the idiot's guide to FREE

I have been all over the place with Freecycle this week.

Since we are going to be trying to sell our home, we want it to look like a family of 7 doesn’t live here. So we rented a storage unit to put extra stuff in and are also just getting rid of some things we don’t want to move. Moving has a way of making you think about all your “stuff” a little less affectionately.

One piece of furniture in particular has never received any affection from me, and it’s the rocker/glider that we bought from Wal-mart when I was pregnant with Ezra. Five years ago. It hurts. After Titus was born I flat out refused to rock another baby through the night in it, and it has been replaced.

So I listed it on Freecycle. (If you are unfamiliar with Freecycle, it’s an email group categorized by city and people list items that they either are seeking for free or would like to get rid of for free. It’s a great way to get rid of big things that you have no idea what to do with, or broken things that you have no idea what to do with. Trust me- someone on Freecycle wants your junk!) In my offering I said in no gentle terms that it needed to be picked up immediately and I did not have time in my life for people who wanted to claim it and then not pick it up.

A woman called immediately and rambled on and  on about how she was not the type of person who would say she was coming and then not come and she knew what a hassle it was to wait on someone like that. Evie was peeing on the floor and Titus was screaming and in no gentle terms I said, “Great. Just come get it.”

Two days later, three phone calls and several texts, the dang chair still sat in my living room. And a bolt fell out the back.

So I relisted it as needing repair and in very aggressive terms communicated that I was going to hunt down anyone who wanted to waste my time   not going to hold it for anyone, and please don’t respond unless you are telling me what time you are coming to get it. And that I would give it to whomever said they were coming first.

Y’all. I got a lot of responses. Here are my favorites:

  • Can you take a picture of it? NO
  • What color is it? It’s FREE. FREE is a neutral color and it goes with everything. 
  • Can you measure how tall it is? Why don’t you measure your back seat and tell me and then I’ll tell you whether my chair will fit. After you tell me what color your car is. (Unless your car is FREE and then we’ll all know that it will go fine with my FREE chair.)
  • What is a glider? This one was my personal favorite. You probably don’t need it if you don’t know what it is. I’m considering responding with something totally made up. Got any ideas?  

And later I had some picking up of Freecycle stuff of my own to do. I’m an honest free cycler. I always come when I say I will and I don’t claim crap that I don’t need.


This lady had tons of moving boxes and packing supplies. (And no, I did not ask her to text me a picture of the boxes or what color they were.)




As she and I were loading it all into my truck I chatted about how we were just “pre packing”. Because I’m in total denial. Come to find out her family was crammed into a small space and had to do the same thing to sell their home. And here she was on the other side of it with a house double the size and beaming like she’d won the lottery. She was on the other side of this insurmountable task of moving a whole family (only I don’t think she has chickens or a soap business.) And her family is considering adopting from Uganda, only they aren’t sure how to go about fundraising. Imagine that. I bubbled over with information and I think I’ll hear from her again. 


I got home and it was time to put some things into the boxes since Brent was taking me by the storage space to show me the ins and outs.


And I realized that packing is a lot like unpacking. As I packed photos and hand prints and board games and what nots I realized I was unpacking a home into these boxes. One piece at a time, a life that we shared here was being wrapped up and packed. For where? We don’t know! Oh, the uncertainty!


When we moved here it was just a box with a bunch of dead plants outside. Our neighborhood was a wasteland, and now there is so much life! Babies were born here, and that’s always the hardest part about leaving a house. (There were two here.) Ezra and Evie took their first steps here. We’ve just fit ourselves so nicely (and tightly) into this space. So much love and life has happened to transform this box into a home. Thriving plants crowd around every side of the house. Chickens cackle in the back. My sweet girls’ flower beds burst with color.


Packing is hard. I am swallowing down tears and trying to be excited about the unknown. But it’s just.really.hard.