“Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do. Or do without.”
Can you hear your grandmother’s voice when you read this ditty? It was popularized during World War II when consumer goods were scarce and money was tight. Being thrifty was a way of life for most. Frugality was a practical necessity and a sign of patriotism and virtue.
But somewhere along the way, we seemed to forget all of this. The last 70 years have been mostly prosperous. Even the great recession of 2008 didn’t do much to dampen our collective enthusiasm for buying. We buy because we want, not because we need. These two words are used almost interchangeably, even further blurring the distinction between wants and needs.
The range of products and services vying for our dollars has never been broader. Online or bricks and mortar- shopping has never been easier or more seductive. So much for Grandmother’s admonition!
Without advocating to a return to the 1940’s, might you live more easily with fewer things? Look at your stockpile of food, cleaning supplies, toiletries, clothes, office supplies, toys, electronics and knickknacks. How much is enough? What is too much? When are you simply awash in clutter?
So what’s the solution? At the very least, consider taking stock of your things. See what you have at home that can be used up or worn out. Resist impulse purchases. Make a list of needs and stick to it. Limit your wants. Try making do or doing without. You probably won’t feel the least bit deprived and might be truly liberated.
Remember, you might think you’re the master of your things, but in reality, you’re their slave.