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How Long Should I Keep….



My Mattress?

Most mattresses come with a lifetime guarantee, but a lifetime guarantee doesn’t mean that you should keep an item for its entire lifetime. In general, you should replace your mattress every ten years. Forget about wear and tear; a well-made bed will survive. The thing to be concerned about is the body lice and dust mites that will build up over time. Those little suckers love mattresses and can cause allergies, rashes, or worse.  Vacuuming your bed will help, but if you start to notice that you are having trouble breathing or are waking up with a rash or itchy skin from time to time, it’s time to replace your mattress.

Electronics’ Packaging?

Most of us are paranoid hoarders when it comes to the boxes that come with our electronic equipment. You never know when you will need that box to move an item, ship it back to the manufacturer or sell it to the highest bidder on an online auction site. Here is a quick guide to how long you should save those boxes:

Small appliances: Save the box until the warranty runs out.

Large Appliances: Save the box until the warranty runs out.

Flat Screen Televisions: Save the box for as long as you own the item

Computers: Save the box until the warranty runs out. If you plan to resell it, keep the box until you do.

Miscellaneous electronics/appliances: Do you plan to keep the item for more than three years? If the answer is yes, throw the box away.

A Fire Extinguisher?

Opinions vary on how long fire extinguishers stay suitable for. Most experts seem to agree that the actual unit will last you between 10 and 12 years, but that you should have your home’s fire extinguishers tested and possibly refilled at least once a year. A lot of things can go wrong with fire extinguishers, most commonly a lack of pressure due to a broken seal. While it is not free to have your extinguishers professionally inspected and filled, having the peace of mind that your extinguisher will work in an emergency is undoubtedly worth the cost.

My Toothbrush?

Dentists agree that a toothbrush should be replaced (or the head should be changed on an electric) every three months. Many people think that this is because of a buildup of bacteria, but that is only a minor factor. Over time brushing will soften the bristles of your brush to the point where they are no longer able to clean your teeth effectively. By replacing your brush regularly, you can make sure you are getting a proper brushing every time.

A Pair of Sneakers?

According to “The Runner’s Guide,” a severe runner should replace her running shoes approximately every 400 miles. For more casual athletes or athletes who participate in sports where calculating miles isn’t an option, the rule of thumb is to replace your shoes every six months or every four months if you have been particularly active. It can be tough to tell when your shoes need to be replaced, but the moment you put on the new pair, you will feel the difference and know for sure if you made the right decision.