squalus's Profile

Display Name: squalus
Member Since: 9/2/12

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I once had to take my shoes off in an apt with cat litter all over the floors and wet, sticky, kitchen floor. It was so gross.


Zero Tolerance: Do You Have a Strict \"Shoes Off\" House?
3/16/14 04:50 AM

We're an either or apt.

We have no carpets or large rugs, so ruining the carpets is not a concern. Our floors are slightly worn as it is.

To be honest, the grossest thing in our apartment is probably the cat's litter toes. We live in a small city (car centric) and have an outdoor and also indoor mat. We have to vacuum and mop anyway.

If I was going to a strict no shoes house I'd like to know ahead of time, so I could dress accordingly. On many dry winter days I wear boots that are part of my outfit. Eschewing them would mean drastically changing my winter wardrobe at no small expense. Also, I just really like the way they look at me. I suppose that's vanity, but if someone can be vain about their floors, I can certainly be vain about my body/clothes.

Also, I have skin conditions that I like to keep covered. I purposefully wear shoes in the summer to help protect my feet. Sometimes I wear flip flips for breathability, but I still need to keep my soles protected. I would hate having to carry socks in my hands everywhere I went.


Zero Tolerance: Do You Have a Strict \"Shoes Off\" House?
3/16/14 04:49 AM

Being poor, I can't afford to stock up much. Yes, you save money by buying in bulk, but there literally isn't enough money to buy everything I need, never mind extras, too.

Of course I do stuck up sometimes. I often envy the ability of people to take advantage of bulk pricing and having a stocked pantry (or a pantry or large cupboard).

What keeps me happier about having a sparser home is that I don't have to spend more money on a bigger place, I can get by without buying new furniture for storage, and that I'm not paying credit card interest on those back ups.

I think the biggest deterrent for stocking up is that credit card interest. How much are you really saving if you have to charge it anyway?


Store It At the Store: How to Curtail Your Urge to Stock Up Apartment Therapy's Home Remedies
3/16/14 03:59 AM

Looking at chalkboards makes me so uncomfortable. Am I the only one?

Regardless, the bathroom!? The humid, wet bathroom?! Why?!


Decorating Idea: Chalkboard-Painted Bathrooms
2/5/14 04:25 PM

I thought 70% alcohol solutions were best for sanitizing. If it's already at 70%, which is how they are usually sold in stores, why dilute it?

(I know 91% is also sold)


It's Flu Season: 5 Things You MUST Clean
2/5/14 04:19 PM

I think e-cards are a great way to send a message to someone without calling them on Christmas, when they might be busy with family plans when you can't afford to otherwise mail cards. Even if you only have 10 households to mail to, that's almost $5 in postage, nevermind the cards themselves. For people trying to stay in the black over the holidays, every dollar counts.


Digital Holiday Greetings: About Time or Faux Pas?
11/13/13 02:06 AM

Any readers have recommendations for small, cheap over the ear headphones that are small? Sound quality is not an issue. I can never keep headphones on my ears because the smallest setting is always too big.


5 Headphones Designed for Women
11/7/13 12:29 AM

Yikes! That's me!

I can't afford to shop for much of anything other than food, so food shopping is a big outing for me. It's hard to get out of the house without spending a lot of money-even free events take gas money. And we have to discuss our purchases to make sure we don't waste food and make sure our dollars stretch far.

But as someone who used to view it as strictly an errand, I can understand the initial frustration.


10 Annoying Things That Happen When You're Grocery Shopping
11/4/13 01:13 PM

I left a comment here as a reply to yours but got logged out so it's floating downthread.


Smart Storage Ideas for Kitchen Utensils: 15 Examples From Our Kitchen Tours
10/30/13 09:59 PM

I live in a rental where roaches are endemic (in a warm, humid climate) to many neighborhoods. Fortunately through spraying, trapping, caulking, cleaning, and reducing clutter, etc. they stay in the walls now for the most part.

I can commiserate with your situation, but I don't think closed shelving helps (unless it's sealed, which I've never seen before). I think a closed cabinet system is enticing for them because it stays darker and the air is stiller (when the cabinets aren't open and shut frequently).

In our case, our lack of adequate cabinetry was a blessing. We had room to bring in a kitchen island (which we put against a wall) and a shelving unit. The shelves are open and wire frame which doesn't help with dust or, on the lowest shelf, cat hair. But because the shelf has feet there's very minimal surface area with the ground. And the shelves aren't 'cozy.' The kitchen island has a closed drawer and both open and closed compartments. It has legs so we put sticky traps under them (we don't have mice to worry about getting stuck in them).

While I haven't seen roaches in the cabinets since the first few months we lived here, I don't trust the cabinets. I store cleaning supplies that I use rarely in the smallest upper, some other supplies under the sink (though it's mostly empty). We have two 'sets' of upper cabinets. One I use to store all of our dry foods. Everything goes in a sealed jar or bottle. Cans get wiped off before opening if I plan on not eating the meal it's used for right away. Everything gets wiped off once a month. Some food goes in the refrigerator if it won't fit into a proper container. The other cabinet I bravely use for dishes. I arrange them to minimize contact are with more likely areas they'd be in. Again, I haven't seen them in a really long time, but it still gives me chills sometimes. I simply don't have the space not to use that cabinet for dishes, but I wipe all the shelves down (disinfect) once a month and put only clean, dry dishes in there.

I use open storage on my 'safe' island. On the counters I store only closed items (like bottles of rice, the coffee maker).

While I don't think closed cabinetry is adequate protection to pests, I agree that it would be nice to see more storage solutions to common apartment challenges. It'd be great to see stylish twists on those.


Smart Storage Ideas for Kitchen Utensils: 15 Examples From Our Kitchen Tours
10/30/13 09:58 PM

I think that the height issues are exacerabated by depth issues. I can't say which is worse...a sofa that is too low or too high.

But if the seat is too deep, you can't bend your legs or you have to slouch and have no back support. If it's too shallow, you miss a little bit of support under your legs near your knees. I would much rather have back support than back of the knee support. So I would lean to making sure a sofa isn't too deep instead of too shallow (but of course in can be too shallow).

For what it's worth, I've sat on very few sofas that aren't too deep for me. I'm 5'5", so I'm an average sized woman.


How Low Is Too Low When It Comes To Furniture?
10/9/13 04:22 AM

I love soft support. I'm young. I'm limber. I hate overstuffed or sinking furniture. It feels good for a few minutes, but then the pain sets in.

Also, I find most sofa's too deep (and some chairs). As in, I can't bend my legs and reach the back of the sofa with my back. It's either or. This makes it very difficult to read in a sofa. I'm 5'5," --about the average height for an American woman.


How Low Is Too Low When It Comes To Furniture?
10/9/13 04:17 AM

I've used this for a few months, since my cat knocked over my blender pitcher while it was full of hot sauce and it shattered.

Buying a new blender in the next 4 months is out of the question for financial reasons. I used a mason jar to make my smoothies. It worked, but it's far from a perfect replacement.

It's harder to align the screw (screw lid and blade) to the jar and into the motor base. I have to push down gently to keep the blade from whirring impotently. So I'm putting my hand on the glass.

Sometimes I couldn't get to my smoothie while it was still cold. Once, I was so frustrated and tugged so hard I split the base.

So now it's REALLY messed up. If you have a pitcher, I'd use it.


The Mason Jar Blender Trick: Do You Know About This?
9/27/13 12:55 AM

Yes, thank you britinchitown!

I don't have so much as a power drill, and while I know that these are just good things to have in a well appointed home, I don't have a well appointed home because I'm broke.

It's great for people who don't want to spend more money, but who have managed to acquire quite the toolbox over the years. And they are awesome ideas and tutorials sometimes. I just wish the 'true cost' was acknowledged.


Updates To Your Kid's Room You Can Make Without Spending A Cent
9/10/13 11:07 PM

Another vote for waiting to see if it's allowable in a dorm.

I went to school in RI after the nightclub fire and after a few small fires at my university. The RAs checked our rooms once a month for fire hazards. This would not be allowed on a wall or ceiling where I went. All wall fabrics had to be approved by some office near campus or on it; I'm not sure because I didn't have any.


Get Laken's Look!: DIY Dorm Bed Canopy Project Apartment Therapy Tutorials
8/29/13 03:47 PM

Thank you!!

I have mold in my bathroom. There is a space between the tiling and the tub that is filled with sealant, but the gap is almost an inch tall, which means the sealant is doing more a job than it's meant to. Water is surely getting into the walls and creating even more damage (our landlords are good landlords, but bad homeowners if that makes sense) We have the orange rings and mildew. I've fixed it up a lot since moving in, but there is still black mold.

I can't afford to try every product at the home improvement store, but I've spent hours upon hours scrubbing down the mold with vinegar, bleach, tea tree oil soap I had from an old project...

We have no vents and open the window when we can (not for night showers or when it's so humid outside there's no point). If we leave a wet towel on a hook instead of a towel bar, mold collects on the wall. I can't keep any plants inside because they get moldy (and outside is just too hot, so no herb garden for me).

Obviously, I should complain more to my landlords (but they've already 'fixed it' once). My point is that mold doesn't care how hard you try to clean it up, and there's a very good chance your friend has tried before.


Should I Tell My Friend That Her Bathtub Is a Health Hazard? Good Questions
8/29/13 03:22 PM

I have a problem in which I need a more ergonomic chair (one day, it's not in the cards financially right now).

I just got rid of my dining chairs because they hurt and I used the table as a desk because our desk is really cramped and I like to spread out and unplug a lot. So I'll be using my task chair in the rest of the house. I wish there were simple, not too officey multipurpose furniture. I know specializing is important, but sometimes you just have to multitask.

(But I still don't like office chairs. I lean forward a lot, which is poor ergonomics, too. I feel like I'll never have a great set up because I hate sitting and standing still, and have a hard time thinking when still. But I also have a hard time using a laptop, books, and notebooks (all at different eye and hand levels) comfortably, so I actually like dining chairs.)


Task Chair Alternatives: 10 Dining Chairs for a Home Office
8/25/13 12:34 AM

When I was going into my freshman year of high school, my mom and sister were out shopping and picked out a backpack for me. It probably wouldn't have been what I picked, but I really liked it, it was a good choice, and I'm still using it over a decade later. I'd be careful of picking something too trendy unless you would like it for a longtime.


6 Backpacks for Your Trendy Kids Back to School 2013
8/25/13 12:22 AM

Not sure if that photo is a glitch or something, but moving on...

I enjoy adding touches to things and being resourceful, but this hypercrafting gets me down sometimes. Glass jars are perfectly recyclable on their own. Add paint and you're dooming them to a landfill as soon as you get tired of the paint job.

I mean if you really like it go ahead and do it, but I think there's this need to overpersonalize and over craft these days


Easy, Affordable Dorm DIYs Apartment Therapy Video Roundup
8/24/13 09:55 PM

I appreciate that security was listed as a con for first floor apartments, but discouraged with how little gravity was given to this issue. The suggestion that it's a pro, too, and not just a con, along with the only negative consequence being that it's stuffy, and using cat burglary as the allusion to theft.... makes me think this is really out of touch with the reality of living with the threat of break-ins.

Cat burglars are sneaky and move in and out quickly. But what about home invasion? Armed burglary? This is a serious issue and I just wish it had been presented as such.

Security bars and arms aren't accessible for everybody.


Walk-Up World: Pros & Cons of Living on the First Floor
8/21/13 05:00 PM