1. Car – It’s nearly always less expensive to keep your old car than to buy a new one. Of course, if your car is totaled in an accident or otherwise damaged beyond repair, it’s time to replace. But you can replace it with another used car if you want to keep waste to a minimum.
2. Smoke Detector – These should always be replaced, not repaired. If you are concerned about the waste of throwing yours away, consider recycling it. There are programs for recycling electronics.
3. Computer – As long as your computer is getting the job done, just upgrade it rather than replace it. If it crashes beyond repair, or simply doesn’t meet your needs, then it’s time to get a new one. Think about donating your used computer.
4. Bed Mattress – Although the common recommendation for mattress replacement is seven years, few people can afford to do that. Many people don’t even think about replacing their mattress that frequently. If your mattress is worn, give it a thorough cleaning and try various mattress pads to boost its support. Cover it with an anti-allergen cover if it is aggravating your allergies. A good bed mattress can last much longer than seven years.
5. Jewelry – If your watch won’t run and the band is broken, fixing it will still be cheaper than a new watch. Have the battery replaced and get a new band. You can usually do both for under $20. Broken jewelry clips and clasps can be repaired with glue.
6. Household Appliances – Refrigerator or oven on the blink? Dryer stopped running? Dishwasher won’t get dishes clean? Call in a repairman. In all likelihood, one visit will fix the problem, and the cost of that one visit is almost certain to be less than a new appliance. Don’t hesitate to ask for estimates first, however.
7. Miscellaneous Electronics – If your remote control or computer mouse won’t work, your DVD player is not cooperating, or your printer is not up to par, look for simple solutions to start with. It may sound obvious, but change batteries first. Try new adapters or power cords, and check the printer’s ink cartridge(s). Often, these problems have simple solutions that do not require a lot of time or expense – they just require a little thought.
So we hope that repair or replace has given you a little better perspective on whether or not you will be keeping that broken household item.