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How many things do you have in your home that you only use occasionally? Take a moment and think about it for a little bit. Look around your home, what do you see? Some good novels, musical instruments, games, movies, serving platters, cake stands, power tools, ladders? What’s missing that your neighbor owns? What if you could go online to find out?

Spare to Share

The founders of A Spare to Share, demonstrating the site and signing up residents of a condo building in Chicago.

Thanks to A Spare to Share small communities of friends, family, and neighbors can form a private online group to facilitate sharing, renting, and even sales of items that are otherwise under-used.

A simple user interface allows users to browse pictures of items that are available, post their own items, and send email blasts to the group through the bulletin board.

When you find that blender you want to borrow, simply select it and select request item. At that time a pop-up window will show so you can enter in the dates for when you want to use it and you can add comments letting the owner know about the great juicing recipe you have been dying to try. The request is then sent to the owner and if he is interested in sharing the item at that time he just clicks yes and the system provides him with the means to contact you. You can then make plans for the exchange.

After the exchange takes place A Spare to Share tracks where your item is. You no longer have to remember if it was Bob or Russ who borrowed your drill, just log into your account and remind him that you need it back for your next home project.

Launched in 2012, and based in Chicago, A Spare to Share is quickly growing in popularity among condo and office buildings across the city. It’s not just for big buildings though! Building managers can offer it as a benefit to tenants and small groups of trusted friends can create a private group just for themselves.

Don’t wait until the day before your next camping trip to ask your neighbor if you can borrow their tent! Sign up for A Spare to Share, and show your neighbor how he can simply log onto the site to select the items you always lend to him for his backyard barbeque!

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