Is it time for a new couch?


Terry and I don’t have a couch.

Probably a strange way of starting this essay off, but my fingers took off in the interest of full disclosure before I really had much of a chance to consider where they might be headed. Still… the statement is true… no couch.

Actually took a few years to reach that point. We had a couch. In fact, couches. Kids moved. Friends interested in one piece that had the pull-out feature. We moved. Long stories. Great memories. Today, no couch.

We do have a pair of sitting rooms set up. Recliners for those. Couple of end tables. It’s nice. No couch.

What we need though is a mattress. The set in our bedroom now has been in three homes as a part of our lives for roughly two decades. It’s time for a new mattress. Which ultimately brings us to today, and the internet, and a sponsored content please-click-on-me link asking if I wanted to take a quiz that would determine if it’s time for us to get a new couch.

Well, no, I don’t want to take that quiz. As we’ve discussed, I don’t have an old couch. So, (1) no quiz is going to be able determine if it’s time for a replacement for something we don’t have, plus, (2) we kind of like the house set up the way it is and I doubt if any part of the quiz will have us debating our design choices.

Remember the new mattress idea? That would be a different story. There are things we are considering replacing. A mattress… stove… fridge… even a car. And it got me wondering about when it’s time to replace things.

Last year I bought a new lawn mower. This was a massive decision for me to make, and I actually put it off for a couple of seasons.

Most of our yard I handle with a ride on mower these days. About the only concerns I have there are when the ground gets really soggy, and I need to change my plans so that I don’t get stuck in the mud while tearing up portions of the lawn. But there is a spot…

Drainage ditch along the front. Can’t get into it with the ride on mower. It’s also not exactly smooth and easy and level and such. In short, the type of place where any work needs basically involve immediately grabbing equipment that you don’t mind beating up or getting dirty. Why buy a new mower to torture in the drainage ditch when the old one still starts?

You know that couch quiz? Apply it to a lawn mower. The pull cord starter rope thingy sticks? Cracked handlebar held in place with duct tape? Bent blade with more than a few dings on it? Check. Check. Check. And, if you go on, check check check. Any lawn mower quiz applied to what I had been using would confirm it was time for a replacement.

Refrigerators. Stoves. Cars. Lawn mowers and mattresses and couches. These and other things that we have and use and often keep around for just a bit longer than might be practical. We all know the reasons why we hold on to them… money and time and perhaps they just still accomplish whatever we need them to do.

A friend of mine used to laugh about his mother. His father was a handyman and tinkerer and household repair specialist of the first degree that would fix anything and everything rather than buying a replacement. The joke was built on her buying her first toaster in the 1950s, and never purchasing another.

Of course, we could zoom off onto a terrific tangent from here. Putter around the house and restore all sorts of gadgets and gizmos. Extending the life of our possessions… or perhaps even better described, our tools and appliances… makes sense. But there’s a funny thing about those tangents… they almost all involve care and maintenance.

So, instead let’s fall for the quiz and see what it has to offer. Let’s pull up a search engine. Let’s dive down the rabbit hole. Let’s look for some surprises. Let’s learn something.

At least half of the ideas you will find by asking Google when it’s time to replace your sofa involve design issues.

Not kidding.

Basic designs issues.

Clean fabric. (Or more precisely, now dirty fabric.) Decorating tastes change. I found one source that rambled on about how the sofa you purchased for your first apartment likely didn’t match the needs of your family now in a spacious home.

Hardly stunning details, if we’re being honest. I should change the couch because I’m looking at a new paint or curtains? I should look at a new couch because there are more people living in the house? Whether or not these are even worth considering, the ultimate resolution for me has always come down to one factor.

Terry and I went out to buy some furniture many years ago, and I looked at her before we even left the house. I told her I’d like her to remember one thing and one thing only, which was that we were dog people.

The idea was simple enough. I wasn’t interested in supposed quality or cost or colors or accessories. Instead, I was looking for comfort. And, the dog comment, I wanted to be realistic about our uses of it. For me, our comfort and acknowledging the dogs would be allowed on the sofa mattered much more than whether or not the colors match any current design plans for the room.

The quiz implied information about my couch that I wouldn’t know otherwise… such is the cheese that you’ve placed to tempt me to click on the link… and the best you have to offer is that the pillows no longer match the drapes? Sorry. Not even close to what I would have expected.

About a year ago, someone went to move our dining room table and… short story, without assigning any blame… crack. A piece of wood, some glue, a few screws, and everything is fine. Flip the table over and look at it, you’ll see the repairs. Otherwise, it looks great and works exactly as it should (even when adding in the extension piece).

Is it time for a new couch? The answer is probably simpler than you’d ever believe. It’s whenever you want one and can afford to do it. (Now go fix the sink.)


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