Tired of replacing your things so often? You’re not alone. Clever marketers persuade us to buy all the latest must haves – whether they’re well made or not – creating waste, clutter and garbage products. Although we advocate living as minimally as possible, we recognise that sometimes buying new stuff is a necessity. The good news is that you can do it in a way that’s kind to the environment and your wallet. Here’s why you should ‘buy it for life’ the next time you need to replace something.
Consumer waste is a huge problem – particularly, throwaway plastic crap. Buying for life not only reduces your waste, but also makes a statement about the kind of world you want to live in. If everyone voted with their wallets in this way, manufacturers would have no choice but to respond by increasing the quality of their designs.
Okay, so we all know that in the short term buying low grade items is the cheapest way to live. But have you ever added up how much you spend on replacing those items when they break? And it’s not just the cost of the item, either. There’s the cost of gas for going to pick up the item, and the cost of your time to boot. In the long term, it’s cheaper to buy one very well made item that has a long warranty or is easily fixed. We know it’s not easy to save up for that first big ticket buy it for life item, but if you use a strategy of replacing one item at a time as and when they break it should make it much easier. Just imagine how many emergency shopping trips you won’t have to take because your stuff doesn’t break!
Having nice things tends to make you appreciate them more. Firstly, there a chasm of difference in quality between items that are throwaway and those that are built to last. This applies not only to functionally but also aesthetics. A manufacturer that sells an item for $5 is unlikely to put much thought into how it looks. But if you expect a consumer to pay $100 for an item that does the same thing, you better believe it will be both higher quality and nicer to look at.
It’s also easy to underestimate the impact (or should we say lack of impact) that high quality items have on our lives. Imagine how much time in your life you have spent shopping for stuff. Then imagine only ever having to go shopping once for every item in your home! When you buy it for life, your levels of stress and ‘noise’ will be greatly reduced.
Patience, Young Padawan
In today’s culture, it’s easy to get pretty much anything you want at the click of a button. We expect goods and services to be cheap, competitive and widely available. Now, it’s no bad thing for consumerism to be democratised, or for poorer people to have greater access to life’s essentials. But there’s something in danger of being lost here – patience. The idea of of shopping ‘slow’. Of not having everything you want straight away, but having to work and save and scrimp for it. Studies show that we appreciate things more when we put in graft to get them – and this feeds in to being kinder to the environment. Unless we want the planet to someday resemble the movie Wall-E, we have to rediscover the virtue of patience.
Decluttering Your Life
Buying for life goes hand in hand with a minimalist lifestyle. Once you get into the buy it for life habit, you start thinking about what you really need. While some may equate this with ‘scrimping’, most people actually find it liberating. When quality is your focus, you will soon find yourself eliminating all extraneous crap from your world. Not only will your home become clutter free, the chances are you will feel a lot more zen for taking the leap.
Well, Time To Get Shopping!
We hope you enjoyed this list of our top 5 reasons to buy it for life. If you’re keen to get started but don’t know how, then we highly recommend the Reddit page ‘Buy It For Life’. It’s a great community filled with people sharing tips about buying for life. Got any other recommendations for where people can source items that are built to last? We’d love to hear about it in the comments! And don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog for the latest Tiny Living developments.