Don’t Throw It Out: 6 Things You Should Repair, Not Replace

Don’t Throw It Out: 6 Things You Should Repair, Not Replace 

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Eventually, the stuff you own is going to break or wear out. When that happens, it’s easy to throw the old item in the trash and simply replace it with a new one. After all, we live in a toss-and-replace culture, where many items, from clothing to mobile phones, aren’t built to last.

Manufacturers make products unrepairable. They don’t sell parts because they don’t want people to repair their products.

It wasn’t always that way. Your grandparents were probably on a first-name basis with their local cobbler. But while paying someone to repair broken items may not be as common as it once was, you can still find people who will happily restore your stuff to like-new condition.

You probably don’t think twice about taking your car into the mechanic to fix a faulty taillight or squeaky brakes. Most people would think you were crazy for rushing out to buy a new vehicle rather than paying someone to address a minor problem. Yet many of us don’t take the same approach to other items we own, even when repairing something could save us money (not to mention reducing waste). Here are six things that you should think about repairing rather than replacing next time you notice a problem.

1. Shoes

Sole Service Cobbler repairing shoes

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Seeking out a cobbler such as Sole Service can save you big, especially if you invest in high-quality shoes. A good cobbler can fix worn-out heels and bring new life to scuffed leather. He may also be able to fit your shoes with new insoles, stretch them so they better fit your feet, or even dye them a new colour. High quality men’s shoes can be resoled seven to 10 times. Men’s heels can be fixed ten to fifteen times, it is possible to get more than 20 years of life out of high-quality shoes that you choose to repair.

That’s not all your cobbler can do (Sole Service). Sole Service cobbler may also be able to repair leather belts (including adding new holes or fixing the buckle), fix damaged luggage, or repair the strap on a briefcase.

2. Outdoor gear

Tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, and other outdoor gear doesn’t come cheap. When your adventuring equipment takes a beating, look into whether the items can be repaired. You can send your stuff to a repair, company that may be able to patch a hole in your tent, replace the fill in your sleeping bag, or fix the buckles or straps on your backpack. Many other equipment manufacturers offer lifetime warranties and will either fix your items for free or a small fee.


3. Clothing

Don't repair, replace

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A well-maintained wardrobe is a mark of a competent, adult. When buttons go missing, a jacket lining gets torn, or the hem on your pants falls, head to a tailor rather than to the shops for a replacement.

We can have longevity with clothing and accessories. Take a suit, for instance, the jacket and pants can be taken in or out depending on if you lose or gain weight. Mens's clothing doesn’t change as quickly as ladies apparel, so you can invest in a suit and do the necessary alterations, and then change it up with a new shirt and tie.

Suits and dress shirts aren’t the only items in your wardrobe that can be fixed, you can patch tears or replace broken zippers on your ski pants and other outdoor gear.

4. Furniture

Wobbly legs and torn upholstery don’t necessarily mean it’s time to put a piece of furniture out by the curb. While repairing a table from Ikea or a chest of drawers from Target usually isn’t worth it (the cost of fixing the items would be more than just replacing them), well-made furniture is often worth saving, especially if it has sentimental value or you still like the look of the piece.

5. Appliances

Don't repair, replace Sole Service

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A new washer, dryer, stove, or refrigerator can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to replace. If the item is still under warranty, having a repair person come out to fix it is a no-brainer. But even if the warranty is expired, repairs can still be worth it, provided they aren’t more than half the cost of buying a new appliance.

The typical homeowner spent $171 to repair a busted appliance.Spending $200 to $300 to fix a broken door gasket on your front-loading washing machine is certainly more affordable than replacing the entire thing, which could cost as much as $1,000. And keep in mind that major appliances aren’t the only candidates for the workbench. Broken vacuum cleaners, microwaves, power tools, lawnmowers, and sewing machines may also be fixable.

6. Jewelry and watches

Fine jewelry and watches are heirloom items that can last for generations if properly cared for. If your wristwatch stops ticking, your wedding ring needs polishing, or the chain on your wife’s favourite necklace breaks, it’s worth it to find a jeweler or watch repair shop you trust to fix the problem. Most repairs cost between $25 and $200. Some items, like high-end watches, require regular maintenance, just like a car, and skimping on tune-ups could mean costly repairs later. Luxury watchmaker Piaget recommends taking your watch in for service every three years.


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