The Best “Thing” You Probably Already Have

There’s an old Depression-era saying, “Use it up, make it do, or do without”.

Americans aren’t used to that any more. There’s always something slightly more advanced, something better than what you already have. The siren song of new ‘n shiny is hard to resist. Distilling the problem to it’s essence will allow you to find out if you really need something else to upgrade.

Personal example: I’ve been looking for lawn mower baggers, or lawn sweepers, as my current mower is a mulch-only. However, in the barn, I have a broken  bagging lawn mower. If I take the time to fix the old one, there’s no need to upgrade. But first I have to fix it.

What am I trying to solve? I’d like to clear grass clippings off my yard, as well as have easy access to mulch or scratch for my chickens. I can solve this problem with a rake and some time, but that’s not nearly as fun as shopping.

Now, my own grandfather would say “The right tool for the right job,” and that is a maxim that is also true. There are absolutely repair projects that are nearly impossible without purchasing or getting ahold of the tool that you need.

When shopping for big(ger)-ticket items, ask 2 questions:

What problem am I really trying to solve?


Can I solve this problem with something I already have?

Owning more things comes with a cost, from maintenance and storage and consumables, or simply the mental overhead. Our brains are finite, and there is a capacity issue with having more Stuff. Shopping, comparing and searching for deals are additional costs on our attention.

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