Weekend Projects

This Simple Once-a-Year Habit is the Secret to Rugs that Last Forever

published Feb 21, 2020
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Maybe you scrimp and pinch to afford your dream heirloom rug. Or maybe you buy the most affordable rug you can find, resigned to the fact that kids and dogs and just living things in general will get it dirty over time.

Whichever route you take, though, I bet you want to keep your rug looking nice for as long as possible. The goal isn’t forestalling the purchase of another but, more importantly, so that your rug doesn’t drag your space down with stains, marks, fading, or general grunginess. Instead, your spiffy rug should uplift your home (and the person who lives there, aka you!) to its full potential.

Fortunately, there’s one simple routine to help make that happen.

This Weekend: Rotate your rugs.

While even wear and the longevity of your rug are probably reasons enough to inspire you to rotate your rugs, here are a few more specific reasons that rotating your rug will do it good:

  • Even wear from foot traffic: By rotating your rugs, you prevent well-worn fibers from becoming permanent fixtures on a rug that has other parts that are completely unworn.
  • Even wear from spills and stains: Spilled popcorn from months of movie night is bound to leave the areas in front of your armchairs and couch with a bit of a patina. Rotating your rugs spreads the damage out over a larger surface area, minimizing the effect.
  • Even wear from the sun: Though the exact position may shift throughout the year, shafts of sun will eventually fade most carpet fibers. Moving your rug around makes fading less noticeable.
  • Even wear from furniture: Furniture indentations seem to cement in rugs over time. Rotating your rugs ensures that you cut the effect of this kind of wear in half. To erase current dents, try the ice cube trick.

Here’s how to rotate your rugs:

(P.S. you might want to grab a friend to help you, if you can.)

  1. Move all furniture off the rug.
  2. Lift the rug with your partner, if size allows. If it’s too big or heavy, or you don’t have someone helping you, try rolling the rug instead.
  3. Rotate the position of the rug by 180 degrees. You can leave the rug pad in place (but psst, you may want to vacuum around it and maybe even under it before you put the rug down again).
  4. Replace your furniture.

Repeat these steps in a year (or in six months for a heavily trafficked rug).

If rotating your rugs inspires you to give them even more care, check out some more tips for refreshing your carpet.

You can catch up with weekend projects right here. Share your progress with us and others by posting updates and photos on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #atweekendproject.

Remember: This is about improvement, not perfection. Each week you can either choose to work on the assignment we’ve sent you, or tackle another project you’ve been meaning to get to. It’s also completely okay to skip a weekend if you’re busy or not feeling the assignment.