10 Things You Could Fix Rather Than Toss!

fix clothes

Fixing items instead of throwing them away can be both economically and environmentally beneficial!

In a world increasingly driven by consumerism, the urge to replace rather than repair is stronger than ever. Yet, adopting a mindset of fixing rather than tossing items can yield significant benefits both economically and environmentally. If you are thinking about throwing it away what does it hurt to try to fix it first!

Repairing items not only saves money but also reduces waste, conserving resources and contributing to a more sustainable lifestyle. From clothing and electronics to furniture and bicycles, numerous everyday items can be given a new lease on life with a little effort and know-how.

Here are some practical examples of things you can fix instead of throwing away, helping you to extend their life and reduce your environmental footprint.

clothing at a garage sale

1. Clothing

Small rips or tears in clothing can often be easily repaired with a needle and thread or a simple iron-on patch. Don’t toss out your favorite garments just because of a minor flaw! Snag an inexpensive sewing kit so you have the tools you need on hand!

  • Mend holes or tears: Sewing up small holes or tears.
  • Replace buttons: Sew on new buttons.
  • Repair zippers: Replace zipper sliders or the entire zipper.
  • Patch worn areas: Use fabric patches to cover worn areas, especially on jeans.
broken electronics

2. Electronics

Rather than replacing your entire phone due to a cracked screen, look into repair options. Many phone repair shops offer screen replacement services at a fraction of the cost of buying a new device. A lot of other devices can easily be fixed too – for example, you can easily replace the battery in your key fob for your car at home!

  • Replace batteries: Change out old or dead batteries in devices.
  • Fix screens: Repair or replace cracked screens on smartphones and tablets.
  • Clean components: Clean dust from internal components to fix overheating or performance issues.
  • Replace parts: Swap out broken parts like power cords, keyboards, or laptop fans.
repair furniture

3. Furniture

If your furniture has torn upholstery, consider having it repaired rather than replacing the entire piece. You can often patch or replace damaged fabric, saving you money and preserving your furniture. You can usually find local companies that do it or you can try at home. Leather repair kits are great for restoring worn out leather and repairing small holes!

  • Reupholster chairs and sofas: Replace the fabric or padding.
  • Tighten screws and bolts: Fix wobbly tables or chairs.
  • Re-glue joints: Use wood glue to fix loose joints on wooden furniture.
repair appliances

4. Appliances

Before replacing a malfunctioning appliance, try troubleshooting the problem or taking it to a repair shop. Often, issues like a broken switch or loose wire can be fixed relatively easily. We have fixed our dryer several times now using YouTube videos!

  • Replace belts or filters: Swap out worn belts in vacuums or filters.
  • Fix leaks: Repair seals or gaskets on washing machines, dishwashers, or refrigerators.
  • Clean components: Descale kettles, coffee makers, and clean filters.

TIP – watch warranties. These items may be able to be replaced for free if still under warranty!

repair patio umbrella

5. Outdoor Patio Umbrellas

Patio umbrellas can easily be replaced with replacement umbrella canopy!

  • Patch Small Holes: Small holes in the fabric can be patched with fabric repair tape or an iron-on patch.
  • Sew Larger Tears: For larger tears, you can sew the fabric back together using a needle and thread designed for outdoor fabric.
  • Bent or Broken Ribs: If the ribs or struts of your patio umbrella are bent or broken, you can often straighten them out or replace them.
  • Crank Handle Issues: If the crank handle that opens and closes the umbrella is broken, you can often find replacement parts online or at a store that sells patio furniture.
repair bicycle

6. Bicycles

Even if you take it into a shop it is cheaper than buying a new one! If you want to try it on your own, bicycles are actually pretty easy to repair. YouTube is full of videos to help you out!

Common issues like flat tires, loose chains, or misaligned brakes can be fixed with basic tools:

  • Repair flat tires: Patch or replace inner tubes.
  • Adjust brakes and gears: Tune up or replace brake pads and gear components.
  • Replace chains: Swap out worn or rusted chains.
repair toys

7. Toys

Children’s toys often suffer from broken parts, loose seams, or missing pieces. Most of the time these can actually be fixed pretty easy.

  • Broken Parts: Use strong adhesive or replacement parts to fix broken pieces.
  • Loose Seams: Sew loose seams on stuffed animals or fabric toys.
  • Battery Replacement: Replace batteries in electronic toys to restore functionality.
  • Sew up plush toys: Mend seams or reattach parts on stuffed animals.
repair jewlery

8. Jewelry

Instead of discarding broken jewelry, consider taking it to a jeweler for repair. Many pieces can be fixed at a fraction of the cost of buying new ones. Or you can possibly fix them yourself at home!

  • Re-string beads: Re-string broken necklaces or bracelets.
  • Replace clasps: Fix or replace broken clasps on chains.
  • Polish: Clean and polish tarnished metals.
books to read during summer

9. Books

If you have books with torn pages or damaged bindings, don’t throw them away just yet. Many libraries or bookstores offer bookbinding services to repair damaged books. There are also some things you can do at home to fix them too!

  • Repair spines and covers: Use bookbinding glue to fix torn spines or covers.
  • Tape torn pages: Use archival tape to repair ripped pages.
repair shoes

10. Shoes

Before tossing out old shoes, consider if they can be repaired. Shoe repair shops can often replace soles, heels, or stitching, extending the life of your favorite footwear. You can sometimes do it at home too. You can easily replace high tips for very little!!

  • Resole shoes: Replace worn-out soles.
  • Fix heels: Replace or repair damaged heels.
  • Polish and clean: Clean and polish to extend the life of the shoes.

By opting to repair these items, you not only save money but also contribute to reducing waste and promoting sustainability. There are many tutorials and repair kits available that can guide you through the process for each of these items.

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