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The changes of life

No, I’m not talking about that change of life.  As much as I’d like to save a fortune on feminine hygiene products, I’d love to have another kid at some point.

The changes I’m talking about today are the household items that we use and change out.  I’m not here as an expert, but rather a curious observer who is interested to hear if our practices might be similar to yours.  Feel free to weigh in with your family’s habits.

We change our sheets once a week.  I accidentally typed in once a month, and then I puked in my mouth a little bit and thankfully caught my error.

Due to Troy’s severe allergies, we have a mattress protector to keep dust mites away from his precious skin.  I call it “the nerd guard”.  When we got our new mattress in 2009, I spent the extra money to get a top of the line mattress cover that isn’t really plastic, but protects just as well as plastic.  The old protector we had rustled any time you moved around.  I was so sick of feeling like I was sleeping on rubber sheets.The mattress protector and pillow surrounds gets washed once a month.

Back in October, I got the world’s warmest comforter from IKEA.  This thing is HUGE, and as I found out, too huge for even our large washing machine.  Now, I put it in the dryer every two weeks on hot for an hour (ah, the electricity.  It hurts.) to kill any allergens.  I’ll need to take it to a laundromat or something to really deep clean it.

Bath (shower) towels
Every four to five days.  Troy likely thinks he uses the same towel for months at a time, because I just change them out with fresh ones without consulting him.

Kitchen rags
I used to be addicted to bleach wipes, and then I paused to think of the huge ecological issue with these things.  Not to mention the freaking cost of those things!

I weaned myself off of them, and use rags and homemade surface spray now.  I have terrycloth washclothes from Target.  They can be kinda hard to find.  They’re usually around the bath section, on an end cap, and have a white ribbon holding them together.  They come eight to a pack for about $5.99 ish. I buy three packs for a total of 24 rags (math is hard).

I replace my kitchen ones every year, and then they are regulated to junk/bathroom cleaning rags.  When I buy new ones, I buy them all the same color, but different than the previous group’s color.  Why?  So that if Troy is folding towels (I laugh at the thought), I only have to say “the gray ones go in the kitchen”.  I don’t wash kitchen and bathroom rags together (puke!), but if they weren’t color coded, my new kitchen rags would end up downstairs with the bathroom cleaning rags.

Gotta work smarter, not harder people.

In a typical day, I’ll probably go through about three to four washclothes in the kitchen, and two to three hand towels.  I cook and clean a lot, so they get quite a work out.

Rather than walk myself downstairs to the washer, (first world problems) I keep this bucket near my fireplace, which is in fabulous rag tossing distance from my kitchen.  I found the bucket at a garage sale almost three years ago.  There is a woman who lives a few blocks away who stages expensive homes when they are on the market.  After the house is sold, she hosts big garage sales and sells all the never-used products.  I’m sure her fancy clients would be horrified at the second life of their previously never used wine bucket for their Town and Country staged BBQs.

The contents of said bucket get washed when the bucket looks like it threw up rags.

We’re supposed to change these? (edited to add: you all know that is a joke right?  I change my underwear at least once a day!)

Despite Carrie’s mom calling boobs dirty pillows, boobs aren’t really dirty.  Hence I probably wash my bras once a month.  If that.  Did I just say that?

I tend to wear my jeans three or four times before washing them.  Unless someone wipes a booger on them.  TROY.

The dealer where I bought my used car recommends every 5,000 miles, and since I have 13 full-service oil changes for free, I listen to them!  Every oil change comes with a car wash, a vacuum, and a free latte for me.  Deal!

We have a Sonicare Elite that is really old, and no longer even has an “on/off” button on it.  You have to stick your pinkie finger in to the body of the brush to turn it on.  But it works, and my teeth feel crazy clean, and people often compliment on my white (non-bleached) teeth.  Like a commenter on this post about homemade marshmallows.  That’s right folks, I’m tying clean teeth in to a post about sugar fluff.

The Sonicare heads get switched out every six months.

So…um, I have a total crush on my eye doctor.  He’s like 50, and stuff, but we spend the entire time quoting 70’s movies and laughing.  We’re likely too busy cracking up for him to even really pay attention to my eye exam.  Every two years, I go in and I declared blinder.  My last visit went like this:

Doctor: How are your eyes Sarah?
Me: Well, about 3 months ago, my vision either got worse, or I had a stroke.  Either way, I can’t see for meerkats.
Doctor:  Yikes, let’s get you some new contacts to test out.
Me: Thanks doc.  And can I please borrow your towel, my car just hit a water buffalo.


Anyway, I have monthly contacts, but since I rip them out of my eyeballs the second I get home, and wear my glasses, I tend to um stretch how long I should be wearing them.  Let’s just say that my insurance will pay for one years worth of contacts, every two years, and um, I’ve never paid for contacts before. 

My glasses are from 2000 when I graduated high school, and I can still see awesome in them, despite the fact that they’re pretty scratched.

My sewing machine needle
I once read a blog post where the author recommend you change your needle with every new project.

I wanted to ask her if she had a money vault like Scrooge McDuck and went swimming in it every night.

I have changed my needle all of twice, and that is because they broke both times.  Likely from lack of changing.

Bathroom hand towels
Can someone explain to me how a four year old (almost five year old) can read Harry Potter with literally no help from an adult, but cannot for the life of him hang the hand towel back up in the bathroom?  Between the top of the vanity looking like a baby seal had a seizure in my sink, and the hand towel wedged in the space between the vanity and the door (how does that EVEN HAPPEN???), I’m tempted to completely remove the hand towel from Jack’s bathroom.

That being said, those get thrown in the wash every two to three days.

Anyhoo, I’ve literally aired my dirty laundry.  Now it is your turn!  Do our habits match up to yours?  Are we weird?  Are YOU weird?

Yo yo, head’s up, this post might contain affiliate links which help to support my site. And my canning, seed buying, and aggressive saving habits.

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19 comments on “The changes of life”

  1. LAUGHED SO HARD!!!! Your posts just have me in stitches so often. My best tip: take two clothespins and put them on the sides of the hand towel so that it can’t slide off (haha). Clip it directly below the fold where it’s resting on the towel bar.

    When my kids were babies they were big droolers. We went through bibs like you wouldn’t believe. I have vinyl flooring by my basement door, and the basement is where the washing machine is. As I changed to a fresh bib, the old one would get thrown to the spot by the basement door. “Ain’t nobody got time” to walk one bib all the way down to the washer when one has babies. My mother-in-law thought I was nuts (and probably gross). Your bucket is a great idea.

    When my kids were little, their pants had to be laundered daily — spooge effect. Now that they’re in the double digits, I’m having such a hard time getting them to wear their pants more than once!

    I don’t get the water buffalo thing. Did you have breast leakage or something, LOL?

    You will be SO much happier if you change your sewing machine needle about every 6th project. It will jam less too. Laughing about Scrooge McDuck! Some ppl think their OCD habits apply to everyone. “Ain’t nobody got time/money for that.”

  2. Oh Bugger, laundry, one of the easier jobs I get to do!

    Sheets, every week if I have the energy, especially in the summer. DH won’t bathe but once a week or so, every night for me, BIL as often as I can (I have to do most of it for him so it’s a lot of extra work for me).

    Curtains about twice a year, or when the cobwebs get to be too much!

    Blankets only get washed about every four months or when I put most of them away for the summer. I didn’t sleep under blankets in the summer until we moved here, too warm in the south where I grew up for more than a sheet at night! The cats sleep with BIL so his top blanket gets done every couple of months. The ones I have on the furniture get done once a month a least since we have house dogs who also shed like a mofo (thanks Melody)! I have dust rhino’s around the house, not dust bunnies!

    Undies, oh God, that’s every day, and socks too. Bleeggh, that’s just nasty to me when they aren’t! Haven’t worn a bra, except for a few times, since the 70’s. Didn’t really need one and most of them are too uncomfortable for words. Though age is creeping up on me and I will have to soon!

    Towels are every day because we each have one set for use and that’s all we have. I will admit to paper towels in the kitchen, some messes are too much for laundry. I don’t have enough kitchen towels because I haven’t found anything I really like, that I can afford enough of, that don’t wear out in a few months. Can’t stand putrid rags either so I use a sponge for dishes and change it every couple of weeks. Soap and hot water keep it clean, but after it gets really stained it goes for floor duty or bathroom cleaning. That’s where old toothbrushes go to die every three months or so.

    Jeans or pants are every couple of days, depending on how dirty they get, shirts every day and put in rotation. Neither one of us works a job or has to do other things like that so we don’t have that many clothes to worry about, which is frankly a relief! I have summer and winter shirts, but a lot of them can do double duty or get layered, and frankly I’m a big mess at times so those I need more of!

    Glasses are a big irritation to me at the moment! I go in every year for a checkup and have been told the same thing for about six years. I haven’t bothered with prescription glasses for about ten years now because they keep saying my vision is the same, but they want me to wear expensive bifocals! Doesn’t make a lick of sense, does it? I just buy the cheapies at the dollar store and keep gazillions of them everywhere. I don’t drive so distance isn’t really a big deal, though I can see pretty clearly without them. I just can’t read without them anymore and the cheapies do for that.

    The oil in the car gets done about every four months or so, depending on when the DH wants to do the job. Again, not so much driving! The perk of living in a little town.

    Sewing machine needles really need to be changed at least every two projects. And Singer needles with Singer machines, please! Schmetz is a good brand for other machines. You’ll be surprised how much better and easier your machine will work if you do that. Especially if you do a lot of sewing, like, every single day sewing. Once or twice a month, well, the needles should be okay. If you go from heavy fabrics to light you should change, also.

    Do you wash new clothes, or fabric, before you wear/use them? I never thought much about it until I worked in the fitting rooms at WalMart for a year. If you want some stories that will curl your hair and frighten you forever, I can tell them to you! The sizing product that is used on new fabrics is formaldehyde, as in embalming bodies formaldehyde. Do you really want that next to your skin?

    • I live in a big city (Toronto) and I have seen the disgusting people in the stores. I wash EVERYTHING before wearing it. Even things like socks in packages. I have enough stories in my imagination, I don’t think I even WANT to know the truth about what goes in in/near the fitting rooms!!!
      I always wash fabrics too. I didn’t know about the sizing so much, but I wash first because most of what I tend to make needs to BE washable and I don’t want it to get all mis-shapen in the wash. Or have colours bleed all over each other. Now I want to wash the chemicals out too! Thanks for the info.

  3. This could be scary….sheets, weekly, or more…our adorable pups sleep on our feet. Oil, ask my hubs. My car is12 years old with few issues so whatever he is doing is fine. (Did have hubs and teen son change out my brake pads for 30 bucks…it worked out great in spite of the fact that it is probably not a good idea for your beneficiarys to change out your brakes! No cloth cleaning towels or snot rags…my son Troy is a booger machine like your Troy, and we have to use much tissue weekly. We have had jr. high teachers complain he uses half a box a day on bad allergy weeks. I wash bras every one or two uses; I work with little kids and often get a workout with them so I feel it’s needed. Jeans/ pants and everything else…daily wash. It is just too juicy at my schools. I also wear monthlys, but clean them daily as it seems icky not to, so I stretch it too. My glasses are three years old, but seem not to change like my contacts. Maybe your super reader would put up the towels if you made a sign he could read with fav. characters? ( ‘Spiderman says Hang up your towels Jack!) Worth a try. Big laughs on this one

  4. Sheets – once a week. Mattress pad – usually once a month. Comforter – every few months.

    Bath towels – once a week. I wash them when I get a basketful.

    Cleaning rags – they all go into a basket and I wash them in hot water when the basket is full. I have white terry for the bathrooms, and blue microfiber for kitchen and for dusting.

    Toothbrush – usually when mine gets ragged-looking.

    Bras – if they don’t smell bad, they don’t get washed. Usually once a month or so.

    Jeans – I wear mine four or five times before they get washed.

    Oil change – we’ve been told 3,000 miles, so that’s what we stick to.

    Couch covers – my dog sheds like a mofo, so they get vacuumed every few days and washed once a month or so.

    Underwear – changed every day whether they need to be or not.

    That was fun!

  5. This is a weird post but I don’t expect anything different here.
    Sheets washed once a week. Bath towels used for a week at a time then washed. Hand towels in the “used hard and put away wet” powder room off of the laundry room are changed every day. That bath sink I use every time I come in from outdoors messing with the chickens, ducks, and geese so ya! No telling whats in there. Seriously thinking of buying reusable, washable “paper towels” for that room.
    Undies get washed all the time and hung up to dry to save wear and tear on the elastic. Bras are worn twice then washed the same way. I don’t change the sewing needle cuz I hate sewing and only do it when absolutely necessary.
    Since we are confessing, I hate sweeping the kitchen floor so I do it when shit starts sticking to my feet and bugging me or the dog hair turns into tumble weeds blowing across the floor, or company is coming.
    My jeans get washed about every 2nd or third wearing depending on what crap got on them however I have a habit of changing my clothes to suit my activity during the day. For instance I wear something appropriate for going to the store and wear old sweats for painting or cleaning the chicken coop or gardening. The jeans get worn for house work or errands etc. I can have three changes of clothes draped over the bedroom chair at anytime. I have three pair of foot wear for the same purpose and change them coming in or out of the house and going places. That can be shitty boots for outside, slippers for inside, or clean shoes for going places.
    Hubby has a fit about oil getting changed every 3000 miles but the garage looks like a bomb went off in it. Go figure. It gets cleaned out when we can’t get anymore crap in it and then he has a fit because I am “throwing all his great stuff away”. Apparently wood scrap and empty cardboard boxes are great stuff.
    So that was enlightening.

  6. What fun. My turn!
    Sheets- once or twice a month. If I know I plan to shave my legs one any particular day, I like to have clean sheets for bed that night. Not sure why, but fresh shaved legs and clean sheets just lead to an awesome night of sleep.
    Comforter- Now that we are pet-less, I only really wash our quilt when I feel like it needs it or when someone is sick. I love my quilt, but need to get my butt in gear and finish the t-shirt quilt I started about 5 years ago. On that note-
    Sewing needle- I actually change mine often. I sew with a lot of odd fabrics (denim, paper, aluminum foil, etc) and I have noticed that having a fresh needle really does result in less messed up stitches and less frustration for me.
    Shower towels- these get washed once a week.
    Jeans- only when they are dirty or I decide I want to wear a different pair. Most days I lounge around in my pj’s so they don’t get worn often.
    Kitchen rags- I use cloth for most everything except grease. These get swapped out every few days and washed with bathroom towels on the weekend.
    Reusable personal hygiene products – my kiddo’s nose gets raw and bloody if she uses regular tissues, so she has flannel tissues that get washed with towels once a week. I use homemade reusable pads (for the last 3 years) and I love them. These get washed as needed with towels on hot.
    Bras- I only wear sports bras. I use to wash them once a week, because I didn’t have enough to wash them more, but I finally needed to get new ones so I wash them every few days.
    Oil- we were told that the oil doesn’t really need to be changed until 7k miles, so that is the schedule we have started following.
    Toothbrushes are swapped about every six months, except the kiddo’s. She smooshes her bristle within a few months, so her brush gets swapped out sooner.

    Is it odd that I found that fun?

  7. Way too funny. Let me see about mine… I do my sheets and pillow cases less than once every few months. (Sorry if you just lost your breakfast/lunch). Underwear shortage is about the only time I will do laundry, unless both of my PT work shirts are dirty. I throw everything in one wash; black, white, colors. I usually only have 1 load every 2-3 weeks, so it doesnt make sense to break it down. Jealous yet? My contacts, I wear them for WAY too long. I dont take them off either… I should, I know. But I dont. I think I switch them every 2 months. I do need new glasses because I hate the last ones I got, but continue to use them anyway. I have used teeth whitening once before, and have another pack set aside for after I get my wisdom teeth pulled. I do brush well enough to have no cavities or other major problems, even without dentist supervision for 8 years. I think that’s pretty darn awesome, but I’d like brighter teeth. As far as hand towels (and bath towels), my sister used to do that, until I started to WRITE on the mirror with dry-erase markers to pick up the forsaken towels. She did pick them up. For a bit.

  8. First off, let me add a disclaimer that I have a hugely hard time throwing anything away…

    As far as our sheets and comforters go, mine get washed once a week or once every two weeks. I shower nightly before bed, so I feel like I’m relatively clean when I get in there. My boys, I hate to admit, I do theirs about once a month. I know it’s kind of gross, but they don’t care. Unless we’re sick. Then the sheets and comforters and/or blankets get changed daily.

    I use my bath towel for a week before I change it. I’m the only one using it so I figure it’s not too gross. The boys don’t hang their towels up so they end up getting new ones for every shower. I use the hell out of kitchen rags and towels, and they all get washed together and I use bleach. Yes I know it’s bad for you and bad for the environment. I use it anyway. My aunt makes us a new kitchen towel every year for Christmas along with a new dishrag. I go through my collection from 1998 when I got my own kitchen and throw out the worst looking towel and dishrag and sub in the new ones. Sadly, I still have original kitchen rags from 1998. I can’t throw things out unless they’re holey or worn to shreds.

    Underwear. I don’t reuse, I don’t even ask if my boys do. I don’t wanna know. I throw out any that have holes when I do laundry.

    I wash my bras randomly. When the perfumes start mixing and I can no longer identify a scent. Victoria’s Secret says to wash them only every 5 wearings and replace them after 25 washings. Ha! I wear mine until the wires poke out or a boob pokes out, whichever comes first.

    I wear my jeans once or twice before washing. I never know what I’m going to get on them, so sometimes re-wear is impossible. I’m messy and I don’t have an apron!

    I get my oil changed when I look at the sticker and I feel guilty. Usually every 6000 or 7000 miles. ish.

    I replace my toothbrush when I feel like it needs it, no real rhyme or reason to it. I replace the boys’ when I replace mine.

    I don’t wear contacts, but I’ve had my glasses for 3 years. I can still see. I don’t need new ones 😉

    I just replaced my sewing machine needle for the first time. I bought my machine in 2001. Hehehe!

    Bathroom hand towels are about the only thing I’m crazy about. I don’t even let the boys have one because it pisses me off when I find it in the shower or in the sink or on the floor or in the living room where the dog has dragged it. I replace mine every day, only because I use it to scrunch my hair every morning and having gel all over it and rehanging it is just gross.

  9. First: I love the way you tied white teeth to the sugar post.
    Second, I forgot the meerkat thing for a moment…I am glad I didn’t have a mouthful of tea!!

    I do laundry on the weekends. clothes get done on Saturday (bras included) and sheets and towels (we each have our own, personal towel) are done on Sunday unless I am REALLY on the ball and everything gets done Saturday, but that rarely happens
    I don’t use fabric softener. I stopped that when my youngest was an infant (she turned 16 last week) and have used vinegar in my Downy ball ever since.
    We have a duvet and cover, the cover gets washed when it looks dirty -I have never paid attention to how long that takes. The duvet and mattress pad/cover thingy maybe get washed twice a year? We don’t have allergies. I also wash the curtains in my bedroom, a coupe times a year. Usually when they can be hung outside, probably early spring and late fall.
    I use a lot of what I call un-paper towels. I bought some horribly ugly dish cloths and cut them in half and use them as I would use paper towels. Except for gross things I don’t want in my washer like dog/cat messes, bacon grease… I still use paper towels. They get washed on Sundays.
    I try to switch out my wash cloth and tea towel every day, and they get washed on Sunday as well.
    I do pants like you, wear them a few times and wash when they are dirty.
    That is a sweet oil change deal you have! We change ours religiously every 5000 kilometres. I have to take it in because I don’t work. I think they offer free coffee, but I don’t drink coffee…. they do have free wifi, so I bring my tablet.
    We switch toothbrushes every six months when the dentist gives us new ones. I do give them a little soak in mouthwash if the owner had a cold.
    I only need reading glasses and that is a relatively new development. My daughter wears glasses and won’t go near contacts, so I can’t comment on them.
    …Graduated high school in 2000. I can see you are much younger than me, but WOW, you just made me feel OLD. I graduated high school in 1989 after sticking around for the optional fifth year…
    Sewing machine needles……. I sew a little and needles baffle me. I don’t see the difference and I *think* I am running on the original with this machine. I know I have broken a couple in the past on my old machine.
    The slipcover on the couch only seems to get washed when the cat barfs on it. So…… not very often.
    I hate putting produce in my fridge that hasn’t been washed. I have seen the gross people at the supermarkets.
    My living room window needs washed in the WORST way. We still have lots of snow, so I have been trying to patiently wait for a nice enough day and today is supposed to be pretty mild, but not until around 5:00!!!! And we are under a freezing rain warning right now. That is crazy. So, I am not going out today to wash a stupid window. I will be happier when I can see out it properly again though. I couldn’t care less about the rest of the windows at the moment.

  10. OK, here goes.

    Sheets – every week or two. More often in the summer, less in the winter.

    Other bedding (duvet cover, blankets etc) – when I think it needs it, which I accept might not be as often as other people think it needs it.

    Bath towels – every week or two. They are used when we are the cleanest we are ever going to be, so don’t really get dirty, just wet. If it isn’t raining, ours are hung outside every day to dry and still smell fresh after several days. In winter, they don’t dry as well, don’t smell fresh for as long so are washed more often.

    Kitchen rags – proper rags that I use for the odd clean up are chucked in the washing machine after use (and then washed with whatever the next washing load is). Dishes clothes are rinsed and dried every night, swapped every couple of days.

    Underwear – knickers every day, socks when they need it.

    Bras – don’t wear one most days and don’t remember the last time I washed the one I do wear occasionally. It is still cream though, so that’s OK with me

    Jeans – I can wear jeans for ages without washing them. I have a pair for working in the garden, a couple of everyday pairs for around the house and a couple of slightly (only slightly) neater wearing-in-company pairs. The garden pair are worn at some point each day, get dirty every time and will look dirty even after they are washed as our heavy clay soil makes a very effective clothes dye

    Oil – no idea, I don’t drive so the car is nothing to do with me

    Toothbrushes – my toothbrush tends to look like it has been used for some kind of industrial cleaning exercise very quickly as apparently I am a little heavy-handed when I brush. I change it when more of the bristles stick out horizontally than vertically – I change OH’s at the same time and his still looks brand new

    Contacts – have been wearing glasses for a few months now, but when I wore monthlies, I changed them when my eyes felt a bit gritty at the end of the day. That took quite a bit longer than a month.

    Bathroom handtowels – every couple of days. There are only two of us and we are both very good at hanging it back on the rail so it dries between uses.