Cleaning Day

Cleaning Day is the best day of the year for the people interested in flea markets and recycling.  The coolest festival of the year turns cities and neighbourhoods into big flea markets. Anyone can sell their stuff on the streets, yards or homes and make the best finds of the day. The event attracts hundreds of thousands of people to the streets, all around Finland and also abroad.

The idea of Cleaning Day is to make recycling easy and to create a lively and responsible urban culture. The Cleaning Day doesn’t have an official organiser, but everyone participating is responsible for their own event. Everyone is also responsible for cleaning up after themselves. The participants can announce their place of sales in the map found in the event’s website.

The first Cleaning Day was organised in May 2012. The idea that originated was Pauliina Seppälä’s Facebook post about the need for this kind of event. It was obvious that there was need for such a day and so a group of people who were enthusiastic about the idea started to work on it.

The original idea was to follow the example of some cities abroad and allow people to leave their furniture on the streets, where they could be picked up by anyone and in the end garbage trucks would clear the streets. From that we developed it to a more lighter and more citizen-oriented event: the sellers take care that the streets and parks are tidy after the event, but we organised some recycling spots around Helsinki, where people could bring their stuff for free. The city organisation had no part in the event, but after the first time it gave the blessing for the event and new way of organising a flea market festival.

Nowadays Cleaning Day is organised two times a year, on Saturday of the week 21, and in the end of August. At the beginning there was no real organisation behind the Cleaning Day, only after the first event we founded Common Ground that took the event under its name.