On you on the Nextdoor listserv? Well, you should be!
Look, I know I start every blog with "If you follow me on Instagram" But...
If you follow me on Instagram (@kempjane) you'll know that I've long been a fan of using Nextdoor curb alerts as a way to give away items. My personal best was last month when I got rid of a host of garden related stuff in about 15 minutes. This morning was yet another epic example of why Nextdoor curb alerts work so well.
My client and I were tasked with turning what was currently a playroom for the grandchildren in her father's north Berkeley home back into a formal dining room in anticipation of him hosting Thanksgiving in the family home - something he hadn't done since my client's mother passed away. As we were sorting the books, toys, etc, I suggested we take photos, spread the toys, games and books out at the base of the driveway and do a curb alert on Nextdoor. We took a bunch of photos and uploaded it for their area as well as the surrounding areas. Then we kept working on the room and adding to the pile. My client was skeptical, but willing to give it a go. I told her that if, at the end of our session nothing was taken, I would load it in the car and take it to the Exchange Zone in El Cerrito.
Within about 20 minutes a kindergarten teacher arrived. She was delighted to take a few things, then drove off. I took it as a good sign... We kept working on the room and adding to the pile. Then the second set of people arrived. One teacher and one librarian from an impoverished school in East Oakland. They literally took everything else for their students, including many, many children's books the the school's library that we learned had a zero budget for books. Can you imagine? A school library with no money for books!
And, as these things go, it turns out that one of the teachers and I have a mutual friend, and both these teachers live in the same Oakland neighborhood that my client lives in. At this point, my client's eight year-old twins became so inspired by where all these book, toys, etc were going they asked the teachers if they would be willing to come by their Oakland home so they could give them donations from their own room!
I thought I'd give you my best Nextdoor curb alert tips so that you too can experience the instant gratification decrapifying your home!
1. Nextdoor curb alerts are the most effective on weekend mornings. I've done weekday curb alerts with meh results. I mean, things were taken, but that was probably by people walking or driving by.
2. Nextdoor curb alerts are best for general groups of items. Toys, furniture, kid stuff, art supplies, garden items, books, home decor, holiday decorations. You get the drift.
3. Upload photos!!! No photos, no action. In this case, we took individual photos. I've also taken photos from the curb of everything grouped together.
4. Write your caption like this: Curb Alert! FREE (whatever you're giving away)!!!
5. Give a general description. Bonus points if you make it catchy like my client did!
6. Give your address and the two cross streets. This let's people know exactly where you are. And don't fret about putting your address "out there." They're coming to your curb, so this is as safe as a pedestrian walking past your house.
7. Set your curb alert to go out to your neighborhood and the greater neighborhood. In today's case, a curb alert in north Berkeley was seen in Oakland where all three of the teachers lived.
8. When everything's gone, remember to either take down your post or mark it Sold.
It was a happy story for all concerned, except for this scary one-armed doll who was thanked for her service and tossed in the garbage. Sorry! Not Sorry!