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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Organizing Your Closet

There are so many things I love about our house, but the closet in the master bedroom is not one of them.  In fact, the closet in Gray’s room is bigger than the closet in our room.  If I could ask the builders of our house one question, it would be: “What in the world were you thinking when you put such a small closet in the master bedroom?”

Because the closet is so small (and I am required to share it), I’ve developed the following strategy:
  1. Store out-of-season clothing somewhere else.  Twice a year, I make certain all my out-of-season clothes have been washed or dry cleaned, and I move them to the upstairs guest room closet.  I then move my in-season clothes downstairs to the master bedroom closet.  While this does take a couple hours on a Saturday twice a year, it provides me with a great opportunity to purge.  As I am moving clothes, I evaluate garments and shoes and always have several things I can donate.  But the bottom line here is, if I don’t use it regularly then it goes upstairs in the guest room closet.
  2. Make use of every inch of space. On the back of the door, we hung a tie/belt rack so that Matt could hang his ties and we both could hang our belts.  There was one wall that was simply dead space, so Matt put in some narrow shelves for sweaters and such.  On the opposite wall, there were bars for hanging clothes up high and down low, so Matt installed a long shelf in-between and up high, so now I have space for shoes.
  3. Strategically hang things together.  Some people like to pair outfits together while others place like items or like colors together; I do a hybrid.  There are certain outfits that stick together, and they all go in one location.  The rest of my items I group together by type, then color, so all my tops are hung together and then in color order starting with the lightest and then going to the darkest.  This helps when I am putting together an outfit, and it also helps prevent sublimation of dyes, which occurs when light garments are stored with dark garments and nitrogen gas causes dark dyes to redeposit on light garments.
If you are light on closet space, you could give these tips a try.  Another option would be to store your out-of-season clothing at A Cleaner World.  Both storage and insurance are free. You only pay the regular cleaning charges at pick up.  If you have tips on how you make the most of your limited closet space, please share them with us on Facebook, Twitter, or G+.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

6 Ways to Transition Your Summer Wardrobe into Fall

A year ago, we posted a blog with a very similar title, but the topic was geared toward properly storing away your summer clothing to make room for your fall and winter items.  In the post, I mentioned that I like summer clothes far better than winter clothes, and that got me to thinking that I should figure out a way to get more use out of my favorite summer items.

I’ve never been one of those super-trendy people; I tend to migrate toward good-quality classic pieces.  Plus following every trend can be difficult on your pocketbook.  These tips can work with whatever your style – trendy or classic.
  1. Get more wear out of your favorite sleeveless dresses by adding a cardigan or blazer and pair of closed-toed shoes.  Another great trick is to wear a ¾ length or long sleeve blouse or top under your sleeveless dress.
  2. The same thing holds true for your maxi dresses; keep them out a bit longer and pair them with a chunky sweater or a chambray shirt.
  3. Adding tights or leggings to your summer skirts, dresses, and tunics will extend their wearable life as well.
  4. Mix a bright bottom, like a pair of hot pink pants, with a white blouse and black blazer.
  5. Boots are a fantastic way to make summer pieces functional and fit the season. 
  6. A leather or jean jacket goes with any outfit and can help as the weather gets cooler.
It would be tons of fun to purchase a new wardrobe every season, but taking existing pieces from your current wardrobe and mixing and matching to create new looks could be lots of fun and will allow you to save a bit so that you could perhaps purchase a few special things.
What tips do you have to help transition into a new season?  Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter, or G+

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Selecting and Caring for your Dress Shirt

The dress shirt is an important staple in every man’s wardrobe, and every guy has his preference on what he likes.  For instance, my husband is incredibly picky about his dress shirts, especially when it comes to the amount of starch; he likes his shirts to be able to stand up on their own, but in order for his shirts to do that, he needs to purchase a shirt that’s 100% cotton.  Given that he was purchasing a poly blend and was unhappy with how little starch they held, I thought it might be a good time to share some information so that you can both choose and care for your perfect shirt.

Fabric and structure: 
  • If you are like Matt and like your shirts to be rather stiff, then 100% heavyweight cotton is the way to go.  The thickness and weight of the fabric determines how much starch the shirt will hold, and heavyweight 100% cotton shirts are the only shirts that can be heavily starched.  In addition, oxford weaves allow for heavier starching than finer pinpoints.       
  • If you are a hot-natured person, choose natural fibers like cotton and silk because they breathe well.  Keep in mind that silk is more difficult to care for than cotton, and of course, there is no starching with silk. 
  • Finally, when purchasing, check for quality.  Look for things like a symmetrical, straight collar; removable collar stays; a split yoke; neat, tight side stitching; cleanly finished button holes, tightly sewn buttons, and spare buttons; hand-sewn cuffs; patterns that match; and a small button at the sleeve placket.   
Caring for your perfect shirt:         

  • Rotate your dress shirts regularly to reduce the amount of wear they receive.
  • Wash your dress shirt after each wearing to avoid perspiration and deodorant stains, cologne stains, ring around the collar, and overall dull looking shirts.
  • Keep in mind that heavy use of starch can impact the life of your shirts over time because the starch residue settles in the shirts, which eventually causes the threads to break and fray.
  • A beard or five o’clock shadow rubbing on the collar can reduce the life of your dress shirt.
  • Watches and jewelry can cause fraying, especially along the cuff area.
If you feel like your dress shirts need a bit of extra attention, just drop them off at any A Cleaner World location.  We’ll gladly give them the care and attention they deserve to look like new again.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Life Expectancy Guide for Household Textiles

The American National Standards Institute, Inc. approved the Fair Claims Guide for Consumer Textile Products. Not only does the standard provide guidelines for determining liability for claims adjustments for textile products, it also provides a life expectancy chart for household textiles.  Please keep in mind that these are general guidelines; the life expectancy can vary depending on the durability of the material, if the material is preshrunk or pretreated for stains, if the material is resistant to light fading, and how much care is provided to the item. 

Proper care is important when it comes to extending the attractiveness of our textiles.  Be sure to follow these guidelines when caring for your items:

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations.
  • Just as you do with your garments, be sure to also clean all household textiles before storing them away.
  • Be sure to address stains and spills as soon as they occur to ensure a greater likelihood that they will be removed.
  • Don’t allow items to become extremely soiled before cleaning.  The heavier the soil, the less likely it is that it can all be removed.
  • Repair tears and damage immediately.
  • Protect textiles (and furniture) from sunlight.
Life Expectancy Guide

Bedspreads: 6 years
Blankets - Heavy wool & synthetic fibers: 10 years
Blankets - Lightweight: 5 years
Blankets - Electric: 5 years
Comforters: 5 years
Comforters - Down: 5 years
Curtains - Sheer: 3 years
Curtains - Glass fiber: 3 years
Draperies - Lined: 5 years
Draperies - Unlined: 4 years
Draperies - Sheer: 3 years
Draperies - Glass fiber: 4 years
Sheets and pillow cases: 2 years
Slipcovers: 3 years
Table linens - Fancy: 5 years
Table linens - Other: 2 years
Towels: 3 years
Upholstery fabrics: 5 years
Articles coated or flocked: 2 years

The information in this post was provided by Drycleaning & Laundry Institute’s Consumer News You Can Use.  If you have questions about a particular item of yours, please feel free to contact us via e-mail at wildwednesday@acleanerworld.com or stop by or call one of our locations and speak with a manager.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Flattening Out a New Rug

Recently, Matt and I redecorated and refurnished my home office.  It’s something I’d been wanting to do for a long time given that I work from home, had a desk that was entirely too small, and hated looking up only to see the circuit breaker boxes right above me as I typed.  I wanted a ‘girl cave’; a place where I could escape not only to work but to also read and have alone time.  Thankfully, I am married to a very gifted craftsman, and he built me a custom desk with built-in shelving, not only so that I could spread out while I work but to also cover those hideous boxes with something both useful and cute.

Within my new digs, I also decided to put in a loveseat, make a window seat, and add a new rug.  As I was wrapping up the work on my new space, the new rug was giving me fits.  First, I was placing it on top of carpet; Matt drew the line at pulling out the carpet and putting in hardwood floors, so I was not only dealing with the creases and rolls but also having it bunch up under items.


If you’ve added a new rug to your home, you know what I’m talking about.  You have a vision of your redesigned room in your head, but the rug won’t lay flat, has folds in the middle or curls at the end.  Of course, you could always show some patience and let everything relax on its own, but if you want things to move along a bit faster, try these 4 tips to help new rugs flatten out faster:
  1. Try laying the rug outside in the sun, if the temperature is between 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit, for a couple hours to allow the fibers to relax a bit.
  2. If the rug is still curling after sitting in the sun, you could reverse roll or reverse fold it, while it’s still warm.
  3. If the first two steps don’t work, you could spread the rug out and place heavy items or furniture on the rug to try and speed up the process.
  4. Finally, if all else fails, call A Cleaner World Carpet Cleaning at 336-804-0045, to see if it is possible to have the rug steamed to help with relaxing the fibers.  This will also give our professional staff the opportunity to examine the rug to see if there might be an underlying reason as to why the wrinkles, folds, or curls might not come out.
As always, please feel free to contact A Cleaner World Carpet Cleaning if you have any rug related questions.  We are happy to help.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Repetitive Wardrobe Syndrome

If there were a support group for this, I’d be a member; my closet is an endless array of khaki pants, jeans, and white t-shirts and tops.  And while I mix and match all my stuff, because I own so many of the same thing or the same thing just in different colors, I may think it is a different outfit, but it all looks the same.  Then there’s the fact that I own almost no jewelry, and if I’m not wearing my Sketchers flip flops in warm weather, then I’m wearing my Sketchers slip-ons when it’s chilly. 

Numerous articles say most women wear 20% of the clothes in their closet; that can cause Repetitive Wardrobe Syndrome but so can having lots of the same things.  If you only wear 20% of what’s in your closet, then that’s an easy fix.  But what if you are like me and own so many of the same thing?  How do you fix that?  This is where a personal shopper or shopping assistant comes in handy, and I bet if you stop and think about it, you probably know someone that dresses with a bit of flair.  Why not ask him or her to go shopping with you?  After all, we all love spending someone else’s money.
  • Suggestion 1: Ask your friend to help you put together an outfit, one that you will wear, that’s a little bit edgy.  Because all your clothes look the same, you can’t throw this one in and wear it twice a week, so to get some more mileage out of it, wear it to work, then find another event to wear it for, then wait two weeks and wear it to the office again.
  • Suggestion 2: Let your friend pick out one or two flashy pieces that you can wear with multiple items.  For instance, you could pair a fun jacket or blazer with a skirt for work and then wear it again with a pair of jeans for a weekend event.
  • Suggestion 3:  Consider purchasing a few accessories like a chunky necklace or a pair of colorful pumps.  Ask your friend to help you pair them with some of your simple or basic pieces to add a little bit of flair.
These are a few suggestions if you are feeling like a change, but honestly if you are happy, then stop worrying.  This woman has worn the same outfit for over a year and no one has seemed to notice.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Top 5 Causes of Color Loss on Garments

Here they are and in no particular order:
  1. Beauty and household products can contain alcohol, bleach, and other substances that could lead to color loss.  Use care when applying perfume, hairspray, lotion, and deodorant; A Cleaner World recommends that you apply these items before you dress, allowing them to completely dry or be absorbed before putting on garments.  In addition, use caution around pool water and when using cleaners with bleach, ammonia, or peroxide as these too can remove the color from your clothing.
  2. Failing to follow the garment’s care label could cause color loss, so be sure to follow the care label.  If there are instructions that specify that the garment be washed with similar colors, separately, or in cold water, that could indicate that the garment’s dye is unstable.  In addition, garments that are red or pink will likely bleed during washing, so wash these items with similar colors in cold water to minimize color loss and dye transfer.  Finally, clean all the pieces of a matching outfit at the same time to avoid any color discrepancies.
  3. Allowing a spot, spill, or perspiration sit on a garment too long before cleaning is a huge problem when it comes to color loss or color discrepancy.  Always address spills and stains as soon as possible.  If a stain is left untreated, it can begin to react with the fabric causing the fabric to change colors.  When the stain is finally removed, the fabric where the stain once was is now a different color.
  4. Exposure to intense lighting, including improperly storing garments, could lead to color
    loss.  In past blog posts, we’ve discussed color loss or fading by addressing how black garments seem to fade, and how certain colors and fabrics, in conjunction with outdoor activities, can lead to sun damage.  But you also need to remember to store garments away from natural and artificial light; a cool, dark closet is a good place for storage.
  5. A manufacturer’s defect could also be the cause of color loss, and if that is the case, even properly following the care label won’t help.  An example of this might be if the manufacturer uses fugitive dyes, which are not colorfast to cleaning solutions or water and will fade after the first cleaning or washing.  If this occurs, your professional dry cleaner can send the garment off to the International Textile Analysis Laboratory for an unbiased analysis of the garment.  If you purchase a garment that you suspect may have color problems, your professional dry cleaner can test it for colorfastness.  If the test shows that the colors may bleed, you could return it to the retailer.    

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