Sunday, January 5, 2014

Trade it

Welcome to the New Year! Can you feel your toes? The first week has proven to be bright, white, & downright frigid. A perfect time to be inside, taking stock of what is around us. I’m ready to jump back in after a short hiatus.

The first thing I did was the hanger challenge on 12/21/13. Before the New Year, but it was on my schedule to Do It. I started this back in July, where I turned all of the hangers in my closet backward. As I wore something, the hanger got turned around correctly. After the 5 months (3 good seasons), I could see what I was wearing & what was just taking up space. Wow. I filled a large bag of dress clothes. I probably eliminated ¼ to 1/3 of what was in my closet. Some items were worn out, most were in fair to excellent condition.

So they went into the “pile”. The pile that just keeps growing. I’ve tried garage sales – epic waste of time. I’ve tried contacting local shelters – most won’t take used clothing. On that… I would be disheartened if I had to filter through someone else’s scraps too, so I can’t really blame them. I’ve donated to local thrift shops – and will again. But really, I dislike giving something away to a place where a person has to buy it – when I am willing to just give it to that person.

In an effort to find “that person” who wants or needs something, I often take to facebook. I post the list on my page and in various groups I am a member of. The results are mixed. Sometimes I get a response, mostly I don’t. And the response I get is just a few people. I’m not sure why.
Do people worry that accepting free things makes them appear “hard up”?
Are they wary of strings attached?

I think it is time to take back control of our consumption. If I have something I’m not using & you need it… here – take it. If you have something I need… great – thank you. Passing on, trade, sharing… we can significantly reduce our consumption & costs, we just have to want it. I’ve heard of tool banks, car sharing, free swap sites, and parties among friends where you “shop” their closets. Look at libraries, they’ve been doing this successfully for years.

With more people on board, more things become available, there is more organization, rules are set in place (no broken stuff, etc), & less money is spent. We all win.

I’m going to try harder & check out Anyone got a bundt pan?

1 comment:

  1. You need a bundt pan? I think I have one. I'll ask the hubby (yes he cooks and bakes) but I don't recall us ever using it. Hmm....
    Anyway, I love the hanger idea and I think I should try that. I know there are clothes in my closet that haven't been warn in 6 months, but it would be much more rewarding to pull all of it at once instead of a single item occasionally on by guess or by golly.
    Also, Open Door Mission takes used clothing, and used anything really as long as it's working. They are always in need of things, and are happy to take most things. You can contact them on facebook to see if they take specific items, but I believe they always take clothes for sure. They also have trucks set up around the area so if one is closer to your house than the Open Door Mission, you won't even have to drive all that way.
    Your idea of giving it to some place where it has to be purchased is one I've felt too. However, I also know that many of those places provide very valuable opportunities to community members who may not otherwise have those opportunities. I see these opportunities making a huge difference in my line of work, so I'd be happy to give you more information if you wanted. My point is, if that's where you give it, don't feel bad. You're still helping people purchase things cheap, and helping people be part of programs that wouldn't otherwise exist.
    I think it would be fun to be a part of a large group that did trade, give, exchange, etc. I've never heard of, so I might just have to check it out myself. :) Thanks for all your great posts. They don't go unnoticed, and I really enjoy them!!