Monday, October 25, 2010


For some reason - could be the season, could be the rain, could be the fact I'm avoiding painting more trim - I have been on an organizing and decluttering mission around the house the last week or so. When it came to all the knick-knacks hiding in the dining room buffet and the books double-lining the shelves in the family room I was ruthless, but in my closet I was faced with a dilemma: what do I do with all my work-related clothes?

I don't mean my current work clothes - those would be my dirty pants and holey t-shirts. I mean the work clothes from my former life, the suits and skirts and tailored blouses. I don't want them any more, but what if some day I need them?

I know a thing or two about decluttering, and I know the right thing to do is save a few pieces and pass the rest on to someone who needs them. But I guess a bit more time has to pass before I feel entirely safe doing that. So for now, the clothes stay.

But the pantyhose - all those pairs of pantyhose filling the bottom drawer of my dresser! I have no sentimental attachment to something so uncomfortable, so...unnatural. They can go, but they can't really be passed on to someone else to use. So I have been looking up ways to repurpose them, and here's what I have found.

Pantyhose can be used to store onions: you just cut off a leg, pop an onion in the toe, tie a knot in the hose, add another onion, tie another knot and so on, until the leg is full. The onions get the air circulation they need, the mess of the stray clods of dirt and peeling onion skins is contained, and whenever you need an onion for cooking all you have to do is snip off the bottom one.

Looking at the pictures of my onions, it also seems to me they could be used for Christmas decorations: the sheen of the completely synthetic material of the hose could add a festive touch around the house.

Another solution for old hose: cut them into strips and use them to tie up plants in the garden. They're perfect for this, because they're soft and stretchy enough the plants won't be damaged as they grow.

There's something smugly satisfying to me about taking a symbol of the oppression of my former life and transforming it into a tool for my current one. It's not quite the same as turning swords into plough shares, but I'm tickled all the same.


Toni aka irishlas said...

I just love, love, love this idea!

Not only practical, but, symbolic as well. I am so totally on this!

I've been in a de-cluttering whirlwind myself. Maybe it is the changing of the season and having a little more time inside.

Thanks for this great idea!!

jeanives said...

Brilliant, like you. My mother and probably her mother always used old stockings (long before panty-hose)to tie up plants as you suggest.

Paula said...

Something else to do with those pantyhose are to cut sections and rubber band one end, and then slip it over your apples when they're about the size of a walnut, and then rubber band the other side (not too tightly).

What happens is that the coddling moths are thwarted and as the apple grows, the pantyhose stretch thinner and the sun can still ripen the fruit. I originally saw this done with peds- you know- those things you use to try on shoes- but I don't see why you couldn't make pantyhose work.

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