Thursday, March 11, 2010

Repair it, Rent it, Borrow it, Share it

Yesterday my husband was so happy to tell me that after a few hours of sweat labor he was able to take apart and repair his bass petal (he is a drummer). He was very happy that he was able to do this because it saved him from having to buy a new one (or find another used one as this one he bought used).

This got me to thinking ... There are the things I just run out and buy (and probably shouldn't) like new cloths, shoes, small kitchen utensils, a carpet shampooer, gardening supplies etc. Then, there are the things I would painstakingly search for to buy used (mostly things for the kids), and yes, there are the things we would rent like a pipe cutter, or maybe even things we buy but share like a carpet shampooer (we also loan this last on out a lot).

But why am I spending more on things I could simply be repairing, fixing up, renting, borrowing, or even loaning so someone else doesn't have to buy it. For example, years ago we gutted our kitchen and did a remodel ourselves. Instead of buying a new refrigerator because it wasn't black and didn't go with everything I had it painted (yes they came to my house and painted it).

Don't get me wrong, I still turn old socks with holes into sock puppets but what is stopping me from fixing or fixing up more of the things I have before just opting for a brand new one (or better one). Even better on the gardening and once-in-a-while use items I should find a place to "rent" them or a neighbor to share them with (I mean do you really need an edger or a pressure washer all to yourself)?

My new goal is rent more items from places like Lowe's and Home Depot. Share more items with my neighbors and friends, and repair more items before I go out and buy a new or used one. It is time for a little more sweat equity to help in my cause to spend and use less!


  1. My local seamstress is my hero. When a zipper goes bad, I take the item to her and she fixes it up! If I buy a pair of pants at Goodwill that is too long, I take them to her ans shortens them up for my stubby legs. (Yes, I know that is a simple fix, but for me it's totally worth the $8 I pay her to do it.) I know one pair of pants has had fixes that now exceed the original cost of the pants, but since I adore the style and that line of pants is no longer made (RIP Mervyn's), it is worth it to me in the avoided time SHOPPING for a new pair (even at Goodwill). One of the most satisfying fixes I've asked her to do is to fix the pocket lining on a favorite coat. That was an expensive fix (around $30 or so), but worth every penny.

    With clothes, too, buying used or extending the life of what you already own not only saves you money, but also takes you out of the sweatshop labor economy that pervades the clothing industry.

    I think some modern appliances simply aren't made to be fixed -- vacuum cleaners, cd and dvd players, and toasters.

    Great blog, Stacey. Keep it up! I know you aren't getting a lot of comments, but know that I read every one.

  2. Thanks Jeannie. There are so many things I have yet to learn but when I do I plan to share them... maybe you can share a recipie and some thoughts for our meatless monday thread :)

  3. Speaking of sharing stuff...we have a karaoke machine. If anybody wants to borrow it for parties and silly fun, let us know. We're happy to share! We also have about 100 small wine glasses. We'll share those too, if anybody's having a big party.
    Thanks for the great insights, Stacey and friends!

  4. Here's another resource:

    There are a few people I know who use it-- although I haven't yet. Anybody have any experience with it?

  5. Great find Paula. I'm going to have to check out my neighBORROWhood now :)