I had some dreams ... they were klowns in my koffee.

(With apologies to Carly Simon)

This is my journey through job transition from a toxic environment to a better life. Join me for a few thoughts and a few laughs along the way.
What are "klowns in my koffee"? They are the factors large and small that make you less than you are. A "klown" can be a grossly incompetent boss,
a short-sighted policy or a moronic coworker. They won't kill you, at least not immediately, but they abrade the soul
as you scrape past them to get through the day. Sometimes it's best to dump them out of the cup.


Day 172 - Keep Cheap: Reusing Ziplock Bags

Daily Kup (My Life as a Gainfully Unemployed Person)
The heavy rain kept me inside today. After slogging through the various tasks to be slogged in the day-to-day operations that keep this household afloat, I set out to solve a problem that had been bothering me.

Truth be told, several problems bother me. For example, when the phone rings, my husband jumps up, goes and stands next to the phone, and then screams for me to come answer it. That's one problem that needs addressing.

While I'm working on a fix for that first problem -- a project that may take decades -- I decided to tackle an affront to my overwhelming sense of cheapness as well as commitment to green living: wasting ziplock bags.

Grounds for Improvement
With two kids and the occasional husband taking a lunch five days per week, we go through a lot of sandwich bags. Both frugal and green living groups admonish to wash and reuse these for as long as possible.

I've tried, really I have. I dutifully wash them in hot, soapy water and then rinse them thoroughly. Then they sit around in the dish drainer taking up room on the kitchen cupboard and never really drying out inside anyway.

Out of all those little green gadgets, someone must make a ziplock bag drying rack, right? Well, someone makes this thing on the right for $16 to $20 each plus shipping. I'm not seeing how ziplock-on-a-stick is going to get the insides very dry and there's still the question of counterspace and leaking on the counter, let alone 20 bucks for something that looks like a reed air freshener. Another guy must have had the same thought because he made his own version by sticking chopsticks into an old tennis ball. This solution overcomes the expense issue but adds all the sensory experience of having a molding tennis ball on your counter.

Here is an answer that can be adapted to whatever coated metal stand that you may have lying around. I used a $2.49 CD stand from Goodwill, but a record stand or shoe rack could be made to work as well.
By putting the washed bags over the wider metal hoops, particularly two or three of the loops per bag, the bags are kept open and they dry overnight. At first, I kept the rack on the counter where it looked better than having the dish drainer out, but it still took up valuable counter space.

Nowhere to go but up. Here the rack is mounted on the side of a cabinet above the sink using 3 small eye bolts and an S-hook.
When the bags are dry and the rack is empty, simply fold it up and latch it out of the way.
It looks like some medieval torture device, but it works really well.
Remember, "cheap" is just "clever" without a good press agent.

Best wishes to Gene on his retirement. If you get bored, I haven't fixed the stair rail yet!

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