Practical Appliances & User Manuals

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After purchasing a new appliance, write the serial and model numbers on the user's manual or keep track of your appliances in an App or software file. Then if service is ever needed, you have all the information handy to relay to the tech or repair company. I have found this especially useful as my eyes have gotten older and print seems to have gotten smaller. It also saves time as I don't have to scour or move the appliance to locate these details.

I also find it useful to include tech support or repair company telephone numbers and any repair notes with the files. Trying to track down "800" tech support numbers can sometimes be more difficult than locating the proverbial needle in the haystack.

Practical Winter Tips

Practical travel tips for wintry weather

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1. Of course stay off the hazardous roads if you can. However, sometimes that is not possible. As with the recent storms that throttled the Pacific NW in the middle of the day, most folks were caught at work, school, running errands, etc.  This made for some challenging, long, treacherous and tense drives for many including my spouse.

2. Keep the fuel tank as full as possible. You never know if Mother Nature or traffic incidents might leave you driving on fumes from idling too long.

3. Check the tire pressure. No one wants a flat tire in frigid temperatures or the precariousness of changing tires on the shoulder of slick roads.

4. Stow a set of chains in the trunk or use a reliable set of all-weather or studded tires for extra gripping on slick roads. Kitty litter or sand will provide some extra traction around your tires as well as add weight to your car for even more traction.

5. A warm blanket, bottle of water, snacks, first aid kit with flares, gloves, extra socks, hat, dry set of clothes, ice scraper, snow shovel, jumper cables, phone charger, flashlight, are all must-haves in your vehicle during the cold winter months.

Finally, The Practical Sort wishes you and your family a safe, warm, healthy, and clutter-free holiday season filled with lots of love, friendship, and joy.

Snug as a Bug

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Here are some additional strategies to keep you warm and safe this weather crazy winter. 

1.  Stock up on staples for the pantry.  Tuna, bread, jams and other spreads are ideal in the event you lose power.  Bottled water (even if you bottled it yourself) is advisable if pipes should burst.  Purchase cans with pop-tops or a manual can opener.

2.  Keep flashlights and batteries in the event of power loss in a place that you can easily access in the dark . 

3.  Drip indoor faucets when temperatures drop below freezing to prevent pipes freezing or bursting.  Dripping one sink is often all that is needed.  Insulate pipes in unheated areas of the home such as in a basement or crawl space.  Click here for additional helpful hints on pipe TLC.

4.  Layer your clothing when venturing outside.  Waterproof, insulated boots are ideal particularly cleated boots (something I desperately need) for navigating slick conditions.

5.  Use extreme caution while shoveling.  Take frequent breaks, avoid overexertion and heavy lifting.  Keep fingers, toes, and head warm.  Seek immediate medical attention if you feel dizzy, confused, out of breath, or have symptoms of frostbite: numb, waxy or discolored (gray, white, blue, or yellow) skin.

6.  If you have spare blankets, consider donating them to a nearby homeless shelter.

Keep yourself and family members safe, warm, and healthy this winter.