Better With Time: Taking Care of Your Belongings As You Age
Posted on: 19 September 2018 by Brooke Bowman
We all have those prized possessions that we value and cherish. Here are a few ways to keep your favorite belongings in top shape and condition as you age.
Chances are, there are some items filling up our closets and dresser drawers that are not too precious to us. Most of us have plenty of items that we could toss away today and not think twice about tomorrow. Yet, there are also precious belongings that we’ve invested in and want to keep pristine for as long as possible. For some, it might be a special timepiece given by a child decades ago. For others, it may be a wardrobe full of handmade dresses or high-end designer shoes.
Whatever those possessions are that you cherish, you understandably want to take care of them as well as possible. This becomes even more important as we age. Whether you intend to pass your most cherished belongings down to a family member or simply want to enjoy them to the fullest during this golden season of life, read on. Today, we are discussing a few ways to keep your most delicate and important items in as great of shape as ever for both the short and long-term.
1. Know how to launder properly.
While doing laundry the right way might be more time-consuming and, at times, costly than simply sorting the load, tossing in some detergent and calling it a day, it is infinitely worth it. Why? Depending on the material, most of your more delicate and fragile items will require special care and even specialized laundry soap to keep them looking their best.
In most cases, you will simply use a gentle and mild detergent to wash your clothes. Then, resist the urge to throw them in the dryer, where the high heat could cause damage. Instead, to the best extent you can, lay them out or hang them up to air dry. For oversized items such as your comforter, it’s best to take those in to be professionally dry cleaned, as attempting to fit them into your home machines can create major damage. Be sure to read the instructions inside of your clothes before determining how to wash them.
2. Use gentle jewelry cleaning methods.
Taking your fine jewelry to a professional cleaner is a great way to get your jewels in tip-top shape. Yet, if you don’t have the time or simply prefer a more gentle measure, you can also get the same results through a few simple household techniques. If you are working with fine silver, a little toothpaste with baking soda (forego any gel-based kinds) applied in a gentle circular motion can get it sparkly as new. Just apply, wait about an hour, and rub off with a dry cloth. You can also use baby oil to help stubborn, twisted necklaces come apart more easily.
Depending on your type of jewelry, you may need to follow specific instructions and use certain products to keep them in pristine condition. For instance, you can read more here on ways to keep wood watches looking their best. You can also research ways to keep precious metals, gemstones and beadwork looking sharp while you’re at it.
3. Keep your shoes shined.
Nothing makes an outfit like a great pair of well-maintained shoes. If yours are in good condition but just need a little TLC, don’t hesitate to invest in a high-quality shoe polish. While the purchase might seem frivolous at first, consider that it could extend the wear life of your favorite dress loafers by a few years or more. Make every effort to regularly clean and polish yours to keep them looking their best.
While any polish type will work, from gel to foam, there is also a DIY trick that can get you by in a pinch if you can’t make it to the store. A little petroleum jelly can be used sparingly to make your leather shoes shine. Once you’ve polished them, arrange your shoes in a single layer to keep their form. This means refraining from piling them up in the closet or even stacking them to save space. Place your most prized shoes in a shoe bag when not in use.
4. Maintain your handbags.
Do you own an expensive designer handbag that came with a card of authenticity? Keep that document intact, as well as the bill, to prove the value of the item down the road. This information is also ideal to have on hand should your bag become in need of repair. If you’re in the market for one and haven’t settled on a design yet, remember that darker tones and prints will show fewer stains and spills and as such, are easier to maintain.
As you wear and use your bag, be cognizant of what you are putting inside of it. While it might be convenient to stash your lotions, body sprays, oils and more inside, those items could easily topple over and fill the interior with a mess. Even ink pens can wreak havoc, so ensure all lids are tight before tossing them inside. When you’re not using it, keep the handbag inside the duster bag it came in and store it somewhere out of reach of curious hands.
Storing Your Most Prized Belongings
While we all want to get as much use and wear out of our favorite items as possible, there may come a time when we need to put them into storage. Before you do so, consider if there are any environmental elements that may affect them and adjust your plans accordingly. Be sure that wherever you store the items is free of pests and varmints and refrain from stacking items on top of one another.
One last tip? Make a list of what you’re putting into storage and where you’ve stashed it. This not only helps you stay organized and remember where everything went, but can also prove valuable information in times of loss or theft.