I have a very wonderful situation where I helped a person downsize and de-clutter her whole house, including mostly emptying out a bedroom. When I told her I was willing to trade for a room, she saw that as a win -win solution. I have a beautiful room, looking out on a garden that I cultivated that has a beautiful totem pole. I see squirrels and I bet I will see rabbits too.
The windows are open on this 60 degree warm day. The cars going by are a bit noisy–but I can handle that. I feel so grateful that I can trade services like cleaning, organizing (there is still some work to do) gardening, and even preparing vegan food including smoothies. In addition, at no charge, I am facilitating better relations between the two cats. And the best thing is, the woman I am sharing the house with really appreciates having me around, I appreciate her, too! Everyone is happy. Oh, yes, and most of my clients are located near here, so the earth is happy too because I am riding my bike a lot. Yeah!
Although my dream is to live in community with my family and others who share our values, right now this is the best situation for me. If you have some dreams, and you want to cut down on living expenses as well as serve another person with your talents, I suggest that you look for a situation similar to mine. Here is one resource you might want to check out: the Caretaker Gazette that connects people who need someone to take care of their home with someone who can help. http://www.caretaker.org/