One of the best ways to live an efficient life is to maintain your possessions so they last as long as possible in the best condition possible. Today we'll look at a selection of items and talk about how to keep them ship shape.
If you want to keep the color in your favorite pair of jeans while also making them last longer, you just need to do two simple things. First, wash them as infrequently as possible (until they start to develop an odor). When that day comes, fill your bathtub with some cold water and one cup of distilled white vinegar. Let the jeans soak in it for about an hour then hang them out to dry. The intense smell of the vinegar will fade as the jeans dry. This technique keeps the dye intact and doesn't introduce any additional wear on the fabric.
When it comes to shoes, it's always good to invest more to get a quality pair. If you want something that will last you several years of regular wear, get some nice leather shoes or boots. They look awesome and age well. Once you have them (or any sort of shoe), there are a few things you should do to keep them clean and healthy.
For leather, it's good to start with a leather conditioner or water repellant like this one. It protects the leather while blocking water from soaking in. From there, clean off any dirt with a bristle brush (such as a toothbrush) when you get home for the day and buff out any scuff marks. If you wear your shoes out in the rain and they do end up getting soaked, DO NOT put them next to the heater. This dries them quickly and can crack leather. Instead, crumple up some newspaper inside each shoe and put them in a well-ventilated area. This keeps their shape while letting them dry at a slower rate.
If you have multiple pairs that you enjoy wearing, it's good to cycle pairs every day so they have time to full dry and air out. This helps reduce odor and just makes them feel better.
For white shoes, mix one part water and one part lemon juice. Spray the shoes and let them sit out in the sun all day. Boom! Bright whites.
Phone and Laptop Batteries
When it comes to our mobile batteries, there are tons of ways to increase the battery life and battery lifespan.
- Update to the latest operating system version. Updates often come with improvements to the code that reduces battery strain.
- Keep your devices close to room temperature. Over 95°F and your batteries may lose capability. If your devices get too cold, it's okay, just wait until they warm up to use them. This means Burning Man is not good for our batteries...
- Keep at 50% charge for long-term storage. If you leave the battery at 100%, you could lose the max capability of a charge. Leave it drained and the battery could go into deep sleep. Forever. And ever.
- Lower the brightness. This one's obvious, but it does help. Auto brightness is a good way to set it and forget it.
- On your phone, turn on wifi. It takes less battery to connect to wifi over cellular. For your laptop, turn off wifi until you need it.
- Disable location services when possible.
- Close apps when you finish using them. Background apps have become more efficient, but some still track your location or refresh occasionally.
- Turn on Airplane Mode if you're in an area with little to no coverage. Phones work harder when searching for signals.
Flip it! Well, more specifically, rotate it once every six months and flip it once a year. If you have a pillow top mattress, just rotate it. Also throw a mattress pad between your fitted sheet and mattress to absorb spills, sweat, and anything else that you don't want permanently embedded into your mattress top. You should also vacuum your mattress when you rotate and flip it. Use a little vacuum nozzle/brush to suck out dust, dead skin, dead animals, and so on.
When it comes to sheets, many recommend washing them weekly. As anyone with a life or job can attest, this may be more often than possible. I usually just wash them when they start feeling a little soft in the wrong kind of ways. If you're worried about dust mites, wash your sheets in hot water to kill them all!
Obviously, vacuuming is very important. To keep your carpet really healthy, vacuum once a week. This keeps the dirt out, but also prevents it from dulling or matting. When moving furniture, use furniture sliders to keep the stitching of the carpet tight. Lastly, what most people don't think about, is closing your blinds to prevent sun damage over time on your carpet. Just like anything, prolonged sun exposure breaks things down in a hurry.
First, rinse off the sides of the shower/tub when you finish, ya filthy animal! Then, once a week, fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and go to town. Spray down all the areas where soap water hits. The vinegar acts as a natural cleanser. From there, give any corners and crevices some love with a shower scrubber. This can be a bristle brush or a sponge on a stick thing. I use the OXO Household Scrub Brush. It works wonders. For the deep cleaning needs, replace the vinegar with a bottle of foaming bleach cleaner. This more aggressive cleaner will rip through the heavy buildup, but be careful; bleach is a powerful chemical. Don't drink it.
Surprise! I'm throwing in a bonus section. To keep relationships interesting, it helps to empathize whenever possible. This doesn't mean feeling pain when your partner feels pain. This means going above and beyond to truly understand your partner. Would he or she like a surprise box of chocolates on an ordinary Tuesday evening? Would they like a home-cooked dinner with candles and wine? Yes. Almost always.
Also, respect. Hygiene. Motivation. Back rubs.
I don't want to get too deep into relationship advice so I'm going to pull out right now. Hope you enjoyed this post! It was a little scattered, but there are definitely some nuggets in there.