sporky_rat: It's a rat!  With a spork!  It's ME! (Default)
[personal profile] sporky_rat
So, I'm hunting a new home. Let's all share ideas and tips on finding yourself a new burrow!

-Check the police. Here, I can call the non-emergency number and say, 'Dearest Copper, how often have you had to visit this area for break-ins, robberies and other crime?' and they can tell me!

-Visit the neighborhood you're thinking about, both during the day and at night. Is it noisy? Dangerous looking? Streetlights in good repair? Sidewalks, even? Are the people friendly around the area? For example, several of the places I'm looking are what are considered the slightly dodgy areas, but they're full of older retirees and college students these days, not the dodgy folk who moved to SE Burg.

-Find out who your electricity/gas/water would be with and get ideas on what it would cost.

-Make sure you've made sure that you can fit your moving vehicle in the driveway or parking lot. Yeah, I made that mistake once. Never again.

-Craigslist, if possible. They have pictures sometimes!


Anyone else?
beachlass: text: keep your shipyard clean (clean)
[personal profile] beachlass
If, like me, when you try and do the sweeping, you find yourself sweeping around piles of books or bins of toys or what have you... You might be interested in [community profile] unclutter; a new  comm with a babysteps challenge of getting rid of one thing each day, and one more for each new item brought home. 

You're invited to start the new year (if your new year starts now!) - by freeing yourself from some things.
jadey: greyscale a woman's face (ani difranco) eyes upward  (Default)
[personal profile] jadey
The radiator pipes in my sixth-floor apartment have, sometime in the last half hour, started making a very odd noise. Not clanging, but a strangled wooshing noise like water is trapped in them or having a hard time making it through. I live in a very cold city (it's been hovering around -20 Celcius for weeks now, even during sunny afternoons) and I have already gotten the building-wide notices from the building manager about keeping our thermostats over at least 18 degrees to prevent freezing and bursting in the pipes. I've done this, but I also noticed that the pipes are currently stone cold, and at least as recently as 3pm this afternoon they were warmish (had occasion to check while on the phone with my mother). It's Christmas Eve so I really don't want to call anyone if it's just a normal radiator thing and I suspect I won't get hold of anyone anyway, but I'm really nervous about this weird noise.

I tried turning my thermostat up, and the noise got worse. I turned it back down again to just 20, and now there is still a distinct noise of water, but it's not strangled at least. Does anyone with more familiarity with this type of heating system in this type of climate know if this kind of behaviour presages doom? Possibly of the pipes-bursting variety?

Coincidentally, I've actually had people in my flat three times in the last month to inspect the valves (again, building-wide inspection), including by the building manager herself just yesterday! At least, that's what the notices said - I was never actually home. I'm hoping that if there was an obvious problem, someone would have noticed...

Help!


UPDATE: Sucked up my pride and called the supervisor who was miraculously available. It turns out that there had been a leak elsewhere in the building and everything was turned off, and the noise was actually them finally refilling the pipes! So complete false alarm, and thank you to everyone who offered advice.
jana: [Naruto] Sakura (Default)
[personal profile] jana
I've got hit with a nasty cold (again) and I'm curious what other people do to relieve their cold symptoms. What works for you, what doesn't? I've tried to distract myself with things like computer games, my favorite TV shows, and working on a DW style/layout, but sadly, I can't do any of it for too long before I get a headache... I'm also drinking lots of fluids (mostly herbal tee), doing steam inhalation every couple of hours (it's great as long as I keep my head under the towel, but it doesn't seem to have any lasting effect) and I use nasal spray to be able to breath at least once or twice a day...

I hope it's okay to post this here since 'health' is listed as a community interest and I couldn't find another community to ask this question. And I'm desperate ;)

EDIT: Thanks so much everyone, for taking the time and sharing your great tips! I'll answer all your comments in more detail soon (= when I'm up on my feet again) :)
catie56: coffee, water glass, northanger abbey (Default)
[personal profile] catie56
Help!  My entire apartment has just been painted (okay, fine, it's still in process) and while I let the smell chase me out to a hotel for three nights, I can't afford that forever!

I'm looking for tips and tricks from anyone who's had this problem before.  I don't know what kind of paint they used, but the smell in my bedroom (which I'm most concerned about) is some mix of paint and body-odor-smell (I think that's probably the scientific term).  

google gave me onion-in-a-bowl-of-water and it looks like I'm preparing for an exciting evening as I'm burning tea lights (the old open flame = diminished odor trick).  Yet none of these seem to be working quickly enough for me, since I need to sleep here tonight.

Anything else I could try so I don't worry about the damage I'm doing to my lungs and central nervous system while sleeping in my own room?
ninetydegrees: Drawing: lots of yellow pencils (pencils)
[personal profile] ninetydegrees
Ok tough one: you know the things you seldom clean because they're too high and nobody sees or looks at them so it's not like it matters, right? Let's do that: top of fridge, top of kitchen cabinets, top of bathroom cupboards, top shelves, ceiling light fixtures, high ventilation grates/grilles/whatever, top of doors, anything that's high and you always put off to 'later' (funny how later never seems to show up...).

Edit: foxfirefey reminded us of "the top of shower curtain rods or shower doors". Yeah, these too. :)

Let's give us two weeks to do it.
foxfirefey: A guy looking ridiculous by doing a fashionable posing with a mouse, slinging the cord over his shoulders. (geek)
[personal profile] foxfirefey
I've recently discovered a cheap, marvelous, safe way to catch flies.

Put a little bit of water with a dash of dish soap mixed in with some balsamic or apple cider vinegar into a little plastic food container (like yogurt comes in!) with a hole cut in the middle of the lid. Wider is better than taller, I think, but have not scientifically proven--I'm suspecting the closer the liquid is to the hole, the better.

The vinegar attracts the flies (that old adage about honey and vinegar? not true! at least for fruit flies), and the dish soap breaks the tension of the water so that they can't get out.
dorothean: detail of painting of Gandalf, Frodo, and Gimli at the Gates of Moria, trying to figure out how to open them (Default)
[personal profile] dorothean
I've been frustrated over the last few years by having to donate or toss out clothing that I really feel should last longer, because it's shrunk. This is a particular problem with shirts--I can't stand wearing them if the bottom hem pulls up so there's a gap between my shirt and pants--and socks, but I've known it to happen more gradually with pants as well. The shirts get shorter in the arm and body, the socks shrink (sometimes after one wash) from halfway up my calf to three inches up my ankle, and after a year I'll look down and realize that the pants that used to bunch up on the top of my foot are now gapping at the ankle.

After some terrible mistakes (including one with a beautiful wine-red wool sweater that suddenly was no longer my size), I've learned to keep everything I love away from the dryer. I hang up and air-dry all of my nice work pants, all tops that aren't baggy cotton t-shirts, and even some of my favorite socks. And, just to be on the safe side, I wash them in cold water, too.

But they still shrink! I don't know what to do. Any advice?

(The clothes in question are a range of fabrics, mostly cotton and synthetic blends as I rarely dare to buy wool any more. The socks are all from Target, where I buy some of my clothes, but others are from more expensive stores, on the theory--obviously not completely correct--that more expensive clothing will last much longer.)

enoughness

Oct. 1st, 2010 03:01 pm
karel: (Han Solo ► here comes the party)
[personal profile] karel
So I've written up a post on the subject of "enough," and how my own overabundance of things was revealed to me - that is, by cleaning out and organizing my bathroom. You can find it over here, on my journal.

If we live in the US of A and many other "first world" countries, most of us have probably dealt with, in one way or another, the constant encouragement to buy much more than we need. Sales! 2/1 deals (and more/1 deals!). Buy more and save! Bulk products! Most of us that have the funds to do it (and even those without) have probably succumbed to this at some point.

So tell us all - how have your experiences with overbuying been? What are your major weak spots (for me, it's "it won't go bad, so it can't hurt to stock up!")? Have you made efforts to stop? What strategies do you use? Do they work for you? What do you do with your excess?

dusting

Sep. 26th, 2010 08:12 pm
sage: Still of Natasha Romanova from Iron Man 2 (season: autumn)
[personal profile] sage
Since my dustmite allergy cranked itself up to eleven, I'm trying to be better about dusting the furniture. When I was a kid, my mom used (i.e. made us use) my dad's old worn out undershirts folded into a square and a can of Pledge on wood and Windex on everything else. What do y'all use? What do you think works best? Thanks!
jadey: greyscale a woman's face (ani difranco) eyes upward  (Default)
[personal profile] jadey
Okay, am I the only person in the world who freezes her garbage?

Clearly not, because my mum is the person who taught me to, but I've had a few people wig when they saw frozen garbage in my freezer and now I'm trying to assure myself I'm not a complete freak.

Mum and I started doing it when we noticed that our kitchen bin was getting stinky well before trash day. Rather than empty it twice as often and store it in the big bin outside (cold in winter, lazy the rest of the time), we took some plastic milk bags and any time there was potentially smelly garbage (e.g., shrimp tails, oily napkins, chicken bones, etc.), we popped it in the freezer. It was a great solution. Now that I'm living in my own place, which doesn't have composting or even recycling (I know ;_;), it's even more vital to me to be able to keep some gunky stuff in the freezer, rather than make trips down to the outside bin all the time (lazy, and also even colder in this province).

But is this weird? Does anyone else do this?
chaostheory635: (Default)
[personal profile] chaostheory635
Hi y'all,
I have a pair of jeans I love, but at some point I managed to get a considerable amount of hot glue stuck in the fabric. Any recommendations for salvaging my pants? Thanks!
wicked_socks: (Default)
[personal profile] wicked_socks
In a general effort to go green and deal with allergies, I've switched to using 'natural' soaps instead of detergent based soaps for body wash. However, the amount of soap scum generated by such products is driving me crazy. I've been using the Method daily shower spray but frankly I'm not exactly diligent with the daily part. Thus this generally ends with lots of futile scrubbing of the tub/shower before I give up, use a conventional toxic cleaner, and then avoid the upstairs for a while.

I'd love any recommendations for bathtub cleaners that:
  • Don't contain eucalyptus

  • Are not fragrant enough to affect asthma

  • Won't poison the cats if they step in it

Additionally if anyone has recommendations for informative resources on green methods of cleaning, I'd be much obliged. I'm kind of inept at cleaning in general, let alone a specific methodology.

Thanks.
puzzlement: (Default)
[personal profile] puzzlement
I was going to post in [personal profile] yvi's post on home moving tips, but realised that perhaps a second thread would be generally applicable.

De-cluttering tips.

Now, I am not the prime de-clutterer in the world, so please see comments too. Guilt about landfill is my biggest problem with decluttering, so most of mine are about what to do with stuff other than put it in the bin.

My tips:

If you haven't used it in a year, you don't need it. Some people declutter post-move by simply seeing which boxes they don't unpack.

Auction sites (Ebay etc) are generally better for small things, especially DVDs, computer games, and electronic devices. Large things like furniture tend to make so little money that sometimes you may as well freecycle once you consider the hassle of making the listing in the first place. (Enough pieces of furniture will add up.) Charities with thrift stores will sometimes take furniture, in Australia though due to health regulations it must be stain and rip-free.

I know opinions vary a lot on this (if you disagree, just ignore me), but consider whether you are one of those people who really needs a library. I've given up keeping books around because I feel like I should read or re-read them, and keep only the ones I want to read or re-read. It's hard enough finding time to get around to the latter. Books are easy to tidy, but they are a pain in the neck to move and they end up taking a lot of room. I find books don't get their due on Ebay, so I freecycle or drop them off at secondhand stores (the latter can be rather picky).

We are constantly surprised at the stuff our council (local area government) includes in their recycling program. The latest thing we're allowed to put out for recycling is pots and pans. There are special days for e-waste and chemical waste (like car batteries), unfortunately these rather rely on having a car to do the drop-off.

There's stuff I'm still struggling with. I have a seeming inability to get rid of stationary, even if I have 20 $2 notebooks I seem to try and keep them all rather than waste paper. Old cassettes and videocassettes are sitting around because likelihood is they're for the bin. Stuff for my baby, because what if I have another baby? And generally I tend to cling to anything that I desperately wanted as a child but that my parents couldn't afford to buy me. Which is why I now have a pile of stuffed toys, despite rarely looking at them and not really liking most of them. Bags (as in, travelling bags), because, again, they seem vaguely useful and I don't want to toss 'useful' things, even if I have 15 of them.

Your tips? (Not just on my problem areas!)

Moving

Jun. 17th, 2010 03:10 pm
yvi: jenny Calendar, text: "Jenny on the Block" (Buffy - Jenny)
[personal profile] yvi
At some point during the next two or three weeks, I will have the pleasure of moving for the 5th time in less than 7 times, this time further than the previous times (about 3 hours by car away).

So I thought that as a rather big community, we could have a thread where people share their moving tips. Might be helpful to me and others :)
sixbeforelunch: a stylized woman's profile with the enterprise and a star field overlaid (Default)
[personal profile] sixbeforelunch
Any tips for getting an iron clean? I just put two (fortunately small and not very noticeable) stains in two of my skirts before I realized that the iron had crud on it.
ninetydegrees: Drawing: cowboy lassoing on a horse (rodeo)
[personal profile] ninetydegrees
Inspired by something I've done this morning, here's a challenge for you: do something you've put off for... forever it seems. It can be small or big, just do it. Bring the clothes you meant to donate to wherever you need to bring them, empty your junk drawer and finally sort it out, polish your shoes, do your taxes, dust that top shelf, put away your summer/winter clothes, file those damn papers, go buy these flower bulbs you've always wanted, make that door stop squeaking, repair what's broken, sew that button back in,...

Now is the time to stop procrastinating! Don't put it off again. You have one week to get it done and you can do it. \o/

*sends good vibes*
bewize: (Default)
[personal profile] bewize
I'm getting ready to do my winter-to-summer clothes switch (the only reason I haven't already is that I'm going to travel at the end of this month and my destination is colder than where I live). If anyone is like me, you despair of ever minimizing your closet to the point that you only have the stuff you actually need in it.

I know [personal profile] yvi posted a challenge at the end of April, but if anyone (like me) is straggling, I think this is a great idea and I'm going to try it:

Purge Your Wardrobe

Also, I found this link (somewhere on my flist, sorry for repeats!) talking about Erasing Dirt and thought it looked useful for those of us with lots of electronics.

Staples

May. 9th, 2010 01:08 pm
sibyllevance: (Default)
[personal profile] sibyllevance
I'm very much a beginner in all things kitchen so I tend to stick to recipes for the most part but obviously I can't work on recipes every day. I've just realized today while cooking 'by myself' (i.e. without a recipe) that I had some habits I frankly never realized I even had.
I almost always start by melting onions in a good chunk of salted butter, especially when I have no idea what I'm going to do. It seems like the right thing to do somehow (one of my housemates melts his onion exclusively in oil but I think I won him over just with the smell of mine).

So, what are your staples? Can be an ingredient or a 'foundation' for a recipe (frying onions for me)
vass: A sepia-toned line-drawing of a man in naval uniform dancing a hornpipe, his crotch prominent (Default)
[personal profile] vass
There's a project I want to do, but first I want to know if it's possible at all. I have a medium to large collection of bookcases, most either thrifted, cheap flat-pack, or both. I'd like to paint or stain them all one colour, probably black, so they match. I think it'd be a big step towards a more coordinated look.

I live in a small rented apartment with cats. I don't know where I'd paint the bookcases and let them dry. It's important that I don't stain the apartment, and it's also important the cats don't get in the paint. The bathroom's too small to paint anything, but maybe large enough that I could put a bookcase in there while it dried. The kitchen's too small and also open plan. My bedroom is a possibility, but then I couldn't sleep in it because of paint fumes. The living room is the right size, but there are cats there.

Any ideas? Is it just a bad idea?
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