Is it worth fixing?


For the past two months now I've been learning and working on our home, getting ready to sell it. The amount of lessons I've learnt is pretty priceless, but I've also noticed a slight shift in the way that I think. I've literally been on a binge of fixing things, and not defaulting to discarding and replacing.



Today's ease of access, and the viral idea of consumerism, makes it to where it's simpler to just throw things away. Why fix it? Just buy a new one - Is probably the phrase most of us default to. I should point out this is not unique to the US, but it sure is dominant here.

Spending time fixing a door for example, replacing rotten parts, priming and painting, might sound like too much work, but does it not seem more responsible than throwing away a door? I guess that's my point. Instead of replacing the kitchen counters, just throwing them away, How about refinishing them?

Maybe it's somewhat romantic in a weird way to think about the things that end up in dumpsters, but I often wonder how many fixable things, how many valuable things, get discarded due to convenience and I can't help but to feel a bit guilty.

Is it worth fixing? Maybe not economically, but maybe that's not the only thing that matters.

MenO


Comments 18


Problem is, it's got to the point a lot of things are made with that in mind. They're not designed to be fixed. That needs to change.

26.07.2019 14:55
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26.07.2019 15:02
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Capitalist social system indoctrinates the people into measuring value in life only in terms of shiny things that clink. Even time and life are measured in terms of money. American Anglophone has hundreds of phrases that convey the concept of profit, but how many phrases does this linguistic system possess that convey the concept of virtue, honor, or duty?

"Saving" time is considered to be ultimate "progress" and efficiency, yet is the cost of ecologic destruction to construct highways and airports worth the value of reducing travel time by a few minutes? Is it truly efficient to destroy regional, communal economic infrastructure to manufacture baubles in the Third world, in order that trinkets can be sold at a few cents cheaper? Are people truly wealthier by constantly purchasing useless technical baubles, as if their next technology messiah has arrived in the newest iteration of some Apple or Google product?

The modern capitalist society is impatient to throw away the past, in order to heedlessly mortgage their future, for over consumption in the present. A flawed system built upon fanciful premise of infinite growth on a finite planet will only result in disaster.

26.07.2019 15:15
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i love this post, because im a repair dude as much i can do...

WHY??? because as you said iits easy and sometimes Cheaper to buy something new, but does it have same quality... mostly NO!!!

Seee in 80/90 people started to give away the REAL WOOD stuff to get some pressed WOODENLIKE thingy because it got a plastic outrside and its easier to clean up, there we did the first downgrade of our stuff same thing now is happens to doos kitchens and loads of other stuff.. it didnt get better it gots cheaper yeah, but why because it doesnt have the quality of earlier stuff....

So when im able to repair im going to do it!!

26.07.2019 15:16
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This is more true than most people realize. It is also a perfect demonstration that society is far more valuable than it's economy.

I watched a video yesterday that documented a journey down the Nile in the mid-80s. The detail of the societies encountered, the Nuba, Dinka, and other tribes, revealed that the concept of economy was highly variable in societies that generally operated similarly, despite enormous differences in what they ate, how they worshiped, and transferred value.

In all societies there reported, family was the core of value and economic mechanisms were employed to focus wealth in families - until they got to Cairo. The myriad particulars of the unique societies that made them look very different from what we're familiar with were no longer obvious, and people in Cairo dressed like everyone else in the West, and the economy no longer was focused on family, decreasing the power wielded by heads of household and increasing the power wielded by the state.

In the West, we're tricked by economic incentives to deliver our wealth and power to the state. Every time I fix something instead of replacing it, I increase the power of family, and freedom, while decreasing the tyranny we are subject to.

26.07.2019 17:09
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Hey this selfcalled SOCIAL MARKETECONOMY dont want you to repair things, they want to sell you NEW stuff which get broken quicker than the stuff you had before so you buy new again and again and again...

They dont want a shoerepairman , they dont want all this WORKING men... they want us as marionettes which are taking what they tells us

And at least Marketeconomy cant be social and they got it :D

26.07.2019 17:15
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An interesting review and I am sure that if there is a possibility, something to fix, it must be done without fail.

26.07.2019 16:19
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Repair repair repair!!! That's how our family does. We're from SA and only if we cannot fix it will be buy an new one. Wasting money on nonsens that is not needed. Same goes for buying clothes secondhand. Why buy new all the time? WE'RE guilty of creating a demand and supply if we stop demanding and be more hands on with recycling and upcycling then we'll interrupt the supply chain. We need to change our mindsets. I'm not a full on greenie. I struggle some days but one needs to just try and be mindful. My friends had kids who couldn't understand why we were fixing things and not buying new. We've moved abroad and our furniture is in storage, we're renting fully furnished.... I'm no refusing to buy crap because I know I've got a container full of crap back home, I certainly don't need another. Use what's there and fix what you can. Kids need to be taught early in life. OK rant over. 😉 I just enjoyed your post and it's a topic close to my heart

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26.07.2019 17:47
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Same here. I’ve got so much stuff stored in Hawaii and Oregon. Now I’m in Mexico and I just refuse to buy anything but food. I spent so much time and money trying to acquire all those things and now I just have to worry about protecting my investment. It’s really such a burden.

One thing I really like about Mexico is that they do fix things here, rather than just throwing stuff away. Just one of the many things I find wonderful about this place.

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26.07.2019 18:55
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thank you for sharing, loved our rant! :)

27.07.2019 00:54
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I totally agree with you, my family were always make do and mend - when I was young we did not have much to go around so fixing was a priority. It stuck with me and I hate wasting anything, although it has made me a bit of a hoarder because I keep everything just in case it can be used in future - although it is amazing how often I find I need something - and realise I can salvage the part from some other long broken item I never got rid of. And with eBay you can easily look up parts by description or if you have a code on a circuit board etc - you can easily find them. The flip side is whenever I need to get something I always go to eBay first - whatever I am getting I would rather buy someone’s old unit for less then retail - or if I can buy it broken and find a good guide online to fix it and get parts cheap do that rather then buying new. Likewise anything I no longer need goes on eBay - throwing away is an absolute last resort. I even strip down totally beyond repair espresso machines for work to their bare copper boilers and brass groups to get the price price from the scrap metal merchant - you give them the whole machine you get a mixed metal price and loose the value in the precious metals. God I’m sounding like a right old skinflint now lol !COFFEEA 15

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26.07.2019 18:54
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thank you for the coffee my friend

27.07.2019 00:54
0

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26.07.2019 18:54
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If you have the ability to do so, it demonstrates passion and craftsmanship to repair. However, not everyone has the time and ability to do so. I can barely change a light bulb so I would do much worst!

27.07.2019 03:32
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The home reno up in MA I have we come across this often and just repaired and replaced wood planks on the garage door, which costs about $100 in materials and time/labor as opposed to replacing it new for the $1,000 quote we got.

27.07.2019 04:19
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P.S. - when do I get to come by and see the house. My girl and I can come visit you guys. :-)

27.07.2019 04:19
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27.07.2019 19:13
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Hello!

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29.07.2019 17:23
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