House sitters and child-care providers may be baffled by the nuances of your stereo, climate-control, and burglar-alarm systems. Provide them with a handy guide to using your keypads and remote controls -- you'll save yourself from giving lengthy instructions each time you have a new sitter.
An umbrella should be easy to find -- and get to -- when you head out the door on a rainy day. These hooks prove to be a bit more nimble than an overcrowded stand, and don't take up coveted hall space. Mount broom hooks inside a closet door; hang high enough so umbrellas don't touch the floor and far enough apart so handles don't knock.
If you have a big family, sorting and distinguishing between each child's school supplies, sports equipment, and clothing can take up precious morning minutes. Make your kids' belongings easy to identify with a personalized rubber stamp and permanent ink pad made for fabric. Iron-on fabric tape can be stamped, then affixed to the inside of clothing. Personalized ribbons work well as bookmarks or tags. If the name is visible, use pale ink and small type to protect your child's identity.
Find yourself running around in search of misplaced keys most mornings? Ensure they'll always be by the door: Attach a magnetic knife holder, available at kitchen-supply stores, along the bottom of an entryway bulletin board to keep important items like keys within reach. Secure the magnetic strip with its accompanying hardware to the frame of the board.
If you store jackets and dresses in garment bags, this trick will save you valuable minutes in the morning.
Digital pictures, tucked into card-stock tags with windows, identify the contents inside each garment bag. Breathable and inexpensive, the canvas bags can be dressed up with colorful bias tape, applied with an iron and fusible webbing.
Make scarves, belts, and other accessories easy to find in your closet. Rather than stuff them into one big bin, hang scarves on a pair of paper-towel holders mounted on the inside of one closet door to keep them neat and wrinkle-free. A kitchen-utensil rail proves to be ideal for belts: Each gets its own S hook.
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