07/14/2016 10:51 EDT | Updated 07/14/2016 10:59 EDT

Every Rental Community Has That One Spot That Brings It Together

Juj Winn via Getty Images
Mattress and chairs free on curb

Written by Jackie Marchildon

If you've ever rented before, especially in a building, you might remember (either fondly or with hate) that one spot where everyone left their disregarded items. They weren't necessarily unwanted items, in fact oftentimes they were great household objects that someone just didn't need anymore. Some might even say it was the original Bunz Trading Zone -- a popular and fast-growing online barter/trade site -- albeit without the actual meet up and trade.

Even before Bunz, there were other sites that helped people get rid of their stuff. Freecycle, for example, allows you to join or start a local group, post items you no longer want and look for items you might need, but trading is not allowed. The free stuff section on Craigslist is another example. Bunz, Freecycle and Craigslist are all great ways to find some free stuff, but it's not quite the same. Arguably it's much better than the donations bag hanging around the apartment half full, waiting to be filled in order to warrant a trip to the drop-off donation site.

Lifelong renters often claim that renting is a lifestyle. Renters that hate being renters probably disagree. But even if renting is a stopover for you before homeownership, it really does offer a sort of unique lifestyle for a few reasons -- one being that specific "spot."


Photos courtesy of Ashleigh Jack, Maddy Marchildon and Elisa Krovblit

While you still have access to neighbourhood groups, curbside finds and online trading groups when you own a home, the rental "spot" is different and pretty unique to renters.

Even in a big city like Hogtown, that special spot flourishes and reminds us that while we may not know all of our neighbours well, we know we like their stuff. My apartment's spot is just outside our gate -- and occasionally inside the gate if it's a particularly good item. Almost every time I place something there -- from worn-out Sperrys to beer glasses to empties -- it's gone within the hour.

The spot also makes it easy to get rid of clutter. Instead of holding on to unnecessary items, I just leave my stuff in that spot and it's done -- no second guessing. City living often means tight quarters, so the more often you purge, the better.

If you've never rented, this probably sounds like dumpster diving, but it's not: it's an unspoken trade, really. I leave that IKEA lamp I don't want anymore that is just the thing someone else needs, and sometime down the line, I'll likely score a new printer. It's an unspoken bond that renters share, and we may all hate certain things about renting, but this is surely something we can all agree to love.

You know the spot. What have you left for your neighbours? What have you found for yourself?

Read the original story at

Follow HuffPost Canada Blogs on Facebook