A new resolution: think used
I love a good New Year’s resolution. Yes, they can be overdone and dull (who doesn’t want to lose a few pounds?) but they can also cause a paradigm shift by putting your attention into something positive. For me, the past two years have been a huge education in terms of living “used.” Being involved with Used.ca has actually had an enormously positive impact on my habits. Buying used, selling what I don’t need and being more creative about material stuff in general.
This year, I’d like to challenge you to consider adding a “used” resolution to your list. And don’t worry, I’m not one of the ultra-crafty, creative, “pinterest-y” people that make our blog so lovely. I’m lacking talent in that area, but I have still found a home here.
Sounds simple, right? Well it is. Before you make a purchase just consider, “is this something I could buy used?” Chances are, it is. For me, this simple consideration has saved me hundreds of dollars. This is by no means an exaggeration – check out this post on my baby savings alone.
Is there something in your life that’s just not serving its purpose? If so, maybe there is a way to re-use it or re-purpose it. One of my resolutions last year was to be more organized. For me, my jewelry box just wasn’t cutting it. The box was a thing of beauty but just not that functional and as it was a gift from my husband, I didn’t want to get rid of it. So there it sat, dusty and unused – a mound of jewelry sitting right on top. But one day an idea dawned on me to re-use my jewelry box – by inserting a simple, hand-made cardboard sorter. And it was fixed!
Buying used comes naturally to me. Selling, though, is a bit of a hurdle as I find it a little awkward. But, after getting comfortable with buying used items online I finally worked up the courage to post an item for sale of my own: a baby exersaucer I had bought used that had been taking up too much space. To my amazement, I sold it for what I bought it for, which means in essence, I had used it for free! It was a HUGE rush. With that, I went on a bit of a selling binge and now that I’ve done it a few times, it’s easy.
This one is a bit tricky for some people to wrap their heads around but I’ve done it and in my experience, it’s a great option. Start by giving used items to your immediate family and once you see how well they are received, you can expand to friends. It is true that one person’s junk is another’s treasure. I have a lovely laptop bag that is too small for my computer. I’m gifting it to my friend this year because I know she’d love it. She doesn’t care that it’s used – it’s new to her!
Maybe you’re not comfortable selling but you still have stuff taking up precious space that you’d like to part with. How about giving away your used stuff to someone who can use it? Halifax has a great occasion called the “Curbside Give Away Weekend”, where people leave stuff they don’t use on the curb for others to take. This year, I found one of our daughter’s favourite toys on the side of the road, for free. There is also the free tab on each of our Used.ca sites where you can post unwanted items that you’d like to give away for free.
There are a lot of other great ways to share, such as drop-offs to homeless or women’s shelter, donating supplies to a school or daycare, etc. If your stuff is in good shape, chances are that someone else will love it!
So alongside that resolution to take better care of yourself and your family and to read a good book, consider adding a resolution that will save money and help the environment.