When it comes to your family’s budget, you’re probably spending a lot of your hard-earned money on keeping everyone in trendy clothes that fit. The average family spends more than $1,700 a year on clothes, but you could be spending even more if your clothes wear out quickly.
If you’re tired of throwing away items because of tears and other damage, it’s time to change the way you care for your clothes. Check in with these quick tips to preserve your wardrobe — and your budget while you’re at it!
Learn how to make basic repairs
Your kids like to play hard whenever given the chance. Whether they’re chasing each other around the house or getting into something in the backyard, all the fun they have can do a lot of damage.
Before you know it, the brand new clothes you bought them for the summer have tears, missing buttons, and broken zippers.
Replacing these items outright is a costly habit that your budget may not be able to cover. Although you may use an installment loan or line of credit to help you take on necessary shopping trips for essentials, you should try to make repairs before you run out to the mall in a panic.
A simple sewing kit and some time learning these basic techniques will give you the tools you need to repair loose buttons, stubborn zippers, and broken stitches. Once you get used to making repairs, you’ll find it easier to take on bigger issues like adjusting hems and patching tears.
Wash your clothes in cold water
How many times have you pulled out a sweater from the wash only to realize it’s three-times smaller than when it went in. This frustrating laundry mistake can end up costing you, but it has a simple solution. All you have to do is adjust the temperature of your washer.
When you think of cleaning dirty clothes, what comes to mind is extra-hot water and a lot of suds. But we live in a time when high-efficiency cleaners mean we don’t need to pour half a bottle of soap in with the clothes. And now cleaning experts say hot water isn’t necessary either. Unless you’re washing clothes worn by someone who’s very ill, a cycle in cold water will take out stains and odors just as well.
This trick will also help save on your monthly utility bills. Your washing machine will use less electricity to heat up the water during a cold cycle. If you make a permanent switch to cold water washes, you’ll see as much as $60 a year in savings.
Organize your laundry
A single red sock has the power to ruin an entire load of whites if you’re not careful. If you have a closet full of pink items that were previously white, then you learned this lesson the hard way.
By organizing your laundry before you wash it you can avoid this and other mishaps like it. It won’t take much of your time to do, but it could potentially save a lot of your clothes from shrinkage, pilling, and other damage.
The next time you collect everyone’s dirty laundry, make sure you:
- Separate dark items from light items
- Read each tag for washing instructions, collecting like with like
- Invest in a mesh bag for delicates like bras and hosiery
These tips are relatively simple, and they don’t require expensive products to keep your clothes lasting as long as possible. All you need is to get in the habit of taking care of your clothes, and you’ll get to keep the clothes in your closet (and the money in your wallet) for longer.