I think we can all agree, this past year allowed us to really see our homes in a new light. Perhaps this light has revealed some areas that need a little TLC. Consider the following areas or ways you can give your home a boost this coming year.
Be a Clutter Buster
Organizing your home is one of the best ways to start fresh. It can also seem the most overwhelming if you have a lot of people and all the stuff that people come with. If you can focus on two principles, this task can be achieved. One-get rid of things you don’t use or don’t like. Two-only bring things into the home that you need. Both of these things will take time to master, but when you do, you will find the task of maintaining clutter much easier. Start with one room, really evaluate it’s contents and make a keep, donate and trash pile. You may find yourself with extra storage as you go from room to room. Utilize that new found space to help organize the items you are keeping. Invest in quality shelving, baskets or caddies for a homey look.
It's that time of year again! The urge to purge takes over and we find ourselves looking over our homes to decide what needs organizing and revamping. As we sweep through each room, often times we look at the accumulated stuff and wonder...where am I going to put this now? Then the a-ha moment comes and the answer is “stick it in the garage.” While your garage is a great spot to store certain items, changes in temperature, exposure to the elements and a nosy critter can make it unsuitable for some belongings. Let's go over some of those items and offer a better storing solution.
Changes in temperature can lead to discoloration as well as clumping and possible separation. Plus, the moisture of a cement floor can encourage cans to rust. A better solution would be to transfer a portion of paint-for touch up purposes- into a tight sealed container with the color mix noted in case a full can is needed in the future. Store in a closet that maintains an even temp all year round.
Again, varying temps in your garage can lead to a shorter shelf life and alter the taste of some foods. In Winter, you risk the chance that a frozen can could explode. Reexamine your pantry for areas where storage could be gained. Employ new shelving or an over the door rack that can accommodate cans.
Storage of these items may encourage a family of mice to make your garage their home. Moths and other bugs love to nibble on certain types of fabrics. If you must keep these items in the garage, make sure they are placed in quality, air-tight containers. Keep them off the ground on a higher shelf if possible.
No one wants to run out of propane during a back-yard barbecue. Keeping a spare in the garage is hazardous. Tanks need to be kept in a well-ventilated area free from fumes or materials that could ignite it. Best to keep this item stored outside away from any structure.
It may be tempting to purchase a spare to keep drinks and stock up on frozen items but the unit will actually work harder trying to maintain an even temperature in the summer and winter months, thus increasing your electric bill. There are insulation and heating coil kits available, but do some math first to see what these will cost you over time. The price to store that great sale on frozen food may not be worth it.
That photo album you inherited from your grandparents, when exposed to fluctuating temperatures could grow mold over time and pages can get stuck together. The same applies to any document that may be difficult to replace. Set aside some time to scan important documents to your computer or invest in a fireproof box. Many stores offer photo-scanning services that compile all your cherished memories into one DVD.
As you continue to freshen up your homes this year, take care where you store items in and around the house as well. If reorganizing your garageis in the future, refer back to our blog to learn all the best tips and tricks to reclaim that space for your car again!
We all enjoy the lights, ornaments and merry decorations that brighten up our homes during the holidays...until it's time to take it all down and store it for next year. Let's help you store those items with ease so next year you won't be wrestling with a ball of lights.
Before you begin, examine your storage materials that you currently have on hand. Make sure boxes still have secure bottoms and handles that are strong. Ensure that you have enough containers in case you have purchased new lights or have received ornaments as gifts. The end of the year is a great time to pick up new containers and bins, but you can easily store your treasures with items you already have on hand.
The key to storing lights is all in the wrapping. Start with a heavy piece of cardboard and slowly wrap each strand around it. Each piece can be then slid into a box for storage. Another idea is to wrap them around a heavy duty hanger. When finished, they can be hung in a spare closet or rack in the attic. If you have extension cords that need to be stored, inserting them into a paper towel tube is a great organizing trick. If you have an extensive outdoor light collection, investing in a storage spool is an option. Spools can hold up to 200 feet of lights and are easy to carry and unwind.
A clever alternative to wrapping each ornament in tissue paper is found by nestling them in a cardboard divider. If you don't want to invest in a pre-made container, you can easily make one by using larger plastic cups with cardboard dividers in a storage bin. Smaller trinkets can be stored in egg cartons or clear shoe boxes. As you put away your ornaments, examine them to make sure they are not broken and make repairs if necessary. Now is also a good time to assess your collection and pare down or donate items you have not used in a while.
Wreathes and garland present an interesting challenge in that there is never a box quite big enough to store them nicely. Think vertically on this one and utilize a garment bag. Attach the wreath or garland to a sturdy hanger and slip it into the bag. DIY with a hanger poked through a garbage bag and cinch it tight at the bottom.
Although they come out of the box with ease, getting your artificial tree back in the box is often a wrestling match. Pinterest user Time with Thea used an old bed-sheet as a way to wrap it up neatly. Once in the sheet, it is secured by tying the ends together. For larger trees a pillow case can come in handy to hold the top portion.
Before you stash all your trimmings away, take a look at your storage area. Make sure it is clean, free from any potential water damage and not in an area that heat may damage any of your decorations. Stack heavy boxes on the bottom and allow some room to maneuver items with ease. If you have the space, storing items on the floor they are used on can save time and avoid injuries from carrying boxes up and down stairs.
Congrats! You are all set for next year. Reward yourself with a hot chocolate and don't skimp on the marshmallows.