And I can't say that I'm ready with my bags of things to donate just yet, though I haven't acquired so much junk over the course of this year as to need to rid myself of just as much as I donated last year to the event. I haven't quite figured out exactly what shifts I'll have to be present for the event at, but I know I'll be there at the beginning of both days (and a fair bit of time on Friday during the day), but will leave fairly early on during Saturday because of other things to work on. I mean, it is the holiday season coming up and I do have things to do to prepare for it myself. My to-do list remains very long.
I'm doing better at not acquiring junk to begin with as time goes on, and thus needing to replace less and less which is a lot of why we host such events: to help encourage not acquiring too much unnecessary stuff to begin with, I guess. But really it's a great opportunity both to declutter and to obtain things that one might want or need. The event page is available here. Please spread the word. Last year over a hundred people came through our doors but the weather this year might mean sparser crowds? It is uncertain. Regardless the event is a good one person's trash is another one's treasure type of thing. And I've found great items here in the past from clothing to books, kitchen tools to stationery and much more besides.
As an avid contest entrant, I always have a bit of stuff sitting around that I don't need or have use for, but so too to most folks. And the most bizarre things might be popular on any given year. It being our 7th free market event (open from 9am-8pm Friday and 10am-4pm on Saturday) we've had a number of different and unusual items that have been really popular in the past:
– ugly mugs (one year people just adored coffee mugs that happened to not have anything to do with their personal experiences, had different people's names on it etc.)
– old magazines (one year a bunch of teachers stopped by and grabbed these for art projects)
– toiletry items (last year sample sized toiletries and other lotions etc. were especially popular)
– outdated technology (some years these items are really unpopular, whereas other years odd items like beta tapes, VHS tapes, cassettes, LPs, players for said technology and whatnot are really popular).
What we don't want: CRT TVs (no huge heavy appliances, really), large furniture or items better served by bringing them to the ECO station, broken items or items with no known use. There are certain types of items that are not safe for use by other people and so we'd rather that they not show up at all. Plus, our volunteers responsible for clean up don't want to hurt themselves lugging dirty, awkward, large items back out of the room (all remaining items will be donated to local area charities after the event).
What we do want are: clothing, footwear, toys, media items (like books, CDs, DVDs, etc.), games, Christmas decor items, kitchen appliances and other kitchenware, stationery, small electronics, small furniture (one year we had a great child's desk and chairs that went to a happy home), small decor items, lighting, functional flatscreen tvs (these are really popular even if they're really small), computer stuff etc. I'm always surprised by what shows up (and by the items that fly out of the door!). I've found some good antique items that I've really enjoyed using in my home for example.
Anyway, I figured I'd spend some time typing about this because I'm pretty happy to be going through my home to declutter and bring some fun finds here… and think that some other folks might want to do the same. Plus I often find a good book or two to read here or otherwise. I've even found gift items (it being the holiday season) here in the past. Start your shopping with the free market — maybe it'll mean spending less money in the end? Regardless I like to think it helps! If you want to volunteer, we would still appreciate some help on both days. There is a sign up form listed on the FB event too.