Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Repair, instead of Replace

I've talked before about the unfortunate, mostly, negative opinion society seems to have toward stay-at-home moms.  Because we don't earn money, our contribution to society is not valued as necessary and worthwhile.  What do stay-at-home moms do that we couldn't pay someone else to do for us?  And why would we want to be stuck at home washing our husband's dirty skivvies, anyway?   

When I was a youngster, I was told that my goal should be to have a job.  A job would give me prestige and success. 

A job would allow me to buy things.  Lots and lots of things.  More and more things.  All the things. 

But the stuff breaks or wears out, which is why I need to have a job, because I need to be able to replace my stuff when it gets worn out.

And so we must work to earn money to purchase and/or replace our stuff, which we can't even enjoy, because we spend most of our time working to pay for all of the stuff we want.

It's a pretty vicious cycle. 

One of the coolest things about being a stay-at-home mom is that I get to break out of that cycle.  I can sew clothes out of old tee-shirts, which means that I'm not only not purchasing something new, I'm also repurposing something that might otherwise have just been thrown out.

I can also refurbish things that might otherwise just get replaced.

We bought our couch second-hand more than twelve years ago.  It's a lovely couch - super comfy.    The frame broke at one point, and we had a furniture repair guy fix it for us.  It cost about $100, which is considerably cheaper than buying a new couch.  And, because I am a stay-at-home Mom, I could be here for the appointment without having to miss any work. 

It's a bonded leather, which means it has a look similar to leather, but without the high quality and higher price tag. 

Between age and use (we have a lot of dogs, and we never wanted to train them to stay off the furniture), the couch cushions were starting to look a little worn. 

Since the couch is bonded leather, I didn't really think there was much hope for it.  So, I did a little research and I found that the spots where our cats have ripped the faux leather can be patched (the hardest part is matching the color) and the worn couch cushions can be spruced up.

I knew that leather could be cleaned and oiled so that it would last longer, but what I found out was that bonded leather furniture can be treated in the same way.

I planned to try it ... someday ..., but it was one of those things that would never be at the top of the priority list, until it was, but likely it just wouldn't until that very rare of days when I had nothing else to do, but nap, and I wasn't tired (very rare!). 

Then, we started cleaning up and rearranging and decluttering, and part of that process was getting rid of those pieces of furniture and decor that no longer fit.  The carpet in the living room no longer fit.  It's gone.

Pulling up the rug opened up the space in a way that was a beautiful surprise, and I decided I wanted a winged back chair.  I found three on a local buy/sell Facebook page.  My daughters each have one in their rooms, and there's one for the living room. 

We needed more seating space in the living room, but it's a narrow, long space.  Whatever we decided on, needed to be a very particular something.  I thought that a large ottoman would have the right look and feel.

And then, we found one of those, with a storage compartment, on Craigslist.

It was so perfect, it even matched our couch.

Except that the ottoman is in "like-new" ottoman.  Our couch, not so much, and when we put the ottoman next to the couch, it was pretty obvious that it was old and nearly worn out. 

So, I fixed it.

This is the before picture - the worn out sofa cushion.

I've oiled the right side and one can see the difference between the two sides of the cushion. 

This is the finished product.  It looks really different and not so old and dumpy. 

It was really easy to do.  I just rubbed coconut oil into the cushion, and then, using a soft cloth, wiped off any excess.  

It didn't take long, and it wasn't a difficult project.  Even if I had a job, it's something I probably could have done, but the sad fact is that if both Deus Ex Machina and I worked full-time, refurbing this old sofa so that we can get a few more years out of it wouldn't be worth what little time I had off work.  We would, like most people, opt to just get a new one.

Which is silly, because, clearly, it still works. 

If you're a stay-at-home mom, what things are you able to do that you wouldn't have time to do if you worked? 

If you work, what are some things you buy that you might not purchase, if you could do it for yourself?  

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