Now that you've thought out why you want to share, it's a short step to considering what you could share to meet those goals. There are unlimited ways of sharing, and nearly unlimited things to share, too. Here are some ideas.
|Getting Help Worksheet|
|What I Could Use Help With||Ways to Get Help by Sharing|
|House care||Start a neighborhood home improvement group.|
|Yard care||Let neighbors know they can have some of my berries if they help pick them when they ripen.Talk to neighbors in apartment building about starting a shared garden in my back yard.|
|Taking care of other possessions||Offer to let neighbor use my driveway to work on his car if he'll teach me how to change the oil.|
|Chores and errands|
|Elder care or care for other adults|
You can share ownership or use of tangible objects, like:
You can share ownership or use of spaces, like:
You can share services, privileges, or subscriptions , like:
You can pool resources and purchasing power to bargain collectively for goods and services. For example, you could:
You can share your time, skills, or expertise to cooperate with others to:
You may choose to share in many different ways, including:
In most cases, you can set up your sharing situation in whatever way best suits your group's needs. For example, if you're sharing a car with another person, you could split use equally by trading off days or weeks, or you could agree that one of you gets the car more often. You could share costs equally or one of you could do the minor repairs yourself while the other foots more than half of the bill for major repairs. You could agree that other people may—or may not—borrow the car, that you'll both chip in to buy a car seat that your kids will share or a bike rack for the roof, or that one of you will pay a bit more to buy a new hybrid in exchange for getting to claim the tax deduction. This is one of the best things about sharing: For the most part, you get to decide how to structure the arrangement.
The exception is when you are sharing something that has some kind of legal or regulatory rules attached to it. For example, many shared housing situations must be designed to comply with local laws, such as zoning restrictions that may limit how many families can share a home or how you may use property. But regardless of whether you have to consider legal issues or not, there are certain common practical and logistical issues that you should consider in any sharing situation to help you create a solid sharing plan, ensure that you meet everyone's needs, plan for changes and unforeseeable events, and so on. These issues are covered in Chapter 3, which lists the 20 questions that every sharing group should consider.
In the chapters that follow, you'll learn much more about these ways of sharing and the different considerations involved in each.
The following worksheet is a tool for you to fill out on your own or use together with a group of people who are exploring sharing ideas together. It will help you:
The worksheet will also help you brainstorm ways that you can partner with others to make purchases, or cooperate with them for things like pet care and home repair. We provided examples throughout to help get you started; you'll find a blank copy in Appendix B.
|What Could I Share?|
|Categories of Things to Share||What I Have to Share||What I Hope to Get Through Sharing|
|Household appliances||A bread machine||Perhaps others will share bread that they make.|
|Electronics||Video camera: I don't own one, but it would be great to have occasional access to one.|
|Tools||A circular saw: Dave across the street does some repairs and construction; we could buy it together and share its use.|
|Vehicles||Pickup truck||Help with expenses of keeping the truck through allowing others to use it regularly|
|Work equipment||Massage table: I hardly ever use it. I could advertise for someone who wants to use it sometimes||Copy machine: Too expensive for my home office, unless my neighbor who also works at home regularly would share the cost.|
|Recreation/ Hobbies||Season tickets to the Durham Bulls games||Want to share some games and defray the cost of the tickets.|
|Fitness/ Outdoors||Elliptical trainer: Ron and Sue down the street have said that they want one too. We could keep it in my basement and they could have a key to the outside basement door. We could use an online calendar to schedule use.|
|Services, privileges, and subscriptions|
|Food||I would like to take part in Community-Supported Agriculture.|
|Goods/Supplies||Firewood: I will be getting a delivery and could share the cost.|
|Cooperation||Ways to Cooperate with Others|
|Carpools and rides||I drive from Raleigh to Atlanta frequently for business. I could advertise online to look for a rider to share the cost.|
|Pet care||I could do a pet sitting exchange, to try to get occasional cat sitting when I'm in Atlanta.|
|Gardening/ Yard work|
|Home repair/ Improvement|
|Skills||I can teach bicycle repair; I would like to learn how to cook.|
Now that you've brainstormed and crunched some numbers and even dreamed a little, you can look over your list and decide where you want to start sharing. As is true of many things, it's often easiest to start small, with an arrangement to share something relatively simple, like tools or appliances. If that is a success, you could move on to thinking about sharing larger or more involved things, such as a vehicle, childcare, or physical space, like a yard.