One of the reasons we have too much clutter is that we buy things we use infrequently. Many of us are even guilty of buying and storing things we only use once or for a short time period. Instead of adding to your clutter (and spending too much money), save space by borrowing or renting the item.
Re-tiling your bathroom? Don't buy a saw to cut tile, rent it. If your doing any job that requires a special tool, check with your local hardware store for rental rates. In all likelihood, you'll be able to rent the equipment, saving both storage space and money.
2. Party Supplies
Need chairs, tents and tables for a party? Don't spend the money on an E-Z up that you're going to have to store after use. How often are you really going to use it? Some hardware stores will rent party supplies, but there are many local companies that are in the business of renting tables, chairs and tents. Check your yellow pages or Google to find one in your area.
Kids grow out of toys quickly. Instead of spending the money on brand new or even used toys, find a local toy library. Granted, not every area is blessed with a toy library, but if you happen to live near one, take advantage of it. If not, arrange to trade toys with friends that have kids of similar ages.
4. Camping Equipment
If you're not a regular camper, but enjoy the experience once in a while, you can rent and borrow camping equipment. My family rents a pop-up camper every summer. While we are regular campers, we don't want to spend the money on a camper and we don't want to have to find a space to store it. We also get to use a newer model camper that we don't have to maintain. We camp often enough to own sleeping bags, a tent and other camping gear, but people that don't can borrow gear from friends and relatives. We have an entire closet devoted to camping gear, so if it's not something you do regularly, it's definitely worth it to save space by borrowing gear.
5. Sports Equipment
Sports equipment is pricey if you buy it new. It also tends to add to clutter, especially if it ends up being under used. Borrow or trade sports equipment with friends whose kids have outgrown it. Or, find a store near you that rents equipment. Ski shops typically rent skis for both down hill and cross country skiing. You may also be able to rent snow shoes, lacrosse or football gear and other sporting goods, depending on what's available in your area.
6. Books, DVDs & Music
Everyone knows you can borrow books from the public library, but did you also know you can borrow DVDs, books on DVD and music from most local libraries? This is a great way to watch movies for free and keep from cluttering up your own movie storage area.
7. Formal Clothing
Why is it that we all know men can rent tuxedos for proms and weddings, but we don't typically know that women can rent formal wear? Check with local bridal boutiques to see if they have rental programs for formal dresses. Some areas have special, formal-wear rental stores, like Alexandria's Formal Gown Rental in Roseville, CA.
Before you make any purchase, especially if it's one that will require storage space of an item when it's not in use, look around your community and see if you could rent or borrow it instead. Save money and save space. It's a win-win situation.