The Living Room
Your "us" space.
The living room might just be the one room in the house that truly reflects who we are. It’s a space where we not only “live” but we relax and take stock in life. Many use it as a TV space, a gathering space for important family happenings and discussions, and where we entertain. Many of us use our living rooms as the spaces where we make a statement about our choices in art, the books we read, the reflections of our inner selves. And, many of us go overboard in making the living room a reflection of whom we aspire to be. This article about the Diderot effect, why we want things we don’t need, can be an eye opener for us in understanding the psychology behind much of our over-consumption.
Expand your design horizons
A Buy Nothing living room is an ever-evolving one, one that leaves you open to the whims of your neighbors. What they might be done with could look fantastic in your living room: couches, overstuffed chairs, throw pillows, artwork, coffee tables. All are common giveaways in your local BuyNothing community. Getting them second hand can be meaningful as often the items have stories that come along with them. So, don’t be shy about posting/asking for what you might need to make your living room a comfortable colorful spot!
Keep it clutter-free

Once you have your living room the way you like it: Keep it clutter free! According to The Story of Stuff, we consume twice as many material goods today as we did 50 years ago. An independent study in the UK revealed the average 10 year old owns 238 toys, but only plays with 12. We’re drowning in our stuff.

Is the clutter and chaos in your house getting you down? Have an unexpected visitor arriving in 1-minute? Here’s a quick fix that’ll solve your clutter calamaties:

A box.

When you’re overwhelmed by accumulated surface clutter atop counters and other furnishings in your house, find the nearest empty box and quickly fill it with the items covering your horizontal surfaces. Even the children’s floordrobes can get the box treatment. If the items in question have been sitting there for days, it’s likely because there’s just no obvious place to put them. A box is as likely a place as any.

And where does the box go?

We suggest you stuff it in a closet or storage space for a few weeks to see if anyone missed any of the items in said box. If the items disappear without notice or family grumblings, GIVE THEM AWAY on the BuyNothing app!

Don’t ask yourself whether the items bring you joy.

Think of the joy you felt when they were off your counters, no longer between you and the front door. No, get rid of them quickly, but thoughtfully, without throwing them away. Feel the joy in giving them to another loving person before you change your mind and bring them back into your house to start the colossal closed-loop clutter cycle all over again.

And you can thank us by posting a gratitude post in the app. : ) 

Borrow a steam vacuum
You don't need to hire a carpet cleaning service. Just put it out there in the BuyNothing app that you're looking for a steam cleaner to do a deep clean of your carpets and couches. There's bound to be someone who will lend you theirs. In our community, we have a steam vacuum that regularly makes the round in our neighborhood, everyone using it to keep their living rooms looking spiffy! Soon, we'll have a lending library tab in the app and you'll be able to reserve that steamer and put it to use!
Ask for what you need
Our living rooms are Buy Nothing living rooms. Our couches, chairs, coffee tables and lamps are all Buy Nothing acquisitions. Here’s a list of other common living room items we’ve been gifted, to give you an idea of what you can ask for:

Carpet pads
Throw pillows
Throw blankets
Wall clocks
Wall mirrors
Candle sticks
Coffee table books
Light bulbs
Ottomans (Ottomen?)
Track lighting

We’re grateful for our neighbors as these gifts saved us a lot of money that we could then turn around and spend on important things like educational or extra curricular programs for our kids. If you’re looking for any kind of furniture for your living room, just ask! Or, if you’re looking for just the right thing, wait and see what your neighbors post and you can ‘shop’ for the perfect piece, over time.
Broaden your sharing radius
If you're looking for items to spruce up your living space, and if you're willing to travel further afield for what you may want, expand your sharing radius by clicking on "Community" and then change your radius to up to 20 miles if you're looking for that perfect item for your special space. When we had a piano we needed to get rid of, we made sure you set our community radius to 20 miles so many people would have opportunity to see the post and we met just the right folks who wanted to come and pick it up. A larger sharing radius makes it easier for you to find hard-to-find gifts, give away harder-to-rehome gifts, and build connections with a broader Buy Nothing community. These connections are especially valuable for everyone during hard times (such as pandemics and recessions). 
Give the gift of service
If you’re looking around your living room and can’t find anything you’d like to give away, consider offering your own skills or talents to a neighbor. You could play a game of scrabble together, you could join them over a cup of tea and practice the art of conversation, or you could bring over a box and help them to declutter their living room surfaces, too!
Continue on your journey through the Buy Nothing Home.
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