Sunday, September 13, 2009
Never throw away clean underwear, and other wisdom from Mom
That got your attention, didn't it?
My (our) mom has this perfect combination of thrift and common sense (until it comes to her grandchildren, of course, when both are swiftly tossed out the window). One of her prevailing philosophies was that one should never throw away something that has been cleaned, dried, folded and put away, unless it was absolutely unwearable. Underwear is the perfect example. You find a little hole somewhere, but they're still wearable. You wear them one last time, and then you throw them away. Holey socks were used as dust rags until they were threadbare, and then thrown away dirty after that. To the Chief Laundress of the house, throwing a dirty something in the trash instead of the laundry basket feels wonderfully naughty. We've even been known to bring what my law school friend called "post-apocalyptic underwear" (thanks, Sandy) on vacation to throw them away (making sure we had a new, clean stash at home, of course, for our return). Coming home from a trip with no dirty underwear (and not as a result of losing your luggage)? Awesome. Plus, you have that much more room in your luggage for your return trip. (Have I ever claimed to have an exciting life? I didn't think so. My first post was about vinegar, for crying out loud.)
Other items I've used as dust rags: old towels (cut up if they're big enough), old baby washcloths that smell so foul that they're not fit to wipe anyone's anything despite numerous attempts at destinkifying them (especially good for outdoor tasks, and then pitched), a crib sheet that tore at one corner, and old pillowcases. We have a pile of frayed hand towels on the baby's changing table to use as changing pads, too - it's so much easier to toss a single hand towel in the wash than re-upholstering the fitted apparatus that came with the changing pad.