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I put off getting new appliances for my kitchen because mine all seemed to work fine. What I didn't realize was that avoiding the big investment was actually costing me a small fortune each year. The appliances that I purchased in the 1980s were sucking up more energy than the newer appliances would. Sure, I didn't have to invest in buying the new appliances, but I was paying for it each year. Are you trying to get a few more years out of your appliances to save money? If so, it is time that you visit my blog to find out how much you could actually be losing by doing so.

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how much are your old appliances costing you?

Three Tips For Choosing Furniture If You Own Pets

by Mae Neal

Maybe you're interested in getting new furniture, but you have dogs or cats. Whether they're allowed to be up on your sofa and chairs or not, their fur can get all over your upholstery. When you visit the furniture store, do so with your pets in mind, and follow these tips for purchasing new items.

1. Choose the right upholstery.

Look for fabrics that will be easy to clean. Synthetic fibers or microfibers are usually your best bet, and can look nice too. You can easily wipe up dog or cat hair, and the texture of the material is less appealing to cats who like to sharpen their claws.

Leather is another easy-to-wipe option that doesn't attract pet hair, but your pet's nails can puncture the leather if you let your pets get on the sofa -- or if they get up when you're not around.

Anything textured, like tweed or linen, is best to avoid. It will attract and trap fur that can make it hard to clean.

If you're purchasing new furniture, it's likely you don't want to rely on slipcovers and blankets to protect the fabric, but those are always options. Be sure to apply a fabric protection spray to make the sofa or chair easier to spot clean.

2. Look for patterns.

You want to choose furnishings that don't show dirt and fur easily, so an attractive pattern is likely to be your best pet. 

Look for darker colors -- no white backgrounds -- and something that is varied, like a floral pattern. A checkerboard or stripe pattern can actually show fur more because of the contrast.

3. Avoid furnishings with exposed wood.

No matter how hard you try, keeping your cats from using a sofa as a scratching post can be tough. Wood arms or details on your new furniture make for a better scratching experience for your cat, so unless you can't live without the look of wood, you're best off sticking to fully upholstered pieces.

If your cat enjoys scratching on regular upholstery, try these options:

  • Make sure you've got an appealing scratching post. Too many scratching posts for cats are not sturdy enough to appeal to your pets. Get a heavy duty one and keep it where your cat likes to hang out -- in other words, don't hide it in a back bedroom and expect it to be convenient when your cat gets the urge to sharpen its claws.
  • Keep your cat's claws trimmed. Dull claws can't do as much damage to your upholstery. Alternatively, consider soft caps that fits over your cat's claws. They can be applied by a vet (or by you if you're comfortable doing it) and can last for several weeks.
  • Temporarily hang an old sheet over the arms of the furniture that your cat likes to scratch. The sheet won't stay taunt or provide a good scratching experience.

Talk to a local furniture store, like AAA A-1 Appliance Salvage Warehouses, about the best options available for you given your living situation and the types of pets you own.

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