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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Housekeeping: Does Anything EVER Wear Out?

I am in the 1% of housekeeping--the bottom 1%. There are many things I can't do (fold, sew, e.g.) or don't do (iron): other things I do seldom AND badly. 

One of the things I do seldom and badly: getting rid of things. I have a wee bit of motivation because Miss Em is returning after a year abroad. She left behind too much stuff also, but at least she's an excellent folder and organizer.

Stuff I will NOT need to buy for at least 5 years
bed linens
pots and pans
kitchen equipment

I should probably add clothing to that list, but am sure I will be enticed by many things. Still, it's amazing how little really wears out. 

Example: Mr FS got a beautiful shirt at Marshall Field (a definite blast from the past) in Chicago in about 1986. We were at a conference so I remember the date. Even at half price, the shirt was a splurge for us at $25. It remained a favorite for many years (very interesting chambray fabric). He must have worn it for almost 25 years. Finally, the collar shredded. We were ecstatic!

Another still-used item: cloth diapers. We bought our diapers second-hand (so a bit shredded from the get-go) from the very diaper service used by Mr FS's family back in the day. Both our kids used them. Then--after much searching--we found someone who wanted SOME of the diapers for her little one. We still had a lot left.

Miss Em uses them to wipe off her paint brushes. She loves them. They should last another 20 years.

Have you had anything wear out lately?


Gam Kau said...

After wearing a cheap pair of sneakers ($7.50) every day for the past 3 months I've almost worn a hole near one toe. That's the closest I've come to really wearing something out - I'm thrilled. I'm always amazed at how long even the cheapest items last, which, I suppose, is why the thrift stores are full of stuff. :)

Janice Riggs said...

Not exactly, but I've worn my Thierry Rabotin ballet flats so much that there was literally a hole in them all the way from my feet to the pavement - you could see daylight through it!

So I got wildly extravagant, and paid to have them resoled. For about 10% of the price of new shoes, I've got BETTER than new shoes - perfect fit, and already broken in. They may never wear out, at this rate!


The Frugal Shrink said...

I seem to be very hard on shoes and they start to wear out within a year or so (although sometimes I keep wearing them!). I've also recently split the rear seam on two pairs of dress pants, but I shall be stitching those back up.

SewingLibrarian said...

I dropped my favorite spaghetti pot, an IKEA bargain, the other day and broke off a handle. Mr SL tells me it can't be fixed. :( I once wore a hole in top of a shoe and had to discard them. That was sad, too. And, of course, there are the inevitable moth holes in knits. But I find that my children provide most of the items that wear out, especially clothes!

Frugal Scholar said...

@GK--My husband put on some weird pants the other day. They had a date inside: 2003.
@Janice--Not all shoes can be resoled--a tribute to the quality of the TRs.
FS-My husband's cure for what ails shoes is SHOE GOO. I think I wrote an ode to it a while back.
@SL--It's kind of a thrill to actually need to replace something. I hate moths--they definitely go after the best stuff.

Shelley said...

Like others have commented, my shoes wear out. Not so much with holes in the tops or the soles (I have had some re-soled) but the support goes out of them and my feet feel all the rocks and such I'm walking on. Some times the uppers come loose from the soles. Because of the amount of walking I do and the wet climate here I value shoes that protect my feet. The hems of my jeans sometimes get shredded, something I did on purpose as a teen. Now days it's just because the soles on some shoes are thicker than others and I've always preferred my pant legs long. I've broken a few plates this year during the packing & unpacking of the motor home. Sadly they belonged to Bill's grandmother. I did recommend to him that we only use tatty plates we're not fussed about for that purpose and now he finally believes me. I have had some of my parents' towels wear out. I prefer my older sheets and towels, finding the latter more absorbent than new ones, but eventually they do get so thin it seems silly to keep them when we have so many anyhow. I'm appalled at what others throw out just because it's not the current fashionable colour.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Shelley--I too prefer old sheets. I guess I have too many shoes--or maybe it's Mr FS's use of Shoe Goo that prolongs the life of footwear.

tess said...

Shelley, I read that in the olden days people would cut sheets in half, put the worn middle sections to the outside, and sew up again, thin I read it in "Waste and Want", maybe misremembering.

Duchesse said...

Just wore out a Tiffany-blue cashmere sweater. It will be used by someone for crafts, but the thing was too shabby for anyone to wear. The colour is very hard to find and it always cheered me to put it on. But I wore it hard for at least 13 yrs.

Also, have worn out shoes even though I am a fanatic about shoe repair. As one cobbler said to me, "Like us, there is a limit to how long they can last."