I've wished for an ISO/swap forum here, too...does the Trading Post currently meet that need, or not? I have specific household items I'd love to post and specific needs and I'm afraid that they'll get lost in the general TP forums.
Hi - sorry, I haven't introduced myself. I'm Amanda, and I've read and reread this thread enough times that it has changed my thinking and I think I'm actually on board now.
Though I think my own personal caveat is this: If we need something, really need it, within a specific time frame that is looming, and we've gone to great effort to try and find it used, it's okay to make occasional exceptions (I hope it's okay for me to say that!).
Maybe that wouldn't work for everyone, but reading about the poster whose DH needs decent work shirts (though aren't work expenses exempt anyway?) got me thinking that once in awhile it can be reasonable to make an exception even if you didn't think of it beforehand.
My avowed hierarchy of obtaining is:
1) acquire for free if possible
2) trade or barter
3) make do without if we can
4) buy used
and only if I've tried all those options with no success:
5) buy locally-made
6) buy locally-sold though not locally-made
and then if I really cannot find something I need locally:
7) consider buying new through a source that is respectable and high-quality.
Certain articles of kids' clothing have been very difficult for me to find used (sweatpants, for one, and also pajamas and slippers) and the local options are not always acceptable or durable enough or available in the season I need them. I do plan to talk with local merchants about the products I need but cannot get locally. It's not perfect, but if I give myself this wiggle room I think it will keep me on track with compacting better than if I start out with very rigid rules and feel like throwing in the towel if I can't manage to meet them.
This is not at all a criticism of what any of you are doing - please don't take it that way! - It's just me trying to make this work for me given what I know about myself and my personality.
I'm very excited to be on board. It took me a few weeks, but I am here. Compacting dovetails nicely with my efforts toward decluttering and frugality. Thanks to all who are carrying this torch so that people like me can see it and join in!