A couple of weeks ago, we held our annual street garage sale, which was again a huge success (read my tips on organising a street garage sale here). Chatting with friends and the neighbours who didn’t partake, I was surprised to hear the same things over and over again: “I couldn’t be bothered.” “It seems like too much hard work.” “Oh, I just take it to the tip.”
Obviously, this made my jaw hit the floor every time. I appreciate that a garage sale is a fair amount of work, all that putting stuff you don’t want on tables and standing around chatting while people give you money for junk. But as I probed further, I found out that often people didn’t even bother trying to rehome their stuff, they just chucked it out. Yes, a good proportion took it to the charity shop, which is great, but when you consciously go about rehoming something, you known that the item, and all the resources embedded in it, continue to be used and useful.
Global Sharing Day
Today, June 1, is Global Sharing Day. Between today and World Environment Week on June 5, innovative sharing website TuShare is hosting a flash sharing event called the 5000 Shares Challenge. Over the next five days, we want to see 5000 items rehomed – given away to someone who can use them. Here’s how it works:
- Sign the TuShare 5000 Shares pledge here.
- Receive expert tips on sharing your stuff.
- Make a pile of stuff to rehome.
- Work out who you’re going to give your things away to.
- (Optional) Join the TuShare online sharing platform (see below).
- Start sharing!
What is TuShare
This website is a pretty cool concept. It was designed to take the pain out of giving things away and has a swish interface where you can view what’s available in different categories such as kids, home and garden, etc. No money changes hands on this site, and if you have someone who wants your item posted, TuShare arranges the delivery with flat-rate charges going to the recipient. For those of you who are tired of the clunkiness of Freecycle, TuShare is a great alternative. Read more about how it works here.
Other ways to share, share, share…
If you’re going to get serious about decluttering and giving life to your old stuff, try:
- Taking quality items to a charity shop.
- Offering them to your friends.
- Popping a sign on a community noticeboard.
- Finding an appropriate charity or organisation to take it. Examples are toys to day-care centres, old towels to animal shelters.
- Placing the item prominently in your front lawn with a sign saying “free to good home”.
- Describing the item on a sign and putting it on the fence at the weekend.
In my neighbourhood, every man and their dog puts unwanted items out on the verge with a sign, but I’m pretty sure that’s illegal, so I definitely don’t advise this… And of course you can make money out of your old things using sites like Gumtree, quicksales and eBay, or by having a garage sale.