Re: Treading lightly - used items
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 4 Jul 2007 04:00:04 -0700 (PDT)
We have a Take It Or Leave It Table (TIOLI) where people take it or leave it. Everything from clothes to books. It is also the collection point for the egg cartons and packing boxes that one member takes to the Farmers Market on Sunday morning.

There is always and interesting book there and the kids absolutely love it. Always a treasure to be had. Some people get a lot of clothes there. I scavenge for cotton, linen, and silk for quilts--not that I've yet to even start a quilt but I have boxes of material. Others find wonderful dresses. Kids clothes too, but mostly our kids clothes go directly into an established flow of hand me downs. I'm sure that some of our kitchens have been furnished entirely from the TIOLI.

We use a corner of a hallway on the third floor. Just a table, a bookcase, and a clothes rack.

Downside, that corner looks like a thrift shop. Pretty grungy stuff sometimes. One person has to be in charge to straighten it up and get rid of stuff no one really wants. Another does a run to the thrift shop with stuff that has been there a while.

Some residents will dump, as if we didn't have a dumpster out back. More than one resident has collected stuff on the street that neighbors had thrown out for trash collection and putting it on the TIOLI because they thought we should always have an old desk chair or set of drapes handy. And extra satellite TV antenna. Stuff like that. (Same people thought we needed three sets of crutches on hand at all times.) So you do have to set some guidelines.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington DC

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