Tool Cooperative

It is easy to set up a neighborhood tool cooperative so you can share resources with neighbors. With a few precautions, that I will cover, a neighborhood tool cooperative can be a great option for many people. Many of us have tools and equipment that we only use a few times a year so sharing them makes good sense.

First, talk with your neighbors to see if there is interest. One lawnmower, snowblower, power washer, and other tools are only used a few times a year and can easily be shared among neighbors. Once you have a few people who like the idea, start a list of things people have that they would lend. I use a spreadsheet now, but the tool cooperative website will have a place to enter the information soon. Keeping track of who has what and where it is can be the hardest part. If someone has the space to store things in a central location all the better but that is rare.

Keep up on maintenance so the equipment works when needed. Often, there is a mechanically inclined type who will offer their services. When properly maintained most equipment is better off being used on a regular basis and not just occasionally. There is cost involved, so some sort of membership dues should be coordinated. If you think about the costs all of your neighbors incur maintain separate equipment, $50 a year does not sound like much. Another benefit of sharing equipment is buy spending a little more for quality equipment, it saves on maintenance costs and often works better than cheap homeowner models.

I will soon have a new website for starting and maintaining a tool cooperative. You can easily start a tool share in your neighborhood with a little effort. Talk with your neighbors to see if you have enough people with some equipment to lend and meet occasionally.