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Welcome to Krrbside Questions, a column created solely to answer your queries about living local and being the good neighbor we know you all are. First up with some super helpful advice is Jett Superior, recently featured in our Member Spotlight. This Southern lover of all things secondhand, vintage and handmade has what she calls “crackerjack ingenuity” and a knack for redoing roadside furniture. Have a burning question? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll make sure to get it in the right hands.
Q: Although I kind of saw my husband slowly becoming one of the superstars in this video, the skateboard I bought him languishes in our hallway. Since he’ll never use it, what should I do with it?
A: I love this question because the people who know me might expect me to suggest upcycling your husband’s neglected board into a seat for a swing or a pop art wall shelf. However, I make no secret of my belief that when things have outlived the good in our lives —whether it lasted ten minutes or ten years— we should find a way to get these things into the hands of people who can derive their own good out of them. That is, if the stuff isn’t worn slap out.
While I’d like to toss you some great ideas for repurposing that board within your space, I believe I have a better idea: Donate it.
You have a couple of avenues for doing so. If there’s a local skate park in your area, you could contact the person in charge and see if (s)he knows of a local skater (or skater-to-be) who is economically challenged and stands in need of equipment. My oldest son was a skate punk and there were always kids running around with him who would take secondhand, very worn equipment gladly because they had no other options. When they lucked into new trucks or bearings or griptape, they were thrilled.
You could also check into sending the skateboard to Board Rescue, a non-profit staffed by volunteers who are all lifelong skaters. They get equipment into the hands of kids who need it via skate programs all over the U.S. And hey, while we’re talking about repurposing skateboards, you should check out the really cool work of Haroshi, who makes beautiful sculptures out of used decks.
Q: I have a Pinterest board full of closet inspiration and a walk-in closet that I can’t walk into. It’s a vicious cycle of cleaning up and letting all hell break loose. What are some sustainable ways to keep it from swallowing me whole? P.S. I loathe folding clothes. But let’s be real, you can’t hang up every article of clothing.
A: Okay, are you ready for some tough love? It sounds like your clothes are owning you rather than the other way around, and they’re bringing you less joy en masse than they would if you had a solid collection of well-made, stylish and comfortable pieces that offer you a lot of mileage (and reclaimed space!). It sounds, gentle clothes-loving reader, like you need to downsize your wardrobe.
Don’t panic! And for heaven’s sake, don’t think that you have to do it all in one whack. I’ve discovered two sites in the past several months that are pretty terrific and geared just for this sort of circumstance. The first is Unfuck Your Habitat, which feeds you practical, tongue-in-cheek tough love alongside manageable tasks to change your habitat habits. The language is blue, the tone is frank, and the praise is genuine. There’s also a companion app for your iPhone called Unfilth Your Habitat; it delivers daily motivation and quick, constructive tasks.
The second site is Project 333, and it focuses solely on helping people get their wardrobes under control. The overall emphasis is simpling up your life by streamlining your closet and giving you time and peace of mind in exchange. The site’s author approaches things in such an easy and systematic way that it doesn’t feel intimidating at all. The focus is on sustainability and reclaiming your life. I particularly like two statements from the ‘getting started’ page: “You will find that having one well made version of something will be far better than 10 of the knock-off,” and “Remember that this is not a project in suffering.”
See? You can do this, no sweat. Keep us posted on your progress.