Repairing, Cleaning and Product Durability on the Homestead


CleanWell disinfectant on kitchen counter 

A huge part of managing our sustainable, solar-powered homestead is keeping our expenses in check. As my wife Lisa Kivirist and I write about in ECOpreneuring, we can increase our cash flow by decreasing our trash flow. We’re always asking: Do we need this? No, on the microwave in the kitchen. No, on the all-terrain vehicle -- we’re still fit enough to walk around our small farm. We can borrow or rent a pick-up truck when we actually need to use one to move wood or supplies, about once every three or four years, rather than own it. All this has made our farmstay bed and breakfast Inn Serendipity and homestead more profitable.

As a result of our positive cash flow, we’ve been able to focus less on income generation and more on repairing items, cleaning and maintaining what we own -- which takes a lot of time as many homesteaders know -- and repurposing items we already have on the farm. Scraps of metal remaining after siding projects for our barn and cabin became a new metal roof for an old chicken coop. Thanks to my son learning how to build sets for our local community-supported Monroe Theatre Guild, he used his new skillset to build a fun, outdoor farmstead cocktail bar for our various potlucks using old barn lumber. Creative frugality makes our rural dream a reality, providing the financial freedom that comes with cultivating a sense of living better on less.

We’ve always been big fans of the durable economy, selecting materials and items that will be around for years. When we do go shopping, we’re always looking for items to last, usually with limited lifetime warranties, and ideally made locally or in the USA, and when possible, designed with sustainable materials. We avoid the temptation to pay less for something because it’s “a deal.” Items made with quality materials and workmanship will last longer, and that’s a great thing for the environment and our pocketbook.

We try to be as wise as possible on what we purchase and always ask if we need it. Here are a few products we’ve found for repairing zippers, cleaning surfaces, or wearing (a well made wallet) in order to keep our credit cards and driver’s license safe from possible illegal radio frequency hacking.

Repairing a Zipper with the FixnZip

From a backpacks to luggage, sleeping bags to duffle bags, fleece jackets to jeans, zippers are ubiquitous. And sometimes they break or wear out. Instead of turning jeans into rags or pitching the suitcase in the dump bin, FixnZip, from CTF Enterprises, provides an easy and affordable do-it-yourself solution to extending the life of your zippered items. We used it on a backpack and fleece jacket.

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