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13 Simple Ways to Make Your Clothes Last Longer

13 Simple Ways to Make Your Clothes Last Longer

Depending on your personality, clothes are either a necessary evil or one of the best parts of every day. You don’t have to be a fashionista to want your clothes to last, though. We all have a favourite shirt or pair of jeans that gives us anxiety every time we stick it in the wash.

To help you care for your clothes and make them last longer and stronger, we’ve made this helpful list of 12 simple tips to keep your clothes like new. Follow these rules to make your clothes stand the test of time.

1. Wash Less

This may sound counter-intuitive, but the washing (and especially drying) your clothes can do more damage to them than everyday wear and tear. Get out of the habit of washing your clothes after wearing them just once. A quick sniff test and a check for any stains will let you know if your clothes really need a wash, or if they’d be okay to wear another day.

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2. Always Close Zippers

Zippers and bra hooks can be devastating to fellow clothing articles in the wash. Always zip and button pants and hoodies, and hook your washer-safe bras before starting a new load. For extra points, turn these articles inside out to further protect your laundry and the zipper’s integrity.

3. Limit Dryer Use

We’ve already mentioned that dryers can do damage to your clothes, but you should understand that even clothes that seem to come out fine are taking a beating from extreme temperatures and constant tumbling inside your machine. We’re not saying every single t-shirt or sock should be hang-dried, but it would be wise to invest at least in an indoor clothes rack for your nicer clothes. It takes less time than you think and your clothes will last much longer and retain their color better.

4. Use Color-Safe Bleach

Bleach is a lifesaver when it comes to brightening whites to their former glory, or removing tough stains. It’s also very hard on clothing fibres and isn’t safe for colours. Just a little bleach can ruin your favourite piece! Instead, opt for color-safe bleach, which is gentler on clothing and safe to use with any coloured garment.

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5. Knits Need Special Attention

Depending on the material of your knit, it may require different care instructions, but almost all knit items are subject to stretching and snagging. Reduce this risk by hand-washing and air-drying knit items. If you’re impatient, cold water on the gentle cycle is appropriate for acrylic and cotton. Fold to store.

6. Be Delicate with Delicates

Certain materials like lace, silk, nylon and not to mention undergarments, lingerie’s need special care when washing, because they are at high risk for shrinking, tearing, stretching, and deteriorating with intense agitation or hot temperatures. Always treat delicates like hosiery, lingerie, silk scarves and socks, and fine linens to a hand wash in mild detergent, followed by air drying.

7. The Right Hanger is Everything

No piece of clothing can survive the awkward shape and lack of support offered by wire and plastic hangers. Both are too thin to give proper shape to your tops, and will cause stretching and hanger marks on the shoulders. Get wooden or padded hangers to boost the longevity of your clothes.

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8. Proper Storage

Not everything should be folded, nor should every piece be hanged. Follow these rules:

  • Knit and stretchy materials should be folded.
  • Dress clothes should be on supportive hangers.
  • Don’t stuff clothes in closets or drawers; allow enough room to “breathe”.
  • Make sure storage space is dry, and rewash any clothes that smell of mildew.

9. Separate Colors

This is important for a few reasons, but essentially it:

  • Reduces bleeding
  • Keeps blacks and white from going grey
  • Is especially important for blues and reds

10. Use Cold Water Washes

It’s tempting to use warm water for a boost of cleaning power, but you’ll regret it in the long run. Cold water is easier on your clothes, causes less bleeding, and reduces the damage done to delicate fabrics like elastic. It’ll also save you a couple bucks in utilities every month.

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11. Work and Play

No matter if your job has you sitting at a desk or running around all day, your work clothes and “street” clothes should always be kept separate. It may seem old-school, but having a separate set of clothes for after work will make them last much longer, and hopefully you can also wash them less often. Never, ever wear your street clothes or work clothes to bed.

12. Undergarments are Key

Another old-school trend that we seem to have forgotten is the use of undergarments. Believe it or not, relics like slips, undershirts, and camisoles serve more purpose than modesty. They also keep sweat and skin oils from dirtying our other clothes. They’re also easier on buttons and zippers, reducing the friction between your movements and clothes.

13 . Keep Your Clothes Looking Great

Proper care instructions are essential for keeping your clothes at their finest, so always be sure to look at the tag BEFORE you buy an item to ensure you’re willing to give it the right maintenance. Nothing’s worse than wearing something once before it’s ruined forever by the wash.

If you’re not exactly a seamstress, remember it’s much cheaper to get an item patched up at the dry cleaner than to replace it entirely. You’d be amazed how well a good tailor can alter the fit of something, too, adding years of usefulness to your garments even after weight loss or gain.

Featured photo credit: buzznigeria.com via buzznigeria.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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