A very Italian and la bella figura philosophy is to care for your belongings. Taking care of what you own shows respect for yourself, respect for your belongings and respect for the planet.
The classic example is the Italian man or woman who drives the older vehicle and spends weekends polishing it and caring for it so it always looks like new.
It is also about keeping those old shoes polished and your clothes ironed and your house spotless (I have a problem with this last one, especially with two small kids).
It is about meticulously cleaning your appliances, such as your blender, after each use.
It is taking care of everything you own so it will serve you well and last for years.
It isn’t about tossing something that is broken or needs to be repaired unless it is a hopeless case. It is about trying not to buy anything that is “disposable” that is meant to have a short life and then meant to be tossed.
Instead of discarding what you own so readily, try to figure out if you can fix something that is broken or find a new use for an item before you pass it on. I am trying to do this.
There is a fine balance between decluttering and using what you have until it no longer gives you use. I think the differences is that if you own an item, such as a toaster that works and serves your purposes but maybe isn’t the exact model or color you like — use it as long as you can before you replace it.
The idea is to not replace useful items so readily … use what you can as long as you can.
For instance, I am not overly thrilled with my winter coat, but by taking off the belt and the belt loops, I am much happier with the way it fits. With the waist belted, it looked sloppy, bulky and not chic in the least bit. When one of the loops for the belt broke off, I decide to tug on the other one and become belt free. the only problem is I ended up with two big rips in the sides of my wool coat. Then a button came off.
Because it is wool and an expensive clothing item, my immediate thought was to take it to the tailor for repairs. I kept waiting to have enough extra money to do this. Didn’t happen. So I sat down with a needle and thread and repaired it myself. It was actually easier than I thought. The stitches aren’t great, but my repair work does not show.
Then I took my beloved trench coat and reinforced the beautiful wooden flower buttons on it. I was upset last spring when I lost one of the buttons on it. I found it crushed by a tire on the street. Luckily, I could pull off an unseen button under the collar and use that. But that was the only button left that doesn’t show, so I need to make sure I don’t lose any more.