Freecycle

In these days of economic and planetary strain, I want to make sure people know about http://freecycle.org. This online resource continues “changing the world one gift at a time” and says, “Our mission is to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources & eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community.”

I first discovered freecycle several years ago while living in Northern California. After having relocated from Sedona Arizona and given away much of our furniture, I wondered if we could be on the receiving end of so much abundance. While married, I moved every 2-12 months — usually around the 6 month mark — so I have given away a lot of furniture in my day! I figured I could balance the scales a bit by appearing when someone else needed to relieve themselves of stuff. I forget how I found freecycle, but I love the idea that one person’s junk can become another’s treasure. After receiving an armoire and recliner chair, I decided to list some of our items that hadn’t found a place in our new California home. I loved this zero money exchange that blessed both parties by clearing energy out the old and invigorating the new. I also loved that freecycle kept many perfectly usable (but less likely to sell) items out of the landfill.

I haven’t used freecycle since 2009; however, David and I find ourselves sorting through what goes on the truck and what we’ve outgrown. We love our new space, and our gradual move-in process has allowed us to remain very conscious and discerning about what does or does not fit. We’ve bought some new things and have culled the best and most treasured of what we both own. That left us with quite a bit of older furniture to give away! Having outfitted a dear friend’s new apartment and given a recliner chair to a helpful neighbor, we still had an overstuffed (heavy!) recliner loveseat and that original armoire I’d received from freecycle. Neither of us wanted to move those beasts, and they really don’t have a place in our new home.

Enter freecycle. I listed the couch and armoire/dresser and within minutes found lists of deeply appreciative people willing to pick them up this weekend. Then I saw requests from members for some of the other “maybe’s” on our relocation-list. Hearing from people who truly wanted and needed what we only debated bringing reminded me of the power of flow.

I once heard that Native Americans consider things to have a life of their own. A belonging resides with someone only as long as the energy and function “fit.” When the energy shifts, the Native Americans passes along the item to its new caretaker. The term “Indian Giver” arose because the White People did not continue to pass along the items. Instead, they hoarded things, letting the energy grow stagnant and depriving the item of a useful, loved existence. The Natives began requesting their items back, in order to recirculate them in a natural way. Disconnected from natural cycles, European settlers took offense and began to distrust the Natives.

Like any relationship — whether among people, workplaces, or physical items — individuals can outgrow each other. That doesn’t mean one or the other is “wrong,” “bad” or “useless.” It just encourages a fresh evaluation of what feels right. “Do we own things, or do our things own us?” I’ve always found synchronous receivers whenever I need to move: the suddenly single mom who feels embarrassed because she can’t afford a new dining room table and chairs for her kids; the abused woman striking out on her own and not having a dresser or bed; the new couple moving into their first unfurnished apartment; the neighbor who has (not-so-secretly) eyed my couch…. I love the magical alignment that places us in each others’ path at just the right moment.

Yesterday, while helping the young couple who offered to take my old loveseat, we were all struggling a bit to get it out the porch door and down the steps. A guy zoomed by on skateboard with his dog in tow. “Need some help?” he asked. We all laughed and said we had it under control. He zoomed by again and asked, “Are you sure you don’t need a hand?” Third time’s the charm; when he zipped up to the base of our steps, we said “You know, maybe we do.” Not only did he stabilize the behemoth on the way down the steps, but at the bottom he said, “Wait! Try this” and placed his skateboard underneath the upended loveseat, forming a makeshift furniture dolly. Bingo! That thing made its way to the truck in under a minute with no one hurting themselves. “Never go to a moving party without a skateboard,” laughed our Angel on a Skateboard, as David named him.

In a series of perfect timing, perfect giving, perfect receiving and energy flow, The Freecycle Network offers yet one more way to live in harmony, abundance and joy.

6 responses to this post.

  1. Wonderful resource!

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  2. […] Laura Bruno’s Blog | November 12 2012 […]

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  3. Many Blessings for all!!!

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  4. You have no idea how much I enjoyed your story, but the fact you explained how “stuff” has a time and place. The skateboard topped it off.!

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  5. 😉 Glad you enjoyed!

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  6. […] find rebounders or mini-trampolines at garage sales or on craigslist. You could even sign up for freecycle.org and request one. Worst case scenario, you can find one for around $50-$150 on Amazon. With regular […]

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