The lost art of making do

Let’s face it, we all like things that are new and shiny. When given a choice most of us pick new over old.

The ongoing economic recession has made it more challenging for all of us to get the new and shiny so many think they just have to do without. I think there is an alternative we are overlooking – making do.

What do I mean when I say we need to make do? I mean we make use of what we already have. We re-purpose old stuff. Maybe it is throwing a tablecloth over a couple of boxes to create an end table. Maybe it is cleaning up and refinishing a piece of furniture. It might even be taking apart an old t-shirt to make a new playsuit for the baby. It is even making a new dress from curtains .

When we make do, we figure out how to create what we need, or even what we want, out of something we already own. It is rearranging things to make them meet our needs in ways they weren’t before. It is much less expensive than buying new and shiny. It does mean we need a few skills but those are easily learned and very useful.

And one more benefit of making do is that we waste less. We live in a disposable culture. We buy so many new and shiny things and as soon as the shine wears off we just throw them away. When we make do, we figure out a new way to use those old things, ways to restore the shine and in the process we reduce the waste.

Personally, I like making do. I like rescuing things from the trash bin and breathing new life into them.  It is thrifty and creative.

1 comment for “The lost art of making do

  1. samcallsmemaam
    April 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    It’s a strange world when it’s cheaper to buy new than to repair the old. Maybe technology has driven us to this place; maybe it’s the high cost of labor, or maybe we have lost the skills to diagnose problems and fix things.

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