What to do with clothes you can't wear
Need to make room in your closets? Here are some tips for eliminating the clothes that no one currently wears.
In some countries of the world, a person might have just one or two outfits. But in the United States, most of us have numerous articles of clothing. Not only that, we typically replace those outfits several times throughout our lives. We are very rich indeed!
But what should you do with the clothes you no longer wear? Rather than merely throw them away, here are a few tips for recycling your well-worn commodities.
Set up a clothing exchange. Especially with kids' clothing, since they grow so fast, ask the school if an area can be set aside for used clothing that other families might find useful. Simply taking what is needed is one option. Or a can of food can be donated in exchange for a piece of clothing, with the collected food items given to a needy family or charitable organization during the holidays or at the end of the year. Families also may wish to bring in their own used clothing to exchange for someone else's.
Set out a "free" box in the neighborhood. This idea works well if you live in or near an apartment complex where freebies might be valued. Set a box of neatly folded clothing and a "free" sign near the mailboxes, in the laundry room, or under a stairwell. Your thoughtful action may encourage other families to donate articles as well, benefiting those with children who may not have much of a clothing budget. Just be sure not to make a mess, and remove remaining clothes items at the end of each month, giving them to a thrift store.
Donate clothing to a charitable organization. Homeless shelters, crisis pregnancy centers, and women's domestic violence escape houses may be interested in passing along used clothing to their clients. Look in the yellow pages for social service agencies that may be interested, and give them a call to find out. You may be able to collect a tax receipt for the donated items.
Start a church collection program for recycled clothing. Volunteers can sort, label, and organize clothing to be donated to needy families with unemployed parents. Or the church may want to hold a yard sale or raffle off the better quality items as a fund raiser to benefit various programs, such as Sunday school, youth, or seniors.
Use it for patchwork. Though patching worn knees and elbows of work clothing has long been out of style for most families, you may be one that still patches needed clothing on occasion. Or you may want to keep old clothing on hand for Halloween scarecrows, the kids' dress-up play, or for use as costumes or for yard work. Even torn or frayed clothing may be salvaged, at least the better pieces, for quilting if that is your hobby.
If all else fails, send your outgrown or discarded sweaters, nightgowns, jeans, dresses, shirts, pants, and tops to the thrift store. Someone may find them useful for a bargain price, and you can get a tax receipt that may come in useful. Remember, one person's trash is another person's treasure.
Computer Tips: Introduction to Keyboard alternatives
Reasons for the dvorak keyboard's comeback, and why the qwerty is slower. Tip on what key board is best for you.
Only a few number of people have ever heard of the "Dvorak" keyboard, let alone know what it is and what happened to it. The Dvorak keyboard is a key setup designed to maximize speed and minimize errors. The keyboard was phased out around the invention of the typewriter as an attempt to "slow down" typists. It is easy enough to learn and with only a moderate amount of practice you can become more efficient in your typing.
Dr. August Dvorak, for whom it's named, invented the Dvorak keyboard over a century ago. It lays out keys in a manner so as to put the most often used letters in the easiest to reach and strike accurately in spot. Most users can greatly increase their speed by switching to this system. In 1944 the United States Navy performed tests with 14 typists to see if they could easily be retrained to type on a Dvorak keyboard, the answer was yes. These fourteen typists after only fifty-two hours of training had already reached their average typing speed with the QWERTY keyboard. On top of this the typists increased their accuracy by sixty-eight percent.
The history of the QWERTY keyboard (named for the first six letters in the upper left) is proof in and of itself of Dvorak's superiority. Christopher Sholes, the inventor of the original typewriter, designed the QWERTY keyboard. He took the most commonly used keys and placed them far apart to slow down the type. This was in the days when two fingered typing was the accepted method and anything faster than average speed could quite easily jam the typewriter. After typewriters had improved and the ten finger typing method came into being, the QWERTY keyboard was never phased out for a faster system.
The Dvorak keyboard is a much faster and efficient keyboard setup. However because of a vicious cycle of typists not changing because of hardware, and hardware not changing because of typists, it has never been fully implemented. Most people with only a moderate time commitment can improve their typing skills and speed by switching to this setup. For anyone wishing to switch, the Dvorak keyboard is supported by all operating systems, by simply changing "keyboard layout" in your settings. The keyboards themselves are available through many online vendors, or from special order at a local computer score. These keyboards are a great commitment of time and money, just because of the spare hours they will save you when typing business reports, term papers, homework, or just plain e-mail.