Your sofa should be one of the items in your house with one of the lowest cost-per-uses. I adapted that term from the sartorial concept of cost-per-wear, which measures how much an item in your closet costs vs. how much you actually wear it. If it’s high cost but low use, you probably didn’t make the best investment. At the same time, low cost and high use means it’ll likely break down quicker. The golden ratio exists somewhere around high cost and high use. Still, while your couch likely takes a beating, there are a few things you should never do to it if you want it to last. And no, none of them involve wrapping it in plastic.
Don’t Let A Stain Set In
Let’s be real: We all snack on the couch. I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what couches were made for! But if you spill something or drop a bit of wine or chocolate (or both! Just me?) on it, make sure you grab the Garment Groom immediately. Test it on a part of the couch that’s out of direct view, then get to town blotting out the stain.
Don’t Sit In The Same Spot
Ok, I know this one’s easy to grasp but hard to execute: We all have a favorite spot on the couch (my partner’s is the corner pocket of the L) but if you sit in the same spot every single time, that spot will wear out at an accelerated rate.
Don’t Go Solely For Aesthetics
I spent a ton of money on a Mario Bellini couch that has the perfect mid-century modern, minimalist vibe. It’s photogenic, looks like a cloud, and serves as the perfect backdrop for my mirror selfies. But a few months in, I realized it still seemed…untouchable. Instead of getting rid of the couch (never!), I added a couple of throw pillows and blankets on top, then added some cute-but-functional knick-knacks to the coffee table to be sure the room looked more lived-in and less don’t-go-in-here.
Avoid Too Much Direct Sunlight
I’m not trying to say you should position your couch based on the location of the sun—that’ll probably throw off the room’s feng shui—but instead, make sure you have the appropriate curtains or window treatments to block the sun at its strongest points. Otherwise, you risk ruining it: Sunlight can bleach certain fabrics, and in other cases cause them to fade and deteriorate over time. Instead, keep your sofa out of the sun, or at least rotate it regularly to keep it looking new. I like to throw a blanket over the corner of my couch that’s always sun-drenched in the morning to keep its color from fading.
Don’t Forget To Clean It
Your couch probably gets a lot of action—and even if it doesn't look dirty, it's probably covered in dust, sloughed-off skin cells, bits of food, and who knows what else. Unless you never, ever sit on it, it will inevitably get dirty—so be sure to clean it regularly.
If you follow these simple guidelines, your couch could be yours for decades—or longer—all without plastic wrapping it as our grandparents did.