Unless I’ve lost track, which is possible, this article from Wired magazine on the need to fix things, rather than just tossing them out, has not been included in a Friday post. I’ll wait while you read it.
One of the things that I love and appreciate about my husband is that he can fix almost anything. Sometimes his care in fixing an item makes it better than when it started out. Recently, he fixed a bag dryer that we’ve used for a decade. (See a photo of a bag dryer here.) Years of use had finally caused the glue to completely give up and the base to fall off, so I was using it balanced in a short drinking glass. Dan took the entire thing apart, sanded it, waxed it, and reassembled it. Quite frankly, it was better than new and will surely last another decade. I think some people would have been tempted to either use it in its broken down state or maybe fixed it but without all the extra fuss. Most people, I fear, would have tossed it and purchased new. After all, they’re only about $20, and that one lasted a decade – good enough, right?
After reading the article in Wired, my Aunt Eileen commented that she had heard that you can judge a society by how it treats its broken. “Broken” here referred to people, but it made her wonder if we could also judge a society by how it treats its broken things.
That really got me thinking about all the things that Dan has fixed in the many years we’ve been together: shoes, a play baby buggy, computers and electronic items, jewelry, and (my favorite) a stick from the yard that one of the girls broke when she just had to have it. Yes, my husband fixed a stick.
Your money will go further, and so will your pride, when you fix up something and keep using it.
But for clutterers, the challenge and thrill of potentially fixing something can be a real trap. Do you have items in your house that have been broken for more than a year? Items that you do not know how to fix? Items that you could fix – maybe – but still wouldn’t use? Do you pick up broken items during bulky trash because you’re sure you can fix them up and use or resell them, even though you don’t have the time, money, tools or know-how? Stop! This is a trap for clutterers, and you don’t need to get sucked into it.
Like an never (or partially) started craft or a gadget that you used for just one project, it’s time to let those broken things go. Offer it free to someone who can fix them, or break it down for recycling, or just put it out on the curb with a “free but broken” sign on it and see what happens. If you can fix it, do. And soon. If you can’t, it’s time to say good-bye.
Today’s Mini Mission
Identify and declutter an item that has remained in your home out of habit. Something that has so far escaped your notice just because it has been around for so long and has literally just become a piece of the furniture.
Eco Tip For The Day
Return hangers back to the dry cleaners to be reused. Every little thing recycling effort helps!
It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow