Monday, September 28, 2009

Don't Trash It - Update It!

Do you find sometimes that you have items in your home that over time have either become outdated or don't match your style anymore? Why get rid of them, instead take those items and update them with these simple ideas.

  • Great frame but horrible art work in it - take the picture/painting out of the frame and either put in another art piece, blow up a picture you took (maybe from a cool vacation spot or a nice family picture), put in a gorgeous outfit that has some meaning to you or that is from your native country, or put in an interesting piece of fabric or wallpaper to update your look.
  • Horrible lamp shade but not such a bad base or vice-versa? Throw out your shade and buy a new one or add fabric to the old one (try small strips of fabric and hot glue it on vertically or horizontally or maybe into the shape of a bow). You love your shade but don't like the base, paint it or update the varnish.
  • Items such as chairs and benches that have cushions on them. Sometimes the cushions just need to be updated with new ones or the legs on the chairs or benches can get a new touch of paint to change the style completely.
  • Wood pieces that have nicks and scratches on them. These items can easily be fixed by getting the right furniture marker that can be "colored" over the nicks and scratches and can blend in with the rest of wood.
  • Walls or carpets that have been marked up by items that were placed against it or by paint or markers can easily be fixed by using an item that has done wonders for us - Goof Off. This item has gotten paint marks out of our carpets as well as blemishes off of our painted walls. You do need to be careful, especially on walls since rubbing too hard will wipe off the paint itself.
  • Old throw pillows or cushions can either be re-done with newer fabric or the stuffing inside can be taken out to be replaced and the fabric re-sewn.
  • Hemlines, curtains or those cushions discussed above coming apart at the seams -what do you do when you can't sew, don't like to sew or don't have a sewing machine? Try using this no sew item that can be sealed with just some steam.
  • A table that is functional but not attractive can either be refinished, painted or simply covered with an attractive tablecloth or fabric.

The main thing to remember when updating your items is to not be afraid of trying out unusual ideas. Use curtain fabric as a table cover (folded so you don't see the seams for the rods), use items that you collect or are usually hidden as showcase pieces - frame them, put them in bowls, etc. Use a comfortable sofa in a dining room instead of chairs, use that pretty dining room chair in your family room or at a desk, hang up that chandelier in your closet, use older or unused books as a table base, etc. There are all kinds of things that I'm sure you can come up with if you start to think creatively.

Have a fantastic week everyone!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Organizing Your CDs and DVDs

Although many of us have our music on iTunes or something similar, there are still many of us that have CDs in CD cases that are still looking for a home. This also is the case for those of us with many DVDs in our home.

Here are some ideas to get you started on keeping these items contained.

If you decide to get rid of your hard cases, place your actual discs into CD binders, which can then be easily tucked away into protective sleeves and be stored just about anywhere.

Storage drawers also work great. You can tuck them away into cabinetry or showcase them to go with your decor.

Open baskets always work well and there are also boxes that are made just for your CDs and DVDs. Old Shoe boxes also work well and can be covered with nice cloth or paper if it will be displayed out in the open.

If you don't have enough space, get them hung up and tucked away behind doors, or place them in decorative items that can be hung on walls or stacked on the floor.

Hope these ideas help get your CDs and DVDs off of your floor or out of storage boxes and into something a bit more decorative and useful.

Have a great week everyone!


Monday, September 14, 2009

School Organization

As school has started in most areas, let's go into ways to make the days less frazzled for us all.

Ways for your kids stay better organized:

  • Provide them with organization tools, such as compartmentalized cubbies in their closets to let them know what they need to need wear each day.

  • For older children, put a sheet of what classes they have every day near their dressers or near their closet. This way, they know on gym days they wear their gym clothes, when they have to return their library books, or when tests are, etc. This helps them to be more responsible and takes some of that responsibility off of your own shoulders.

  • If there are items in their closets that they need but are out of reach, provide a step stool to keep in their closet for them to get to it themselves. Try as much as you can to provide your child the tools they need to be independent.

  • Create an area in your pantry, if possible, of what snacks are allowed to take to school. Allow them to take a certain amount of items from that each day and to pack that themselves.

  • If your children have assigned lockers at their school, give them a locker organizer.

Ways for you to stay better organized:

  • Make sure to look over all paperwork the night before and have it ready and in your child's bag, so you are not scrambling in the mornings.

  • Get a box of envelopes and label them with your child's name so that it keeps you prepared in advance and all you have to do is slip items in the envelopes at the last minute.

  • Pack lunches the night before school.

  • Label all items with your child's name. For backpacks, hang luggage tags on them.

  • Definitely have a calendar somewhere that is easily accessible (and always keep a pen near it). At the beginning of the school year, I write down the children's days off, hot lunches, programs, etc. for the whole school year on the calendar as well as in the electronic calendar on my computer.

  • Have a set time of when to do things. When your child comes home, they might not want to do homework right away. Let them play, eat, etc. before they sit down to focus on homework. Some kids want to get it over with or you might want them to do it immediately; whatever it is, make it consistent (kids actually love schedules) so they know what the rules are and it helps things go smoother each day since both of you know what to expect from each other.

  • When it is time for homework, make sure you have an area, such as a drawer or box that holds pencils, a set of crayons, a ruler, erasers, scissors, pencil sharpeners, calculator, etc. so that they are not searching for items to get their work done; this would only take away time from them doing their assignments.

  • Utilize a bulletin board, if you have enough wall space, to pin up important papers (announcements, invitations, schedules, etc.) that need to be looked at.

If you stay on top of things and are better organized, your child will be too and this can make your weekday mornings go more smoothly!

Here's to a successful school year!


Monday, September 7, 2009

Bathroom Organization

Here are some ideas to organize items and make your bathroom more beautiful.

  • Containers, in varying sizes, are useful in drawers to sort out smaller items, such as makeup. Bigger containers are also useful for underneath storage.

  • Use open containers (such as baskets) for toilet paper, especially in a bathroom that will be used by guests, so they don't need to search for items in case it runs out.

  • Use decorative containers to be placed on the counters to hold contton balls, swabs, bath salts, decorative soaps, etc.

  • Keep shoe boxes, they make good sorters for all the smaller items that take up space in your bathroom. You can make them look prettier by adorning them with something attractive, such as pretty wrapping paper.

  • Use a caddy with a handle to hold items that you might take from one room to another. This would be great to hold cleaning items.

  • Older items that need to be thrown out, should be labeled so you know when to toss them. Items such as makeup should be labeled with stickers so you know when they were purchased; since most makeup tend to outlast their welcome.

  • To add luxury to your bathroom, put up that shabby chic chandelier and an ornate mirror.

  • Who said that you had to put bathroom rugs in the bath? Put in any decorative area rug with a good mat underneath so it doesn't move around to add instant elegance.

Enjoy your upcoming week!


Whatever It Takes