Thanks to sharing – old and new

This month I’ve been on a decluttering mission. I am playing The Minimalist Game, attempting to rid my home of 564 items in a month. One unexpected outcome of this mission – gratitude for the sharing economy.

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Thanks to the sharing economy

The sharing economy has come in for a bit of a backlash recently as community turns corporate, but I have a lot to thank it for this month.

Sorting through my home, I’ve experienced a range of feelings ­ guilt, overwhelm, joy, excitement. Undertaking this exercise has prompted me to search for ways of living with less. It has made me realise how grateful I am for the various ways that I can use and enjoy stuff without having to own it.

Old school sharing economy

While books and toys are often particularly difficult areas for people to declutter, they were relatively easy for me. I didn’t really have much book and toy clutter thanks to the stalwarts of the sharing economy – the library.

I love libraries. I have at various times worked as a librarian. To me, the library provides a world of possibilities. Through the library I can access virtually any book that I desire at no cost. Sure, I sometimes have to wait and I sometimes have to read faster than I’d Iike – but I don’t have to own anything.

I am also very grateful for our local toy library. It ensures my son gets to play with an ever-changing rotation of high quality toys. And, when he’s bored with them, they don’t hang around our house getting in the way – they go right back where they came from for other kids to enjoy. The wee guy loves his fortnightly trips to the toy library to return his toys and bring home some new ones. If you have young kids, I really recommend checking out if there is one near you.

New school sharing economy

Technology can create clutter but it can also help you clear clutter. I no longer need to hang on to those CDs and DVDs – if I want to listen to it or watch it I can stream it.

New school sharing really came into its own when I wanted to get rid of stuff. I realised that a barrier to decluttering was the guilt I felt about waste and my desire to find things a good new home. Sharing information through social media gave me a quick and easy way to do this. Through local and special-interest Facebook groups, my stuff is out of my house and with people who want it.

Decluttering this month playing The Miniminalist Game has taken a weight off my mind and loads out of my house. Thank you, sharing economy –I appreciate how you enable me to live more with less.

Are you trying to live more with less? What things do you share rather than own?

 This is my first post as part of the Gratitude Circle – expect more like this the 4th Thursday of every month.

Gratitude-Circle

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14 thoughts on “Thanks to sharing – old and new”

  1. Oh yes! Always a joy to give something away and know it will serve someone else rather than clutter up the house.
    Thank you for joining our Gratitude Circle, Amy. I’m adding your link to our latest linky as soon as it comes up in a few minutes.

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  2. I had completely forgotten about toy libraries! Such a good idea, I remember loving them when I was a kid. We are really lucky to have the donation bins about 100m down the road from our house. I admit I am pretty skeptical about the ‘cancer kids’ bins as I have heard they only donate a small percentage of profits to the charity in question. However they also have an Opportunity for Animals bin which I am more than happy to donate all our excess belongings too. Seems like a bit of a win for everyone.

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    1. Thanks Polly, that is a great list. Lots of really good initiatives there – some that were new to me. I’ve actually got a dress that might be just right for the Cinderella Project.

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  3. I never heard of a toy library but it is a great idea. I love libraries and have one in my own home:) I would love to de-clutter and tried in the past only for my hubby to take half of the items out and now they are in the basement. My plan is to de-clutter when his back is turned

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    1. It’s amazing how two people’s ideas of what constitutes “clutter” can be so different. There have been a few disagreements here.

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  4. Thanks for joining us, Amy! I am playing the minimalist game, albeit a little slowly right now, but I feel truly gifted to be able to give away things. I discovered a collection center quite close to our place a couple of years ago that takes all sorts of stuff, sorts them out and distributes them to the right places.

    A toy library is such a lovely idea!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  5. so nice to read your post, agree with live more with less, I have begun this process at home; and everyday I am clearing some of my daughters clothes, junk jewellery, and books, the nearby library is not willing to take… so I am looking for a VIII class student to give away her books.. feels good to live clutter free.. there is so much more…thanks for sharing

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