Whole Living Daily

Why Buy When You Can Borrow?

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What if, instead of heading to the home store every time you needed a hedge trimmer, shovel, bundt pan, or aerobed, you could borrow one?

Yes it's true, all these items and many, many more can be borrowed. Your home will be a lot more organized, and your bank account a lot more full, when you stop spending money on stuff you'll only use once in a while (like a cake dish).

The Buying Cycle
You've been there—we all have. You're in your favorite home or department store, contemplating a nice (but maybe not entirely necessary) purchase. You say to yourself, "I really need/want that (log splitter, weed-cutter, ice cream maker)--and it's on sale! It might be a good investment—you never know when you’ll need it!”

And you might use it. Once. And then there it is, taking up residence in your (crowded) garage. Then you feel even worse about it because you aren't using it, and yet don't want to part with it—and on and on it goes.

Stop the cycle today and try borrowing something instead.

Where You Can Borrow From
Friends and neighbors! Gives you a great reason to see them, too—plus the opportunity to be grateful to them AND to return the favor.

One of my favorites the online site neighborrow.com. And your local public library of course!

How to Make Borrowing (and Returning) Easy

MarthaStewart.com Lined Linen Basket

Designate a single location such as a basket to be your 'borrowed basket.' This is where you should store all your borrowed items or, if the item is too large to fit, then store a note to remind you of what you borrowed and from whom.

This way you can avoid borrowed items from commingling with your personal possessions and you'll be more likely to remember to return them in a timely manner.

If you'd like to utilize technology to track your borrowed items register with Return My Pants and you will receive email reminders.

Until next time keep it simple and try borrowing instead of buying this week!

Jamie Novak, The World’s Most Relatable Organizer, is author of "Stop Throwing Money Away: Turn Clutter to Cash, Trash to Treasure—And Save the Planet While You're at It." Please visit her website at JamieNovak.com.

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Comments (3)

  • The last thing I borrowed was this weekend, a tile cutter from my neighbor, for a bathroom remodel. How about you? What's the last thing you borrowed?

  • Author Comment:

    My neighbor and I keep up a constant exchange of goods. She will borrow my wagon to go to the local plant nursery and I will borrow her camping equipment, which is too cumbersome for me to keep for 1x/year camping trips. What's nice about the mutual exchange is that no one keeps track or gets stingy--we always know we are there for each other, especially when in dire need of an egg!

  • Alex thanks for sharing, isn't it nice to have great like-minded neighbors :)

    I just called my neighbor to split a magazine subscription, we both love to read it but don't each need our own copy. So we spilt the bill and now I KNOW we'll read it since the other person is waiting to get it- no more mags stuck in the "to read" pile!

    Thank you for taking the time to comment, I know you've inspired others!

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