Imagine a world without ironing. Sure, wrinkled clothing may come to mind, but there are a few techniques you can use to straighten your clothes without even touching an iron and lugging out your ironing board. Although there are plenty of tricks to dewrinkle clothing, some of them may seem more trouble than they are worth. Below are some doable tricks to remove wrinkles that may have you wondering why you even have an iron.
Shower steam: While you're taking a shower, hang your clothes up on the shower rod, so the steam will straighten out the clothes. Make sure the bathroom door is properly closed, so steam can't escape. It takes at least 15 minutes for the steam to uncrinkle the folds in your clothes, so you might want to only use this method when you're taking a long, hot shower.
Wrinkle-removing sprays: There are a couple of wrinkle-removing sprays on the market, and one of the more popular ones is the Downy Wrinkle Releaser ($8). Spray it on your clothes and smooth it out while it's damp, and you'll see the wrinkles magically disappearing. Works best on cotton-blend fabrics. Be careful when spraying on fragile fabrics like silk as it may leave water spots. Always do a patch test before spraying.
- Chuck your Summer clothes. "If you didn’t wear that summer dress or those shorts during the entire season, there’s very little chance you’re going to wear it next. Time to get rid of it — no matter how cute it is or how much it cost. It’s taking up space in your closet and it has to go."
- Get containers. "Once you’ve pared down the essentials that you want to keep, and after you’ve had a chance to clean them all, grab an airtight container (a closable bin, a zippered plastic bag, and/or a set of vacuum bags), fill it with the clothes and a couple of cedar blocks to keep away the bugs. "
- Find a place. "Find an out-of-the-way place to store these clothes until the weather starts getting warm again." One great option for clothing storage is to keep them under your bed.
- Examine Winter clothing. "Similarly, for your winter clothes which have been hibernating . . . examine each piece carefully. Make sure it still fits you, that it hasn’t been damaged since last season [by bugs, water, and smells], and make sure you still love it. If it fits all of those criteria, then move it to the front of the closet or the top of the dresser."
Moving to a different city is like planning a wedding. You're full of excitement and anticipation, but it can feel totally overwhelming unless you take the process one little step at a time. For my recent move from San Francisco to New York, this meant making lots of to-do lists. And furiously scribbling notes on the go about more things to add to the lists.
To save you the trouble, I've put together a handy cross-country moving checklist for renters. For your next big move, consider this part of your homework done.
- Set your moving date and notify your landlord that you're moving.
- Set up a "moving" folder in your email and/or a dedicated notebook to keep things organized.
- Obtain as many boxes and as much bubble wrap as humanly possible.
- Set up a time to do a walk-through of your apartment with your landlord.
- Find an apartment or temporary housing at your new location.
- Call your credit card company to let them know you are moving, so they aren't surprised by big charges.
- Provide your landlord with your new address.
- Research and hire movers or reserve a truck rental.
- Make travel plans or purchase tickets for your cross-country flight or drive.
- Do a major apartment cleanout and donate or sell books, CDs, clothes, and other items.
- Back up your computer data.
- Sell large furniture items you don't want to move, on Craigslist.
- Arrange a Salvation Army or Goodwill pickup after the movers leave.
- Set up mail forwarding with the US Postal Service.
- Change your mailing address for magazines, Netflix, and other subscriptions.
- Change the billing address for your credit cards, savings accounts, and other financial accounts.
- Transfer your insurance (renter's, medical, etc.) to your new address.
- Close your local checking account and open one in your new city.
- Discontinue cable, electric, gas, and other utilities.
- Set up cable, electricity, gas, and other utilities in your new location.
- Change your address with your cell phone provider.
- Discontinue any automatic bill pay.
- Find new doctors and a dentist in your new location.
- Find a new hair stylist and other beauty services.
- Register to vote in your new city.
- Obtain a driver's license or other photo ID in your new city.
Buying things that are not on sale: Most items generally go on sale if you wait for it. Whenever I buy greatly discounted items at a big annual sale like Black Friday, an outlet mall, or on some flash sales site, I wonder why I ever bought items at full-price.
Not preserving your groceries: Even if you're good about saving on your groceries and avoiding the items that are greatly marked up in the supermarket, those savings will be worth less if you don't know how to properly preserve your groceries. If you're throwing away food, you're wasting money. Do things like only cutting fruits and vegetables when you need them, putting your bread in the fridge or the freezer, and making perishable items more visible in your fridge. Here are even more tips for lengthening the life of your groceries.
Never checking your bills for mistakes: Monitor your receipts, bills, and statements to see if there are any mistakes being made. Get into a habit of giving your receipts a quick once-over as soon as you receive them. This may save you money and it'll definitely save you the time and effort of having to go back to the store or calling them to deduct the mistaken charges. Now that big banks are trying to slip in more fees to the unsuspecting customer, you have more reason to monitor your statements. Be a responsible consumer — the sooner you catch on to suspicious fees, the more chances you'll have of getting your money back.
Leaving your electronics plugged in: It's easy to be lazy and leave your electronics plugged in because you figure you'll be using them soon. Electronic items still suck power even when they aren't turned on. In fact, they draw five percent of the energy in American homes, according to a study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The amount of energy wasted is equivalent to the output of 18 power stations!
I can't count how many tearful goodbyes I've said to my favorite clothes just because I've worn them out to the point where they have unsightly fuzz. Your favorite apparel has a high risk of pilling because it rubs against surfaces more often, so loose fibers push themselves out from the surface. You'll also wash them more if you wear them a lot, which aggravates the fuzz.
But there's a handy solution that will salvage your favorite article of clothing. Take a clean razor and shave the pills off your clothes. This can be a tedious and long process, but totally worth making your favorite sweater looking brand-new again! Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:
- Give it gentle, short strokes to avoid accidentally shaving a tiny hole in your clothing.
- Use a sharp razor, so you don't have to keep shaving the same area.
- Place the item on a flat surface, preferably on an ironing board. This is so the cloth won't bunch up, which can snag your razor while you're shaving and accidentally cause a nick. I would advice to pull it over an ironing board, so you can shave one layer at a time.
- Smooth out the material well so that it's completely flat before you shave.
- Ease sore muscles: Had a tough day? Add one cup Epsom salts to your bath and all your worries will melt away. While relaxing, the Epsom salts restore the magnesium and sulfate in your system, which helps soothe sore muscles, soften skin, and calm the body.
- Pretty jars: Create these really pretty sparkling jars with the help of Epsom salt!
- Veggie boost: Water your plants with a mixture of one tablespoon Epsom salts and one gallon water, which gives them a magnesium boost, helping to produce happy fruits and vegetables.
- Exfoliate: Add a sprinkling of Epsom salts to your favorite face cleanser for extra exfoliation while adding magnesium and sulfate to your face. The Epsom salts help smooth the skin and fight the formation of fine lines.
- Bust hard-water stains: If you've got tough hard-water stains in your bathroom, take care of them with this Epsom salts scrub.
Although you may associate saving money with activities outside of the home, there's plenty of things you can do at home to pad up your bank account as well. Now that Labor day is over, it means that Summer has officially ended — and a new season is always a great time for renewal in your life, work, or at home. Focus on your home this month, and follow these tips:
- Create your own cleaning products: Quit buying cleaning products, and whip up a batch of cleaning products that can last you for months. Here are some recipes for cleaners that will cost you just a few cents to make.
- Make small home repairs: Instead of calling in a handyman for small repairs in your home, you can tackle these minor home improvements on your own.
- Decorate without spending (much) money: There are ways to decorate your apartment without spending any or much money. First, check out all these great places to buy affordable home decor pieces. Then, you can rearrange your furniture to make your home look like new.
- Make it look bigger: There are a lot of visual tricks you can use to make your home look bigger without getting a room upgrade, such as opting for different furniture.
- Declutter your home: Start removing clutter from your home, because items you're not using are taking up valuable space. Check out this list of over a hundred things you should throw away.