Good as New

Rachel Paxton

If I've learned anything from my husband, it's to take care of what you've got. It's so easy to let things go--to let everyday household items deteriorate to the point where they just aren't useful anymore and you end up just throwing them away. My wedding ring is a perfect example.


If you could see my wedding ring, you'd see that although attractive, it has lost all of it's lustre and brilliance. Everyday I look at it and think to myself, "Gee, I really should clean my ring." And then I don't. My thoughts quickly move on to something else. My husband's ring, on the other hand, is immaculate, clean and sparkling at all times. Why is it so clean, you ask? Because, he says, he takes the time every week to clean and polish it. What a concept!

There have been many times in my life that I've been ready to throw something away because it doesn't work anymore or because it's slowly deteriorating to the point that it's no longer useful. I often just don't have the patience to try to fix something, it's much easier to just throw it away or give it away and buy a new one. Not my husband. If some household item quits working, he takes it all apart, cleans each and every piece, and then puts it back together. What's the worst that could happen? It still won't work? But nine out of ten times it does work, and I never would have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.

My husband has brought back to life dozens of household appliances, including answering machines, telephones, CD players, bicycles, and car stereos, just to name a few.

We've even benefitted from other people's cast-offs. Family and friends often pass off to us their unwanted gadgets and appliances that no longer work, and those items often end up finding themselves a new home with us, working good as new.

This idea of taking care of your things affects every area of your life. Not only do you have to change your thinking, it could actually be considered a state of mind, or a way of life. We are trying to pass this idea on to our daughter. Take care of your clothes, and they will last longer. Vacuum the carpet and keep it clean, and instead of spending money on buying new carpet, we can spend the money we save on a family vacation. Take care of your CDs because you aren't going to get any new ones to replace the ones that have become scratched from neglect.

Every household appliance that you take the time to clean and maintain will save you money in future repairs and replacement costs. If you can just instill this idea in your children or discuss it with people you interact with in your daily life, we all will be that much closer to valuing what we have and begin to get away from the idea of "if it breaks I'll just buy a new one."

About The Author: Originally published at Suite 101. Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom who is the author of What's for Dinner?, an e-cookbook containing more than 250 quick easy dinner ideas. For recipes, tips to organize your home, home decorating, crafts, holiday hints, and more, visit Creative Homemaking at

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