Cleaning Day in Helsinki

Every now and then a Cleaning Day is organised in Helsinki and some other Finnish cities. Today was one the day – does this happen elsewhere in the world too? On this day city turns into a big fleemarket, everyone can sell either from their yards or get together on common ground to sell things they do not need anymore. Everyone is also responsible for cleaning up after themselves.

Last May me and some mums got together and sold kids clothing and toys at one of the playgrounds. That time I think I carried home as much stuff as I came with, but I had gotten rid of the most of the cloths too small to my kids and found clothes in more suitable sizes instead.

How common is it in other countries to hand over kids old clothes to friends smaller kids for free or for a few bucks? We do it all the time here – clothes are hardly warn out after one season of use but they will be to small the next time the same season comes.

This time we didn’t have any excess to sell but went to check out the offers on Käpylä square in the morning. It is a good place to go to as you can be sure there are always people getting together there and that the atmosphere will be relaxed. Maybe the atmosphere is set by the Käpylä kiosk in the corner, a great alternative kiosk with very affordable prices and the best ice cream (more about my beloved kiosk here). Anyway, there was a fair crowd selling items, and we had a relaxing walk/ bike ride (kids) when looking at the stalls combined with a little play on the playground next to the square even though we didn’t this time find anything we wanted to take home.

Next Cleaning Day 24th May 2014.

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  1. […] this Cleaning day we went to Kumpula, a lovely suburb with  old wooden houses (and one of the very reasonably prised […]

  2. […] we don’t have anything regular going on in that section, and on flea market events like the Cleaning day we have occasionally given them a coin or two to use as they please. But they have no understanding […]

  3. […] shop to be recycled, book a table at a flea market, donate for a good cause or wait for the next Cleaning Day (which probably is too late for our purposes). Or then one can sell it online. I suppose […]

  4. […] shop to be recycled, book a table at a flee market, donate for a good cause or wait for the next Cleaning Day (which probably is too late for our purposes). Or then one can sell it online. I suppose […]

  5. […] The day of little pop up fleemarkets all over Helsinki was here again. Almost 30 degrees meant loads of people out and about and that was lucky for us as this time we wanted to get some more space in our closets too. We went to my favourite kiosk in town, the random but very affordable Käpylän kiska that spreads good mood (like it on fb to find out the open hours. Usually it is open if the weather is nice). It is a common place for flee markets and chilling in the summer anyway, nicely located with a lawn for the kids to play in and a school yard right next to. It is right below the “sky hill” I recently blogged about. Our strategy was to go there with some friends, play and enjoy the sun, have a picnic and be happy if we sell some stuff on the side too. The plan worked out nicely, and after a nap at home we’ll still have time to hit one of the other annual events concurring today such as the Kumpula village fiesta (Kumpulan kyläjuhlat), the World Village Festival in Kaisaniemi or the crafts fair in Kamppi. Unless we decide to do something else and leave some of the free but fun events for tomorrow. Or next year. […]

  6. […] clothes, you may also want to hold on to them until May 14th, when the next Cleaning Days are. I have been selling and buying in the pop up flee markets of the Cleaning Day with good […]

  7. “he wishes all gifts are something they can use up” I think that’s a great idea. I do sometimes lean towards art and craft supplies etc for children’s birthday presents because it’s one thing you can always use more of! (Yet another teddy bear/action figure/etc etc – not so much.) But it works well too from your brother’s view that it doesn’t hang around forever and create clutter.

  8. What a great idea, I think 98% of the clothes my youngest wore we’re hand-me-downs, it’s a great system but no money crosses hands.

    1. Isn’t it easy that way?! Sounds good to me.

      1. It’s great, the only expectation is to keep on passing along the small stuff to others- perfect!

  9. I also think this is a great idea. Great way to get rid of excess stuff and make some money 🙂
    We have similar markets here in Hungary, we have baby markets usually arranged somewhere inside, people sell their baby and kids clothes and toys. It is also common here to hand over old kids clothes, we sometimes get hand me downs and we also give hand me downs for free ofcourse…I think this is importnt because some kids clothes are not even worn out by the time they outgrow them, so why not givw them to someone else and this way we also prothect the earth:) Also here in Hungary second hand clothes stores are really popular. I sometimes shop there for the boys, because this way it is cheaper and sometimes I even get better quality clothes then if I bought it new at the stores here…

    1. Thanks for sharing about Hungary, blackberryboys, interesting reading!

      I got curious about this phenomenon on giving clothes on to others as I read somewhere (where was that?) that in Russia that is something you just don’t do. Well, Russia is huge, I am pretty sure there is some variation within the country 😉

      I have to say that I don’t think it is so much about saving money here, more about not throwing away perfectly good clothes. So rather saving the earth, maybe? But it is a good way to save too, just a proper winter overall costs about 200e here (and that is on the lower side of the range).

  10. This is a great idea! There are sometimes community flea markets in Singapore but the tend to be more local or maybe run by an organisation as a fundraiser, and the ones in Brisbane are usually more private markets where you have to buy a stall. But I think more people should be making use of second hand stuff. A lot of our excess comes from gifts, though, and people feel that gifts should be new.

    1. You are right about the gifts, and it is fun to give something a bit exclusive too!

      My brother, the ex-surf bum, still has a bit of minimalist ideas when it comes to having stuff around, so he wishes all gifts are something they can use up (unless they need something). That has been quite fun too, makes you think in a different way: vouchers for special restaurants, Indian food bag, online movie time, experiences etc.

      I am not very good at recycling anyway, apart from children’s clothes. There just ends up too quickly being too much of them around, and when you have friends who has the same taste…

    2. …but I am happy there are other people that are better at the whole flee market/ recycling thing than I. I like the idea of it 🙂

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