Just Because It’s Free…………


…………does not mean you have to accept.

When you are given the option of free stuff, whatever the reason, try to fast forward to how you will feel about the item in 6 or 12 months time.

  • Will you love it?
  • Do you really need it?
  • Will it be back in the donation box for the op shop or garage sale?

Today at work someone was handing out giant-sized mugs with corporate branding on them.  After having refused pens that were being offered last week, I was approached with a half-hearted comment about me not wanting their gifts.  I simply assured them that it was nothing personal but that I really did not need a mug.  Suddenly there was a chorus from the rest of the office about how they loved freebies.

If I see a particular use for a freebie I will accept it – otherwise I do not.

Also today, it was interesting to see that one of my colleagues had a new knitting pattern and next thing I knew it had been photocopied numerous times and copies were being handed around to everyone.  While I could appreciate the pattern I have no intention of knitting it so I turned down the offer of a copy.  It is a waste of paper and will clutter up my home and I could even end up feeling guilty that I had not used the pattern.  Much simpler to just say , “No thanks”.

The other freebie was a little more insidious.  A cake recipe sent via email.  This came from another work colleague.  There had been no discussion or request for the recipe – it was just there in my inbox.  It had probably been discussed by 1 or 2 people and when it was sent to them everyone in the department was included – I expect so that nobody felt left out or forgotten.  A nice gesture, I suppose but the recipe is now in the deleted box because I do not need it.

After spending time and effort decluttering, I owe it to myself to remain vigilant and stop all sorts of stuff before it gains a foothold.

What have you refused lately?

10 thoughts on “Just Because It’s Free…………

  1. Yesterday a friend tried to give me some tomato seedlings. I have more seedlings that I have space and these were a variety that I’ve never had luck with. I turned them down.

  2. It’s a tough one! Someone on 365things offered to post some books that’d interest me, but I know would be re-donated, possibly unread. My world is light on freebies, save for special events, which I’m better at saying no to now. I do even refuse the new, plastic wrapped spoon each week for my Chinese medicine (even as a ‘spare’) – they are starting to understand! And at Lush, I could wrap my shampoo bar in the plastic wrapper than came with a magazine in the mail in my handbag – great to give the plastic a second use! Small wins (and then I buy single use tray with sushi… sigh…)

  3. Perhaps you should get yourself a “No Junk Mai or Goodsl” sign on your desk! As far as the knitting pattern goes, apart from the fact you have no intention of knitting the garment and it is a waste of paper, is everyone in the office going to turn up for work wearing the same garment? On a more serious note, is the pattern copyright?

  4. Really interesting post that reminds me how clutter can creep in so easily and insidiously. I am often deleting “All Office” emails because I’m on the mailing list, but rarely does the information have much to do with me. I often turn down freebies as well, and don’t bother taking home little shampoos etc from hotels. One of the worst offenders for my family at the moment is goody bags for the kids at events. They are often handed a bag full of pencils, balloons, colouring books, etc, and once the kids have them in their hands, they want to keep them forever!

    • Keeping the junk/freebies at bay when you have young children is a huge challenge. Good luck on that one! Perhaps you could appeal to their caring side and encourage them to put things aside in a special box for those who don’t have pencils/colouring books etc and help them make up a parcel for children in hospital/women’s shelters of overseas for Christmas.

  5. professional conferences are places that I’m learning to avoid, apropos of one of your earlier posts I enjoyed. The vendor booths are just going to give me two things I don’t want: branded junk made by child labor in china and sales pitches about products that I don’t have the authority to purchase for my organization. I typically go into the exhibit halls for the free tea, but it’s not worth the junk and sales pitches that I have to put up with to get the tea!

    Great post, btw.

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