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September 23, 2007

"Tip of the Week" - Furnishing Your Office from Freecycle.org

Furnishing your office doesn't have to cost you much at all...possibly nothing.  If you haven't heard of freecycle.org you are missing out on one of life's best kept secrets.  Freecycle.org is an organization which has exploded, thanks to the internet, with more than 4000 groups/chapters and nearly 4 million members worldwide. 

You've heard the cliche, 'one man's trash is another mans' treasure?"  Freecycle.org recognized you could have a perfectly good desk you are replacing, don't want to put the old desk on e-bay, or advertise it in the paper, or transport it yourself to your ungrateful sister who probably doesn't want it anyway.  But you don't know what to do with it.  It's got to go. Well, post it on freecycle.org as an OFFER through your local chapters and you will get many other freecyclers ready and willing and able to take it off your hands...basically 'free' - recycling of good quality merchandise.

The rules of the game:

  • Join;
  • Make an OFFER of goods first. Once you have selected someone to receive the goods and they have picked them up;
  • Post TAKEN so others don't keep contacting you. 
  • After your first offer you can post WANTED (such as gently used desk and office chair, filing cabinets, printer, etc.) and you will be amazed and what you can get to furnish your office for nothing more than picking the items up, gas, and a little time.
  • You can receive e-mails individually or in digest form.

It's simple, it's easy and it will certainly help many solo practitioners starting out who are in need of furnishings.  And for those who simply choose to be generous, it's a great way to clean out your house and help others.  Naturally, there is every manner of offer on freecycle from baby clothes to cars, firewood to jacuzzis.

As an inspirational story from freecycle I will share this:  An older woman had a huge barn which needed to come down because it was a hazard.  The barn was also filled with timber her deceased husband had collected over the years. She didn't have the money to take it down.  She didn't have the money to have the lumber removed from the property.  She posted  "OFFER: free lumber" on freecycle providing the recipients took the barn down and removed the lumber themselves.  An organization which builds playgrounds for inner city children asked for the timber.  They tore down the barn, removed the lumber (which is very expensive) and built a beautiful playground in a nearby inner city community which did not have the financial resources for a playground.  The city in turn dedicated the playground to her and her husband because without the lumber the kid's playground would not have happened.

So, check out freecycle.org and start 'freecycling."


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Jordan Hatcher

I LOVE freecycle. We moved from Texas to Scotland last year, and have used freecycle to much success to populate our new home. Next month, we are moving down south to England, and wlll be freecycling all of our current furniture in Scotland and picking up some in England rather than trying to move any of it.


I found my office filing cabinet (tall, dark and handsome, even!) on Freecyle! Oh-- and a gazillion hanging file folders in perfect shape! Freecycle has also saved me countless trips to Goodwill to drop stuff off. It's a terrific way to keep stuff out of landfills.

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