By Joseph Wong
There will come a time when you will want to rid of the big household products, especially when they are being replaced by newer models or have become obsolete and broken beyond repair. No product lasts forever so there will come a time when items like the refrigerator, washing machine, old cupboards or furniture need to be replaced. So what can you do with the old ones? Here are a few ideas:
Some companies will pay a small sum of cash for items that are still usable when bringing in the new model. This writer’s old refrigerator was sold for RM50 and the delivery team even took it away so there was no need to hire the movers to cart it away. This means extra savings.
Household products like old-but-still-functioning refrigerators, washing machines, microwaves and furniture can be sold off rather than thrown out. Moreover, you might not even have to deliver it as the buyer could be willing to pick up the item personally. Try advertising online as there are many platforms which will allow you to dispose of your old properties for free.
Before buying a new big-ticket item, first consider repairing. Some of the old appliances are still good for a few more years before expiring. In this uncertain economic times compounded by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, it might be a good idea to be thrifty instead of splurging out on the latest big-ticket item when the old one can still function.
Some of the bigger items in your household can undergo a new look to elongate their lifespan. For example, old cabinets could be repainted to look like antique furniture or modernised with a bit of carpentry alterations. This will also give you a new hobby as well as to improve on a skill that you never thought you have.
Some ideas include adding mirror doors for your built-in wardrobes instead of replacing the whole thing, especially if the inside panels are still functioning perfectly. The new doors will make your room look new again. Bed frames can be repainted to give it a new look. All it takes is a little imagination to turn a few of your more expensive furnishings for a fresh look.
Of course, this is harder for appliances, but it is not impossible. Respraying the refrigerator will give it a new look or you could opt for wrapping. Some people use this for cars to mimic a fresh coat but it can be done for refrigerators too.
Some of the bigger items in your home can be repurposed instead of being thrown out. But you will need to think outside the box for this after all, how do you repurpose a fridge? This takes a bit of work. But once you have removed the mechanical parts of the refrigerator to be recycled for cash, its body can be converted into an outdoor barbecue unit once you lay it on its side. The freezer component of the refrigerator can be transformed into a cooler as the insulation of the fridge makes it suitable to chill your drinks or keep meat fresh while you are barbecuing. Covering the façade of the refrigerator with wood panelling will enhance its looks.
The same can be said of the other larger household items like the drum of a washing machine can be converted into an outdoor wood fire barbecue, a shiny flower pot holder or a stool once you have added cushions.
Finally, you should always practice recycling instead of dumping old refrigerators and bigger appliances in some lonely out of the way locations. This can be dangerous as such items can become breeding grounds for pests like mosquitoes which causes dengue or malaria.
Go through the proper channels and you might even earn a little cash in ridding these items. The salvage truck operators are more than willing to cart off your old big-ticket items like an old broken washing machine. Its parts can be recycled and they will pay you based on its weight. And instead of occupying space in your home, ridding these bigger items will give you more room in your home.