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Community Warehouse shares your used goods with neighbors in need

Community Warehouse shares your used goods with neighbors in need

Here’s a typical morning routine: You wake up to an alarm clock, in a bed made with sheets and pillows; take a shower and dry off with a towel; make coffee with a machine and toast bread in a toaster. Perhaps the items themselves – alarm clock, bed, towel, coffee maker, toaster – are taken for granted because they are at our fingertips and in our everyday lives.

According to Rena Satre Meloy, Communications Director for Community Warehouse, the silent role our stuff plays is what makes her organization such a deeply important resource for our neighbors in need.

Community Warehouse, your local nonprofit furniture bank, serves clients from all walks of life. They work with 200 partner agencies that help others find secure housing – veterans, people coming out of homelessness, public school families and those in crisis situations.

They make the most of items you no longer need or want and keep resources circulating in the community. They see themselves as a conduit between neighbors - to help each other and to provide a smarter way to redistribute existing goods directly to others locally.

Resourceful PDX sees reuse at the core of what they do. A system that is closed loop because goods go to someone else who needs them and provides a meaningful interaction for those involved, while also keeping material on a local scale to lessen transportation and disposal costs.

Community Warehouse has two locations: Northeast Portland and Tualatin. Items that are needed the most include linens, kitchen and household goods and furniture, especially stuff like pots and pans, toasters, dressers and twin beds. Gently used mattresses without big stains or tears are also welcome.

What about those treasures you no longer treasure? The ones you may have inherited or no longer serve the purpose they once did? Estate Store at Community Warehouse offers collectibles and antiques for purchase to help further furnish homes for local families and will gladly accept your donations.

We had been struggling for a while to convince our mother to let go of her long-accumulated furniture and belongings. The idea of giving mom’s furniture to Community Warehouse, where it could do such good for local families, was really helpful for her in the letting go process.
— Anonymous Furniture Donor

Watch this 30-second time lapse video to see the volume of goods going in and out of Community Warehouse.

Find Community Warehouse under Resale Shop on the Resourceful PDX map.

4 Tips to help make moving easier

4 Tips to help make moving easier

There's no getting around it – moving takes time and work. By planning ahead, tapping into local resources and using a checklist, you can move with fewer headaches!

Here are some general moving tips to get ahead of what might be a stressful time for you and those around you.

1. Take stock of your stuff

Before you begin packing, set aside any items you no longer want. Depending on how much you want to get rid of, you may want to have a garage sale, offer items to your friends and neighbors, or donate them. If you have paint, chemicals, cleaners or other hazardous materials, take them to one of Metro’s Household Hazardous Waste Facilities. Online resources, such as Craig’s List and Freecycle, allow you to sell or giveaway stuff that others may want.

2. Create a checklist

Make a checklist of everything that must be packaged and moved out, even if that list is very small. As you pack, you’ll get the satisfaction of crossing those items off your list.

3. Find used boxes and supplies for everything on your checklist

Don’t forget to use your bags, suitcases or other empty containers to save resources and space! Borrow used boxes from others or collect them from stores. Save newspapers to pack your belongings. There are also companies that rent out boxes and crates, such as Alien Box.

4. Move yourself, with help

If you know someone who has access to a truck or van, and are willing to help you move, take them up on the offer. Local car rental companies or Zipcar also offer rentals of larger vehicles. Or move by bike and turn the drudgery of moving into a “stuff” parade with a built-in housewarming party!

NE Portland Tool Library has what you need for your DIY home project

NE Portland Tool Library has what you need for your DIY home project

Carrie Treadwell, from Be Resourceful partner Chinook Book, shares her recent experience with the Northeast Portland Tool Library below.

"Have you heard about Portland area tool libraries? They’re an amazing resource for anyone with a love for DIY projects. Just like it sounds, local tool libraries rent tools, instead of books, to people who live in the neighborhood.

I happen to live near the Northeast Portland Tool Library and became a member before embarking on a small home remodeling project. I was pleasantly surprised by the quantity and variety of available tools. The volunteers on site were very helpful and made the experience not only productive, but fun.

The project my husband and I took on was installing an egress window in the basement of our little 1920s home. At the tool library, we “checked out” a chop saw, a hammer drill (for drilling through concrete), a sledgehammer and chisel—all free of charge! We knew this was a one-time project and wouldn’t have the use for these particular tools again; so borrowing them for one week was perfect. We absolutely could not have completed the project without them.

In the end, our project was a success. The egress window looks perfect, and helps us utilize more space in our little bungalow. I highly recommend checking out your local tool library before your next project.

Even if you don’t have any immediate projects, it’s good to know what’s out there for future projects, or when surprise repairs are needed.

Tool libraries are available to residents of East Portland, North Portland, Northeast Portland, and Southeast Portland. These community resources have limited hours and run on volunteer people power. Consider donating time, money or materials to help keep the tool libraries up and running."

Find out more about the tool library movement across the country.