MILDEWY VINYL SHOWER-CURTAIN LINER
Fix it: Wash in the machine (on a short cycle) with some old towels, using hot water and bleach.
Keep it longer: Leave the bathroom door or a window open — and/or a ventilation fan turned on — for 20 minutes post-shower.
KNIFE WITH KNICKED BLADE
Fix it: Check stores like Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table to see when a knife expert who can grind down the edge will visit.
Keep it longer: Use a block, a drawer insert, or a blade sheath to protect it. Our favorite brands, Bisbell (bisbellusa.com) and Lamson & Goodnow (lamsonsharp.com), sell options for from $5 to $25.
SAGGY SEAT CUSHION
Fix it: If the upholstery is still in good shape, remove the foam insert and take it to a Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Store to have a replacement cut to fit; a three-square-foot, five-inch-thick cushion will cost about $70.
Keep it longer:Flip cushions every few months to help them wear evenly.
WORN AND WOBBLY WOOD FURNITURE
Fix it: The easiest way to save a wiggly wooden chair leg: Stick in a toothpick where the leg meets the seat, then simply break it off. For scratches, try GHRI-tested Guardsman wood touch-up markers ($5, guardsman.com).
Keep it longer: Whether with a toothpick or with nails, support a loose chair leg sooner rather than later; if you keep the piece in use as is, you risk breaking it.
ONE THING YOU REALLY SHOULD REPLACE
A literal pain in the neck — that's what a worn-out pillow can give you. To tell whether to toss yours, give it the "break test": For a fiberfill or down- or feather-filled pillow, fold it in half with a heavy book on top. If the pillow pops back so it's flat, keep it. If it stays folded in half, it's "broken" — either use the filling to stuff smaller pillows or chuck it.
Before You Throw It Out -- These businesses will repurpose well-used items:
Sure, they take old towels and blankets, but did you know most need pillows, pillowcases, bathroom rugs, and T-shirts, too?
They accept used household items like pillows, shower curtains, linens, and furniture, which are resold to fund job-training programs.
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY(habitat.org)
Donate extra paint, tile, and lumber as well as used furniture, cabinets, and fixtures to help a family in need of housing.
SMART(Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles; smartasn.org)
This trade association refers you to local members that accept most textiles (including rugs and towels), which can be recycled into, say, home insulation or carpet padding.
house decorating & home décor ideas
Think of this as your ultimate cleaning checklist: Easy ways to get your kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living room, laundry room, and patio in tip-top shape for spring.
Some call it dramatic, over-the-top, and too much to handle—you call it home. Your decorating mantra is "more is more." By Sarah Bray
Some call it cold, desolate, and boring—you call it home. Your decorating mantra is "less is more." By Sarah Bray
From grassy backyards to open-air courtyards, these gardens are full of inspiration for your next outdoor project. By Alicia Brunker
Celebrate with 7 lucky, Irish-inspired finds that go beyond the shamrock. By Olivia Rassow
Colorful pieces that won't break the bank.
Switch out your sink for a colorful one, order some bold appliances, or give your backsplash a bright look.
Ready for spring? Start by refreshing your table with crisp linens, potted blooms, and a pop of bright colors.
Beautiful on the outside, functional on the inside.
Living with limited square footage? From seating that can be tucked away easily to a grater that folds flat, you'll need these home essentials for your small space. By Sarah Yang
See where stars of stage and screen kick back at home. Curated by Architectural Digest.