There are some things that just sit in your house gathering dust and taking up space. If you've got good neighbours/relatives/friends, stop buying these once-a-month/year/decade items and borrow when needed!
Suitcases – One third of my wardrobe is taken up by a suitcase, which in turn contains holdalls and a hiking rucksack! The person you borrow it off will be glad to get theirs out of the way for a week!
Lawnmowers – Save yourself some shed space and borrow next door's mower when your lawn starts looking like a jungle.
Books and DVDs – You can borrow books and films from the library or friends. I don't know about you, but my bookshelf is stuffed to the brim already! No more room for new purchases!
DIY stuff – No-one needs instant access to a cordless drill or wallpapering table. Borrow as required. (The Boyfriend is already accumulating a lot of random power tools. I would like to put a stop to this before we live together!)
Canning or preserve making stuff – A lot of people have this equipment burrowed away in the back of a cupboard. Ask around and someone will probably be happy to get some use out of their stuff!
Gardening tools – Many a part-time gardener is not going to need their fork and spade all day every weekend. Ask them when they'll be doing their work, then borrow their stuff in the down time.
Top tips for borrowing
- LOOK AFTER IT! You'll remain friends and be more likely to receive a favour again in the future.
- Never borrow anything that you can't afford to replace if you do break it.
- Borrow it for a set period of time. (“I'll get it back to you by Friday”) Even if you haven't finished with it, ring/visit your friend and ask if you can continue using it.
- Don't forget to give it back! The whole point is to reduce clutter, so you don't want someone else's kayak taking up room in your garage!
One more tip, for future students; if you're going into a Halls of Residence, DON'T TAKE SAUCEPANS OR KITCHEN UTENSILS. Everyone buys a new set for their first time living away from home, which means you end up with six sets of everything!
Anyone got any more suggestions? Do you borrow anything expensive from relatives?