Monday, November 13, 2006
Set Up a Gift Wrap "Station"This could be in your hide away space as you play Santa, spare bedroom or craft designated space. Just be sure all your tools are at your fingertips to make it easy.
Remember these easy steps...
Let us entertain you... Organize.com style
One of my greatest pleasures in life is bringing family and friends together at home or around the table. Light a few candles, put out your favorite appetizer and you have a party. Entertaining always did warm my heart. Tabletop is an endless passion for me. From dinnerware, stemware or goblets, linens and accessories - I enjoy mixing all kinds of price points. I think sometimes it's the thrill of the hunt - but at any given time, my table will grace items from department stores to discounters. It just has to work! Some of my most talked about wine glasses are hand painted from Italy and probably cost about $3.00 per stem. Word of advice - just be sure that you buy 12 of anything you see or purchase.
Most especially at this time of the year, we are always looking to bring home new treasures to decorate or celebrate the holiday. Try thinking about where to store these items early on, to avoid stress and frustration.
One of my own frustrations happened to be china and stemware storage. Since we don't use these things as frequently, I found that even though they were kept in the china or kitchen cabinet all year, I felt that they had to be washed before using. I remembered the quilted storage pieces that I saw at my mother's house or in Holiday sale magazines over the years. After some investigation, I realized that while the 'old favorites' were still out there - bigger and better are here today. I chose some white cargo boxes and several covered canvas boxes to store our china and crystal. Now when I put these away, they are dust free and as clean as the day I stored them! If you haven't already, try china separators. They will keep your china from scratching.
Another little dilemma I had were my tablecloths, napkins place mats and napkin rings. I decided to handle this two ways. 1. I continue to hang my most used tablecloths in a closet. 2. My holiday linens would have a new home. Since I only use some of these linen colors once a year, I also wanted to keep these neat and clean. Our long 30-quart storage box worked great for tablecloths and the medium 18.5-quart sweater box was perfect for assorted napkins and any accessories or decorations that I used with that theme or color. This keeps everything together, organized and at my fingertips when I need or want it.
If your house is anything like ours, there is always plenty of food - which also means plenty of leftovers and the need for food storage. We offer many types and styles, but check out our Lock & Locks. I think they are one of the best!
Remember these items for the holidays:
Deviled Egg storage container
Cookie Storage - for home, school, office to cookie exchange!
Baking - be sure to see our line of baking and work station sheets, along with "transportation storage" for any cake or pie.
Wine storage, Wine openers and Wine savers. We have something for any connoisseur.
Every holiday party needs a gift of cheer and spirit. Be sure to see our holiday best buys! Our acrylic wine glasses and tumblers will work for any party. And... talk about 'on the rocks'! Ice tubs that look great on the island or bar are a must. Whether your party be informal or grand, there is a variety of choices from our Acrylic Party Tub, Large Party Bucket, to our Grand Party Stainless Steel Tub to fit your needs.
[Organize.com NEAT idea: If you are thinking of making a wine gift basket this year, try using the acrylic party tub as the container. Cellophane makes a great filler and fake ice is definitely the finishing touch!]
It's that time of the year when we're inviting guests to join us in our homes. We're glad that you came to visit ours.
From our home to yours... We wish you Happy Holidays from all of us at Organize.com.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Fit TV's Neat: Messy MariaMaria loves the great deals she finds at Goodwill, moving sales, and bargain stores, but her one bedroom apartment has been taken over by her collection of great deals. When Maria-s boyfriend decided to move in with her, he though he could handle living with the clutter. Two months later, he was packing his bags. With professional organizer Hellen Buttigeig by her side, Maria is on a mission to turn her cluttered apartment into a inviting space.
The first step on Maria's path to organization is to purge her apartment of the unneeded and unwanted possessions and organize what she wants to keep by living area. Once the purge is complete, the reinvention of the apartment begins.
The old office space was a jungle of computer cables, scrap paper, pens and books. Maria printer rested on a wine rack that also doubled as her bar. By bringing in a new desk with a swing-out additional workspace, the new office space is already looking sleeker. Color-coded hanging files are placed on a rolling rack. Wall mounted organizers are used to help maintain order and keep with the new color-coded system that Hellen has brought into the space.
The adjoining living room and dining space were given new life with a coffee table with built in cubbies. A buffet with sliding frosted glass doors allows Maria to see the see her possessions while keeping them out of direct sight. Maria's bedroom also went from cluttered to stunning. Curtains were hung in place of closet doors to allow Maria easy access to her new storage system. New open storage spaces let Maria see her clothes. Color-coded baskets allow her to store smaller articles neatly.
Maria is what is known as a "visual learner." This means that she recalls things visually. To her, if something is out of sight, it's out of mind. That is why her possessions were strewn about her apartment. For this type of personality, Hellen suggests using a dressers that are easy to open and close and keeping the closet area clear for easy access. This allows the visual learner to use the storage effectively and not fall back on old habits. Storage units with open spaces allow visual learners to see her belonging but keeps them neat. Low baskets allow for easy storage of small items but also allows for the contents to be easily seen.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Discovery Home's Neat: Avalanche of ToysLisa's house is overwhelmed by toys. She is a busy mom of two children under 3 years old. Her home has become overwhelmed by her stuff. Toys are being kept in every nook of the house. Even the bathtub of a spare bathroom has become storage for toys! Organizer Hellen Buttiigieg is going to try to force Lisa to purge some of the clutter. The dining room has become a makeshift playroom with too many toys for the space and not room for entertaining or even eating as a family. The basement is an office for Greg, Lisa's husband, but that space too has become toy-laden. The room leaves Lisa and Greg feeling like there is no space to work or to relax.
The Purge: The Neat team invades Lisa's house and puts like items together. This way Lisa can she can see what she has and sort accordingly. The basement htome office was cleared of toys making a toy free office and a place to relax. Lisa gets upset over the loss of her children's toys; she confided that it's tough to get rid of the toys. She is very sentimental, has a hard time parting with things, especially things that remind her of her children. Children's clothes are tough to purge because of the memories associated with the them. But the clothes and toys can be donated to help others in need. Hellen suggested making the kids part of the purging process as they grow up. She suggests using the one-in, one out rule. When the kids get a new toy, an old one has to go to make room for it. This helps keep the house clean and organized while teaching children that it is important to give to others.
While Lisa and her family are away, Hellen and the Neat crew brighten up the basement with a fresh coat of paint and a new desk. The dining room has been divided using shelves and storage units. This defines distinct play zones and adult zones. Baskets were labeled with pictures so even small children can understand what is inside. Curtains have been installed to keep the toys out of site. The basement has been divided into a work space and a relaxation space. Photo storage has been added to make the memories part of the space.
Hellen reminds us that organization is not a one type occurrence. Regular purges are needed to make sure the space does not become overwhelmed with clutter.
HGTV's Mission: Organization: Kitchen Clean-UpSandy Thompson is a banker, a writer and a full time student. That busy schedule doesn't leave her much time to keep her kitchen and dining room organized. Her nine by thirteen feet kitchen in her Wilmington, Deleware, townhouse is too cluttered to allow Sandy to get everyday tasks accomplished.
Weeks of newspapers and mail had piled up on the kitchen counter. As the counter space filled up, the paper overflowed into the adjoining dining room. Cabinet shelves were sagging under the weight of dishes and glassware. Food was stored throughout the space making it difficult to find what was needed to make a meal. Time was wasted and Sandy was getting frustrated.
Professional organizer Debbie Lillard was called on to tackle this challenge. First, Debbie and Sandy cleared the space so they could see the space as a blank canvas. Items that are used everyday are pulled out and stored separately so things can easily be found during the kitchen reorganization. Paper and mail was sorted into trash and needed items. Papers and mail that were kept were then taken to the office to be filed away. Food was then sorted, carefully checking expiration dates.
Next, cabinets were cleared of plasticware. Glasses were wrapped for temporary storage. Cookbooks came down off the shelves and were boxed. Excess bakeware and dishes were cleaned from the dining room buffet. Items that are not used frequently or were no longer needed were thrown away or donated to charity.
To get this kitchen and dining room organized, a small cabinet was removed from the space. The dishwasher was moved to open up the flow of the space. An open rack was replaced with a new pantry. Walls were painted to compliment artwork that Sandy loves. A new buffet was brought in to replace the old buffet that was too small for the space. Sagging shelves were replaced with new sturdy shelves that can hold up to the weight of Sandy's dishes. A small secretary's desk was also brought in to add a space to sort mail and keep keys. And to keep the space bright, a new chandelier was installed.
To maximize cabinet space, dividers and baskets were used. Food was put in the cabinets by type. This serves two purposes: it makes it easier to find and keeps you from buying duplicates of items already on hand. Bakeware and cookware were stored in cabinets with special cabinet organizers that are next to the oven and stove to make them more accessible. The dishes were stored in a cabinet that was next to the dishwasher to make unloading the dishwasher quicker and more efficient. Finally, appliances were put in pantry and in the buffet.
With proper organization, time can be saved and stress can be reduced. Sandy's new kitchen and dining room gives her a new space to entertain, write and do homework. Her newly organized cabinets make it easier for her to cook and save her time. The time and investment in this newly organized kitchen created a beautiful, multiuse space.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
HGTV's Mission: Organization: Taking Back the BasementThe Debbie and Jon Katz have a problem: a garage in desperate need of organization. The storage space in the house that been used up and now the family's garage is bursting at the seams with tools, children's toys and long term storage items leaving no room for the family car. Professional organizer Lisa Witts has been sent in to take this space from cluttered and disorganized to a stylish space that Jon, Debbie and their three kids can use for both work and play.
The first step in Lisa's plan is to have the family sort through their belongings in the garage grouping like items together. Once items have been sorted into three main groups, toys, tools and long terms storage, it was time to sort through all the items and decide what will stay, what will be donated to charity and what will go to the curb. Lisa got the kids involved at this point by having them sort through their toys to decide what they still play with and what can be given away.
Once the garage was cleared, Lisa revealed her master plan for the blank canvas of a garage. Where there once was one large shelf for Jon's tools, there will be a new storage system making tools easier to access. Wire shelves will be mounted to the ceilings where long term storage items, like coats, coolers and paints, will be stored in clear plastic containers so their contents can be easily viewed. With storage above, the space opens up allowing for a new arts and crafts area for the three Katz children. Outdoor toys will be placed into bins, bikes placed on racks and the parents' bikes will be suspended from the ceiling since they are not used as often. Old kitchen cabinets that were once used for storage will be replaced by lockers to store seasonal toys.
Now the work begins. A bare-studded wall was drywalled. Then all the walls were painted a light lilac. The floor and foundation to the garage were painted a darker purple. These colors where then accented by a dark cranberry trim. On an empty wall, chalkboard paint was used to create an area for the kids to draw. Around the newly painted chalkboard, metal trim was installed to give the kids places to hang their art. A paper towel holder was repurposed to hold a roll of craft paper completing the art center.
The old shelf that used to store Jon's tools has been replaced by a wall stoage system. This allows for flexibility in a storage system. Like tools were grouped together with the most used tools within reach. Lesser used tools were stored higher on the peg board keeping them out of the way, yet easy to get to when needed.
The Katz family learned gained valuable insight from there garage reorganization. Now they know where objects are stored saving them time. Their possessions are at their fingertips, where as before the garage was too full to be effective as a storage space. Most importantly they feel their kids are safer since tools properly stored and tools and toys have distinct zones.
Monday, January 02, 2006
TLC's Clean Sweep: Big Daddy's Dusty ChairBill and Vicki Moser had a home office and a family room that were overwhelmed by their possessions. Bill's home office was inundated with paper and pamphlets from his home business. Vicki's computer was located in the family room along with all of the kids' toys and art supplies. This room ended up the family’s dumping ground.
But have no fears, Mosers, TLC's Clean sweep team is here to help. Designer Molly Luetkemeyer and professional organizer Shelli Alexander along with the help of carpenter Eric Stromer are here to help you get your life clean and organized!
The small home office was tackled by painting it a bright spring green and placing a mural on the wall. The existing desk was added onto to provide more work space and give a home to the phone and fax machine. The closet was outfitted with additional shelves to allow easy access to everyday business supplies and folders. Hanging storage was placed in a column on a small wall to provide an extra area. Additional boxes and desk accessories were placed on the desk, under tables and on built in shelves to maximize organization and keep everything at arms length.
The lilac family room became zoned, clearly defining the purpose of each portion of the space. A new desk was fashioned from a large floating shelf between two walls in a nook. Storage boxes were added to conceal everyday desk clutter. The kids' zone was defined by a custom built bookcase that also served to conceal toys. Art supplies were placed in see-through boxes to keep them organized but still allow the children to easily see what was inside. To allow the children to display their artwork, the walls were covered in cork. Keeping the theme of children’s art in the room, favorite pieces of art done by the Moser kids were framed to hang in a collage above the family room's new couch.
With help from the Clean Sweep team of professionals the Mosers now have two great rooms where before they had clutter. There are some great ideas in this episode that you can transfer to your own home. Try keeping craft supplies organized by keeping them in clear boxes. Give children a specific zone to do crafts and give them a space to display their work with a magnetic bulletin board. In your office, take advantage of desk organizers to keep your workspace clutter free. Try storage boxes to keep everyday objects out of site, but still keeping them handy. And don't be afraid to use your vertical wall space to help improve your storage situation!