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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 September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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