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How to Extend the Life of Your Belongings

Posted On: 12/17/2020

It can be frustrating to have to pay for new belongings when items decide to stop working, or they get broken. However, when you take good care of your things, you can potentially extend the life of your belongings while avoiding the cost of buying new ones.

How to Make Electronics Last Longer

Electronics can be spendy, and in the age of technology, more and more are being made readily available. Ironically, the more that are made, the shorter the lifespan of electronics gets.

charge battery

Use the following tips to extend the life of your electronics:

Charge Batteries Strategically

There are certain do’s and don’ts with batteries, and leaving your battery on the charger for extended periods of time can actually decrease its lifespan. Some electronics have capabilities to stop drawing currents once the battery is charged, but others do not. You should aim to keep an eye on your electronics when recharging so you can take the battery off of the charger once it’s fully charged.

Avoid Extreme Temperatures

Batteries — and most electronics as a whole — are created with common temperatures in mind. Batteries are affected by temperature so you should aim to keep both batteries and electronics out of extreme heat or cold. In extremely cold weather, battery capacity drops. In extremely warm weather, battery capacity improves. It should be noted that in both cases, the fluctuation of battery capacity equates to shorter battery life. If you have electronics you like to use outdoors or in variable weather, plan accordingly and consider back-up batteries as needed.

Update Software

Although new updates can feel overwhelming, you shouldn’t ignore them. Software updates are how electronics companies mitigate issues that have happened or may happen in the future. They generally create more efficient processes or address certain vulnerabilities (like those that could allow for cyber attacks). Aim to update your software as soon as you are prompted to do so.

Keep it Clean

Keeping your electronics clean from dust and other particles can extend their life. Be sure to look in your manual for instructions on caring for your belongings. Create a cleaning routine (e.g. once a day, weekly, etc.) and stick to it.

You can utilize the following tools for cleaning:

  • Compressed air
  • Q-tips
  • Electronics wipes

How to Make Your Clothes Last Longer

The average amount spent on clothing per month ranges between $161-$209, and the average American family spends around $1,800 per year on clothes. You want to be sure that you are doing everything you can to reduce that number by extending the life of your clothing.

Laundry Tips

There are certain laundry tips that you can implement to extend the life of your clothes:

  • Sort your laundry (whites, mediums, and darks)
  • Read fabric labels for special wash instructions
  • Carry a stain stick on your person, or keep one nearby
  • Use a mesh bag for delicate clothing
  • Avoid excessive detergent
  • Hang dry your clothing
  • Avoid overloading your washer and dryer
  • Use cold water to wash
  • Avoid bleach.

Sewing Tips

Small tears or holes in clothing can generally be sewed or patched up. If you invest in a pocket-sized sewing kit, you can sew or patch a hole before it gets bigger. Use the following tips to help extend the life of your clothes:

  • Use safety pins to keep clothing in place while sewing
  • The sewing method you use can change depending on where the hole or patch is
  • You can use tape to make a pointed end for pulling the thread through a needle
  • If you use a sewing machine, be sure to clean your machine with compressed air from time to time.

How to Make Your Vehicle Last Longer

Today’s cars are expected to last around 200,000 miles, but with proper maintenance, and smart driving, you can extend the life of your car even longer.

car maintenance
Car maintenance is extremely important to extend the life of vehicle

Perform Preventative Maintenance

Be sure to follow a car maintenance schedule as closely as you can for preventive maintenance:

  1. Every 3,000 miles: change your oil and oil filter
  2. Every 30,000 miles: change your air filter and fuel filter and rotate your tires
  3. Every 60,000 miles: change your battery, brake fluid, brake pads/rotors, engine coolant, and transmission fluid
  4. Every 90,000 miles: change your hoses, power steering fluid, spark plugs, and timing belt.

Off-Road Vehicle Maintenance

Off-road vehicles like ATVs, dirtbikes, snowmobiles, and UTVs need preventative maintenance, too. They follow a similar maintenance schedule as the car one listed above. You may want to consider purchasing lifts, dollies, and chocks so that you can fix minor maintenance issues yourself.

There are vehicle specific lifts like dirt bike tables or snowmobile lifts that can help you inspect and fix your off-road vehicle as well. It should also be noted that you can extend the life of your off-road vehicle by reducing the amount of risk you take when driving off-road. Follow motorsport safety tips, stick to paths when you can, and avoid extremely rough terrain.

How to Make Your Appliances Last Longer

How long appliances will last will vary from appliance to appliance,and brand to brand, but most should last around 10 years. Between a washer, dryer, air conditioner, and fridge, that could be a spendy ticket when they give out. Many appliance issues can be fixed by reading the manual and performing preventative maintenance. Be sure to use the tips below to make your appliances last longer.

Air Conditioner Tips

Whether your home has central air, or you are using window A/C units, there are certain things you can do to extend the life of your air conditioner. Use the following tips for extending the life of you A/C:

  1. Keep it clean: this includes blowing out your air filter or replacing it as it begins to break down. You should also remove any dust around the fan to avoid pushing dust through the unit
  2. Check the drain tube: if your A/C is leaking, there is a good chance you have clogged the drain tube. Be sure to check this regularly to clear up any blockages before your A/C leaks
  3. Give your A/C a break: even during the hottest part of the summer, it is important to allow your A/C to take a rest. Running the A/C 24/7 can cut down the life of your A/C dramatically. During the night when things have cooled off, open your windows and cool your house naturally
  4. Consider professional tune-ups: much like car A/C, home A/C units need tune-ups from time to time.

Fridge Tips

Making sure that your refrigerator is working properly not only keeps your food safe, and your utility bill lower, it can also extend the life of your fridge. Use the following fridge tips to keep it running longer:

  1. Look for leaks: if your fridge is leaking air, the fridge will need to work harder in order to keep things cold. Make sure the seals on your fridge are in good condition
  2. Clean the condenser coil: the coil alongside the back of the fridge is prone to collecting dust. Aim to clean the condenser coil often
  3. Change water filter: your fridge manual will let you know how often to change your water filter. Some newer fridges may even have a display light. Be sure to change it according to schedule
  4. Avoid crowding: you need airflow inside the fridge too. If there is improper airflow, your fridge will have to work harder to keep things cool
  5. Avoid blocking airflow: similar to the inside of the fridge, the outside of the needs proper airflow as well. Make sure that your fridge placement isn’t blocking ventilation.

Washer and Dryer Tips

Your washer and dryer keep your clothes clean and lasting longer, so you want to be sure to follow the tips below for extending the life of both units:

  1. Switch over wet clothes immediately: leaving wet clothes in the dryer for too long can create unpleasant smells and it becomes more susceptible to mold and mildew
  2. Avoid overloading: overloading a washer or dryer can put additional stress on your units, and it can result in poor washing
  3. Inspect hoses: hoses break down over time, so you want to regularly inspect them for any holes. Replace them, or patch them if you can
  4. Make sure your machine is level: when your machine isn’t level, the drum inside of your units can spin in a way that puts strains on other parts of your unit
  5. Clean the lint trap: if too much lint builds up, you can start a fire. Empty your lint compartment after every use
  6. Clean your units: periodically you should run your washer and dryer (without any clothes) on the highest heat setting. For the washer, you should use a normal amount of detergent. This will help get rid of any smells, and help get rid of any buildup.