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New Sharing Services Let You Downsize Without Pain

 Joos Mind/Getty Images
Joos Mind/Getty Images,

by Janice Holly Booth

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In anticipation of becoming empty-nesters, many of my friends are both excited about the long-awaited opportunity to downsize, and concerned about where to store their ladders, lawnmowers, snow blowers, kayaks, bikes and even big indoor items like bread makers, crock pots and mixers once they commit to a smaller space. Tiny house living may be a trend, but personal inventories haven’t yet followed suit. No worries. If downsizing or rightsizing your
living quarters is on your radar, and you’re stalling because you don’t think you can get along without that sandblaster you use once a decade, check out new ways to get what you need when you need it, without spending dollarson a storage unit.
From now on, have things when you need them, without resorting to public storage space.

Sharehammer is the AirBNB for tool sharing. Members list their tools and offer the option of lending or renting everything from power washers to putty knives. 

If downsizing your living quarters is on your radar, check out new ways to get what you need when you need it without spending dollars and finding space to store it

Neighborgoods works by letting people create public and private lists of inventory to share within their communities. You also have the option to rent your items, or offer your things both ways: if you want to lend your ladder to your co-worker (private list) but rent it to someone you don’t know (public list), you can do that too. It’s also great site to create a book-sharing circle among book clubs, friends or colleagues.

Nextdoor.comoffers lots of flexibility to create a network specific to your neighborhood. Many people use it to find babysitting services and reliable home repair, but you can just as easily create neighborhood-specific lists that focus on just about anything, from holiday decorating themes to suspicious activity in the neighborhood. Like Neighborgoods, just about anything goes. Share clothes, musical instruments, even professional services with each other.

Spinlister, a sharing service for recreational equipment, does double-duty as an app and a website, letting you rent bikes, skis, snowboards, surfboards and paddleboards locally and even abroad. It’s great for when you take a vacation at the lake, or you just want to explore the neighborhood greenway on a cruiser bike.

 The sharing/trading concept isn’t new; in fact, back in the day, farmers routinely traded mowing services in exchange for hay; milk in exchange for eggs; carpentry expertise for mechanical services. Everyone knew what everyone else had, and most everyone was willing to trade in order to get what they wanted or needed. What’s different now is the ease with which we can discover the wealth of equipment and skills—specialty or otherwise—within walking distance of our homes. And the bonus is that when we’re ready to make the transition to a smaller, more manageable space, we only have to worry about one kitchen sink.