13 November 2014

A Major Purchase For Our Family

My header might lead you to believe we've purchased something big like a car or a house, but no we didn't. What we did buy was a trash can. Not just any trash can, but a serious trash can - a simplehuman trash can.

It was never my intention to spend the kind of money you pay for a simplehuman metal trash can to replace the one we had. But when we looked at all our options and a sizable discount on the retail price it started making sense.

We realized that if we picked the right can and invested that kind of money that this would be a trash can we would have for a very long time to come. Rather than buying several $30 trash cans that would fall apart or would become annoying to us when they didn't meet our needs over the next 10-15 years we have one great, stylish can that should last us at least that long.

We have been using a trash can in the kitchen that I actually inherited from a former home. Not super effective, not the right size, more like an office trash can. It got to the point that it really wasn't working for us at all.

We wanted a trash can with a lid and about twice the size of the can we had. Things came to a head this past weekend for a couple of important reasons and we knew we needed to get something new.

We debated trying to scrimp and find something at a discount retailer but we knew it would be hit or miss and might just prolong the misery of trying to find something that would work. The kitchen trash can is something we use every day.

In the kitchen and especially when making meals I spend a lot of time dumping stuff into the kitchen trash can. I felt like it was something that both The Man and I needed to agree on because it's such a vital part of our daily existence. We decided in the end to head over to Bed, Bath and Beyond to see a full line of options.

We pulled down a lot of different trash cans and demo-ed them, talking about how we would use them, how they would fit in our space, what we liked and disliked about each one. It was a really valuable conversation because both The Man and I had a lot of opinions and ideas. The Man especially, was on point with bringing up a lot of features, downfalls and benefits of each can. I was impressed.


I wanted a step-on lid can and picked this one out as my favorite. It's the 40-liter Semi-round Step-on can.


In the end we chose the Rectangular Brushed Stainless Steel Fingerprint-proof 40-liter Touch Bar Trash Can. Here is what persuaded us. The profile is much simpler and flatter for this can. The Semi-round can has a big hinge on the back of the door so it can not fit flat against the wall behind it. Knowing my family, who often miss the trash can, that meant space behind the can for garbage to fall. Plus that's just wasted space for us, we can't really give up inches of wasted space.

The hinge on the rectangular can is on the inside, so it can stand flat against the wall. I didn't love the touch bar. I would've preferred the step-on lid can but the  semi-round can also stuck out into the room more than the rectangle can. One thing I didn't like is that the rectangle can is not self-closing. You can tap the bar to open the can but you have to push the lid down until it locks.

After some thoughtful debate we agreed that the rectangle can was the right one for us. It was like Christmas day to bring it home. Everyone was gathered around as we unpacked it and set it up on our kitchen. We were even thrilled to find that simplehuman had included a bag of trash bags as well.

The new can fit perfectly in the space we wanted it to. In fact it's amazing how much it really classed up the space and the fit is very slim and streamlined. I'm a little stunned by how pretty it is every time I walk by.

The new can actually takes up less floor space than the old junker metal can we had and yet gives us more than double the space for trash. We quickly realized that the semi-round can would have taken up even more floor space we didn't want to give up.

So successes I count from this experience are that we worked together to find the best can that would work for us. There was give and take and thoughtfulness and in the end we found something that everyone likes. Secondly, we found something that meets our needs: a lid, enough room in the can, a slim fit, etc.

Third, I feel good about the investment. We bought the can during the Veteran's Day Sale so we got a significant markdown. This is a can that is built to last. I am glad I was able to see the value of just making the investment once and getting a can that works. It's easy to try to save money and then in the end actually spend more money when you give up things to save a few or a lot of bucks on the initial investment.

I am glad I've had the chance to evaluate why this was such a success for us and hopefully carry that knowledge through as we continue to make purchases that impact our home and family on a daily basis. I'm enjoying the new trash so much already. It's interesting how little changes can make such a big difference in our everyday existence.

Have you made any purchases for the family recently that required a lot of thought and investment? How did you work through it? Did you end up with any regrets or did things work out better than expected? Do you have a favorite trash can brand?

images from Bed, Bath & Beyond

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