Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Principles of Organization

Doesn't it feel great to get your home organized?  The hardest part is just figuring out where to begin. According to Houzz there are 10 principles that keep the process simple and keep you from becoming overwhelmed.

1. Determine your active and passive areas: The spots that you touch or pass daily are considered active.  This can include the entryway, top drawers and eye-level shelves. Passive areas are the zones that are used less frequently like a guest room, low shelving, and deep nooks in closets.  Keep the items you don't use frequently in the less active spaces.
2. Don't overorganize: You need to be able to find things when you need them.  Clear containers and open baskets help corral contents while still letting you see inside. If you use containers that aren't transparent, you might take a picture of the objects inside or label them.
3.Beautify open storage: Choose carefully whatever you decide to display on open shelves.  Make certain it is visually pleasing and colorfully arranged.
4. Make clean up a breeze: Especially when it comes to kids' toys, use easily accessible bins, boxes, hampers and hooks.  
5. Arrange by task: The easiest way to describe this is to think of a first-aid kit.  Conveniently cluster everything you might need to care for an injury.  Shoe boxes work well for grouping small items together.
6. Everybody needs a mudroom or similar area: Create a space for all of the stuff that is constantly in transit like keys, leashes, purses, etc. Don't let these items randomly pile up.  Dedicate a space that will keep them all neat.  The most logical space would be to put a few baskets on a shelf near the main entrance to your home.
7. Subdivide: If you are using a drawer to store small items consider an organizer.  Without them you are inviting clutter and chaos in the kitchen.  Subdivide your junk drawer, office supplies, cutlery, etch. and arrange neatly into drawers.
8. Look up:  Organize vertically by using shelf risers to increase cabinet capacity. Add wall mounted hooks and holders to store brooms, mops, and handled tools to get them off the floor.
9. Choose wisely:  Pick the right container for the job at hand.  You don't want to ruin your wedding gown or precious family photos.  Be smart and take preventative measures by choosing acid free containers for pictures or breathable boxes for storing clothing.
10. Keep it low: Store heavy items low so you don't have to balance something that weighs a ton while wobbling on a ladder. You wouldn't want a heavy item to fall out of a cabinet and land on someone's head so keep anything that takes effort to lift down below waist height.
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Monday, June 13, 2016

Kitchen Projects that Pay You Back

Adding major value to your home can easily be achieved by using modern, stylish material (  Simply updating countertops and sinks can set the tone for the entire kitchen. Popular choices include granite, quartz, concrete, marble, slate, tile and onyx. Laminates, while priced low, are generally considered outdated.

When choosing a material for your home, consider durability, maintenance and cost.  Natural stone counters can cost up to $300 per square foot. The elegant, earthy, upscale look is pulling homeowners toward the wide range of colors offered by stones like marble, limestone and soapstone.

The fewer seams and less porous the material, the less likely it will be to have water and bacteria creating unsanitary conditions. Stainless steel and solid surface counters are not porous and offer a look that is seamless.

Sinks are also getting smarter and more stylish.  Undermount sinks, versus the traditional top mount, are trendy and offer a sleek design. Today's kitchens are highly functional with multiple work zones.  Many homeowners are installing drain trays and built in preparation boards to add extra workspace.

While budgets can be limiting, kitchen design has infinite possibilities. Choose attractive modern patterns and materials that create a unique look for your home and bring you satisfaction. When it comes time to sell, your happiness will shine through to new potential buyers.

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