Recently the Center for a New American Dream produced a little video called “Share Spray: A New Way To Do Everything.” This animation is a short, 5 minute reminder that you don’t need magic to build community, you just have to see the world a bit differently. The vacuum in your closet that you use once a week (ok, maybe more like once a month) could be shared with 1, 2, even more neighbors. Your tools, the beach cooler you use a couple of times a year, all these things could be swapped, traded, passed along.
The only thing missing is the will, and admittedly the time to organize these exchanges. But while the video doesn’t get into this, over the long-term, a sharing way of life can add time back to one’s day. By owning fewer things, you can work less (since you won’t need to buy as much), and you’ll have less stuff to maintain (get rid of your car and no more oil changes). But more importantly, you’ll have a larger network of neighbors that you can rely on and ask for help–which is worth the time investment both in good times and bad.