When I go to buy sheets, I am amazed and confused by the dizzying options and varieties. I had thought that thread count was the only important factor to consider, but after ordering some on line that turned out (to my dismay!) feeling like cardboard – I decided to do a little research.
Thread count is important (it is the number of threads per square inch) BUT it does not necessarily represent quality.
Also pay attention to the following factors:
Fiber. Cotton-polyester blend sheets are wrinkle-resistant, durable (polyester lasts longer than cotton), and relatively inexpensive (up to half the cost of all-cotton). But if you’re looking for that cool, soft feel, nothing beats 100 percent cotton. You’ll hardly ever wake up clammy on cotton sheets, since the fiber wicks moisture away from your skin. And cotton sheets are less likely to stain than polyester blends; a water-loving fiber, cotton releases dirt easily when wet.
Good options are Egyptian cotton, pima, supima, organic cotton, and bamboo.
Weave. The weave affects everything about the sheet – how it looks, the way it feels, its longevity, and its price. Two common choices are percale (which has a crisp, cool feel) and sateen (which is softer and warmer).
Source. The sheets origin can make all the difference in quality. France and Italy are considered some of the best sheet-maker. Experts say 200-thread count sheets from Italy will be better quality than 1,000 thread count sheets from Pakistan.
For sheets you’ll sleep on every day, treat yourself. Choose the best you can afford. After all, you’ll hopefully spend 8 hours a day lying on them! When you find some you love – buy at least one more set, so you don’t need to go through the decision making process again. ☺
Spring is here and allergies in the Nashville area are about to skyrocket. Although we can’t do much about the pollen outside….we can take steps to improving the air quality inside our homes. Protecting yourself from household allergens can be a daunting task, but start simple and you might see quick results.
* Use two doormats at every house entry point — one inside and one outside.
* Take off your shoes when you enter the house.
* Vacuum carpets weekly using a vacuum with a small- particle filter.
* Damp-mop floors once a week.
* Wipe down surfaces with a damp cloth once a week.
* Hang machine-washable curtains instead of heavy draperies.
* Encase mattresses, box springs and pillows in dust-proof zippered covers.
* Wash bedding in hot water once a week.
* Repair cracked or broken caulk and tile in the bathroom.
* Always run the bathroom exhaust fan when you take a shower.
* Clean out under the kitchen sink and check for leaks.
Monitor the humidity in the air (ideal is 30 — 50 percent).
* Change air filters once a month.
If you can only make a few changes, start with your bedroom — you spend about one-third of your time sleeping! And, if possible, go to an allergist and find out what you are allergic to. This will help you focus your efforts and make sure you are treating the right problem.
At the beginning of a New Year, we all want to clean out and organize our homes and start with a clean slate. The decorations are put away, and if you are like me – looking at many areas of my home that badly need some attention. It would be wonderful to go through our entire house, but realistically most of us don’t have the time. These 3 target areas will make a huge impact to your living space, your frame of mind, and enjoyment of your home.
Home office. With more of us conducting business in our houses, organizing your home office is essential.
- Sort and pack up last years bills, papers, and purge what is not needed. Use a file box, group together, label, and store it.
- Have a system for your snail mail and papers: a recycle bin; a “ TO DO” basket, and a “TO FILE” basket.
- Clear your desk off and only return items that 1) will be used on a daily basis, and 2) need to be within reach.
Tackle the garage. Consider installing peg boards, bicycle racks and ceiling or wall mounted shelving to take items off the floor of the garage. Organize into separate groups: gardening tools, workshop tools, sports equipment, cleaning products, etc.
Organize your point of entry into the house. Whether it’s a back, front or garage door, this area accumulates most of the shoes, backpacks, work bags, etc. from your family. Use cubbies, hooks, baskets and shelving to give everything a home. It will prevent much of the clutter from going throughout the house.
De-cluttering and organizing your home does not have to be an all day chore. As you have the time, pick an area and concentrate your efforts. And don’t forget, as you’re tackling those areas – keep a box handy for Goodwill!
Photo from Home Storage Idea Book, by Joanne Kellar Bouknight