Home Maintenance: 4 Things to Rotate (That Aren’t Your Tires)

published May 14, 2015
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(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

You know that rotating your tires helps keep the wear even so the tread lasts longer and you save money. Guess what? You can (and should) apply the same idea to things in your home. After all, you’ve invested in your decor so make that decision pay off with a little bit of rotation maintenance. Here’s what to do.

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Do you have a large area rug that partially extends under some furniture? Maybe part of your rug is in a high-traffic route. The exposed or over-used areas of your rug are going to start showing wear much faster than spots that are hidden or inconvenient. And, chances are, you vacuum those exposed areas much more often, too. You don’t have to ditch your entire rug just because a small part of it is wearing out—rotate it! Give those over-used areas a break by putting them under the bed or in the corner and reveal fresh, like-new rug surface where it counts.

(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)


Even if you have a pillow-top or other speciality mattress that prevents you from flipping it over as per the usual advice, you can still rotate. Instead of top-to-bottom, simply make a head-to-foot swap. It will help the mattress wear evenly so it lasts longer. Here’s a way to keep track of your rotation schedule:


The success of your garden depends very heavily on the quality of your soil. To make sure that soil is plant-ready, you must rotate. The basic idea is this: different crops affect the soil organisms in different ways. Sometimes diseases build up in the soil, sometimes a plant will use up all of one kind of nutrient (and the soil can be rebuilt by adding another kind of plant that can produce that nutrient. Cool!). Never letting a particular type of plant hang out in the same patch of soil for more than three years ensures that your garden will keep thriving long term.

Read this great article at Mother Earth News for a more detailed description.

Couch cushions

When it comes to wear, your cushions see plenty. Many people might wait until a major spill forces them to flip a cushion over, but doing this on the regular will help keep the fabric from fading and the foam from collapsing too quickly. Or, you could always just employ my college boyfriend’s favorite strategy: keep one side for meals and one side for “company.” So classy.

What else do you rotate to keep it looking newer longer?