meanwhile at the free store

i have two rooms now, well, two & a half…. one for household items & shoes (so many shoes!)
& one for clothes & toys. i figure put the toys in with the clothes so moms can look for clothes while kids make a mess with the toys.

speaking of messes…i almost closed up the shop…turned the bus around…i was so frustrated with how people don’t pick up after themselves. i mean, nothing major, but with enough people not putting things away…. i already have four kids to pick up after….

but i am trying to keep the faith. the free store doors remain
open
(two doors now!)

ps. if i have to deal with another bag of single socks, i might just freak the fuck out…so pair up your socks, people. no singletons or i will hunt you down.

free store sheep fingers

i’m a little behind on my free store updates.
it is still going strong. the ebb & flow is a bit off however, more coming in than going out.
so!
i’m working on expanding it into the next room over. the building i am in is an old church that was reclaimed as an art & community space. the next room over was an abandoned workshop. i have been clearing it out & trying to clean it up & hopefully not inhaling too much lead paint dust….
one wall was crumbling paint, so i painted over it, but that didn’t seem to be enough, so i took the opportunity to make some life sized sheep fingers. i don’t know about you, but something about sheep fingers just makes me so happy.
soon this room will be finished & set up & the free store at the commons will be much easier to navigate…& my ocd can calm down a bit.

circles

the free store i started is a month old now. it is packed full of goodies. so many awesome people donating.

i have only noticed one problem.
all the accolades i have been receiving have triggered my impostor syndrome & sent me into some serious dark & downward spirals.
weird, right?
like when people tell me i’m doing a good thing, i feel like i am somehow fooling them.
when one woman said, “way to pay it forward,” i flinched. of course, for me it is not about karma. it is about giving the people what they need; keeping crap out of landfills; putting one over on the man….
but am i a good person for doing it?
i don’t feel like a good person…
then i start to wonder…if my art took off, would i suffer in a similar way? spin out to a dark & devastated place where i fear everyone will realize i am actually a fuck up in sheep’s clothing?

however, i can’t help hoping all the spinning i have been doing will leave me standing still

free storing it

so far so good with the free store…though more is coming in than going out. which is awesome that people are so generous–& hopefully it will find it’s own ebb & flow eventually.

i have discovered that i really enjoy sneak peeks into the lives of strangers via donations…must be the fiction writer in me. i also enjoy making sense of chaos. so it’s all good.
though my folding skills leave something to be desired.

maybe i’ll get a trend going here on free stores for sustainability & community.
start your free store today!

free store project

what am i doing with myself since i quit my job, i’m sure you are wondering.
well…other than trying to recover from clogged sinuses that are surely indicative of a clogged soul…
i have opened a free store!
cool, right? very abbie hoffman of me….

this is my journaling about the process in case anyone is curious or wants to try this at home.

here in viroqua, wisconsin, there is a building that is a common space, an art space. it is aptly called “the commons,” and is steered by some good hometown anarchists. i fell in love with this space when i first visited viroqua and was eager to get involved with it’s current evolution.
so!
i asked the board if i could start a “free store” in one of the rooms. i was met with some pretty awesome enthusiasm.
the enthusiasm did not stop with attaining the room. as soon as i started advertising for donations, i was met with overwhelming generousity.

today is the first day the free store is open to the public.
i am hopeful, but i am also keeping an eye out for snags.

i will try to keep y’all updated on my latest quixotic adventure…xxoo.

i just realized this is totally a 180 from of my “nothing for free” post…but, you know, i did fire that therapist for being frivolous with my mental health…plus, like many men i know, he really didn’t listen to what i was saying.

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