Thursday, December 14, 2017
Home and Garden

Spring cleaning doesn't have to be painful

Spring cleaning season is upon us — and experts nationwide say it doesn't have to cost a fortune to organize your home. In fact, it doesn't have to cost more than a few bucks and a little work. If your home is already tidy, you're on the fast track toward easier spring cleaning. Follow these handy tips to conquer every nook and cranny in your home, so your house will be superorganized.

Embrace your inner shover

If you prefer hooks over hangers, drop-over folding and bins without lids, then you're a "shover," said Erica Ecker, professional organizer in New York with the Spacialist. "Shovers are broad organizers, not granular ones," Ecker said. "They prefer open space. They believe that less categorization is better for them." If you're a shover, then you need to get products that work for your organizational style, such as Land of Nod's Cubby Cups (pictured above, $24.95 at landofnod.com), which can sit on a desk or attach to a wall — and are perfect for organizing tabletops, Ecker said.

The two-year rule

If you haven't used something or worn it in two years, then it's time to say good-bye, said Nina Smith, organization expert from the Container Store. "These items take up valuable space and probably won't be missed," she said.

Kitchen zones

This is best for determining how to arrange a kitchen — and especially good if you're starting from scratch. Kitchens have four main areas: prep, baking, cooking and washing. "Place the towels near the sink, the knives near the cutting boards in the same area that you actually prep, the pots and pans and stove-top gadgets near the stove, etc.," said Karen Duncan, a certified professional organizer based in Florida.

Sort and purge

Can't decide what to keep and what to toss? "Put like with like so you can easily decide if you really want to keep a specific item," Duncan said. You don't need two similar items, and once you put them next to each other, you can quickly decide which one is best.

Discover secret storage

Even if you think you've used up every last inch of storage, there's probably a little more space that's just hiding from view, Ecker said. "Take, for instance, that gigantic lobster pot that you used three times in the last seven years," she said. "It's great for stashing one-time items for their annual use like leftover July Fourth, Christmas or Halloween paper goods — and for steaming lobster, of course," she said. You can also use cake stands and covers for storing cake decorating tips and sprinkles; large Tupperware cake totes for stashing extra sugar and flour sacks; and empty space in pantry, linen and clothing closets for under-shelf baskets.

Label your cables

Don't bother spending the money on a cable zipper or a tube to stow your wires, Ecker said. "They're nice, but they're a pain when you've got to remove something." Instead, get a labelmaker (like the Epson LabelWorks LW-300 Label Maker, $39.99 at epson.com), punch in the name of the wire (printer or hard drive, etc.), print it out and wrap that label around it near the plug end. "Next time you're rummaging around on the floor, you'll know which wire is which without having to do the crazy yank test, which is not only a huge pain, it could actually cause you to lose data or damage your equipment."

You can also label the wires that sit on your desktop — especially the ones that aren't always connected to their devices. Label your networking cable, so that when it's needed, you're not figuring out what goes with what, Ecker said. Finally, use grip-twist or gear ties to wrangle the whole bunch into one unit, or individual cable ties to corral excess cords.

Comments
Hometown Pasco for Dec. 15

Hometown Pasco for Dec. 15

We want your news!Hometown Pasco is devoted to everyday life in our county, whether it’s snapshots from your family reunion, recreational sporting event, news from your last club meeting or just a few lines thanking someone for a job well done. You ...
Published: 12/13/17
Hometown Hernando for Dec. 15

Hometown Hernando for Dec. 15

We want your news!Hometown Hernando is devoted to everyday life in our county, whether it’s snapshots from your family reunion, recreational sporting event, news from your last club meeting or just a few lines thanking someone for a job well done. Y...
Published: 12/13/17
Timely Tendings: Beware of buying or gifting invasive plant species

Timely Tendings: Beware of buying or gifting invasive plant species

Beware of buying or gifting invasive plant speciesPlants make great gifts to give and receive. But .?.?. beware invasive species lurking in local garden centers or nurseries. Many invasive species are still commonly sold and if you plant them in your...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/12/17
Review: Amazon wants a key to your house. I did it. I regretted it.

Review: Amazon wants a key to your house. I did it. I regretted it.

I gave Amazon.com a key to go into my house and drop off packages when I’m not around. After two weeks, it turns out letting strangers in has been the least-troubling part of the experience.Once Amazon owned my door, I was the one locked into an all-...
Published: 12/08/17
Want the perfect Christmas tree? We asked an expert for help

Want the perfect Christmas tree? We asked an expert for help

Lights, ribbons, tinsel, flowers — how do you get that perfect look? We asked designer Ken Neddo of Classic Florals in St. Petersburg to help with this yearly decorating event.   * What do you see as the general trends in Christmas tree deco...
Published: 12/05/17
Timely Tendings: As holidays approach, find the right plants; keep an eye on edibles in the garden

Timely Tendings: As holidays approach, find the right plants; keep an eye on edibles in the garden

Get holiday plants: trees, poinsettias and cactiLiving Christmas trees are a fun, lasting way to celebrate the holiday season that can then be planted to provide a lifetime of enjoyment. Unfortunately a commonly sold plant for this is the Norfolk Isl...
Published: 12/01/17
Updated: 12/05/17
5 first-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid

5 first-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid

Thinking about buying your first home? Before you can unlock the door to homeownership, you have to take some important first steps. From finding the perfect location to financing your purchase, shopping for your first home has challenges that go bey...
Published: 11/30/17
Updated: 12/05/17
Hometown Hernando for Dec. 8

Hometown Hernando for Dec. 8

We want your news!Hometown Hernando is devoted to everyday life in our county, whether it’s snapshots from your family reunion, recreational sporting event, news from your last club meeting or just a few lines thanking someone for a job well done. Y...
Published: 11/29/17
Updated: 12/07/17
Plan and budget for a good return on your garden investment

Plan and budget for a good return on your garden investment

The first of the 2018 seed catalogs will be arriving soon in the mail, signaling the start of another growing season. Savvy vegetable gardeners pore over the pages while choosing plants and drafting budgets. Planning ahead provides healthier returns ...
Published: 11/28/17
Updated: 12/05/17
Diggin’ Florida Dirt: Gardeners share suggestions for holiday gifts

Diggin’ Florida Dirt: Gardeners share suggestions for holiday gifts

If I had to choose just one garden tool to be shipwrecked with on an uninhabited island, it would be my Felco 2 pruners. They clip anything up to about a half-inch diameter — even thicker when I push it, which I do.Even my daughter marveled when I qu...
Updated one month ago