Don’t Throw It Out
Boston Gal’s Open Wallet turned me onto Don’t Throw It Out: Recycle, Renew, and Reuse to Make Things Last. As embarrassed as I am to admit this about a book put out by the editors of Yankee Magazine, I’m actually really happy to have found it. It’s full of all kinds of tips on how to maintain the things you own (or, if all else fails, how to use them in different ways).
I’m sure I could have found much of this information online, but it would have taken a long time, and I would have been wading through a lot of useless ideas. And most valuable are the tips I wouldn’t have thought to look up because I didn’t even know they existed. (Like, did you know they sell paint-on sealants to stop your dishwasher rack from rusting? Me either.)
That said, this is more of a reference book than one you’d read straight through, so I think I’m going to return this to the library and buy a copy. Then I can stick post-its on the parts I especially want to remember to revisit.
Marking the pertinent info is especially important because different chapters feel like they’re for wildly different audiences. For instance, I’m very interested in cleaning tips. (Like don’t use glass cleaner on mirrors, because if they seep onto the back, they cause the silver to oxidize, resulting in black edges.) However, the chapter on how to make crafts from things you’d otherwise throw away fell on painfully deaf ears. (Can you imagine me making coasters out of old CDs?) And the chapter on how to maintain your computer doesn’t say much I don’t already know (although Jason’s mom could probably use it). That’s a little reassuring, actually, because I feel that if their info on computers is good, the chapters on stuff I don’t know about might be solid, too.
Reading this makes me think that I must have missed something growing up. I have a hard time with basic household tasks that a lot of people seem to take for granted, like cooking without a recipe or sewing. Jason does better than me, but he’s still very much an amateur. Our house would be much more efficient if one of us could do these things well. Does the Cambridge Center for Adult Ed offer remedial Home Ec?