Did you know that getting to know your neighbors could help you have a cleaner, more organized home? I’m sharing three tips to get rid of those unwanted items from your spring cleaning.
Whether you just moved into your house or you have lived there for years, chances are you don’t know much about the people around you.
According to a survey conducted by real estate website Trulia, an astounding half of all homeowners don’t even know their neighbors’ names, let alone their jobs and interests.
Neglecting to develop relationships with your community can cause a number of problems, while having a wider social circle is largely associated with benefits such as a better job, healthier finances, and a happier outlook.
In addition, getting to know your neighbors could help you have a cleaner, more organized home.
At least once a year, you have to sift through the piles of unwanted stuff in your cupboards, closets, and garage to prevent becoming crushed under the weight of your own possessions.
Few people find cleaning out storage spaces fun, but if you can spread out the activity amongst your community, you can at least clear out your biggest messes while you learn more about your neighbors’ pasts and presents.
1. Charitable Donation
Instead of scrounging up just enough donations to warrant a trip to the thrift shop, you should combine your unwanted paraphernalia with those of the people around you.
Together, you can organize your donations into categories destined for different charities; for example, baby toys and usable hygiene products might best be given to local women’s rescue shelters, while larger items, like an old car or boat, should go to an organization equipped to restore and sell it for charitable gain.
There are regional and international charities to accept nearly any donation, so you should always think twice before taking something to the junkyard.
To get your community interested in such an initiative, you might want to knock on doors. If your neighborhood has a group page on social media ― as many areas are beginning to do ― you might also make a post there.
Undoubtedly, you will meet a few of your neighbors and do some good in the process.
2. Neighborhood Swap
Your neighbor might be expecting a new baby while yours head off to college, leaving you with boxes full of baby gear that are just going to waste.
Meanwhile, a couple down the street might be looking to unload their idle turntable and audio system, just as your record collection is starting to blossom. Buying new is utterly unnecessary if there are perfectly good, perfectly free options within your community, and swapping stuff often creates relationships that last.
Of course, jumping straight from individual introductions to inquiries is risky, as most sensible people will wonder about your intentions if you start asking for free stuff straightaway. Instead, you can organize a community event much like the charitable donations initiative described above, except neighbors can peruse the amassed items before you cart the remainder away to good causes.
You and others have the opportunity to seek out gear you truly need while meeting and learning about the people around you.
3. Community Sale
There is nothing like a garage sale for turning your trash into someone else’s treasure, and the bigger the sale, the bigger the crowds. By combining forces with your neighbors, you can collect a trove of items to lay out on your lawn, maximizing your stock, visibility, and profits.
Of course, there are some logistical obstacles when it comes to organizing a community yard sale. Before you approach your neighbors with the proposition, you might consider the following issues that might arise:
- Where will the sale take place?
- Where will you find tables and displays for items?
- Who will staff the tables?
- Who will place and remove signs?
- How will you divide profits?
- Will you allow haggling?
- Will you provide concessions?
Because you want to learn more about your neighbors while you sell away your unused possessions, you should avoid volunteering to do all the work yourself.
Instead, you should find a date when most of the people around you will be available to help set up and collect money from yard sale patrons.
To keep profits separate, you can use different colored stickers to mark prices on various items, or you can keep a record of all the good sold during the day.
Then, at the end of the sale, you can devote your proceeds to a block party to celebrate the successful cleaning and clearing of your homes ― and to solidify the friendships you made along the way.