I’m a little late with my bi-weekly blog but it’s planting season and the weather won’t wait.

Days 365+125 sewing machine croppedRecently a friend returned a sewing machine I had lent her about 20 years ago. This is nice but I gave the old one away because I needed a machine that could do a zigzag stitch for knits. The returned machine still works well so I did my own version of Craig’s list and put out an email to friends who might want a machine but didn’t need it to do fancy stuff. Success! A friend knew a friend who teaches women how to do quilts. An extra machine would be handy. Isn’t it nice when the informal economy works. People having stuff know people who need stuff.  Freecycle is a more organized version of this but personally knowing someone is nice. Of course this means one has to be rubbing shoulders with folks that have needs. How do you come into contact with folks who may need things you have?

A variation on this theme is my experience with household repair tools. As a Christmas gift to Jim, I had agreed to organize his tools. It took some time but fed into my love of organizing. Of course the natural result is that I found a number of duplicates and even triplicates. Even after allowing for a few extras in case of breakage, losing a tool, or lending some out, we still had the following to give away.Days 365+124 tools

  • 1 electric drill with bits
  • 4 pliers
  • 1 wrench
  • 4 screw drivers

Since the drill was substantive I did the email to friends and nobody bit, BUT they did have advice. Why not give the tools to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores  which are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories, and building materials to the public at a fraction of the retail price. Most medium sized cities have one.

Again, a win/win/win situation. I clear out extra stuff, someone gets a needed tool, and I feel good. What are some good places you’ve found to take household goods you no longer need?