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Originally published in Seasonal Guide, April 12, 2012
Barter, swap, sell and give

by Jessica Brophy

Anyone who has moved after living in a home or apartment for a few years knows just how much stuff accumulates over time. Clothes that used to fit, toys the kids used to play with, and books that have been read—all of this piles up. What to do with all this unneeded stuff?

The green answer—in both senses of the word—is to barter, swap, sell and give your way to a cleaner, better organized home. There are many ways to sell a too-big sofa or a handcrafted scarf, from the local newspaper to a yard sale. But the Internet has created interesting new avenues for such activities.

With the popularity of Facebook, it’s easy to see why “Swap and Sell” Facebook groups have sprung up. There are several for this area. Members of the group can post items for sale or swap, including pictures and descriptions for other members to see.

Jessica Hennessey founded the group after finding many things she was interested in purchasing from the Ellsworth area swap group, but didn’t want to drive to Ellsworth all the time. “People are able to sell and swap, get rid of stuff, clean out the basement and things like that,” said Hennessey in a February interview. Variations of swap groups—some for furniture only, or photography only—can also be found.

“It’s a way to make money, save money and clean out the home,” said Hennessey of the Deer Isle swap group. “

Sometimes giving away unneeded stuff can help others—and not just because your fashion sense can’t be beat. Two Blue Hill second-hand shops, The Ark Thrift Shop and Turnstyle, benefit good causes. The Ark’s thrift shop, located across from the Blue Hill Fairgrounds, benefits the animal shelter by the same name. Turnstyle benefits the Tree of Life Food Pantry.