Holy sweet Moses, I love the internet.
I'm in the process of buying my father's condo. He's in the process of moving out. Between us we have the detritus of a combined 86 years of life in over a dozen homes.
Thing is, I'm the opposite of a pack rat. I am a purger. A seller, a donor, a declutterer. (Heh. I was going to say "a tosser.") I'm big on simplicity and organization. So this house full of stuff has been making me insane.
And then I discovered the magic of Freecycle.
The concept: "to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources and eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community."
That's it. No buying and selling and posting photos and writing up descriptions and bargaining and bidding and negotiating. Just giving stuff to people who need it and come and get it.
There are over five million people participating in Freecycle worldwide. Just on my local one, there are 2,600 people and over a thousand posts a month. It's a truly amazing hidden network.
And because my town is close to a city with its share of poverty, it feels nice that things I don't need can go be helpful to other people. Maybe that's Pollyannaish, or maybe it's even condescending. I'm not sure. And no, I'm not only giving stuff away for free; I'm selling plenty of it. But, like tonight, giving a bed and a couple of bookcases to a family who comes and takes it away for their kid? Yeah, I'll take the nice feeling.
So thanks, internet, for the warm fuzzies - and the newly cleared space.