The Grapevine (Jan. 5)

01/05/2013 8:05 AM

01/05/2013 8:05 AM

Decluttering Q&A

Q: Ever since I was a kid I have always wanted to hang on to stuff (school papers, ticket stubs, notebooks, etc.). Now, with a family of my own, I find myself doing the same thing with my kids’ papers and drawings. What’s a good thought process to follow in throwing some of it away? I always tell myself I’ll keep it until I sort through it later, and later never comes.

A: From Mark Brunetz, host of Style Network’s “Clean House”: I always say that keeping stuff for one day robs you of today. I understand wanting to preserve the memory of your children growing up, but don’t let it keep you from experiencing them fully today. My suggestion is to pick your top five pieces from each child and display them proudly. Let the others go.

Washington Post

Comforter care tips

• Air it out. Europeans hang their comforters over their balconies daily. Giving them some sun a few times a year is a good policy.
• Store properly. Keep your comforter in a cloth bag to allow it to breathe. Zipping it into a plastic cover could encourage the growth of mildew.
• Fluff daily. When you are making your bed, shake your comforter instead of smoothing it. This will prevent the filling from clumping in one area.
• Follow label directions. Many comforters can be washed in the washing machine on the delicate cycle and dried in the dryer on low. Others require dry cleaning.

Washington Post

Product review: Roto Punch

This gadget is an amped-up hole punch, designed to create small holes in leather and fabric and attach snaps and shoelace eyelets. We think this overachieving tool is trying to do too much.

Right out of the gate, we were satisfied with its ability to punch holes in a couple of leather belts, although working with the thicker of the two belts did require some force. Still, the holes were neat and professional-looking, and the process was simple.

We lost a little confidence when we used it to add eyelets to a pair of leather boots. Sometimes it worked fine; sometimes it didn’t quite bend the flanges and connect the pieces the way it was supposed to. We could always fix our mistakes, though, and we could see the tool’s benefit for salvaging shoes that might otherwise go into the trash.

But once we got to the snap function, we got exasperated. The process was complex and awkward. Just getting all the pieces lined up was hard enough, but trying to keep them in place during the process was flat-out frustrating.

The product’s packaging shows a picture of someone repairing a snap on a pair of jeans, but the tool is made only for lightweight snaps that would never work on denim.

Bottom line: At $9.88 it’s worth buying just for the hole-making function and maybe the eyelets, but pass it up if you want it for attaching snaps.

Akron Beacon Journal

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