Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Reader's Questions: Organizing and Storing Kid's Toys

"One area I always have a hard time organizing is kid's closets and toys. Could you do a post on how to tackle all the toys and small bedrooms? My first instinct is to put shelves in the closets with bins and label all the bins accordingly but I wonder if there is a better solution. Thanks for your help."

You don't have to reinvent the wheel just because you're dealing with kids. Like every other area in the house, make it as easy as possible to use and store your things.

Bins are a great solution that can be done on any budget. Designate a category for each bin: legos, dolls, cars, etc. Make a hand written label with a little drawing, or use a label maker with a photo you take yourself and print out, then tape it to the bin/box. And as your kids get bigger, the bins can be repurposed to hold books, clothes, or whatever else. You can also repurpose what you have; a dresser, a bookshelf, or any other furniture you may have on hand.

I strongly encourage parents to teach their children how to organize and make your kids put things back where they belong. Think of a kindergarten class; the room is organized by activity, all things have a place, and ALL the kids clean up after each activity before moving onto the next.

I hope this helps!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Dry Clean Only?

Although I have a fantastic dry cleaner who got chocolate out of ivory silk and blueberry out of a silk/wool throw, unless I have a major stain on one of my 'dry clean only' wool and cashmere sweaters, and silk tops, I hand wash them at home in my large ss kitchen sink (that I give a good scrubbing beforehand).

I was going to make an instructional video but the brilliant ladies at The Laundress already have a great one on their YouTube channel. The Laundress has a number of wonderful cleaning products, but I use Ecover Delicate Wash. I soak two or three pieces at a time for about 10 minutes in cool water. Gently place the piece flat in the water and slowly push it down into the water without agitating or shaking it. I use their towel rolling technique for water removal instead of ringing for cashmere and wools, then air dry.

Do you hand wash your 'dry clean only' pieces?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Spring Cleaning

It's spring time here in NYC, the perfect time to give your space a good deep clean (whether you're in NYC or not!). Pull the curtains, open the windows, and get some fresh air and light into your home. The goal is to clear out what isn't adding to your life, fix what needs to be fixed, move some furniture around and give your space a fresh new perspective.

Just pick one spot to start and move around your space dealing only with the things you know are going to be donated, sold, trashed, recycled, etc. The idea is to get things out of the home quickly so you can see and feel the change in the space immediately.

  • focus on your immediate decisions.
  • start with the things that are out (in plain site) before digging into closets, cabinets, and drawers.
  • do one area/room/closet/cabinet at a time.
  • clean as you go: vacuum out drawers, wipe down shelves, hinges and tops of doors.
  • clean out the insides of closets completely including baseboards, inside door frame, shelves, and clothes rods.
  • get caught up in decision making (a common mistake!), if you're unsure about whether to keep something, just keep it and move on. you can always readdress it at the end.
  • hold onto things for donation until you're 'done'. it's better to make several trips over time than to have too much sitting around clogging the space.
  • move onto another area until you're finished with the area you started.
NOTE: Spring cleaning is yearly maintenance, so if you haven't gone through my process of completely going through your space, click here and get to work!

20% off + Free Shipping at Hangers.com

I love Hangers.com, especially their metal hangers. Just enter promo code: HCMAY10 at the checkout or on the phone. Offer expires May 28th.

Friday, May 14, 2010

New Posts Coming...

Hi guys! Sorry I haven't been posting lately. Not only have I been busy with new projects including helping my mother decorate her new apartment, but I also need periodic breaks from writing. I don't want to post something just to post something; I think you deserve better than that!

But I'm back now, so expect new posts shortly :O)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Updated Website

Hi! I wanted to show you the the changes I made to my website.
You may have to refresh your browser, but check it out here.

Love These!

Use the wall mounted metal Slat Ring all over the house for magazines, towels, jewelry and belts, scarves, put stuffed animals in it in a kid's room...

This long Spontan magnetic board has a little shelf on the bottom. Put it in the entry to hold family notes, mail, keys; in the office; or in your closet to hold inspirational pictures, jewelry, and accessories.

The Fridge Monkey holds any kind of bottles and/or cans. Use it in the fridge, in a cabinet, and/or on a bookshelf for wines. Cut it to fit anywhere...

Of course I love them all more if they came in white!