Laundry

My fella and I are getting married this summer.  In order to look good for our celebrations we’ve invested way too much money in buying newer nicer clothes. Now that we’ve stepped up our fashion game I decided it was time for me to really research what is the best way to do laundry.  Growing up my family separated all of our clothes into three piles: whites (hot), colors (warm), and delicates (cold).  My guy does one load with everything in cold water.

Turns out we have been doing a lot of things wrong!

  1. Laundry detergent is more effective in warm water.  The warmer the water the easier it is for the detergent to do it’s job.  There are new laundry detergents that work in cold water (look for it on the label) but in general you’re going to get much cleaner laundry in warm or hot water.
  2. Separating items by color is important but you should also consider size and fabric type.  Different sized pieces move differently in the washing machine so when you put together pants and socks the socks will have one pattern while the pants will have a different pattern.  This will create cleaner laundry because there is more agitation to remove dirt from the clothes.  Mixing fabrics that pill and fabrics that are textured will cause more pilling.  I had never thought about it but, extra texture will cause pilling and trauma to your delicate fabrics.
  3. Homemade laundry detergent doesn’t work.  We figured this one out on our own but it was nice to be confirmed scientifically.  Fels naphtha needs a lot of agitation to do the job, modern day washing machines do not agitate the clothes enough to get this to work.
  4. Not all detergents are created equally.  Tide tests the best.  Unfortunately, the detergent we’ve been using does basically nothing.  I’ve had allergic reactions to tide in the past so I think after we finish up our expensive can of white powder we’re going to try Persil.
  5. You can test if your new clothes are going to release dye by dipping them in water and touching them with a white towel.
  6. There is such a thing as too much or too little laundry.  Clothes need to rub up against each other in order for the dirt to be released from the fabric.  If you put too many clothes, they aren’t free to move.  If you put too few clothes, they don’t have anything to rub up against.

Ta ta for now, I’m off to go do a load!

How do I get rid of old laptops?

After a somewhat recommendation from my overachieving friend, I spent my Amtrak journeys traveling between weddings reading Marie Kondo’s delightfully strange The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.  I’ll admit it was a bit of a laugh at times, but it did inspire me to declutter and organize.

I’ll go into more details in the following weeks on some of my different strategies to get rid of clutter.  Today, I’m going to focus on old technology.  I have two old computers that are taking up space in my spare bedroom.  I’ve kept them, for years at this point, because I didn’t know what information would be accessible to the new owner.  I ended up doing two separate things: reuse and recycle.

Reuse: My old mini mac in general was running too slowly.  I decided to convert the laptop into a home server.  It’s awesome!  The boy and I are able to share photos, video, files, etc. with relative ease.  Also, we should be able to remotely access files (when we aren’t in the condo), though this is still to be tested.  All I did was download the Mac server and decide what features to add.  I’m still working on setting up a VPN (this is way trickier than I thought) but using the server as a backup for all my files has already been a huge lifesaver.  

Recycle: The other computer, a laptop, resided on the white screen of death.  The Apple Genius told me the hard drive died.  That being said, I’m still nervous about someone accessing my data.  I took the problem to the source and took out my hard drive (only a screwdriver is necessary) and smashed the disk.  I took the computer to the Goodwill and donated using the Dell Reconnect (a program between Goodwill and Dell to take old laptops and refurbish them for students).  It was super easy and I get to write off my donation on my taxes as a Charitable Contribution (Note: This only works if you itemize your deductions instead of taking the standard deduction).   If your computer isn’t completely stuck on a screen of death, DBAN (http://www.dban.org/) is a free software that completely deletes all of your data off of  your hard drive.  

What do you all do with old technology?  Any great recycling programs in your area?

Goals and aspirations

As I become more and more of an adult I am realizing there are so many things I don’t know. I realized this a long time ago with regards to school but I had no idea that I was completely clueless with regards to the basic things in life.

This blog will be a way for me to keep track of and share the things I learn as I go along in getting older.