Fix and Maintain What You Have
January Money Diet

The Joy of Taking Care of Things

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Dear friends,

People of our grandparents’ generation grew up learning to take care of their possessions and make things last, a useful skill that can help stretch dollars today.

We honor our possessions when we take good care of them. This quiet January is the perfect time to tackle a few maintenance tasks

and take care of the things we already have. 

Make Something Like New Again

I recently read a post about how to make your vacuum cleaner run better and was inspired to give ours some TLC. I cleaned the filters, canister and hoses, removed the excess lint and hair from the vacuum brush, and wiped it down.

Now it runs like new and does a much better job of cleaning. It didn’t cost a dime, and may prolong the life of the vacuum cleaner, too.

Last year during the JMD I cleaned the individual crystals of our dining room chandelier until they sparkled.

These simple measures for taking care of things are surprisingly satisfying. 

How About You?

You might begin by looking at your cleaning products and pulling out something you haven’t used lately. Floor wax? Countertop cleaner? Car tire spray? See what inspires you, and make something you already own look great again.

Professional window washers can charge $10 to $15 USD per window, but you can clean your own for pennies and enjoy a sparkling view.

Perhaps your garden tools could use a good cleaning and sharpening.

Or maybe you’re ready to delete old computer files, update all the programs, do a disc cleanup, and make your machine zippy again.

Perhaps your bike could use a good tune-up, or maybe you feel like washing the windows or polishing the furniture.

Do you have something you can fix, polish or maintain this week? If you accomplish this task, we’d all love to hear what you did over at the Money Diet Community Facebook Group. It’s been so inspiring to read your first-hand experiences with this money diet.

Keep up the good work, and you’ll hear from me again tomorrow with a fun challenge that’s perfect for a winter day.

Best always,

Signature for Eliza Cross

P.S. If you use Pinterest to save ideas, here’s a handy pin: 

Fix Polish and Maintain Things | January Money Diet


Eliza Cross is the author of 15 books, including recent titles like Bacon Beans and Beer and Small Bites. She blogs at and is the founder of the BENSA Bacon Lovers Society. Her articles have appeared in publications like Sunset, Parents and Writers' Digest. Eliza lives near Denver with her family.

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