A common problem with modern living is that so many of us take our homes for granted. It is easily done, of course. 21st century living is so hectic most of us tend to forget what day it is most weeks – so expressing regular thanks for all our mod cons isn’t exactly high on our list of priorities. But if you do just a quick scan around your home, you should be able to see a number of things – be they gadgets or appliances, or even furnishings – that you use pretty much every day. You might not realize it as you use them, but these are the kind of things that if they were taken away, our whole daily routine would be in freefall. With this in mind, it is important to remember that our homes and the things in it all have a shelf life. A lot of people tend to actually move home entirely more frequently than they replace the supposedly ‘must have’ items in their houses.
But adding some new versions of old favorites to your house can have a bigger impact than you might think. Firstly, it can breathe some fresh air into your property in terms of aesthetics. If you are feeling a little down and out about your home, it’s probably because you have simply gotten used to seeing it every day. It no longer thrills you, interests you or pleases you because you have become bored of it.
Making some small changes can easily help to shake this feeling and you may find yourself falling in love with your home all over again. Another reason that you may want to upgrade is because not everything in your home is guaranteed to last forever. After an item has been used repeatedly for years it can start to break, and you may be left without a vital piece of home kit at very short notice. Therefore it is always worth upgrading prior to this happening so that you are not caught short. Take a look at the list of following items that you rely on every day, but that you have probably never thought about replacing. Do so, and you could see your home take on an entirely new personality.
We all have it drilled into our brains that a mattress should be replaced after around 7 to 10 years, depending on the condition. But a mattress isn’t the only thing we sit and lie on every day of our lives. Our couches go through a lot too – whether it’s our evening stint in front of the TV, our youngest son sat their playing video games or a sleepover for your daughter’s friends. But compared to mattresses, we barely give any thought as to how often we should replace a couch. Many people have a tendency to only replace furnishings in the event of them fully breaking down and no longer being fit for purpose anymore. But take a good look at your sofa and consider whether it is really suitable for your home any longer. Family life can take its toll, especially if you have pets and children. Look for scratches or dents in the framework, and tears or stains on the fabric. Your cushions may have gone saggy and flat, meaning that it isn’t actually as comfortable as it was a few years ago. Does it creak when you sit on it? If you can relate to any of these points, it may be time to get a new couch. On your next buy, ask the manufacturer about what kind of lifespan your new couch has. They should be able to give you an average answer but bear in mind that your couch will be in a working, living home, not in a showroom. Consider carefully the type of fabric that is best for your home – suede tends to be a no-no when you have small children, and leather can be a pain for pets with sharp claws. Buy accordingly and you should be able to end up with a couch that will last you many years.
Your sinks and taps
Spare a thought for a moment about what your taps and sinks go through every day. Taps are left running to blast grime and dirt off pots and pans, and who hasn’t experienced scraping dried toothpaste off the bottom of their bathroom sink? Most people take what their sinks and taps do for granted, up until they have an issue with plumbing. It only then becomes clear how important it is to have fully functioning, working kitchen and bathroom sinks. If your taps have started dripping water or only producing a feeble stream of liquid, it may be time to get them replaced. On a similar note, sinks that are easily blocked or that have cracks or holes in will need to be removed and thrown out. Before you take any action, speak to a plumbing professional about the best way to remove and refit your taps and sinks. Then you can get onto the functionalities of your new bathroom and kitchenware – not to mention the style you are going to go for. For example, if you cook every day for your large family, you may find a pull-out spray tap particularly useful. Or maybe you are planning a bathroom refit in the near future and want to swap your aged rusty taps and sink for a sleek, modern design. Take a look at companies such as www.tapwarehouse.com for inspiration and to view a wide range of options.
Bathmats and shower curtains
Staying in the bathroom for a moment brings us to bathroom fabrics – the most obvious of which are bath mats and shower curtains. These are the kind of things most of us tend to forget about right up until they get really grimy. Who can blame us – normally most of us have other more important things on our minds! But leaving them too long without cleaning or replacing can end up being a little bit grim, and could actually pose health problems to you and your family too. As both mats and curtains are constantly exposed to water and a humid bathroom environment it provides the perfect environment for mold to grow and spread. In order to keep your bathroom a fresh and healthy environment, make sure you wash bath mats and shower curtains regularly and fully replace them at least once a year. Another option is to go the route of getting something longer lasting, such as a natural stone bath mat that you won’t have to worry about replacing so often!
Your carpet is an integral part of your home, and probably plays a bigger part in it than you would realize at first. Not only can a carpet transform the interior of a property, it can also help to keep it feeling warm, cozy and homely. After all, there’s nothing quite like burying your toes in a soft, shaggy carpet, right? However, if you have owned your home for a while without replacing the carpet, you’ll know that this probably isn’t the current reality you have. How long a carpet maintains its ‘fresh out the showroom’ appeal depends entirely on the original quality of the material. Cheap carpets (also known as ‘apartment grade’ carpets) tend to last anywhere from 1 to 5 years, depending on how they are treated. A medium grade carpet lasts around 5 to 15 years, and an expensive, high-grade carpet can last up to an incredible 25 years. However, unfortunately, not all of us have the money to spare on a pricey first class carpet. You should also pay close attention to the material you choose when picking out your new carpet. Carpets are made of fibers, with polyester fibers generally making up a lower-quality carpet, and nylon producing a typically much longer lasting product.
Doing family laundry is often the bane of our lives. That’s why when the washing machine finally whirrs for the very last time, it can put your whole routine into disarray. Large household appliances such as this generally should last at least four years, and some manufacturers may even be able to give you a more specific lifespan for their product. But what should you do if you have a suspicion that your washing machine is on it’s way out? In this instance, you need to do the test. Speak to a professional (either a contractor or the manufacturer) about the symptoms your washer/drying is showing. If the cost to repair it is over half the price of a new one, and your current machine is more than halfway through its lifespan, take the plunge and buy a new model. These types of appliances are famously unreliable and it may not even work properly after repair, so in this instance a replace may be in order. In order to stop yourself getting to this situation in the first place, however, it is advisable that you make yourself familiar with various maintenance tips for your expensive appliances. It may seem like a hassle, but it could save you a lot of money and stress in the long run!