... I cant imagine having to take all my plants fish shrimp and snails out next year to replace this stuff. I give up
Hey, don't give up! A tank re-do is really not a big deal. In fact it's a great opportunity to try a new aquascape if you want. You can do it in an afternoon.
Make sure you have everything you need ahead of time. Get whatever substrate you've chosen ready by rinsing if necessary.
You'll need two clean buckets. Siphon tank water in to one a clean bucket with an air stone and a heater, and net as many fish as you can to go in there.
Fill the other bucket and pull your plants to go in the second bucket along with your filter media and decorations. Net any remaining fish for the first bucket.
Siphon out as much water as possible. Then line a garbage can with a strong bag and scoop out the substrate. (If you are not decontaminating the tank, leave as much or as little of the substrate as you need. The mulm will help to prevent a minicycle.)
Add the new substrate, rescape to your liking with decor, and fill partway with water at the correct temperature. Add back your plants and finish filling. Get the filter running, add dechlor, return your pets to their home, and you're done.