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Repair: The 4th 'R'

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Emma, Preston | April 2, 2018

If you’ve got kids then I’m sure you know they can come with a lot of stuff. Before my daughter was even born my house felt full! There was her crib, bassinet, change table, glider, bouncy chair, blankets, bottles, pacifiers and more.  As she got older the amount of things continued to grow with the addition of toys, books, craft supplies and clothing. Everywhere I looked my house was full.

You’re probably familiar with the three ‘R’s – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. I have always been good with two of the 'R's – Reusing and Recycling. And with my kids’ gear it was no different. Most of the belongings we acquired were second hand, passed them again when we were finished with them. But that didn’t change the mountains of stuff.

Then I discovered minimalism and we began to appreciate the third ‘R’ – Reduce. Do we need 20 board games? Or just our five favourite? Can we borrow books from the library, instead of housing four packed bookcases? We donated a lot and as we purged the clutter our lives felt lighter. We had more space to focus on what matters and it feels good when the items in our home serve a purpose, have meaning and have been selected consciously.

But what to do when these purposeful, important items break? We can’t reduce a broken item like a blender that we use with regularity, we can’t reuse a broken bouncy chair, and we can’t recycle most broken toys. Enter the fourth ‘R’ – Repair.

Emphasis on repair is not new; older generations knew it well, but it can be easily forgotten in our current culture of convenience, obsolescence and disposability. There’s value in repair --you save money, you feel good learning a new skill, and you reduce waste. Repair is becoming popular again and Idea Exchange wants to help!

Want to learn more? We have books to help you with many types of repair:

Join us at Preston on Saturday April 7th for our next repair café. Bring your broken item to one of our specialists and they will repair it for free! The bonus is that you get to watch and learn, so that next time you can try repairing for yourself. See you there!