Yes, Your Sofa (and Other Furniture) Needs Spring Cleaning, Too

published Apr 6, 2018
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(Image credit: Anna Spaller)

This year, we’re on a mission to help you tackle spring cleaning on your time. Each weekday until April 13, we’ll guide you through a plan to clean and organize different areas of your home, but you’ll have the flexibility to choose exactly what to work on and how long you have to dedicate to the job.

You can put away the rubber gloves and all-purpose spray for now. On the spectrum of everything that happens when you’re spring cleaning, some tasks are less about washing and more on the maintenance side of things. We’re going to tackle one of those jobs today.

Let’s face it: Furniture can be a big investment, so you want to — need to — protect it. That means taking time to repair things when they’re worn or broken, and making small, occasional efforts to extend the life of the pieces you love. I write all this to remind you that it’s worth it to do a good, thorough job today. If you need to take the weekend, have at it. But remember that you’re the boss here, and you don’t have to let spring cleaning get out of hand if you don’t have the time or energy for it.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Today’s Task: Your Furniture

Decide how much time you can dedicate to maintaining your furniture today, then choose your micro-mission:

If you have 1 day…

Work to patch and repair every piece of furniture that needs it. This mission is mostly on you — I don’t know what kind of things you own or what sort of work they each might need. But you should look around, think about your stuff and start by making a list of the fixes that need to be done. Consider things like repairing snags in fabric, removing pills from well-worn seats, touching up chipped spots on painted furniture, or filling in spots on your wood (or “wood”) pieces that need to be treated with a stain pen. Are there wobbly legs that need tightening? A sticky drawer you could lube up? Do the rubber feet on any of your things need replacing?

You can choose the task, but here are some resources that might help:

If you have 1 hour…

Work to patch and repair one piece of furniture in your home. This is the condensed version of the “1 day” task above, so all the same advice applies: Look around and make a list of every furniture fix you’d like to get to (eventually). But then look at your list and choose the one thing that needs the most love. Dig in and spend an hour on repairing and refinishing that piece. If you have any extra time, you can move on to a second or third thing — or not. Take it at your own pace.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

If you have 10 minutes…

Flip or rotate your mattress. Consider this your semi-annual reminder. If you have an old school mattress that requires flipping, flip it. But most modern mattresses actually shouldn’t be flipped — layered memory foam mattresses or those with a pillow top have a “this side up” situation going on. In those cases, you can rotate your mattress — so the head is now the foot and the foot, the head — to even out the wear. It’s especially important if you sleep in the same spot, or sleep with a partner who is a different size than you.

If you have 1 minute…

Flip and rotate your sofa and chair cushions. The goal is to even out the wear as much as possible (we all have a favorite sofa spot, right?). If the cushions on your chairs and sofa are pretty uniform, you can flip them over or maybe even rotate them in place. And while you’re at it, you can play musical chairs with the cushions themselves, moving them in and out of different seats (this can sometimes be tough with a sectional) and trading paired-chair cushions. Just to as much as you can in one minute to spread out the stress.

I’m curious: Tell us what you’re fixing — and don’t leave out any great stories about your favorite furniture over the years!