I first heard about FREECYCLE in Amherst MA. It's a grassroots movement of giving and getting things for free in your own town to help keep usable things out of the landfill. Just a year ago or so, a friend told me he got an ergo baby carrier from freecycle. I signed up by joining the yahoo group, and ever since have been getting the emails describing the items people are OFFERING and some people even post WANTED items. The first thing I got on freecycle was a huge garbage bag filled with girl clothes for my 5 year old. The woman even delivered it to me (although usually the person receiving makes the trip). The clothes were in perfect condition, neatly folded and some even still had price tags. I was so excited.
I was amazed at some of the great things people were letting go of. A wonderful wooden doll house for my kids with all the wooden furniture and people, several other toys, two large rolling suitcases and a ping pong table to name a few. When we decided to move to Long Island I used freecycle to unload a bike trailer, a microwave, a baby changing table, a stroller, other furniture, misc. wine glasses and kitchen ware, tools, toys and so on. The process took only the time to write an email and then respond to the interested replies and set up a time to meet.
I recently discovered that my new home town in Long Island also has a freecycle. The "East Suffolk NY freecycle network". I joined the group yesterday. Today's freecycle posts were pool ladders, vhs kids movies, decking and other home improvement materials.
The best thing about freecycle in my opinion is that you can get rid of one thing at a time, at your own schedule. A much easier system that running a weekend yard sale.