Garage give-away – 1pm 16 May 2009?

So far the move has gone pretty smoothly. Last night everyone was able to find somewhere to sleep in our new place and we’ve all eaten. Most importantly, our cable broadband is installed and working. Much to my relief, things went far smoother than when I tried to switch to TelstraClear last year (see “My broadband saga concludes“).

After an hour problem solving on the phone with AJ in Brandenberg, we’ve got the webserver up and running again. The computer serving up this blog (and doing a heap of other stuff) is discretely tucked in the corner of the living room. With a pellet burner keeping us warm, I’m hope the hardware doesn’t overheat.

All that remains is to clean up down the road. What a lot of suff we’ve collected over the years. Lots unintentionnally like aggregate for making concrete and a spare mountain buggy. Leisure activities no longer pursued. Two of things. Too much stuff. I dunno how but even though we’ve moved lots we consider essential there’s still other stuff.

Without going into a rant about consumerism, I’ll get to the point. I don’t have a lot of time to sort all the surplus stuff out and distribute it around possible welcome homes. I need to organise something easily. Like a garage sale, except everthing will be free. But how do I tell people.

Clay Shirky says this is where the internet can help us achieve feats of organisation which were not cheaply or easily possible prior to the internet age. Giving stuff away is an excellent example of where  givers and recipients are almost never be able find each other. Using a website could be a way to bridge the gap.

Lo and behold I found Wellington Freecycle. There are currently 1232 people offering and taking stuff that others don’t want. The ‘group’ exists online only (well as far as I can tell) through a email list. It looks a busy one. Today someone wants an acoustic guitar and vacuum cleaner, and people offered an adsl modem and a Kenwood blender base.

Everything is obviously not sweetness and light even amongst people giving stuff away. I’m still exploring if it’s how I framed things or the idea itself, but I can’t post an item about my give-away to Wellington Freecylce. According to the admin who blocked my request “these sort of posts are not allowed through freecycle as they have casued alot of problems in the past and therefore are not allowed within the whole freecycle(tm) group”.

Oh well, I’ll try to think of some other ways to either advertise my give-away or find an efficient way to coordinate bids for individual items from recipients. Hindsight being what it is (ie never wrong), I think I should have started earlier. Anyone running a fundraising garage sale? Does anyone want a working toaster, surplus to requirements? Any ideas for my give-away?

PS Here’s the list of stuff we’re giving away (yes some junk, but as they say: one person’s trash is another’s treasure).