Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thursday Rants Public Service Announcements

Today I have a couple of rants PSAs to share, just for the education and improvement of the general public. These are both things I have seen so many times it is impossible for me to remember where I saw them, so I will not be linking specific examples. Besides that would be rude, and this is not meant to be rude. None of the people I've seen committing these terrible crimes is anyone I know personally, either in real life or through the web.

Okay, was that done in the proper spirit of the PSA? Like those "The more you know" ones they have on some TV network that I'm not going to bother to look up? The ones that imply that no one as brilliant as you would do this, but we need to get it out there because not everybody is as brilliant as you? Good.

1. Sort Your Laundry...sorta. This one is quite popular on the message boards where busy homeschool moms hang out. Someone complains about how she never has time for laundry by the time she gets done teaching little Peregrine her Latin conjugations, and a chorus of helpful voices ring out in answer: "Don't waste all that time sorting! Just throw it all in together and wash on cold!"

Which is fine, super, wonderful. IF you don't mind all your white clothes, towels, and linens turning a lovely shade of gray. If gray is your favorite color and you've always wondered why they don't make more light gray clothes, then go for it! And if you're a certain person who lives in my house who prefers that t-shirts not be perfectly pastel, you are welcome to continue throwing them in with the darks so they get grayed down a bit.

But maybe you don't want your white tees to be gray, maybe your husband would like his white shirts to stay white? You don't have to become the Sorting Nazi, you don't have to be Cheryl Mendelson or Martha Stewart, you can be a Casual Sorter. Just put the white things in with the very light-colored things, and put the dark things in a separate load. Once in a while you'll have to get a little more finicky than that to keep something fuzzy from shedding on something else, but for the most part just dividing into two categories can make enough difference to make it worth the trouble. (Full disclosure: I have four different categories not counting sheets, but that's not nearly as many categories as the experts would recommend.)

2. Press As You Go Sew. This one I see all the time on the sewing and crafting blogs and boards. Crafters can be spontaneous, creative, really fun people and I love to look at their blogs and boards to see all the neat things they cook up. But so often I see someone's photo of a finished object and it is obvious that the seams and other details were not pressed.

Again, if speed is your thing or you prefer a slapdash look about your items then by all means, don't press! There may be artistic reasons for this look that I am not aware of. But, very often I see someone showing off a finished item, say a dress or skirt, and then complaining that the seams hang funny or the collar won't lie flat. Those problems, and many more, can often be avoided by pressing. Pressing isn't the same as ironing. Pressing involves special attention to the seams and other construction areas. Pressing also involves some good hard pressure with the iron and lots of steam.

You don't have to get a fancy-schmancy expensive iron. Just go to Amazon or Epinions and read till you find an iron that: sounds fairly reliable, puts out lots of steam without leaking water, heats up quickly, and has some weight to it. Then get your Bed, Bath, & Beyond coupon and get over there and buy one. Or, even better, see if Costco sells it...because then, if it does break down in 3 months they will take it back!

While you're about it, get a beginning sewing book like this one. Or dig around on your shelves and find the ones you bought before and forgot about. Most books like this will explain the details of what you should be pressing and how, plus any special equipment you need for unusual fabrics. Set your ironing board up at table height and get a chair on wheels so you can roll right over and press when you need to. Or use the need for pressing as an opportunity to get up from the sewing machine and stretch a bit.

That's it for today. Anybody got some more PSAs to add? Should I make this a regular feature? :)


Jim said...

Comments on your PSAs, in order of their appearance:

Issue #1:

Who spends THAT much time sorting laundry? How could it take long enough to actually impact the laundering process itself?

Now, I'll admit we're not the most particular family when it comes to laundry, but we tend to sort into whites, jeans, darks, reds, mediums, and maybe a couple towel loads. (Bedding is a separate issue - you can't really wash a down comforter with anything else anyway.) It usually takes a few minutes to sort the jeans out and get them started; we're waiting on the machines from that point forward.

Bottom line: if your laundry problems stem from lack of time to sort your clothes... well, you have bigger issues to deal with, and most of them will require the kind of medications you can't get without an inpatient admission.

Issue #2:

This is one fine steamin' machine. I'm considering buying another just to stash in the closet for when this one eventually breaks... it's that good.

Issue #3:

Yes, you should make this a regular feature... :)

rebecca said...

Now, I'll admit we're not the most particular family when it comes to laundry

Ha. Ha ha ha. Maybe the rest of us aren't...

Beth said...

I'm thinking maybe some people just use their washer as a hamper and when it gets full they run a load. Either that or they were never taught how to sort laundry so they see it as some big hairy thing that requires tons of work?

This is our iron

We've had for a couple of years and it works very well. What we need to find now is a more stable ironing board; the one we've got has become creaky and wobbly with age. Costco has a big sturdy behemoth, but I don't think it will fit in our linen closet.

Rebecca, are you saying you are more picky about your laundry than your dad is?

I'm thinking this will become a continuing feature...the problem will be keeping every post from being a rant. :)