Hello! And welcome back. It’s me, Desiree’ Celeste!
When I first began purging my stuff, I felt like I was just trying to pawn things off on my friends, then donating everything to thrift stores to be resold. I don’t think that thrift stores are the enemy, they really are an excellent resource for people to be able to find items, but I would rather people not have to pay for my things. Not to mention, many thrift stores hold politics I don’t assign to, so I would rather they not make money from my stuff. Pushing my stuff onto my friends doesn’t make me feel good, either. Many of my friends are also minimalists, so I give them first pick and then use my resources to rehome the remainder. I do also donate a ton of stuff, but I enjoy knowing exactly where my belongings go and how useful they will be in their new homes. When I drop off dozens of pounds of clothing at the shelter, I know in my gut that fast fashion has resulted in an excess of clothing being donated. I help to unload my own car, so I see exactly how high their clothing mountain is for the week. I feel similarly guilty when I donate my dishware to the thrift store, especially now that I see from the apps listed below how many local families in need would rejoice to have my dishes. The list below includes the resources that I use to rehome my belongings, and is pretty much in the order that I use them.
Posting on my personal Facebook page:
My first route to relieve my things is to post about them on my personal FB page. I post photos and descriptions for each thing and let my friends sort out what they may want. Many times, they find fun stuff to give others in their lives, which is excellent. This is also a great way for me to see people I may not see very often otherwise.
Buy Nothing Project group:
I have been lurking around my local BNP group for ages. I have scored some really cute things, but mostly I have been able to rehome a ton of things there. BNP is a series of Facebook groups that are specific to the area in which you live, helping to build community. The official Buy Nothing Project page is HERE but it’s more useful to use the search bar to look up groups for your area. When you join, an admin will most likely request additional information about where you live to ensure you’re in the right place. All of the groups have the same rules, as they stem from one central organization, the blog for BNP is HERE.
Freecycle is very similar to Buy Nothing Project, but they have a centralized website and there is the option to get all postings sent directly to your email. While you can view all offered and wanted items on their website, you have to be logged in and a member of that group in order to post or respond to postings. I am really weird in how I use Freecycle, but have been doing it for AGES. I generally respond to all clothing related posts and let them know that if the items they posted didn’t find a home, I would pick them up to donate to the homeless shelters.
Freecycle + Trash Nothing?
In my hunts for extra resources, I found an app called Freecycle + Trash Nothing. The app looks similar but still very different from the Freecycle site and it made me confused! After doing a small amount of research, I found that the Trash Nothing app is an offshoot of the original Freecycle page, which used to be through a Yahoo group (and may still be). The Trash Nothing app was started to curb the spam that users of the original Freecycle Yahoo groups were experiencing. What does this mean for you? It means that you have choices. I like the Trash Nothing app, it is old AF but user friendly and still send email alerts when you message someone. Direct yourself to the Freecycle website if you’d rather use the desk top version or get direct emails about offer and want posts.
Let Go is an app where you can choose to sell things or give your things away. My friends have had great luck with finding cool furniture on there. It’s essentially a Craigslist with a cleaner, prettier interface.
Next Door is an app where you can monitor your direct neighborhood. People post about if a package was stolen from their doorstep, if they need to ask for a cup of sugar, if a teen is starting to babysit and looking for clients, etc. Posts offering up items are also allowed, but they only reach your immediate area. I mean, a few blocks. Next Door is a really convenient way to help those (literally) closest to you.
I am hesitant about a few of the suggestions on this list, Facebook Marketplace being one of them. Facebook Marketplace allows posts for items for sale, but you can also post items for free. The marketplace is a great way to reach a huge amount of people, but it’s kind of a free for all.
Craigslist Free Pages:
Do you remember when Craigslist was popular? Before apps took over? Well, it still exists, and people who don’t have luck with these other, smaller scale apps can generally get interest on Craigslist. This is another one of those suggestions that I am hesitant about. Strangers from all over can respond to your offers, so you never know who you are meeting, who may show up, how dangerous it may be. I, personally, hate posting on Craigslist because it is so easy to create a new email account to respond to an offer and I am an intensely private person. I favor the above suggestions because people have profiles and there is accountability.
Some basic etiquette about being in these groups, which may just be me being picky:
- Use complete sentences and humanize the original poster, simply writing ‘NIL’ (meaning ‘next in line’) always makes me feel like I am not seen as a person
- Post items that you would feel comfortable bringing into your own home, dirty or moldy items need a clean first
- If people are picking up from your doorstep, be sure to protect the item until they arrive. I have a large plastic container to store items in until they are retrieved
- Don’t be a creep, don’t make inappropriate comments or prolong conversation past the immediate interaction, unless it is obvious that you both want to continue the conversation
- It is not unreasonable to request to meet in a public place. You are allowed to make plans based on your feelings of safety.
- You are allowed to deny someone if it doesn’t feel good, you are not obligated to give or sell your item to the first person who contacts you if the circumstances are not good for you
- REPORT UNSAFE ONGOINGS! If someone continues unwanted contact with you, is inappropriate or aggressive, or selling or giving unsafe/unsanitary/illegal items, report to the website or moderators. Be vocal. These pages are for the community, and it is everyone’s responsibility to aid in keeping the community safe.
Are there more resources that I am not familiar with? What websites and apps do you use to rehome your belongings?