Before each move I have a ritual – The Purge. During the course of living at a duty station what once was a small number of boxes filled with my husband’s “Army stuff” and seasonal decorations stored in my garage’s corner somehow grows into a mountain of boxes threatening to evict my car. Six months before I know orders are on their way; I mark off a weekend, roll up my sleeves, and begin The Purge. Most of what I’m getting rid of isn’t considered junk – it’s just stuff we don’t need or use anymore. It’s the clothes that don’t fit, the picnic basket we thought we’d use every weekend – and have used once – or the extra set of hand-me-down dishes that we haven’t touched. Those are the items that we don’t need and shouldn’t bring on a Trans-Atlantic move.
Last weekend I eyed our garage o’ boxes in anticipation of the upcoming Pre-move Purge. Then, a panic overcame me as I thought “Wait, where am I going to take my stuff!?” Recently, I read online that the Schweinfurt Community Spouses Club Thrift Shop is closing on Dec 13, 2012 and the deadline had passed to accept donations. So now what should I do with the stuff I don’t want or can’t take back to the States?
After some research, I realized that there are more options than just the SCSC Thrift Shop to aid me. Here are some recommended suggestions:
On- Post Options:
The Schweinfurt Internet Yard Sale is our community’s self-proclaimed “Online Flea Market” and is a great resource for stuff that is worth selling.
It’s like a yard-sale, just online. Most people sell their cars on this site, but I’ve seen ice skates, furniture, clothing, toys, etc. Precautions for online safety and security should be followed here just like they would be on a Craigslist-type site in the states in order to avoid scams. But you can definitely find a buyer for your stuff here or find some wonderful deals. This also links you to buyers and sellers from surrounding bases such as Ansbach, Bamberg, Hohenfels and Grafenwoehr.
- Freecycle Center
I had a box filled with miscellaneous items like a portable phone charger, some kitchen utensils and chargers that I didn’t want to sell or trash. Freecycle, will accept pretty much all type of donations and then fix them up and offer it to the community at no cost. They are located on Conn Barracks, next to the Car Care Center.
- Community Yard Sales
A Community Car Sale and Flea Market is planned for Sat, Aug. 24 from 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. Vehicle Registration will be open during this event so participants can finalize and transfer vehicle ownership immediately. People wishing to sell their car must ensure they have completed a vehicle inspection prior to the event, which is free to participate. All sales will be negotiated and finalized between the seller and buyer. A community flea market will occur at the same time. FMWR will provide tables and benches on site available for rental at $5 per set and participants are asked to register in advance. For more information please contact FMWR by calling , DSN: 354-6762, CIV: 09721-96-6762. If you can’t participate in this one, don’t worry. There are community yard sales held throughout the year, usually in correlation with community clean sweep week. Regularly check the community calendar on TeamSchweinfurt.com or the garrison Facebook page for the next date. You can also host your own, garrison-approved, yard sale. For details on how to host your own yard sale, read SGM Kamakahi-Watson’s blog, “How to host your own yard sale.”
- Bavarian Red Cross Store and Caritas You can bring your gently used clothing, household goods, small furniture, electrical appliances, strollers and toys to either location. They will then be resold and proceeds will be used to help those in need in the region. Additionally, if you see a “drop box” in your local village with the label “Bayern Rot Kreuz”, you can donate your gently used clothing here. These boxes are managed by the Bavarian Red Cross. Read more about the donation bins here.
Ludwig-Krug-Str. 4 97424 Schweinfurt-Oberndorf
Opening hours: Tue – Fri 12:30 p.m. – 4 p.m
Bavarian Red Cross
Körperschaft des öffentlichen Rechts
Niederwerrner Str. 13
Note: these web pages are in German, so you may need to use an online translator when viewing.
BRK Second Hand Store of the Bavarian Red Cross
Obere Strasse 2
Note: BRK Second Hand Store of the Bavarian Red Cross takes used furniture, clothes and appliances. Ask to speak with Frau Ruß. Make an appointment to drop off your items or arrange for Red Cross to have them picked-up free of charge. All goods have to be in good condition.
- Schweinfurt’s City Recycling Center
The city’s official recycling center. In order to donate, clothes must be usable, cleaned and in plastic bags.
Kurt-Römer-Strasse 13, 97424 Schweinfurt.
- Second Hand der Laden in Deutschhof Sud (a second hand boutique)
This boutique takes used clothing in commission. When your item is sold, you receive the money, minus the boutique’s commission.
Location: Luitpoldstrasse 12, 97421 Schweinfurt
- AFZ Bazaar & Second Hand Store (a second hand boutique)
If you need to get rid-off, used furniture or household items ask to speak with Mr. Haupt or Mr. Ullrich and make an appointment. If your goods are in good condition, they will pick them up free of charge.
Location: Heckenweg 38, 97422 Schweinfurt
Hours: M-F, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sat 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Second Hand Tuchhaus
This clothing boutique is located in downtown Schweinfurt and is commission based. The fee is 50% of the final price sold.
Location: Kirchgasse 19, 97421 Schweinfurt
- Der kleine Bär (“The Little Bear”)
A secondhand store for children’s clothing and toys. Clothing is donation-based while toys are taken on commission. The store’s commission is 20%.
Location: Sterngasse 1, 97534 Waigolshausen (approx 7km south of Schweinfurt).
Opening hours: Tue & Thur 9 a.m. – noon and 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
While it is unfortunate that the Spouses Club Thrift Shop is closing, rest assured that we still have a variety of other options available for purchasing and donating used items. So, if you know your move is looming in the future, you might want to consider starting – The Purge!
While these three sources offer a great alternative, what other ways have you found to thrift or donate your used items before your move?