Fix or Maintain Something You Already Own

Fix, Maintain and Polish Your Possessions | January Money Diet


“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without!”

Perhaps you’ve heard that old saying. People of our grandparents’ generation weren’t nearly the consumers that we are today. They grew up learning to take care of their possessions and make things last, a useful skill that can help stretch dollars today.

Let’s Fix, Polish or Maintain Something

We honor our possessions when we take good care of them. This quiet January is the perfect time to tackle a few maintenance tasks or make something shiny and new again.

This weekend I used a can of white paint I already had on hand to touch up some of the interior trim in the house that had gotten chipped. It’s amazing how much better it looks. I also sharpened the kitchen knives. These small, simple tasks are surprisingly satisfying.

This week, I plan to get out the shoe polish kit and make my scuffed brown boots look great again. I also want to sew a button back on my favorite sweater.

How About You?

Perhaps your garden tools could use a good cleaning and sharpening, or maybe you’re ready to delete old computer files, update all the programs, do a disc cleanup and make your machine zippy again. Perhaps your bike could use a good tune-up, or you feel like washing the windows or polishing the furniture.

Do you have something you can fix, polish or maintain this week? If you accomplish this task, we’d all love to hear what you did in the Comments section of this page. It’s been so inspiring to read your first-hand experiences with this money diet.

Keep up the good work, and you’ll hear from me again tomorrow with Challenge #4.

Hugs and gratitude,

The signature for Eliza Cross

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

7 comments to Fix or Maintain Something You Already Own

  • Colette Winston

    A couple of years ago I discovered “Speed Sew”, a fabric and craft glue. To patch a tear on the nylon side of a down throw, I cut a square of fabric, spread the glue evenly, and pressed it over the tear. I just repaired a thick, classic, antique book whose spine was falling apart and front cover became unattached. I used a burgundy print reproduction fabric and glued it along the bare spine and re-attached the cover in one shot. Then I glued the 3 pieces of original spine on top of the fabric. It looks amazing! I’ll also use it to repair the back of my down vest. I must have backed up too close to the wood stove as there is a string of holes with down coming out. I just need to find a teal plaid!

  • Betty

    If it was warm weather, I would clean out my car. Instead, I will polish my dining room furniture – it’s been awhile. Betty

  • Deborah

    I am giving a little extra care to my car. A friend is changing the oil and air filter in exchange for a pound cake (items in the pantry). I am going to take this time to wash and wax the car. “Bitsy,” as the car has been named is 15 years old and still runs and looks good thanks to taking car of her. I hope “Bitsy” is with me for another 15 years.

  • My dear hubby demolished an old cupboard I had been using for my gardening supplies. Most of it was chipboard and so had started collapsing out in the weather. He took all the solid wood parts and built some shelves inside our hot water heater cupboard. You have given me an idea for a blog post – I am going to spread the word on my blog too!

  • Susan Trimble

    I know there are things I can work on. Will just need to look. It is a good idea.

  • Lyn

    Not sure if this counts, but I fixed up my son’s room. He’s almost 17 and his room looked as if he were 13. So I consolidated some his artwork on one wall, put his ‘stuff’ all in one alcove organized on shelves that had been all over the place. Now it looks a bit more put together and welcoming. Hope he likes it when he gets home!

  • I’m still recovering from surgery last week so most manual maintenance (say that ten times fast) is out for me but I took some time to clean up my gmail by unsubscribing to a bunch of spam. It’s the little things!

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