After a dusty smoke detector set off our home alarm, we realized that we had never replaced the smoke detectors. They’re supposed to be replaced every 10 years because after that they become unreliable. So my husband ordered some new smoke detectors (it’s very good that he is handy!) and went around the house with a stepladder replacing them all. This photo shows the old ones on the kitchen table.

Seven old smoke detectors on a table. 

Replacing smoke detectors counts as home maintenance rather than clutter cleanup, but I decided to make this Sunday’s post a public service announcement. Gentle readers, if the smoke detectors in your house are as ancient as mine were, get some new ones! Otherwise they might go off when there’s no smoke or, much worse, not go off when there’s a real fire.

About Clutter Comedy: Every Sunday (which I envision as a day of rest after a productive week of de-cluttering) I post a Clutter Comedy article describing my most memorable clutter discovery of the week. Other bloggers who wish to join in are welcome—just post a link in the comments! There’s no need to publish any “before” photos of your clutter, if they are too embarrassing. The idea is simply to get motivated to clean it up, while having a bit of fun too!


  1. Glad you got them replaced!! Good to make people aware of it too, for yes they are important!

    • Though we had replaced the batteries regularly, the longer interval for replacing the detectors was more easily overlooked. Alarm systems really ought to have reminder messages for things like that, but I suppose they just didn’t think about it when they designed the system. I expect reminders will be programmed into more things in the future. Last winter we bought a new thermostat that reminds us when it’s time to change the furnace filter.

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