Have you ever looked around your house to see how many branded products are sitting in your kitchen, bathroom or under your sink?
In my house, sometimes it feels like I am in the middle of my own reality show.
“Now, introducing the new floor cleaner…better for when your one-year-old won’t stop eating off the floor!”
I have an uneasy relationship with all of these brands. Some I love. Some I tolerate. Some I use because there aren’t better products I feel motivated to seek out. Some, I hide from others because I don’t want them to know how much (or how little) I spent.
Sometimes, it just feels like my life might be easier without all the brands. But who can give up on brands? After, we need stuff to eat and clean and maintain our fresh-smelling homes, right?
Well, like many things, the answer is not exactly.
Branded products cost more, often use excessive packaging and, not to steal from Ms. Kondi, but often fail to spark joy. We should just pitch them!
First, let’s talk about generics. Most of the time, it’s the same darn product in a non-branded bag. I almost guarantee that you and your kids won’t notice. My kids eat colored fruit circles not fruit loops, but it still doesn’t stop them from begging for me (or from somehow always getting them on the ground).
The same is even more true of cleaning products, bathroom products and almost every other type of brand.
Now, maybe you are saying, “But such-and-such is AMAZING and no generic, non-branded product can even come close!
Well, I say to you, cool. Keep that product. Cherish the ones you love and ditch the rest.
We already mentioned the easy method – buying generic. Take two extra seconds to scan the shelves and find the most boring label. That’s the one that will deliver the same cleaning power for less money.
Invest in some plasticware. A trip to the Container Store should never be delayed! Get yourself different sizes and different shapes. You can stick kid’s cereal in tall, slender ones. Shampoo can go in a pump container. The great thing about these containers is that they can be recycled. Now, you can even buy refills of things like dish soap in plastic bags purposefully so you can transfer the product to a reusable container.
Also, think about homemade. My Facebook feed is filled with ideas for cleaning with baking powder and vinegar. Honestly, I bet I can clean almost anything with a combination of those two household products.
Beauty products are another area ready for the organize, home products. My hair responds very well to being slathered in mayo, and I’ve been known to put an egg on my face deliberately before.
Also, there are now brands that deliberately unbrand themselves. I am thinking of a company like Brandless, which bills itself as a way to put people first to get better stuff for fewer dollars.
You don’t have to be held prisoner to brands. You can break free. And when you do, you may be shocked to discover that you are spending less money, paying less attention and keeping an even more organized home.