Working Together

In past generations communities regularly worked together. Chores andgoods were regularly shared with others, and anything extra was given away without a second thought. For instance, my great-grandmother would clean her best friends home and she would make the clothes for our family. When my uncles did well on a hunting or fishing trip, anything out family could not use would be given away. Waste was something not done in that time as it is today. Current generations have a lot they can learn from our ancestors.

  • Go together with others to make purchases at big box stores – Not everyone will have the space to store large quantities of paper products or canned goods. By sharing those large purchases, multiple families can benefit from the large quantity savings.
  • Barter / Trade chores with others– We all have different strengths and weaknesses; things we like and dislike to do, why not make the best out of the situation and trade duties with others in your family or community. This may be something you do for a career, a hobby of yours or just something you don’t mind doing as much as your neighbor does. Some options are:
    • Cutting hair
    • Styling hair or a make over for a special event
    • Sewing or mending
    • Cooking
    • Shopping
    • Painting
    • Auto maintenance
    • Lawn mowing / landscaping
    • Pool work
    • Housekeeping
    • Child care
    • Tutoring
    • Personal trainer
    • Computer work
  • Dinner Sharing – Organize a group of friends that share in cooking dinner on weeknights. Dinners can be made ahead and delivered on or before the desired night. It’s almost a quick to make 1 lasagna as 2, so share one with a friend, and they can return the favor. With some prior planning, 5 families can share the responsibility and only cook 1 night per week. When organizing such an group, detail has to be made to the family’s style of eating and any food allergies. Vegetarians and meat lovers don’t mix well in a group like this. It may take some time to gather the right mix, but well worth the effort in the long run.
  • Childcare Sharing – Most families with small children would love a night out with the adults. Organize a group of parents to share in the responsibility. Gather a few friends that also have children and take turns with the childcare duties each Friday or Saturday night. A group of four families would yield the duty about once a month, and a night out a week the rest of the month without the babysitter fees. It’s also a good idea to balance if the children get along well together and if all have similar parenting styles.
  • Clothing Exchanges – Many times there are items in our closet that we just don’t enjoy wearing for some reason. They are in good repair, but it would be nice to have something new (or at least new to us). Why not have a clothing exchange? Gather up your gently worn items, bring them to the exchange and choose from the items that others have brought. Everyone gets a new look to take home with them. Organizations such as Clothing Swap, Swap-O-Rama-Rama, and Buffalo Exchange set up these exchange events. Or you can host your own exchange. Invite friends, set a minimum number of pieces for each to bring, and enjoy the trading.


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