Monday, January 28, 2008

Freecycle Furniture Fills the Bill Without the Bills

There's a song that claims; "You can't always get what you want, but you'll get what you need!"

That can be true, but in some cases you can get what you want and what you need. This happened for me yesterday.

After a year's worth of remodeling we are fat on debt and low on cash. What began as a simple household cosmetic update turned into a surgical nightmare that would have made Michael Jackson cringe. We learned that only two things are certain with remodeling. The first is that it will cost WAY more then you originally thought, and the second I that it will take WAY longer then you originally thought.

Consequently we found ourselves in the position of having a finally finished room but no money to furnish it (unless we chose to add more debt onto the pile). This room was designed to be a reading room. We already had shelves and tons of books, but we didn't have anyplace to sit. We were in the market for a couch and love seat for next to nothing. Good luck, we thought.

Enter Freecycle. If you are not familiar with Freecycle, it's time to meet your new best online friend. According to their website, the Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,233 groups with 4,415,000 members across the globe. It's a grassroots movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns, keeping good stuff out of landfills and fostering a spirit of cooperation. Membership is free.

Where I live, we are blessed to have two separate freecycle lists. I've seen everything from TVs, cars and computers pass to new owners across these boards. Sports equipment, pets, dishes, craft materials... all these and more have found new homes due to this thrifty asset. I have given and gotten for almost two years and recieved almost as many friends as I have items. Yesterday, though, freecycle came through for us in a major way.

While the kids played, I was browsing to see if there was anything I could use (and get rid of a good popcorn popper I was tired of storing). I saw a couch and loveseat in great condition up for grabs. These things can go fast, so I quickly emailed my interest and found out they were still up for grabs. Within an hour we were on our way to pick up our new living room furniture - gratis!

The furniture was just what we needed. It was a color and style we liked, it was in good condition and it was within our budget (nothing! ;) It was truly a win-win for everyone involved - one family got rid of something that was in their way, we now have a cozy place to sit and read and study, and the landfill has that much less to fill it up. Everyone is happy. Thank you, Freecycle, from another satisfied non-customer.

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