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Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:41 AM

Before you trash it, wear it out

Iíll hold onto socks until the toes have gaping holes in them. I will wear t-shirts until theyíre beaten into oblivion. Iíll use razor blades until Iím scared Iím going to badly cut my neck or cheeks with them (and with a razor blade sharpener, that takes a good long time). Iíll use a toothbrush until itís bordering on scary.

For me, itís not really a matter of saving money, though thatís certainly a bonus. Itís more of a matter of not throwing things away until I actually need to do so. A pair of socks worn another time is a pair of socks not yet tossed into a landfill somewhere, after all.

I often turn this into a personal challenge. How many uses can I get out of this razor blade? Can I get another wear out of these socks before Sarah has a fit?

When you start carrying that philosophy to more and more of the things you own, you begin to change your approach toward your possessions.

http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/The-Simple-Dollar/2013/0116/Before-you-trash-it-wear-it-out?nav=89-csm_category-storyList

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:52 AM

1. I still wear a shirt I bought in Hong Kong in the early eighties.

It's held up remarkably well, too.

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Response to MADem (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:59 AM

2. Every situation is different

some items hold up and can accept minor repairs, others don't as well as we know. Although I believe that we do need to move away from the disposable mindset of our world, some things just can't be repaired easily or economically. One hopes that when the useful service life of those items comes to an end, they at least find their way to the recycle bin.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:05 AM

3. When we're done with clothes, they become handy dandy rags for use around the house.

They're great to plump up a somewhat flattened, zippered dog bed, for example, or to take on greasy cleaning jobs that need something stronger than a paper towel.

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Response to MADem (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 09:56 AM

5. Great ideas!

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Response to MADem (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 09:57 AM

6. I've mentally scanned my closet -- you've got me beat by a decade or two!

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Response to gateley (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 02:26 PM

9. It's worse than that, actually.

I still have a pair of converse high tops from the early seventies....they're not in bad shape, either! I haven't worn them lately though, like the HK shirt, which I had on last week!

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 09:54 AM

4. As I was donning my "nightshirt" teeshirt last night, I was thinking that I must have had this

for at least 10 years. The sweats, at least 12. Amazing how long they've lasted and they get washed at least twice a week! I have no desire to sleep in anything else and it will be a long time until these see a landfill.

It just galls me to get new stuff when I don't NEED it (except Apple products ).

When I was younger it was New! Now! At this ripe age I can appreciate and enjoy what others have, but am very happy with what I've got. I think I learned that from my Mom.

My holey socks become emergency dust rags in my bedroom. I keep one in my nightstand drawer so if I see dust (it bugs me) I can just grab it and swipe the offending area instead of going and getting the duster and doing the whole room.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:07 AM

7. Old socks make good wiping down rags and mittens

Last edited Thu Jan 17, 2013, 12:48 PM - Edit history (1)

I have 4 pair of old blue jeans that are so ripped and torn I'd never wear them if I had to go someplace but they are perfectly fine for when I'm home.

Edit: Your post reminded me of a sewing kit I found in the basement when I was rearranging things down there. Got it and put it in my desk drawer so it'd be where I know where it is when I need to darn socks. Thanks for posting!

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:58 AM

8. Socks and underwear usually cannot be passed on but everything else can and should.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:42 PM

10. I use those old socks as dust rags.

You can slip them on your hand and they are good to go----they even will dust knickknacks just by picking the item up and rubbing your hands on it. I use clothes that are too bad to wear anymore for dirty jobs so I don't have to worry about ruining good clothes. Also wear old sweats or t-shirts for pajamas. Then I use them for rags.

And the clothes that don't fit anymore go to thrift stores.

Newspapers go in the garden. Books go to the library for their used book sales. Magazines are left in waiting rooms at the hospital (ever since I had to spend way too much time there and realized that the magazines were so old and worn out).

Branches that fall from the trees are used in the fire pit. Garden trash and kitchen waste is composed. Grocery plastic bags are used for trash bags. Aluminum foil can be cleaned and reused. Ziploc bags can be washed and reused for a long time.

You are right----it becomes a challenge to find ways to keep using and using and using.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:09 PM

11. Aluminum Foil is good to clean the

bbq grill with as well. I just heat the grill and stick it under the now worn bristles of my wire brush tool. I take a few magazines to work for the breakroom and books sometimes go into our used book sale with the proceeds going to charity.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:17 PM

12. LOL---the "now worn bristles" or the wire brush!

You've got this thing figured out.

And BTW, that old toothbrush that is too scary to use in your mouth is great for using as a little cleaning brush.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:25 PM

13. Oh, I have a few more wire brushes

to use, picked them up cheap at Harbor Freight Tools, just trying to get a season or two more out of this one.

Just like my 1979 Snapper Lawnmower that is still going strong! Almost time for it's yearly trip to the shop for a tune up.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:35 PM

14. My lawn mower is a 1981 model, so you win....

....except that mine has not been in the shop for years. It really is time for a new one----has been for years, but every year, I pull that cord and it starts. Damn. It is a self propelled model that has a broken propelling unit, so it is ten times heavier than a regular mower with no advantage. But it keeps running without any money spent to keep it running.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #14)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 04:02 AM

15. My SP broke down a year ago and I

found how to repair in on YouTube. Had to take the engine off (3 bolts) and replace a belt, but now it keeps going for me. Fixed an old Diehl Fan that I have the same way, just needed some oil. I reccommend the yearly tune up on the mower, new plug, change oil, sharpen blade and alike, I feel that is why the thing keeps running and the guys at the shop make fun of me each year with my old mower, but we have a good laugh.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #15)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 07:35 PM

16. I wish it was just the belt.

I replaced the belt already, and that didn't fix it. I have a feeling it has to do with the link in the cable from the hand lever to the SP unit....and that is beyond me. This mower has a special place in my heart. I got it right after my SO was no longer significant and I had put him to the curb. Bought it in a box, brought it home, and it had a hundred parts and pages of instructions. I didn't think I could do it, put all the parts in a circle in the driveway and sat in the middle of it. Neighbors didn't think I could do it either. But I did it, and the one thing the instructions did not say to do was to attach the belt. Mower worked and ran, but SP didn't work. Shut it down and figured out that the belt was just hanging there. Got it attached and I was so proud to have a working mower. My first accomplishment on my own!

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #16)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 03:45 PM

17. Sounds like mine a few years ago

fixed the linkage with a coat hangar and it works fine. I don't know if that will help, but best idea I can offer without knowing more and my very limited mechanical knowledge.

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