PLAIN VANILLA FRESHens FRIDGE the best
Here's a tip from Mr. Appliance of Pinellas, a repair franchise system: To eliminate odors in the refrigerator, pour some vanilla extract into a bowl with a paper towel. Don't use products with a citrus scent. The fragrance can be absorbed by the plastic parts in the refrigerator and may never leave.
Learn to techorate your home
Word of the week: "techorate." It refers to the integration of technology into the overall decorative theme of a home. Like figuring out how to incorporate a flat-screen TV into your home, suggests Doug Wilson, the Trading Spaces bad boy who is LG Electronics' first official "techorator." LG says its consumer surveys show 70 percent of us don't know how to make our electronics fit our home decor.
Don't label moving boxes for thieves
Moving soon? Don't list the valuable contents on the outsides of your packing cartons. It's one thing to mark a box "towels" or "bathroom items." A box labeled "crystal" or "antique perfume bottles" is making it just too easy for potential thieves, a comment at marthastewart.com cautions. Better idea: Keep a list on paper of each box's contents, then assign the box a number. Or mark a box full of valuables with a code word, like your mother's first name.
Quote of the week
“Today, only 25 percent of U.S. households have school-age children; household growth in the decades ahead will be among retirees, empty nesters, unrelated singles, immigrants, single parents and other nontraditional families. All are population groups looking for more community and less commuting."
Edward T. McMahon, Urban Land Institute
You'll be sitting pretty outdoors
Get the lanai or the deck ready for some Mother's Day celebrating on Sunday, or some stylish relaxation all summer. These are all from Pier 1: painted wood dining table ($199) and folding chair ($99 each), both in chili; and wire hanging lanterns ($20). There's also a hand-painted canvas umbrella, not shown ($50).
Judy Stark, Times homes and garden editor