PINK ORGANIZING PRODUCTS FOR VALENTINE’S DAY

In honor of Valentine’s Day (and my favorite color), I decided to get in the spirit and do a quick roundup of some of our favorite products to use for organizing projects, all in some shade of pink. Most of them are kid-related, but I threw in some grown-up options too for the romantic at heart.

Plastic bins

1. Pink shopping tote
2. Iris storage boxes
3. Alphabet tote
4. Large flex tub
5. Weathertight storage boxes

Soft storage bins

1. Mini pompom canvas bin
2. Three Sprouts unicorn bin
3. Handled nesting bins
4. Striped cube storage bin
5. Fringed basket

Closet storage

1. Shoe box with pink lid
2. Lined wooden closet organizer
3. Pink polka dot hangers
4. Suede stackable jewelry trays
5. Acrylic makeup and jewelry organizer

Desk organization

  1. Pink 5-drawer cabinet
    2. Pink lemonade 4-drawer unit
    3. Neon acrylic accessory trays
    4. Document boxes
    5. Ban.do sticky note set

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GERMAPHOBE’S GUIDE: HOW TO KILL GERMS AND AVOID GETTING SICK THIS WINTER

I’m a germaphobe anyway on the best of days, but with the flu being so bad this winter and all of the other bugs going around, it has kicked my routine into overdrive. Here are a few easy ways to take care of business this season and stop these illnesses in their tracks:

There are general precautions that you can take in your day-to-day life that can help you prevent picking up random illnesses, whether you’re out in public or in the safety of your own home.

At the grocery store
Use a wipe to clean the handle of the grocery cart. Most stores provide them now, although I carry extras in my bag just in case. If you’re a Type A germaphobe like me, use extra wipes to clean the seat and the bottom of the cart (I’ve seen babies and dogs in both).

Use hand sanitizer after touching the pinpad at the grocery (or any) store checkout. I carry small bottles in my purse, work bag and car. If you don’t want to buy Purell (it just happens to be my favorite brand), make sure to buy a hand sanitizer that is alcohol-based and contains a minimum of 60 percent alcohol (usually listed as ethyl alcohol). Anything with less than 60% alcohol, or non-alcohol-based, is going to be much less effective.

Airplane travel
On an airplane, use wipes to clean everything in and around your seat, including the seat itself (if it’s not fabric), armrests, seat back button, tray table, light switch and air vent. And as far as that nasty seat pocket in front of you that’s probably harboring all kinds of germs, I always line mine with a plastic bag from the airport store and use it to stash my water bottle, Kindle and snacks. And of course it goes without saying: use hand sanitizer before eating anything.

One-ounce hand sanitizer bottles
Hand wipes
Disinfecting wipes

At home
Wipe down your phone  and tv remotes every night. I like to use these individually wrapped Purell wipes because they have a good texture and are not too drippy; just be sure to use them carefully and not damage your electronics.

Once a day, do a wipedown of cabinet and door knobs, light switches and faucets. Do this more often if someone in your house is sick.

Wash your hands before eating anything, and put your phone down while you eat! Hand washing is best, but sanitizer is a good alternative if you can’t get to a sink. I keep a large bottle of Purell right inside my back door to make it super easy for guests to use if they don’t want to wash their hands.

More tools for your germ-fighting arsenal from item-specific cleaning to Norovirus-fighting weapons:

Norovirus-killing disinfectant spray
Phone sanitizer
Toothbrush sanitizer
Hydrogen peroxide wipes
Air purifier
Portable light wand sanitizer

 

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HOW TO ORGANIZE ORNAMENTS WHILE YOU DECORATE FOR THE HOLDAYS

Although I vowed not to start decorating for Christmas until after Thanksgiving this year (we started waaay too early last year, and I have to admit that as much as I love all things Christmas, I got a little burned out by the time the actual day rolled around), it's never too early to start thinking about organizing for the holidays, especially if your holiday storage is bursting at the seams and you're already dreading taking down your decorations.

THE PROCESS

The best time to organize is during the decoration process. Get out those boxes and start to purge as you take things out. As each ornament comes out, it goes into a category:

  • Use now (put it up on that tree!)
  • Trash/recycle (if it's broken or damaged)
  • Donate (if you don't like it, you'll never use it, and it has no sentimental value)
  • Save (ornaments that you're keeping but not using this year)

CONTAINERS 

If you've determined that you have sufficient containers to store everything that you're keeping, set them aside until after the holidays. I just put everything back empty into its storage spot in my garage. If you need to add or upgrade storage, make sure you order the best containers for the job.

The best bins for tree ornaments have separate compartments for each ball or small ornament. They keep everything separate and protected, and you can pop the ornaments right into the box without having to wrap them with tissue paper. Each bin will specify how many ornaments it holds, so keep a rough count as you decorate (including ornaments that you're saving for next year) and you'll know how many to buy. Label each box by category, either by room, color (silver, red, etc.) or style (vintage, ball, delicate, etc.)

Other options:
Red storage chest with dividers (I have two of these and love them!)
Snapware 3-tier plastic container
Green Treekeeper ornament storage

For anything that is too big to fit into a divided storage box, I recommend either a large tub like this or one with removable dividers like this. There are also specialized options, if you need storage for items like wreaths or lights.

On the subject of large decorations, I want to mention that I finally broke down and purchased an artificial tree. It's something I never thought I would do, and I know it's not for everyone. One of my favorite childhood Christmas memories is going to pick out our tree every year at the tree farm near the town where I grew up in NJ. Most years we would pick out our tree and they would cut it down for us, but a couple of times, we even cut down our own tree - not quite as fun as it sounded, but a great Christmas memory nonetheless.When I moved to San Diego, I tried to keep up the tradition for a few years, but it just wasn't the same - smaller trees for much higher prices, and not a great selection. So as much as I miss the smell of a freshly cut fir tree, buying a fake tree has made my holiday season so much easier that I have never looked back. The only regret I have about it is that the first couple of years, I stored it in the box it came in, and it took me about an hour to wrestle it back in. You're much better off buying a storage bag like this:

Storage bags come in several sizes, so make sure to measure your tree before you buy the bag to ensure that it will fit! Remember, the key is to not put unwanted ornaments back into storage, because they will take up valuable real estate. Set yourself up for success by having your storage options ready to go, and your tree takedown and cleanup will be a breeze.

Happy organizing!

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FAVORITES: WHITE AND WOOD ORGANIZING PRODUCTS

My favorite season is here, and as I go about editing and re-organizing my house for spring, I keep getting drawn to these sleek white designs with light wood accents.

There's something about this color/texture combo that is so fresh and springlike. For those of you in the midst of spring cleaning, new bins or canisters can be just the motivation you need to keep going.  Add in some of these items to contain, organize or display the items you are keeping and you are good to go.

 

 
 
SHOP THE LIST:
 
1. // 2. // 3. // 4. // 5. // 6. // 7. // 8. // 9.

 

In the kitchen: Gather all of your coffee and tea necessities from around the kitchen (they tend to spread out to different cabinets and shelves around the room, don't they?) and use the white lacquered bamboo tray to corral them and create a streamlined coffee or tea station on your kitchen counter. Use a couple of the bamboo jars to hold coffee beans, tea bags or sugar. Or splurge on a matching set of Le Creuset kitchen utensils if you're looking to up your utensil game.

 
 
In the linen closet: It's easy to tidy up a messy linen closet with a few simple tricks. The open weave of these bamboo and metal baskets are perfect for holding folded or rolled sheets and towels neatly (for those of us who have a hard time stacking folded linens neatly) while letting you see what's inside.    
 
 

 

In the bedroom: Go through your costume jewelry, purge what you no longer use, and show off your favorites with the Tosca accessory stand on your vanity or dresser.

In the bathroom: If you're short on storage space for towels, lean a ladder against a wall and hang your towels there (or reading material, robes. etc.)...since the width is adjustable, it can fit into the narrowest of spaces. And while we're on the subject of being short on storage space, use the Umbra caddy to store makeup or hair tools for easy access.

Happy Organizing!

 
 
 
 
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