Buy things you won’t throw away

I didn’t really go in for New Year’s resolutions this year. With a third baby on the way and continuing our home education journey, survival felt a reasonable enough goal.

However, I do have a few things I vaguely want to give a bit more attention this year. One is to “make” more. My parents gave me a sewing machine for Christmas and I’m looking forward to learning to use it. Picking up crochet again last year was a bit of a revelation.The other is to majorly declutter because the tyranny of stuff in our house (too much we don’t even use!) is doing my head in. And the last is where this post comes in. I want to buy things I won’t end up throwing away.

After trying everything we could last year to rehome a sofa that had become an eyesore, and failing, I finally accepted that we had to get the council to take it and that it would most likely end up in landfill. I was gutted about it but I’d tried dyeing it, it was too expensive and awkward to reupholster, I didn’t feel up to the job myself and no one, absolutely no one wanted it.

We’ve since been given another sofa (a sofa bed in fact) that will see us through the next few years and this time I’m trying to keep it in good enough nick to pass on to someone but eventually (read: when the kids are older), we probably will go looking at new sofas.

When we do, the principles I plan to apply relate to just about any big purchase you want to ensure won’t end up in landfill. Obviously they may not reasonably apply to everything.  However, there are a lot of things that we probably could spare throwing away with a little more thought from the outset. Before clicking through to PayPal or whacking out my debit card, here’s what I’ll be thinking about:

  • Is it built to last? What is it made of and how well is it made? How well are the materials and structure likely to last – bearing in mind we have kids and cats in the house?
  • Is it timeless? Am I likely to change my mind about it in years to come? How well will it accommodate changing needs?
  • How well does it clean? Is cleaning straightforward or will I need specialist products or services to do it?
  • Can I fix or upcycle it? Is it structured in such a way that it can be repaired if not by me then by a local craftsperson?
  • Does it come with a guarantee?
  • Can I pass it on? What would I need to do to make sure I can sell, donate or give it away? Is this realistic?

Over to you. What do you think about when making a big purchase? Do you have any other ideas for keeping big items out of landfill?

This is a collaborative post. See my disclosure for more details.
Photo from StockSnap.io


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