Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Do you really need to own things you rarely use? One way to have a less cluttered space is to borrow (or rent) those things you seldom need.
Many of us do this already, on a limited scale:
- I borrow books and DVDs from my library - and some libraries also loan out tools, or cake pans.
- I borrow books from friends and relatives - and lend my books to them.
- My neighbor borrows my juicer (similar to this one); I borrowed her vacuum cleaner when mine was off being repaired.
- I've seen people borrow crutches, wheelchairs, and ladders on Freecycle. I've also seen a group of moms in the San Francisco area lend out warm clothes to those making once-a-winter trips to the mountains.
All sorts of things can be borrowed; besides the types of items already mentioned, there's camping equipment, costumes, electronics - and much more.
Some people decide to go beyond casual one-off borrowing and create sharing groups: neighborhood groups, workplace groups, school groups, church groups, etc. In these groups, all the members identify things they are willing to lend - so everyone knows what's available.
If you are considering going this route, you may want to buy - or borrow! - The Sharing Solution, published by Nolo Books. The book will walk you through questions to ask - like what happens if a borrowed item gets broken - so all members have a common understanding, and problems can be averted. Sample agreements are also provided, which you can use as a starting point.
(The book also goes beyond the scope of this blog, discussing how you might share transportation, housing, child care and more.)