Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Role of Maintaining Things in Simple Living

My Grandma was a thrifty woman, but she always bought the best of everything.  Her closet was filled with good quality classic clothes, supple leather shoes and lovely handbags.  She didn't own excessive quantities of anything but what she had was of the best quality she could afford.  She kept her leather goods well polished and her clothes meticulously cleaned and mended.  She hand washed her undergarments and hung them all to dry to save the elastic from "going" early.  Each item lasted for many years of faithful service due to her thoughtful, careful attention and because she opted for classic styles, nothing ever looked outdated. 

I'm embarrassed to admit that when I was younger, I used to (privately) scoff at my Grandma for taking such meticulous care of her things.  It seemed a pointless waste of time to me and I was guilty of thinking that it was cheaper to buy less expensive things and replace them when they broke.  I was wrong.  Not only is it NOT cheaper, but that way of thinking is wasteful and very bad for the environment.

This leather purse has served me faithfully for 5 years.  It is sturdy, well made, durable and practical.  It was not cheap, but the feel of the leather, the heft of the zippers, the quality of the stitching, the design, and the general workmanship all indicate that I bought a handbag worth the $150.00 that I paid for it.  Nothing is broken or damaged in spite of this purse being in steady, near daily service for 5 years.  It looks like I just bought it.

Yesterday, after noticing that the leather looked a bit cracked and dry, I invested 15 minutes of maintenance into my purse (Grandma style).   A good clean out and vacuum, some leather conditioner and a buff was all it took to make it look new again (see above).

                                       BEFORE the "spa treatment" :(

I'm confident that my purse will serve me well for many years to come.  Besides, who can argue with the math?

$150.00 divided by 10 years of service = $15.00/year

A wise investment, indeed :)


  1. Your grandma sounds like mine! I agree with you. (and now both our grandmothers have taught us something.) Plus, I love a soft leather purse. But I've wasted money in the past by being influenced in a cheap pricetag and thus have gone through purses. I am starting to catch myself and try to look at the product more then the % savings. Your purse looks great!

  2. For $150 I hope it does. My purses normally at least last that long and don't cost me nearly that much. I am glad you are taking such good care of your expensive purse though.

  3. Becky, you are lucky that you've had success find purses to last long at a cheaper price. I TRIED! For my entire adult life (before this purse), my handbags bought at lower price points ALWAYS fell apart within months. I tried many brands. It seemed very wasteful both of money and resources, so I opted for this route and have no regrets.