Did you know that generating enough gold to make a wedding ring generates 3 tons of mining waste? That the average Westerner produces well over 1,000 lbs of waste every year? That landfills are full of items that easily could have been repaired or replaced?
No matter how you feel about the green bandwagon, the truth is that repairing household items rather than replacing them can save you a big chunk of dough every year. Here’s a quick overview of the types of items you should invest some time to repair rather than replace.
Needle & Thread
You don’t have to be a master tailor or seamstress — attacking your ripped, fraying, or slightly-ill-fitting soft household goods with a needle and thread can save you hundreds. CyberSeams.com offers advice on basic sewing repairs, from hand-sewing a solid seam to stitching on a button. For more complicated repairs or alterations, stopping by a local tailor is almost always less expensive than purchasing new duds.
Childrens’ stuffed toys often just need some tough thread and a few stitches to replace cuts and tears. Curtains can be hemmed or otherwise modified to fit your windows.
Upholstery is another relatively simple fix. Armchair need work? For some pieces, it’s relatively simple to apply a bit of upholstery fabric and staple gun to fix the problem. Upholstery shops still exist, as well, and reupholstering that old sofa or heirloom chaise lounge can breathe new life into your piece while saving you hundreds.
Sometimes even complicated or seemingly difficult-to-repair items have simple fixes. It might be as simple as taking apart your computer mouse to dust off the internal parts, then putting it back together. A little electrical solder and a bit of practice can make it possible to repair loose connections on expensive electronic items that would otherwise have to be replaced. Do you have a frayed power cord on a lamp or toaster oven? According to TheFamilyHandyman.com, replacing the cord or plug is a simple fix that’ll only cost a few dollars for parts.
Hot Tubs and Pools
While preventative maintenance is your bet best for keeping hot tubs and pools functioning as they should, sometimes things happen. Read through your manual to find out more about your hot tub. Depending on the problem, you may be able to replace the hot tub works parts. Often hiring a professional to repair big-ticket items could also end up saving you hundreds, especially when the alternative is a straight replacement.
Dryer or oven won’t heat up? Lost power to your fridge? Try a quick online search for how-tos on fixing your specific problem, or try bartering with a knowledgeable neighbor who can help with the repair. These problems are often easily fixed in just a few hours. Check out your manual for troubleshooting options or check a site like TheFamilyHandyman.com for info on relatively quick and easy fixes you can perform yourself.