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Posted by on May 16, 2012 | 0 comments

Calming the Chaos in a Cluttered Linen Closet

Calming the Chaos in a Cluttered Linen Closet

For the past eight years, my linen closet has been pure chaos: disheveled piles of mismatched sheets and towels, a wasteland of expired medicine, and random collections of clutter clogging valuable shelf space. Going through my home project to-do list, I finally decided to give the closet the much-needed attention it deserves. I’m embarrassed to even show these photos. Here’s the closet about a month ago. Let’s count the issues here: There are two fitted sheets for a crib we haven’t used in about a year (and no longer own). None of the pillow cases match the sheets. There is no order to the “folding” of the sheets and towels. The horrible contact paper (left by previous owner) is peeling away. The storage bins are useless (you have to take the top ones out to open the ones on the bottom — that makes a lot of sense!). I could go on… It’s a total closet nightmare. The first step was to take everything out and sort by what to...

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Posted by on Apr 16, 2012 | 5 comments

Keeping It Simple: Small-Space Coffee Makers

Keeping It Simple: Small-Space Coffee Makers

In small kitchens, with counter space at a premium, it feels so good to do away with clunky appliances. But when you have a deep love for coffee, what do you do with the coffee maker? Here are two ways we have found to enjoy our morning boost of caffeine while keeping the space-hogging drip coffee maker off the countertop for good. In Leslie’s kitchen: For a nice strong cup of espresso, I use the Bialetti. Mine makes about four small cups but you can buy bigger ones. I pull out the grinder from the cabinet and fill up the filter, put water in the bottom part, screw on the lid, and then let it brew to perfection on the stove. For mornings when Matt and I both want big mugs of coffee, we use the French press. We keep the teapot in the cabinet and bring it out just to boil water for the press. In Katie’s kitchen: The perfect cup of coffee starts with fresh ground beans. I use the Anrik coffee maker I found...

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Posted by on Apr 13, 2012 | 1 comment

Conquering Closet Clutter Once and For All

Conquering Closet Clutter Once and For All

Do you have a closet that is out of control? You’re afraid to open it because you fear what will fall on your head? Laine Hardman, professional organizer and owner of Tidy Up, offers the following tips for taming rebellious closets and maintaining your mental and physical well-being. We all have that all-purpose closet that has become our dumping ground for everything from high school yearbooks to grandma’s tea set.  We know those holiday decorations are in there somewhere, but there is too much clutter on top of them to get at them easily.  (Or, very often, we can’t even remember what is in there!) Although it may seem daunting, cleaning out a closet will save you time formerly spent looking for lost items and give you the sense of accomplishment that comes with conquering your clutter.  So, now that you know you are going to tackle the closet, put aside a couple of hours, make a plan, and stick to it.  Use the following steps to get that closet in...

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Posted by on Apr 9, 2012 | 0 comments

Alphabetizing and Sorting: Chores Kids Will Seriously Love

Alphabetizing and Sorting: Chores Kids Will Seriously Love

I had a brilliant brainstorm during spring break. While Katie’s son Jack was spending a few afternoons with Ana, I thought of an extra credit chore they could do together: alphabetize the spice rack! Katie loved the idea and came up with one too: sort the loose hardware into baby food jars! And wouldn’t you know it, Ana and Jack were psyched! It wasn’t even about the lure of earning $2 each for each chore. They really enjoyed being in the moment. Alphabetizing the Spices They debated whether Ground Pepper went with the Ps or the Gs, and if Red Pepper should go with the Rs or the Ps.  They mispronounced Oregano as Or-ray-gone-noh. They giggled over alphabetizing the sprinkles. Ana reached high to put the jars back in the rack while Jack shuttled them to her in batches. Sorting the Loose Hardware They got right down to work and gave the job their undivided attention. Even after their diligent sorting, they wanted to do more: Can we make...

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Posted by on Mar 16, 2012 | 0 comments

Children’s Artwork: What to Keep and Where to Keep It

Children’s Artwork: What to Keep and Where to Keep It

DIY Del Ray welcomes Laine Hardman, owner of Tidy Up, Professional Organization, as a special guest blogger. Laine will be writing a series of posts about storage and organization, something we struggle with every day in our small homes. In this first post, Laine has some really creative ideas for displaying, storing, and preserving kids’ artwork. We all love our kids’ artwork. The tiny handprints, the sun with the face, the macaroni skeleton. But saving it all is impractical. As a professional organizer, I am constantly being asked: With all these piles of masterpieces, how do we decide what to keep and how do we store it? Here are some ideas to help you and your child proudly display, sort, and store those works of art. Display It Designate one high-traffic area where you can display the newest, favorite works immediately. A clothesline can be strung high on a wall with clothespins to hold the art or clips can hang from the ceiling. (See this previous post from DIY Del...

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