Buy Nothing, Receive So Much

I admit I was not in the market for a fabulous leopard print chaise lounge. But there it was being offered by a member of my neighborhood Buy Nothing group last week.

Are you looking for a statement piece for the new year? That’s how the post started.

I wasn’t. But this is fabulous. Maybe I am now!

I could at least put my name in for consideration …

The Buy Nothing Project

This post is not sponsored. I just really love my local Buy Nothing Group.

The Buy Nothing Project is simple. Neighbors who have an item they no longer want or need can offer it as a gift to other Buy Nothing group members free of charge. No selling. No trading. No strings attached.

Just straight-up gift gifting.

Or if you need something (pretty much anything!), you can ask the group for it before going out and buying it. I have been a member of my local Buy Nothing group for a few years now. I have given and received, asked for “gifts of service” and rummaged around my house to find specific items people requested, everything from office supplies to a Thanksgiving table runner.

LIght up Awesome Sign | Gift from my Buy Nothing Group

But Buy Nothing is about so much more than free stuff. It is about community building and meeting your neighbors. It is making the world a little bit better by keeping stuff out of landfills and reaching out to people in your community.

And it’s fun!

The Buy Nothing Project started in 2013 when two friends on Bainbridge Island, Washington had an idea for a hyper-local gift economy. It has grown to more than 7,500 Buy Nothing communities in 44 countries, according to the Buy Nothing website. Now there are 6.5 million people around the world sharing from their abundance, a key philosophy of the movement.

“The Buy Nothing Project is about setting the scarcity model of our cash economy aside in favor of creatively and collaboratively sharing the abundance around us,” according to its website.

Sharing the abundance around us. I love that and want to be a part of it!

My Buy Nothing Experience

I have given away many items over the years from furniture to clothing to toys my son has outgrown. It always thrills me a little bit that somebody wants my old stuff and it is fun to hear what they are going to do with it.

Before Christmas, I gave away a lamp I had painted and stenciled years ago. The lady shared a photo of it in her guest room and said it made the space nicer for her mother-in-law’s holiday visit. Isn’t that better than just throwing the old lamp away?

But I have received so much more. There’s the awesome light-up “awesome” sign pictured above. Tickets to the King Tut Experience in Washington, D.C. The knee scooter a lady passed along to me for my sister when she had surgery last summer. (Then my sister passed it along later to someone who needed it in her neighborhood Buy Nothing group.)

And these really cool file drawers from an old law office desk we made into shelves above my son’s desk. The Buy Nothing project helps me create a home I love to live in — in a sustainable way.

DIY shelves | Upcycle drawers into shelves | Buy Nothing desk drawers turned into shelves

One year I asked for Washington Nationals bobbleheads for a birthday present to add to my son’s collection. A complete stranger saw my post and looked through her stuff to find a Max Scherzer bobblehead to make my little boy’s birthday special. The free stuff is great — and I like everything I have received. But it’s not really about the stuff.

It’s about the acts of kindness and love.

Gifts of Service

Last Christmas, we wanted to make a CD for my dad of my son playing Christmas songs on his guitar. But the CD drive on my ancient computer was broken. I asked my Buy Nothing group if anybody could help record the CD for us.

A wonderful lady offered to help. I emailed her the file of my son playing his songs and a day later I was on her doorstep picking up the CD. My dad loves it so much, he drove around listening to Christmas songs all summer! All because of the kindness of a lady I would probably never know without the Buy Nothing group.

The Fabulous Leopard Chaise Lounge

A few days after the fabulous leopard chaise lounge was posted, the lady contacted me and asked if I was still interested. Only one other person had wanted it and then changed her mind when she figured out it wouldn’t fit in her room.

“What are the measurements?” my husband asked.

I don’t know. A bunch of numbers. Let’s go get it!

“Will it fit in the car?”

Of course it will!

It didn’t fit in the car. … But we got it home anyway.

And then it didn’t fit through the basement door where I was planning to put it downstairs in my art studio. Because … measurements.

So now I have a Fabulous Leopard Chaise Lounge AND a plan to re-do my office space where it DOES fit through the doors!

You never know what will be given away in your neighborhood Buy Nothing group. That’s all part of the fun.

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