What do a Revere bowl, a baby cup and a colossal oyster shell have in common and why do they merit any mention? Their commonality? They are all well known forms, employed in unusual, but useful ways. Their worthiness of mention? They embody the World War II mantra, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” – specifically, the make it do part.
The post war boom years rendered this saying, passé, and not a moment too soon for those who lived through the Depression. It’s likely that this generation’s collective relief gave rise to the “more is more” mindset that the next generation so fully embraced. But what goes around comes around. Now it’s hyper consumerism and indiscriminate consumption that may have run their course and we’re in the midst of another shift –back to simplicity, balance and restraint. But this time, the movement is voluntary and not matter of a national necessity. More of us are treading more lightly and living more thoughtfully, and not feeling bad about any of it, especially the making do part.
Making do has changed its stripes. Forced restraint and frugality have given way to imagination and creativity. Repurposing has never been more in style. You don’t have to be crafty or clever to do this. Next time you think, “I need to buy something to hold, store, or display my so-and-so”, stop and look around your home to see what deserves a ‘get out of jail’ pass for time served and good behavior. Throw open cabinet doors. Unlid storage containers. Open your eyes and go shopping without ever leaving home or communing with your computer.
You probably have a lot of nice things tucked away that seldom (or never) get a chance to be contributing members of your team. Presumably the stuff you’ve been warehousing is stuff you actually like. Think outside the box or cabinet for ways to use your things that lets them breathe rather than suffocate; shine rather than stagnate.
Pia finds the Revere bowl to be a very satisfactory kibble dish. We find the baby cup and oversized oyster shell to be agreeable bathroom accouterments. Form and function. Beauty and utility. All right under our nose. What’s under your nose? Sniff around and find out. If you don’t like what you find, ask yourself one question. ”Why am I keeping it?” If you can’t come up with an even halfway convincing answer, let it go. If you are going to keep it, find a way to use it. You’re cleverer than you think.
Before airline mischief sullied it, re-accommodate had a more pleasing connotation. It meant to make suitable or to adapt. If the Q-Tips, soap and kibble were able to express feelings, I suspect they would consider their new accommodations to be a serious upgrade from the cardboard box or sealed container where they originally lived. So do your things a kindness. Re-accommodate with abandon. Send conventions packing. Make it do and you’ll seldom be without!