Organize Your Home Storage and Simplify Your Life!

by: Andrew Porter

Be delighted with yourself — committing to organize your home is the first step in actually doing it! The Linen Closet will need attending to eventually so lets go there now.

If you have excess laundry to deal with, you probably have a linen closet that is less than user-friendly. Once you have clean towels, rags, and other linens to put away, you won’t do it if thier destination is less-than-appealing.

So let’s organize it! This is the first place where you’ll have to be brutally honest with

English: Milo the cat in a laundry basket bein...
English: Milo the cat in a laundry basket being helpful. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

yourself about what you keep and what you get rid of. When I say, “get rid of,” I don’t necessarily mean it ends up in the trash—if it’s towels, bedding, etc., that are in bad condition, your local animal shelter would be grateful for your donation. They always need things for the dogs and cats to lay on in their runs and crates, and your cast-offs in this area will be eagerly accepted.

 

Take stock of what you have for shelves. Do you have wooden or wire shelves? Do you have problems with things “falling through” if you have wire shelves? If so, you don’t have to worry and go buy scrap wood to line the shelves with—a simple piece of shelf-lining (you know, that bumpy green stuff that comes in rolls) will lie nicely and prevent small things from falling through. If necessary, put some of that down.

Now take a look and see what you’ve got in terms of extra bedding.

How many beds in your home? You should have a minimum of 1 extra bedding-set for each bed, a maximum of 2. Think about it before you start to write me and tell me why you need 6 sets of bedding for each bed—if you have small children who have nighttime accidents (or get the stomach flu in the middle of the night), you might have to change sheets in the morning (or the middle of the night if it’s barf!), and you’ll have some clean ones to put on. You’ll put the dirty ones in the washer and get the machine started on that task. Then you’ll swap things to the dryer. You’ll still have clean sheets on the bed and if you’ve got 2 extra sets, another clean one in the linen closet.

So now with that argument won, go through your bedding. Do you have mis-matched pieces? If so, put them in the donation pile. Do you have twin pieces mixed in with king pieces? If so, separate them in two piles. Make sure everything is folded (I’ll give you a pass on the fitted sheets—those are impossible to fold neatly!). Now set aside one or two shelves for your bedding. Make sure that the bedding for the queen bed is not piled up with the stuff for the crib or twin bed. You can fold the stuff in squares or fold it in to long rectangles and then roll it. Either way is acceptable—it just depends on how much space you’ve got.

Now we move on to towels and other things in your linen closet…

3. Take stock of your towels, washcloths, and other terrycloth things. Do you have towels that are holey or bleach-stained? Do you have towels that aren’t very absorbent from using too much fabric softener? Do you have towels that don’t match your current bathroom décor? Donate them. Keep only that which matches your décor (unless you turn it in to a rag), and only that which wouldn’t embarrass you to put out for guests when they visit. That should pare down your towel collection to a more manageable number.

I can’t tell you an exact number that is appropriate here—that depends on how many members are in your family. What I can suggest is 2 towels per person—one that’s currently hanging in the bathroom and one clean one that can be conscripted into service when the current one is in the wash. Do you have washcloths? One for every-other day of the week would be appropriate—many people don’t use them anymore, in this age of scrubbies, poufs, and other facial cleansing methods.

Do you have a rag-pile (or kitchen-towel pile) in your linen closet? If so, fold those and put them on a shelf that’s easy to access. You’ll use those most frequently, so make them easy to reach and use. Again, sort through and see what’s in reasonable condition and put the rest in the pile for the animal shelter.

What other things are in your linen closet? Do you have table linens there? If so, do you know what’s there? Are they neat enough that when you need them you don’t have to go digging and put the iron on “fry it silly” to get the wrinkles out? If any of the above is true, pull them out, wash, sort, keep only the best, and fold (or press) them quickly and put them away.

Finally, if you have other miscellaneous things (doilies, candlesticks, etc.) in your linen closet, set a shelf aside for those things. If you don’t have a full shelf to ascribe to them, use a shelf that’s only half-full of other items. Again, sort through and keep only what you’re in love with—anything else can be donated to a charity-resale shop, given to siblings, or sold on eBay.

Don’t keep things “just in case” great-aunt Mildred comes by—she won’t, and if she does, she probably won’t remember what it was. Remember, you’re organizing your home so that it’s not just a house of stuff for your family. That’s much more important than not offending a distant relative!

Congratulations—you’ve won the battle with your linen closet. Isn’t it such a nice feeling to open up a closet and not be in danger of the falling towel zone?

About the author:
Andrew Porter: Is a home improvement consultant and frequent contributor to ClosetOrganizer4U.com.

For closet organizers, accessories and design plans, visit:http://www.closetorganizer4u.com

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Bathroom Organization

by: Norman Fleming

If you’re lucky enough to have a “guest bathroom”, one that isn’t used by the family and one where you can always keep clean hand towels hanging for the guests, good for you. For most of us however, we have one or two bathrooms, and they both get a lot of use from the family members on a daily basis. Let’s see how you can organize your bathroom so that it’s guest ready too.

The one thing that most of us have too much of is lots of bottles of “stuff” sitting around the sink and countertop. Go through these and discard what you don’t use on a daily basis, and what only has a drip left in it. Go buy two decorative baskets and have a “his” and “hers”. One for his stuff, and one for her stuff. You could keep your toothpaste, hairspray, brush and comb, moisturizer, etc., in a basket that can be simply picked up and moved when guests come, and then put back when you’re ready to use them again.

If you like to have magazines in the bathroom don’t let them just pile up in a corner next to the toilet, get a nice magazine rack for them.

English: A bathroom.
English: A bathroom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Next take a look at the inside of the shower. How moldy is that curtain? They cost around $4.00 – buy a new one. Look at the bottles in the shower, they tend to get left in the shower even when they’re almost empty. Throw them out and try to streamline the number of bottles in the shower. If you don’t have built in shelves around your shower get an organizer that hangs over your showerhead, or one on an extension pole you can put in the corner of the shower.A cheap way to make your bathroom like new is with accessories. Buy a nice shower curtain with a matching rug. You can also get matching towels. If you have limited towel space you can buy a towel rack that hangs on the wall, they come in many different designs. With a nice wall towel rack you can make a display of beautifully colored towels – that you can also use too! Purchase a set of matching bathroom accessories, soap dish, toothbrush holder, cup, liquid soap dispenser.

I think you’re going to love your bathroom!

About the author:
This article courtesy of http://www.vac-facts.com

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How to Remodel A Small Bathroom

by: Ken MarlboroughNot all bathrooms can be lavish spaces with whirlpool tubs and two separate vanities. For some bathrooms, space is at a premium and knocking out walls is not an option, but remodeling must be done. Small bathroom remodeling presents its own complications, but with the right information, a small bathroom-remodeling project can shine.

Before beginning your small bathroom remodeling, design a floor plan that maximizes the room’s useable space. Don’t be afraid to design up by incorporating free-floating cabinets. Use mirrors to stretch a small bathroom’s space, and keep the color scheme simple. Keep a small bathroom bright, fresh, and inviting with coordinated colors and accessories.

Pare down the scale in your bathroom. Big items take up more space in the bathroom and look bulky. Corner sinks are simple and small. These sinks free up visual space below, but don’t provide the counter space and cabinet space that a traditional sink provides. Another option is a pedestal sink. These sinks have a more classic design

New bathroom
New bathroom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

and are free standing. Wall-mounted sinks save space but do not have counter space. Both types of sinks do not provide storage space underneath. Most home-improvement stores stock smaller sinks, or you can custom order one from a cabinet shop for a price.

A simple way to conserve space is to do away with a tub and just use a shower. Smaller tubs, however, are available, although most cannot handle whirlpool faucets. Any tub less than five feet long will probably spill the water sprayed by the whirlpool faucets.

Pick a toilet that can sit close to the wall to conserve space, and the size of the seat and tank design determine just how much space the toilet will use. Also pay attention to the size of the home’s original toilet. Older homes have toilets with 10 to 14 inches between the wall and the toilet drain, but newer homes typically have 12 inches. The wrong toilet won’t fit. Buying a toilet with a low tank takes up less visual space and compact toilets leave more room, but as with any small bathroom remodeling project, use these suggestions to find a toilet that is both stylish and fits in the room.

Finally, limit what you bring into the bathroom. To save space in a cramped bathroom, for example, it may be best to have a dressing area in a bedroom. Limit the number of accessories — clutter can easily make a small bathroom look smaller.

Planning a small remodeling may take extra planning, but the resulting clean, beautiful, an uncluttered bathroom will be an inviting space.

About the author:
Bathroom Remodeling Info provides detailed information on bathroom remodeling ideas, costs, plans, and checklists. Bathroom Remodeling Info is the sister site of Kitchen Remodeling Web.

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Christmas Decorating: Create A Lifelike Santa In Your Bathroom

by: Johann Erickson

If you love to go all out with your Christmas decorating, here is a whimsical, original idea for your bathroom:

Materials needed:

White shower curtain, canvas, or fabric (a new canvas drop cloth works great)
Shower curtain liner (to protect curtain from moisture)
Projector*
Permanent black marker, preferably a thick one
Paint pens
Paint
Fiberfill or cotton balls
Santa hat
Black felt (about one yard)
2 red hand towels or red fabric

*If you can draw, you may not need the projector. If you are not artistically inclined, and do not already own a projector, see if you can borrow one.

-Christmas Towels: Bathroom
-Christmas Towels: Bathroom (Photo credit: vanherdehaage)

Let’s get started!

If you’re using fabric instead of a shower curtain, you’ll need to make it standard shower curtain size, which is about 72″ x 72″. Cut the fabric 73″ x 73″, fold each side over one half inch, press into place, and hem each side to make smooth edges. Purchase plastic rings (usually found near the curtain rods) and sew them to the top for shower curtain rings. If you don’t already have a second rod, pick up a tension rod. They are inexpensive and simple to install.

The next step is finding a great picture of Santa Clause. Look in coloring books, storybooks, or online. Once you find a picture you like, blow it up on the projector until Santa looks life-sized. Hang the fabric or shower curtain on the wall or a door with thumbtacks or straight pins, and project the image onto it. Santa’s knees should be about 6″ from the bottom of the shower curtain. Stop at the knees and do not draw the rest of the legs (you will see why later).

Next, trace the image with a permanent black marker (put paper behind the curtain to keep marker from seeping through). Fill in the details for Santa’s face as well as other intricate areas with the paint pens. Fill in his suit with paint. Nearly any kind of paint will do, but craft paint is the least expensive.

In order to create a three dimensional effect, use fiberfill or stretched out cotton balls for Santa’s hair and beard. Apply with regular school glue or use fabric glue. Use a real Santa hat instead of painting one. These can be found at dollar stores and discount stores for very little money. Simply stitch the hat onto the curtain from the backside, or attach it with fabric glue.

Add a piece of black felt for Santa’s belt. A real buckle makes a nice touch. You can remove a buckle from an old belt that you no longer wear and thread the felt through it, or you can purchase a used belt at a thrift store and simply remove the buckle to use it for this project. Stitch the felt into place or apply with fabric glue.

Hang the curtain and tuck the bottom edge inside the tub. Santa’s knees should line up closely with the edge of the tub.

Here’s the really fun part: Fold the red towels in half lengthwise and stitch or glue the sides together. If using fabric, cut to the size of regular hand towels (not fingertip towels) and proceed as directed above. Next, arrange the towels so that the attached edges are in the middle instead of along the side then press into place with a warm iron. This seam should face the shower curtain so it won’t show. Stitch or glue the towels to Santa’s knees. Santa now has three-dimensional legs that swing when the curtain moves!

Make mittens and boots from the leftover black felt. Attach the mittens to the curtain and the boots to the towels. Another neat idea is to set a pair of boots outside the tub and tuck the “legs” into the boots. This looks terrific and makes the effect even more dimensional. This idea is best used in the guest bathroom or on the day company is coming, after everyone has showered, if used in the main bathroom (otherwise, you’ll have to keep moving the boots each time the tub is needed).

To make your shower curtain even more festive, wrap small empty boxes to look like gifts and attach them to the curtain, or sew on tiny plastic ornaments or candy canes. Just use your imagination.

This is a fun, yet fairly simple project to complete, and you will get lots of compliments on this unique, whimsical decorating idea.

About the author:
Johann Erickson writes for such sites as Online Discount Mart (http://www.onlinediscountmart.com) and TV Products 4 Less (http://www.tvproducts4less.com).

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Bathroom Remodeling Made Easy

by: ARA(ARA) – These days, you can’t turn on the TV without viewing a new episode of home improvement shows like “Trading Spaces” or “Hometime.” A report issued this year by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies calls home improvement the new “great national pastime.” In 2001, Americans spent an estimated $214 billion on home improvements, maintenance and repairs. All indicators point to this remodeling-mania continuing for sometime.

Take a look around your own home. Is what you’ve been referring to as your “time-honored home décor” really just old fashioned? If so, maybe it’s time for you to join the remodeling parade. The good news is: there are lots of easy, low cost ways to give your home’s look a nice pick-me-up.

The bathroom is one of the most popular targets for home improvement. While any project involving plumbing tends to intimidate the average homeowner, there is a lot of new product technology designed with the do-it-yourselfer in mind.

Bathroom remodel - Brandon's cap
Bathroom remodel (Photo credit: lavenderstreak)

One of the easiest and most cost efficient ways to spruce up a bathroom is to replace the faucets. “Improvements like this have a huge impact on the functional and aesthetic value of the space. You can create an entirely new theme for your bathroom — such as contemporary, old world, or European — based on the design of your faucet,” says Angie Coffman, director, Delta product marketing for Delta Faucet Company.Before purchasing a new faucet, it’s a good idea to do some preliminary research. You may also want to consider a budget before beginning your search, as prices can vary widely. You will find that there are many different styles and designs in bathroom faucets. Consider ahead of time whether you want a single-handle or a double-handle faucet. Notice how the handles feel in the palm of your hand. Do you want something that is delicate or more heavy-duty? Explore different spout designs and finishes as well. Decide whether or not you want an escutcheon, the decorative plate beneath a faucet. An escutcheon will also cover extra holes that might be drilled in the sink.

Look for a faucet that installs easily — you may notice language like “quick connect ” or “no adjust,” indicating that minimal tools are required. Pay close attention to the existing hole configuration on your sink. How many are there and how far apart are they? Do you need a single-hole, 4-inch center-set, or a wall-mounted faucet? Your single-handle faucet may have three holes underneath, but you don’t necessarily have to replace it with another single-handle. There’s a design, called a “mini-widespread,” which provides flexibility for customers who have a single-handle faucet, but are looking to switch to a double handle, widespread look. The Victorian Mini-widespread from Delta is an example of a faucet that offers intricate, old-world styling in a smaller sink setting.

Make a Lasting Improvement

Look for a design that won’t soon be outdated and one that will complement the rest of your bathroom, “one that will stand out without sticking out,” according to Coffman. “Keep in mind that you will probably be using this new faucet for years, so choose something that is durable, versatile, and a brand that is considered reliable.”

Installing high quality products in a bathroom will result in a high return on your home remodeling investment. That is why it is important to choose a faucet that offers long-lasting, worry-free performance. You want to look for things like solid brass construction and a company that offers a lifetime limited warranty, along with customer support, in case you have questions while installing the faucet yourself.

Now that you are ready to give your bathroom the facelift it has been waiting for, have a few tools handy for the installation. A pair of adjustable pliers, along with an Allen wrench and basin wrench, will probably be necessary. Also pick up some silicone or caulk, and Teflon tape. Always double check the instructions on your faucet for any other tools or supplies needed.

If you are looking for additional support, try consulting your local home improvement store. Or, check out manufacturer Web sites, such as deltafaucet.com, for installation tips. As you join the millions of Americans remodeling their homes this year, choose your projects wisely and remember that even seemingly small changes, like a bathroom fixture upgrade, can add value to your home.

Courtesy of ARA Content

About the author:
Courtesy of ARA Content

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