How Bad is It If You Don't Wash Your Sheets Once a Week?

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by Shifrah Combiths
at ApartmentTherapy.com
Mar 19, 2018

I grew up being taught that bed sheets were supposed to be washed once a week. Now, with five beds that have people sleeping in them every night, I admit that I don't get this chore done every single week. But it nags at me; that one-week timeline is etched into my sense of responsibility. I wanted to find out if washing, say, every other week is really that horrible and what I'm chancing if I stretch the prescribed weekly routine a bit.

Washing bedding is obviously very important for overall cleanliness. If you think about it, your sheets are almost like an article of clothing you wear every single day. And most of us wouldn't wear the same shirt more than a couple times without washing it. Pants, yes, might go a bit longer. But depending on how much you wear while you're sleeping, your sheets are more or less a pretty intimate garment insofar as contact with our bodies goes.

Not only so, but our beds provide a unique environment for a host of unpleasant microscopic entities to thrive. According to Business Insider, we produce about 26 gallons of sweat each year as we sleep. These moist, warm conditions, complete with human skin cells as a food source create an ideal home for bacteria, fungus, viruses, and allergens.

Microbiologist Philip Tierno of New York University told Business Insider that our beds can quickly become a "botanical park" of bacteria and fungus. In addition, a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunologyfound that of thousands of American homes, almost 75 percent of households had 3 to 6 allergens present in their bedrooms. Even if you don't have allergies, these allergens, especially when you're snuggled up to them in bed, can produce allergic responses like sniffing and sneezing.

Tierno says that all the undesirable junk in our sheets can become "significant" in as little as a week and recommends weekly washing:

If you touched dog poo in the street, you’d want to wash your hands. Consider that analogous to your bedding. If you saw what was there — but of course you don’t see it — after a while you have to say to yourself, ‘Do I want to sleep in that?

No. No, I don't.


Finish reading the article here.

New Year, New Home: 11 Fresh Ideas to Try to Shake Things Up

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by Nancy Mitchell
Senior Writer • Apartment Therapy • New York, NY
December 31, 2017

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The beginning of the year is a time of new things, of fresh starts. If you're feeling the urge to try something a little different in your home, we've got 11 ideas to help you shake up your look.

1. Paint the inside of your bookshelves

An idea we're stealing from The Design Chaser. Would also work to paint a wall before putting up shelving.

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2. Hang art in an unexpected spot

A Paris apartment spotted on AirBnB keeps things grounded, and though certainly not a look for most people, it's a surefire way to make your ceilings look extra high in comparison.

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3. Paint your ceiling

Earlier this month, Pinterest reported that painted and statement ceilings are going to be all the rage in 2018. Be a step ahead by tackling this project before the new year (warning: this is only for those without popcorn texture).

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4. Hang a collection on the wall

Spotted on Domino, here's a great way to display some of your beloved collections. Dust off that hoard of guitars/globes/paperweights and either hang them straight on the wall, or on a shelf.


Read this complete apartment therapy article and the remaining 7 fresh ideas here.

The #1 Reason People Finally Remodel Their Kitchens

                                                                                                                                                                                                        (Image credit:   Aimée Mazzenga  )

                                                                                                                                                                                                      (Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga)

  (Image credit:  Aimée Mazzenga )

(Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga)

by Dabney Frake

There are so many reasons to remodel your kitchen. You just bought a house and you hate what's there now. Perhaps you finally saved up some money and can afford the change. Or, you plan to sell the home in a couple of years and think new cabinets will appeal to buyers. All good reasons, but do you want to know the most common thing that pushed people to finally take the plunge and redo their kitchens?

#1 Reason: Because homeowners just can't stand their current one anymore.

It's not just a rational decision apparently, or a well-executed strategy to upgrade. Day after day, for years perhaps, owners walk into a space and shudder at what they see, or are frustrated by the current layout. Eventually they just break down and give in to the want for something different. 43% of renovations in Houzz's Kitchen Trend study were attributed to this decidedly human motivation. In 2014-2015, that number was only 29%.

  (Image credit:  Aimée Mazzenga )

Compare that to recent home buyers, who move in and want to renovate right away— either they can't live with the previous owner's taste, or everything is dreadfully outdated. Only a little over one quarter of kitchen renovations came about because new owners wanted to make the space more their own (28% each year for the past three years).

In fact, only 24% of projects happen when the kitchen is functionally broken down and busted: maybe appliances aren't working, cabinets are off their hinges, and the countertop is falling apart. It appears we don't drive our kitchens into the ground, so to speak, where they are beyond repair or unsafe.

Fewer people cited a change in family or lifestyle that would warrant a new kitchen (10%) or needing to upgrade in order to put their home on the market (8%).

The good news: 40% of kitchen projects came after homeowners had finally saved the money. Yes, they hated their kitchens too, and wanted to make the change, but waited instead until they had the funds for the project. We'll just have to hope that all the others aren't assuming a bunch of credit card debt to cover their remodeling expenses.

For more info, check out the 2017 Houzz Kitchen Trend Study.

Does this ring true for you and your motivation to renovate?

Read the complete article as it was published in apartment therapy

​27 Things to Get Rid of in the Kitchen Before Thanksgiving

by: Shifrah Combiths November 6, 2017

 (Image credit: Morgan Schemel)

(Image credit: Morgan Schemel)

Nothing turns a happy chef into a frazzled one like rifling through drawers or disassembling the kitchen to dig out the necessary tools. Don't let this be you at Thanksgiving. For a smoothly running kitchen — and, more importantly, a smiling cook — eliminate everything that doesn't need to be in your kitchen before the big day.

Donate or toss these extras:

  1. Any more than three spatulas (keep any combination of no more than three sizes or types)
  2. Can openers (you only need one)
  3. Corkscrews/wine bottle openers (keep the one you always reach for anyway)
  4. Tupperware missing lids
  5. Lids missing tupperware
  6. Empty glass jars you're keeping "just in case"
  7. Used twisty ties
  8. Pens, pencils, Sharpies (you get to keep two of each)
  9. Paper and plastic grocery bags (depending on what you use them for, keep about five of each)
  10. Condiment packets from fast food places or restaurants
  11. Take-out menus
  12. Everything in the junk drawer (except what's worth putting back in and organizing)
  13. Papers and pictures stuck to the fridge
  14. "Junky," advertising, or broken magnets
  15. Extra whisks (no more than three in different sizes and materials)
  16. Used candles
  17. Salad tongs (you need one set, max)
  18. Napkins from the drive-through
  19. Expired spices (get new ones for maximum flavor; make a list)
  20. Expired canned goods and other pantry items
  21. Chipped mugs
  22. Chipped dishes
  23. Chipped anything
  24. Old rags and sponges
  25. Cleaners you never use (again, keep only what you always reach for)
  26. Bottle brushes (you can keep three if they are different sizes)
  27. Aprons in excess of whoever cooks in your household plus one for guests

Move these things somewhere else:

These kitchen items don't need to occupy valuable real estate in prime locations of your kitchen. Things that you use only a couple times a year should be stored in the hard-to-reach spots or, if you have the space, elsewhere in the house, like a cabinet in the garage.

Bonus: If you dig up and move these things out of the way now, you'll know exactly where they are when you need them on the big day.

  • Party platters
  • Cake/cupcake carrier
  • Pie pans
  • Pie weights
  • Specialty bakeware (the madeleine pan, the tart pan, the springform pan, etc.)
  • Trifle bowl
  • Sprinkles collection
  • Cupcake liner collection
  • Piping bags and tips
  • Candles
  • The apple peeler/corer
  • Specialty molds (a spoon mold, heart molds, bundt cake molds)
  • Cake stands
  • Gravy boat
  • Large roasting pan
  • Electric knife

Putting the time in now to get behind-the-scenes ready will not only pay off on the biggest cooking day of the season, but will also give you an efficient kitchen all year round.

Read this article at Apartment Therapy