Under Attack: Part Two

Well yesterday it was the sock drawer. I didn’t want to bombard you with all of the my clothing problems all at once so I thought I would wait until today to tell you about my shirt drawer. Actually, this one wasn’t even close to the sock drawer. It was just the usual problem of me always grabbing the shirt that is on top, thus leaving the bottom half of the shirts unworn. The problem with this is that the shirts on top wear out much faster since they are worn so much and the bottom ones get all sad and wrinkly. The solution: rotating piles. Though it sounds complicated it actually simplifies things. At least in my opinion. So, hopefully, here’s how it will go: I have three piles of shirts in the drawer. The middle one is just tank tops I wear underneath, the other two are my regular t-shirts. When I get dressed I will take the shirt on top (switching piles each day). If I don’t want to wear that shirt it means I should get rid of it, because I shouldn’t keep something I don’t wear. When I do laundry I will put the clean shirts on the bottom of the piles, therefore ensuring equal wear. This seems brilliant to me, but most likely it is something that most people do already. I wish I could implement a similar system with my closet, but those are mainly work clothes, which I need to put more thought into. If only I could make getting dress completely trouble-free. Sometimes I miss my high school uniform.

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Under Attack: The Clothes Monster

Today I did laundry. Nothing new. The problem came when I was trying to put away said laundry and I encounted a monster, and not the cute kind like below. My underwear and sock drawer was at maximum capacity. It just was not going to accept anymore. First world problem, I know. It is so sad that clutter and the over-owning of stuff is such a big problem, when for some people it is unimaginable. So, I needed a solution. The easiest thing seemed to be to go through my socks and underwear, choose 14 of each (in case I don’t do laundry for 2 weeks, which sometimes happens). These were given the privilege of living in the drawer. The rest were relocated to a plastic storage container. Whenever one pair wears out I can go to the bin and grab a new one. It will be just like shopping! Okay, not really, but at least it solves the problem for now. Until next Christmas when I am given 20 more pairs of socks.

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Dishwasher Detergent

When we first moved into our apartment for the first time in my life I was graced with a dishwasher. What a step up in the world! Especially when this fall there was a new one installed when the old wood-panelled one (seriously) that was originally here stopped working.  I really hate doing dishes, especially since we accumulate dirty dishes slowly over the course of the day, so we would either have to do one big wash at the end of the day or several small ones throughout the day. Anyways, here was this dishwasher all ready for me to use. So, of course my next step was to look at what green detergents were available in stores. Kurt wasn’t very happy that most of them seemed quite a bit more expensive, but we discussed the ingredients (or lack of) listed on the conventional products and how I did not want that awful bleachy smell every time we ran the dishwasher. In the end we picked up the cheapest bottle of environmentally friendly stuff. Sadly, it didn’t work that great. My next step (which really should have been my first step) was to research how to make my own. Turns out it is incredibly easy, I had most the ingredients in the house already, and it works great with absolutely no smell (which I did notice a little of even with our greener choice liquid).

So here is the recipe:

1/2 cup of borax

1/2 cup of washing soda

1/4 cup of citric acid

Put them all together in a container, then shake. Use a tablespoon each time.

I read through a lot of recipes online and the borax and soda seemed to be a constant. With just these two though, a lot of people reported cloudy dishes. This is what the citric acid is for. I bought mine in a glass jar at a bulk store, but it is much cheaper online through soap making websites. My dishes come out very clean, and it saves a lot of money.

Worms

We have quite a few pets residing with us in our small apartment. Some of them are there for pleasure, some are part of the family and some work for us. The worms definitely fall into the worker category. We began our worm bin about a year ago and let me tell you, it is great. It was fairly simple. I bought two large, blue plastic tubs, drilled some holes in the bottom and around the top edge, filled it with moist cardboard, a little dirt, then asked around about some worms. We were put in touch with a man who not only provided the worms, but gave us a tour of his giant organic garden and farm, including the outdoor shower.

We have had neither smells nor escapees from our worm bin. They are very polite roommates. While we do not have enough worms to eat all of our scraps (I am considering starting a second bin), but they do eat a surprising amount, and the dirt they produce is first class. I even got my mom, who was sceptical, to take some of my worms for a bin of her own. She was shocked at the affect the ‘worm tea’ had on her plants and is now a believer.

Between the worms and our regional green bin composting program we do not throw away any food scraps. I would love to have an outdoor composter as well, but because we rent it is not feasible right now. I look forward to the day that all of my food scraps become usable compost. What a lovely closed system. Isn’t it great how everything just fits together?