the catalog. Here it is:

What I failed to notice when choosing the item, is that a section of the downspout has to be removed and the plastic portion on top of the hose inserted in its place. The downspout I intended to use is not located on a flat portion of ground AND the rock has to be taken off and put inside during the winter.

It is a very nice rock, but after all is not what I wanted and I can't use it. I am going to "get rid of it" because it's too late to send it back for a return AND the cost to ship it back would be outrageous (take note of this when ordering large items online.)

I am going to "FreeCycle" this item. FreeCycle is an online group dedicated to finding homes for unwanted items so they don't end up in the landfill.

You can even ASK for items that are not posted, but that might be laying around someone's house and they no longer need it. We have given away books, videos, furniture, broken lawn equipment, towels and other household goods. Some people offer food items such as partial bags of pet food and it is always scarfed up!

HOW IT WORKS - After being accepted to the group, there are several rules which must be followed. I'm sure every group has its own set of rules, but the group I belong to has a certain way of setting up your post. For instance, the subject line has to contain: OFFER, TAKEN or WANTED, a brief description with the item and the items location (town or township). More information about the item or items is given in the body of the post. If you give too much or unnecessary information, the moderator edits the text. Also, no money or services can be exchanged for the goods and if you say you will pick-up an item, you should honor your word. We once put a very nice computer desk and hutch out before going away for the weekend for someone who said they would come a few hours later. They were a no show and it had rained the next day. When we arrived home from our trip, the hutch warped from sitting out in the rain and it was ruined.

There is some recourse for this neglect. The "no shows" name can be submitted to the moderator but I'm unsure if a penalty is actually given. Also, I swear some people sit at their computer waiting for items to be posted because treasures are posted for several minutes before they are scooped up and the subject line reads: TAKEN - pending pick-up.

Overall, its a great vehicle for giving and getting items. I have asked and received yarn to crochet hats and booties for our local hospital. I had several offers and ended up with three large trash bags filled with yarn! On the other hand, I asked for a canoe or kayak (several times) and did not have one offer. I have seen others ask for TVs (flat screen), Gaming Systems and a Car! Reading the posts can be entertaining at times but "word to the wise", check your email daily because the "inbox" fills up fast!

I'll let you know how many minutes it takes to unload the "rock."

***UPDATE July 24, 8:58am - The Rock lasted for 2 minutes!

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