Spring is Good Time to Clean Closets
WICHITA, Kan. – Crowding a closet with unused clothing can mean that freshly laundered, cleaned or pressed items will wrinkle before wearing, said Denise Dias, K-State Research and Extension family and consumer sciences agent in Sedgwick County, Kan.
When hanging clothes in a closet, allow two-to-three inches of breathing room between items to maintain their fresh, ready-to-wear appearance, she said.
To clean a clothes closet, Dias recommends discarding:
* Clothing with a stain, hole, tear, missing buttons, damaged zipper or other closures that cannot be restored or repaired;
* Lingerie, other undergarments and socks that have worn thin or lost elasticity;
* Shoes that are worn and cannot be repaired or renewed; and,
* Worn-out weekend or chore clothes ready for the rag basket.
* Clean clothing in good condition that is no longer your size or to your taste.
* Accessories such as belts, purses or hats that are no longer used.
* A coat or coats that no longer fit (or will not fit over other clothing), and are not worn.
* Impulse purchases or sale items that don’t work well with your wardrobe.
To further relieve crowding in closets, Dias recommended looking for other areas in the home (an un-used closet, utility room or storage containers designed to fit under the bed) to store out-of-season clothing.
Consulting home design books and browsing in container or storage departments can be a source of ideas, said Dias, who suggested storing belts, scarves or men’s ties on a mug rack or towel bar attached to a closet wall or the back-side of the door.
More information about basic home management also is available at K-State Research and extension offices throughout the state and online.
Yes, Virginia, There Really Are Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Tree trunks can acquire a horizontal, strangely regular-looking row(s) of shallow holes during spring. The vandalism can show up on almost any species, but the likely victims are pines, maples, birches, apples and pears.
Typically, tree owners worry that wood-boring insects are at work.
With rows, however, borers aren’t the problem, said Ward Upham, K-State Research and Extension horticulturist. Instead, it’s a woodpecker whose name – yellow-bellied sapsucker – many Americans think is a made-up, Looney Tunes-type insult.
“It really is a bird that has a yellowish breast, as well as a red cap. It makes holes so it can feed on the sap those wounds release, plus on the insects the sap attracts,” Upham said.
The yellow-bellied sapsucker is the same territory-protecting woodpecker that’s notorious for repeatedly banging its beak on metal – roof flashing, street sign, whatever resounds loudly.
“Its clanging a vent pipe on your roof can be better than an alarm clock – plus coffee,” he said.
The woodpecker also is well-known for ambitious migrations. It spends summer as far north as Alaska and winter as far south as Central America. Also, it’s more likely to fly though the East Coast than the Midwest.
“In Kansas, we usually have a few around from October to April, with moderate peaks during spring and fall,” Upham said. “They typically don’t do enough damage to threaten mature trees. At worst, they might girdle a sapling.”
However, yellow-bellied sapsuckers seem to find certain trees fascinating – even ignoring nearby trees of the same species, he said. So, if homeowners are worried about more damage next October, they can prepare a deterrent in September and keep it in place for several months (no longer). Options include wrapping the damaged trunk area in wire mesh or keeping it coated with Tanglefoot.