Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Giving back to our Community

Last Sunday morning, Elmo and I cleaned out my daughter's room while she was gone. Then Monday we worked on the remaining boxes in an extra room at our new place.

boxes left from the moveBoxes that were "keep" stuff, but the items had no "place."

We actually have more stuff in the attic, but this was stuff in the extra room that really needed to be cleared. Elmo brought all of it into our tiny room and we went through it together. I got ruthless once again. I tossed my diaries dating back to 1982. I can't believe I was finally able to do it. I had been transcribing them into my online journal, but stopped some time ago. I couldn't see me getting back to the project any time soon and honestly found it humiliating.

We actually found space for a lot of things in our tiny room. Elmo also "tetrised" stuff into our closet (around our baby dresser), so we do have stuff stored that we don't need right this minute. I think I've found that I have about 6 various baby carriers! Our roommate thinks that is a lot for a minimalist to have. No two are the same. We also bagged a lot of stuff for donation.

truck full of donationsOnly the last two bags in the back of the truck were new from this project. The rest was from Sunday.

Now for the donation part. We used to take stuff to the local Goodwill location. It was very conveniently located for us. However, we're in an entirely new part of town and are still learning our way around. There is an amazing community resource near here.

Tulsa Free StoreFree Store

The Free Store is within a couple of miles of our new place. The idea is that if you bring an item, you can take any item you need. They don't hold you to that, though. I've sent bags of stuff with our roommates, but this was my first time to go in person.

Free StoreThis is the view we found from the road.

It was closed when we arrived. (Notice the hours on the sign above.) I believe that the house on the property is a sort of commune and once we arrived a couple of people went out and opened up shop for us. The girl immediately started sorting out other donations.

Free StoreThe Free Store - Up Close

The line of garbage bags are the ones we brought. They also accept food donations and have a fridge where you can take what you need. They had canned goods on the table. She told us which days they get regular food donations. She also goes around to apartments on Fridays and gathers stuff that people toss when they move. She said she'd be taking some things to a shelter soon, too. (They deliver!)

The Phroenix Gift ExchangeThe Phroenix Gift Exchange
sign outside the garage
(they're on Phoenix)

We were really getting rid of stuff, so not so much looking for things. However, my awesome purse broke a couple of days before this trip. So I looked through the few purses they had and took one. This house is short on spoons, but they didn't have any in stock on this day. My daughter found a pair of high heeled shoes she loved. She did, by the way, pick out a few items from her donation bags that she had wanted to keep. I dug them out for her before Elmo carried them up the drive.

The guy was here and there, dealing with a dog and a puppy and getting water for... coffee? The girl was very friendly, but busied herself.

Community GardenCommunity Garden

Directly across the street from The Free Store is this Community Garden. There was one person waaay in the back working in the garden. The building is marked as a Club House.

The Blue JackalopeThe Blue Jackalope

Also, just before the house that is with The Free Store is The Blue Jackalope. Seriously, go check out their description! They are part of the Slow Food movement. They sell local foods and also run a coffee shop. You can go in with your grocery list and if they don't carry it, you can discuss the list over coffee and they'll help you figure out what they DO have that will work for what you need. How awesome is that?!

I'd love to go hang out at The Blue Jackalope sometime. It seems like a very cool establishment. And I'm so impressed with what The Free Store does for our community. It felt good to donate there.

Do you have any amazing and different community resources in your area?

Momma Jorje: Monday Minimalist
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