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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dorm Supplies for My Little Princess: Squeam Factor in Practice

A while ago, I wrote about the squeam factor, noting that the more squeamish an item makes the buyer in the used marketplace feel, the cheaper it will be. And the better. And the more plentiful. Now we will move from theory to practice. Or praxis, as befits the academic setting.

Case in point: bedding.

My wonderful daughter, now away at college, wrote a lengthy email about her first few days. She also mentioned her wonderful bed:

I'd also like to say I have the most comfortable bed known to man. I can't explain it. SO much better than LSMSA. Is it that foam? The soft sheets? The wonderful down pillows? I don't know, but it's lovely and I can fall right to sleep in it. Also, how could I ever have lived without a fleece blanket?! I'm in love!

Even though I am definitely of peasant stock, I am the mother of a princess. We wouldn't want the princess to feel a pea, now would we?

The bedding is comprised of squeam factor items:

Foam: a piece of very good memory foam, about the size of a twin bed, that seems to have been cut off a larger pad and donated to Habitat. Cost: $3.00.

Fleece blanket: a polarfleece blanket from LL Bean, twin, blue. Not only does this have the squeam factor, but it is monogrammed AWSF. Frugal Son suggested that--should anyone ask--Miss Em say the initials stand for Alaskan Wilderness Sealife Foundation. Also $3.00.

Down pillow: can you think of anything more squeam-inducing than a pillow? Several years ago, I learned that down pillows can be machine washed and dried. So obviously, all squeam is removed by such treatment. Cost for 4 is only $4.00!!

Total of $10.00 plus lots of very hot water and soap. A bed fit for an academic princess.


Duchesse said...

Well done! We actually produce squeam, it is appalling what young men can do to a down pillow. Found a down bedding factory that will clean and re-tick them for far less than replacing. Even though we use pillow protectors, eventually they are beyond a machine wash. Perhaps there IS a difference between princes and princesses?

Funny about Money said...

The down comforter has been infinitely washable, but I didn't know you could wash a down pillow. Do you just toss it in, or is there anything you should do to protect the feathers from working their way out?

Suzy said...

woo hoo some great finds there! I just made some quilts with fleece backing on one and minkee on the other 2(soft like mink but warm like fleece) for 3 daughters of coworkers who are off to college. I love the feel of the minkee but I know the fleece one will be the most comfy and warm(couldn't find minkee in that color so got the fleece). I wish I'd had one of these when I headed off to school. that's a true bargain...fleece on sale at Joann's is still $5/yard and that's the cheap stuff! And fleece will be here when we're long gone..I think polyester lasts forever!

Duchesse said...

Though soft and snuggly, poly fleece does not breathe. This may not be an issue for you and yours, but I feel far more comfortable with a fiber that breathes: cotton, wool, down duvet.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Duchesse--According to my mother, my great-aunt used to refill down pillows by putting the down in a vacuum cleaner and shooting it into a new case. Don't try this at home!

@Funny--Since the pillows didn't cost much, I just throw them in washer and dryer. Sometimes I put an extra case on to be safe from a dryer full of feathers. All seem fine to me. I hate drycleaning for both economic and ecological reasons.

@Suzy==What great gifts! I see a lot of fleece at thrifts; perhaps you could use some for one of your creations.

@Duchesse--I agree. All else on the bed is cotton and down. So a little polyfleece is, I think, OK.

Betsy said...

My mom is the best at coming up at new meanings for monograms--I have a lovely keychain that she bought me years ago monogrammed "JRD". We both know that it stands for "Just Right Daughter". I love that keychain!

Suzy said...

Duchesse you're absolutely right about the fleece not's the main reason I put off using it for so long living here in Houston.But, the snuggle factor ranked high with my sil(she loves dairy cows and I found some fleece one year that had those black/white cows on it) and got this furry fleece for the other side (hoo boy talk about shedding..looked like a maroon slaughter occurred!) I swore no more furry fleece after that but she loved it so much and was so pitiful(and suck-uppy!) about another that I couldn't resist and I do have to say I've gotten better at it though I like the regular fleece and minkee a lot better with no shedding!

But the good thing about fleece being hot is that I can use poly batting(also non-breathable) and leave the heater off in the winter! I snuggle under and am sound asleep and warm when the thermostat says it's 58(of course getting outta bed is another story)

Duchesse said...

Suzy, we turn down the heat with down, too!

Frugal, I can see how the vacuum re-fuffs but it wouldn't clean, would it? Or did she was the down first? I can just see my house covered with loose down!

My mother made comforters stuffed with lambs' wool- they were divine. you don't see them anymore.

Tubo Family said...

So true on the squeam factor vs. price. I love my front loading washing machine because it is able to wash so many things gently, so with hot water or bleach and sunshine I feel comfortable re-using so many second-hand items including soft and chewable baby toys, bedding and shoes. The only thing in five +years that hasn't survived that treatment was a mirror that mounts on the back of a vehicle seat to be able to see baby in a safety seat.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Betsy--Love it! Now I will look for something with those letters.

@Suzy--Sounds like a cozy bed. Wonderful.

@Duchesse--No--not to clean. This was a long time ago, a European family--I wonder of they were less concerned with cleaning than we are today. I have some of the quilts and keep meaning to have the down put into other covers, since the covers are tattered.

@Tubo--It's amazing what great stuff is out there for those of us who believe in hot water and sunshine! Not to mention that it's better for the environment to reuse.

Suzy said...

I remember reading about someone 'dusting' a quilt with a handheld vacuum - they put a screen or something over the quilt then ran the wand over it or the little handheld(not the super duper dyson!) :-) can't remember where I was reading this..sounded too much for my lazy self so I didn't take much notice of it.

@Scholar - yep it's even cozier with a lab and german shepherd on top of the quilts plastered up against me on either side! Luckily they don't want to be under a quilt but they want to be snuggled on top of one when it's cold! And also lucky they give me plenty of space when it's not cold!