Think Twice Before Buying New

by Katy on December 2, 2022 · 19 comments

This blog is a reprint of a previously published post, enjoy!


Consumer goods have become unbelievably cheap, so it’s easy to just buy new stuff whenever a want or need strikes. The Dollar Tree sells multipacks of socks for a buck twenty-five and Old Navy sells flip-flops for the same price, so where’s the incentive to buy used, fix what’s broken or hold off on new purchases?

But I follow The Compact and I try to buy nothing new.

Need an example?

My fifteen-year-old son collects international soccer jerseys, (which he finds at Goodwill) and carefully hangs them all in his closet. However, some recent good scores means he currently had more jerseys than hangers. I really like an organized closet and have scored enough wooden hangers through thrifting to supply both our coat closet, (no door, so it needs to look tidy) and our bedroom closet. However, my son’s closet is a visual jumble of random plastic hangers. I looked at his closet and had a flash thought that maybe I should start fresh and buy a few packs of brand new white hangers.

After all, the hanger packs are only a buck apiece.

But I feel strongly about not supporting unnecessary manufacture of new goods, especially plastic ones with a limited life span. I realized that I had plenty of mismatched hangers on the mostly-shut-down-for-winter outdoor clothesline. Yes, they were kind of grubby, so putting them through the dishwasher made them look as good as new. They’re neither austere wood, nor does he have a single color scheme, but he now has enough hangers.

My son asked for more hangers, not matching hangers!

By following The Compact and only buying used, I have a buffer period between myself and the buying of new or even used items. I have to think twice before making a purchase, and because it’s a pain in the tuchus to find specific used things, it sparks my make it do creativity.

Thinking twice before buying new stuff will never be a regret. Let’s face it, the last thing this planet needs are more plastic hangers.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Cindy in the South December 2, 2022 at 2:36 pm

True. I was given a black stove and I have a white fridge. Both are still working almost 11 yrs laters. Works for me… lol


Katy December 2, 2022 at 3:28 pm

Mismatching appliances? The horrors!


Q December 2, 2022 at 3:06 pm

I liked this. The day to day decisions add up.


Bee December 3, 2022 at 5:53 am

Where I live, I can but almost anything I need secondhand. My son, however, lived in a town of 7000 that was 3 hours from a town of any size. There was a Walmart that was 70 miles away round trip. So I would send him care packages of thrifted clothing – Levi’s, sweaters, shirts, jackets. These weren’t available new or used.


One of God's December 2, 2022 at 3:45 pm

As I do like color-coordinated things, I bought several packs of GW plastic hangers and just kept the white ones, re-donating the rest. It’s true that the only way they match is in color, but it suits me.


Katy December 3, 2022 at 10:06 am

So smart!


Texasilver December 2, 2022 at 5:15 pm

My condo came equipped with white appliances. The trim on the white fridge has yellowed which I find unsightly. However it seems wasteful to buy a new fridge when this one is working. The label on it says manufactured in 2000 so who knows how long it will keep working.
When my sister got divorced last year her ex took most of her kitchen items. I curb picked a toaster oven, crock pot, silverware, toaster, and aa few other items. I sanitized all & she was glad to get them. It saved her from having to replace her kitchen items.


Plaidkaren December 3, 2022 at 5:30 pm

Texasilver, a couple of years ago I removed all the handles and knobs from my white stove and fridge and spray painted them red. The trim I could not remove I just sprayed some paint in the can lid and used a craft brush!! Maybe there is hope for your yellowed trim!!


MB in MN December 2, 2022 at 6:34 pm

Very wise. Couldn’t agree more about the unnecessary manufacturing of more stuff, especially the dreaded plastic. Thanks for reprinting!


Sarah December 2, 2022 at 8:14 pm

The Compact links are broken


Katy December 3, 2022 at 10:05 am

Thanks, I fixed it.


A. Marie December 3, 2022 at 5:25 am

I too have a gloriously mismatched array of black and stainless steel kitchen appliances. As I’ve said in the past, Martha Stewart I ain’t.

Also, thanks to DH’s past tenants (and judicious trashpicking more recently), there are various things I never have to buy, new *or* used: hangers, gift wrap, some office supplies, flowerpots, picture frames, etc., etc.


Ruby December 3, 2022 at 7:55 am

Ours match, but only because when the flashy, poorly functioning stainless steel ones that came with the house stopped working, we bought the less-expensive black finishes that had gone out of style. Good, sturdy brands wearing yesterday’s clothes for the win.


Ruby December 3, 2022 at 7:51 am

We had a glut of plastic hangers and my husband and I, both being visual people, wanted our closets to have one color of hangers. So when the family did a great closet purge a few years ago of clothes to be donated, he got all the black hangers. I took the white ones for regular clothes and those sturdy crystal plastic ones with a metal hook for my sweaters. Our son, who does not care about such things, took the mismatched colors. No money was spent.


MB in MN December 3, 2022 at 12:44 pm

Ruby: I, too, like matching hangers and am glad your hanger inventory worked out for the whole family. Many years ago, I went to a local warehouse that sells used store fixtures and scored like-new wooden hangers for 25 cents each. They were from a high-end boutique that went out of business. Such a great investment. Plus I was able to give all of our mismatched hangers to someone who was very happy to receive them. The look of our closets still thrills me. Even my husband, who claims not to care about such things, loved the transformation. Just like when we first married and I turned his hangers to go in the same direction and organized his clothes by type. Luckily he’s a good sport about my need for visual organization!


Mary Beth Danielson December 3, 2022 at 8:40 am

Years ago, I took a VCR player (or were they just VCR’s?) to a Best Buy repair guy (because a kid at my preschooler’s birthday party shoved his gummy worms in it). I asked when a person should replace and when they should get an appliance fixed. He said if interior parts have a lot of plastic, or various parts all glommed together by plastic during manufacturing, then it’s probably best to replace. If the appliance is old and possibly homely but was manufactured with individual parts that a repair person can look at and fix one part at a time, keep it. I find this helpful. You can’t fix the built-in computer clock but you can take panels off bigger things and look. We’ve successfully purchased used items at used-appliance businesses that sell to landlords – they won’t stay in business if they sell shoddy stuff. Also, stove/oven technology is not that complicated, used, or old ones generally work swell. Refrigerators, dishwashers, and furnaces have improved so much regarding energy savings that they are a reasonable place to consider new. Like you, Katy, we got a “deal” on a new appliance – ours was a dishwasher – because we bought an upscale brand that had a dent. It’s been three years and it’s had nary a problem. Hope I didn’t jinx it saying so.


lulutoo December 4, 2022 at 9:30 am

I 100% agree with Katie’s post today. (And she even ‘recycled’ it…great!)


Katy December 4, 2022 at 10:34 am

Why yes, I did.


Taylor Abrams January 26, 2023 at 9:43 pm

Next month, my aunt wants to open a mobile restaurant so she can have more money. In light of this, she believes that purchasing a Used Stainless Steel Three Door Commercial Freezer is the most economical method to acquire a necessary piece of equipment for the company. It gives me comfort to know that you appreciate sustainability and that you value purchasing reconditioned goods. She can start hunting for high-quality ones when I email her this.


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