>> Saturday, March 7, 2009
This post is my submission for the Green Moms Blog Carnival. The topic is "Green Spring Cleaning." Check out the musings of all the great Green Moms on March 10 at Tiny Choices.
I have a huge pile of stuff in my bedroom. It's taking up one corner, and sometimes creeps toward the center of the room until I fight it back into the corner with a couple of swift kicks. My husband keeps asking me, "Why is that stuff there?" I keep telling him, "I'm going to give it away when I get around to it."
It's almost spring, so now is a good time to work on reducing the clutter. I could sell it on Craigslist, but...I don't enjoy selling things - I'd rather give stuff away. So I could Freecycle it, but...I'd rather give it to someone I know. And that's why I'm starting a Swap Network.
I'm sure I read about Swap Networks somewhere, but when I tried to research the concept for this post, Google was a bust. So maybe I made it up. Either way, I think it's a good idea. :)
(But if I stole this idea from you, please let me know so I can give you credit.)
There are three advantages to being part of a Swap Network, rather than just using Craigslist or Freecycle:
- Besides swapping stuff, you can also trade time and skills. For example, I'm hoping to utilize my Swap Network as a babysitting co-op, coordinating babysitting trades and playdates with my friends.
- You can borrow and lend, rather than just give stuff away. Say you're a poor college student with a tiny lawn and no lawnmower, and your neighbors are starting to give you the cold shoulder because your lawn has turned into a jungle. (True story, by the way.) Wouldn't it be great to have a network of friends with lawnmowers who would loan you one for a weekend? Or friends with tools? Or a Wii? (Everybody needs a friend with RockBand.)
- You swap with people you know, building a sense of community and friendship.
But since I'm new to the area, and I live in an apartment mostly housed by college students who are constantly changing, I'm going to try the Swap Network with friends from church. My plan is to set up a Ning page where we can post our needs and wants, and then swap the items at church, since we all see each other there once or twice a week anyway.
Sample ads would look like this:
I have a huge pile of baby boy stuff that my kids have outgrown, including an infant carseat, an Exersaucer, a bunch of clothes, and some toys. If you would like any of these things, let me know!
I am going to a fancy wedding this weekend. Anyone have a dress I could borrow?
I would like to learn to knit. Who knows how and would be willing to share their skills? Could we start a knitting group?
I need to spiffy up my wardrobe. Anyone want to be part of a clothes swap?You get stuff you want, get rid of stuff you don't, trade skills, and make friends. What could be more fun than a Swap Network?