Take advantage of all of that extra time spent indoors this season -- winter is a perfect time to tackle larger organizing projects. Clearing the clutter and bringing order to every room will reap benefits for the entire year.
Where's an extra button when you need one? Find sewing supplies fast in this three-ring-binder repair kit. Add zipper pouches and a felt needle holder (use spray starch to make felt sturdier).
This is the season for giving. And since it's cold outside, why not host your own drive for coats, sweaters, and other warm clothes? Set out a labeled collection basket and ask friends and relatives to bring an item to donate when they visit. Check that the clothes are clean and in good condition, then give them to a shelter or other charity.
Discard expired cosmetics and prescription medicines. Then, affix a sheet of precut galvanized steel to the interior of your medicine cabinet with construction adhesive. Magnetic hooks can hold scissors and a mirror, and small plastic cups with magnetic bottoms corral small necessities, such as rubber bands and hair clips.
Take storage to new levels with shelves below a row of jackets. Install shelves near the base of your closet, and you'll no longer have to rifle through items strewn across the floor. Here, each family member has his or her own bin for hats and scarves.
The lower shelf is lined with shoes, and boxes tucked underneath hold dog toys, tennis balls, and the like. Leave a foot of space between shelves and the door frame, and you'll have room for boots and a metal bucket for umbrellas. Long hooks keep handbags neat.
Add a splash of personality to a lackluster work space by covering plain floating bookshelves with wallpaper. Measure the shelf, and cut the wallpaper slightly longer and wide enough to wrap around it with an overlap. Use wallpaper paste to affix the wallpaper to the shelf, pasting one side at a time. Cut slits into excess paper at ends, forming flaps; fold down, and affix with paste. Let dry completely, and hang shelves as usual.
If the cards you buy tend to be of the belated variety, this calendar will serve you well. Print the template, then fill in names and birthdates of friends and family for each month. Fold the chart in half to show six months at once, and pin it to a bulletin board or hang it on the refrigerator. You can even shrink it and slip it into an address book. With a glance, you'll be reminded of important dates ahead of time.
A home color-coding system can bring order to your living space wordlessly, providing information at a glance without a miscellany of labels. Put hues to work, whether you're organizing papers, preparing food, or outfitting your entryway. With these bright additions, your living space will be far from drab -- and far easier to manage.
Keep a variety of stain remedies at the ready: cornstarch to absorb fresh grease stains; oil solvents or dry-cleaning fluids for greasy residue; combination solvents and a mild, clear dishwashing liquid for all-purpose stain removal; natural bleaching agents like lemon juice and white vinegar; glycerin for ballpoint ink; and eyedroppers and cotton swabs for easy application.
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