Keep the Plastic Bags Corralled

plastic bag holderTo me, there are fewer things in life more joyful than owning a dog. They provide constant companionship and never ending loyalty. My dog has taught me responsibility, one of which is taking her out when she needs to go. Unfortunately for me, I live in an apartment building with that does not have a backyard for her to go, so I am forced to take my dog out to the nearest public park when she needs to go. Read more

Create An Oasis With The Mandalay Wrought Iron Rocking Chair

Mandalay Wrought Iron Rocking ChairCreating an outdoor space where you can relax and unwind is a great way to make the most of your entire home, indoors and out. Unlike a living room that requires a lot of furniture to look complete, an outdoor space has the luxury of relying on it's natural surroundings to create a cohesive style. Whether you want to create separate spaces for eating and lounging or keep it minimal, it's easy to create an enjoyable garden. Read more

Downsizing: 2 Reasons to Downsize

downsizingWhen I’m asked where to begin downsizing, I’m tempted to say “At the beginning, of course.” But that’s not always the right answer. For each of us, the beginning is different.

Why are you downsizing? Is it because you’ve realized your living space is being taken over with “stuff” and you want to liberate that space? Or are you moving to a smaller home?

Let’s begin with the first option. You’re being squeezed out of your home by the accumulation of things you used to love but don’t any more. This is fairly simple. Read more

Customer Review: Inside Sink Dish Drain SKU 10550 by Linda Dytrych

Inside Sink Dish DrainFrom: Linda Dytrych

Make Sense Of All Those CD's With A Clear Acrylic 30-CD Rack

clear acrylic 30-cd rackI would consider myself to be a novice music fan. When I do want to purchase music, I usually just buy digital music. However, every once in a while I feel the urge to buy an actual hard copy, especially when I really love the artist. I have accumulated about a hundred CD's in my years, but I always have a hard time figuring out where to store them. They always end up in a box at the bottom of my closet, where they go criminally neglected! Because I don’t have a very large collection of compact discs, I didn’t want to over pay for a rack that was too big. I was in need of a solution. Read more

Save Precious Space with a Folding Dish Rack

folding steel dishrackI have quite the predicament on my hands; I live in a small studio apartment that does not provide very much counter space in the kitchen. Compounding this annoyance is the fact that my apartment also does not have a dishwasher, so I am forced to hand-wash each and every single one of my dishes. I will be the first to admit that I can be a little lazy when it comes to household chores. So just washing all of my dishes is enough work, you forget about hand-drying each dish after I am done with washing! Read more

Wood Bed Lifters Could Be The Perfect Gift

wood bed liftersMy little sister is going away to college after the holidays, and I was contemplating the perfect gift for her going-away party. She is going away to a huge state college, one that is notorious for its particularly miniscule dorm rooms. My sister is majoring in fashion marketing, so she has tons of clothes, just mountains of them. She has racks and drawers and shelves and cubbies, all full of her favorite clothes. She wanted to take as much of her clothes as possible with her, so I tried to find a handy storage solution. Read more

Review: Scroll Letter Holder with Hooks

Scroll Letter Holder with HooksIn the even partnership I have with my wife, I am the lucky one who gets to be in charge of checking the mail and sorting it out. Our mailbox only has one key, and I was the one that got to hold it. That means I get to see the new magazines first, steal all the good coupons for myself and read all the thank-you cards, wedding invitations and postcards we get from our family and friends first.

Unfortunately that also means I am in charge of sorting the mail, which is something I am not very good at. Read more

Product Review: Non-Slip Stair Treads

non slip stair treadsI absolutely love the hardwood floors in the entryway to my home. The floor gives the area great charm and really adds an air of sophistication to my apartment. The hardwood floors are easy to maintain and keep clean, but there was one slight issue. And that issue was my dog. When she is coming home from a walk, she is always in a mad scurry to get back, and sprints through the front door without abandon. The only problem with her exuberance is that hardwood floors and doggy claws are not a good mix at all. I started to notice a few severe scratch marks on the otherwise pristine wood floors. Read more

Product Review: Hotel Style Luggage Rack – Foldaway Suitcase Stand

Hotel Style Luggage RackAn inviting and comfortable guest room should bring relaxing hotel touches to your home.  Create a casual yet stylish space for your guests by adding things they probably wouldn't have packed, like a robe or slippers. Scented candles or a cozy throw blanket are a good way to create a warm feel. Pick up some fresh flower at the store or grab some plush throw pillows from around the house to give the bed a decadent feel. These little touches are a great way to welcome your guest. Read more

Lap Desk to the Rescue

mydesk lap deskAt the end of a long day, all my wife and I want to do is relax and watch a couple of our favorite television shows.  However, my wife is an elementary school teacher and she has work to correct at the end of the day.  One of the most difficult things for her to do is correct schoolwork and homework when she is trying to watch the television.  She is left with one of two options: either she would have to sit at the kitchen table, way-away from the TV, or she could use the coffee table, slumped over her work and with a sore back. Read more

Product Review: Lapp Topper Vinyl & Plastic Lap Desk

Lapp Topper Lap DeskWho among us haven’t been caught sitting on the couch, swamped by the day-to-day commonalities such as bill paying, assessing the month’s family food budget, or composing letters to love ones, while simultaneously attempting to enjoy not only a deliciously hot beverage, but also a favorite television program?

I know I have, and sometimes it is a real humdrum conundrum. There is just not enough space on my sofa for all of those activities, certainly not all at once. If only we as a species were gifted with more hands and arms! Alas, we were not. Read more

Eliminate Your Growing Clutter…Weeds!

weedsLet’s start by defining clutter.

That’s what being a Rik Rak Sister is all about after all. I’m just making sure that we’re on the same page before we get to the meat of the matter.

Clutter – n. A confused or disordered state or collection; a jumble; a disorderly heap or assemblage; litter

That’s according to some on-line dictionary I found. But I don’t need to mince fancy vocabulary with you. Let’s get down to brass tax and say what it really means…
Clutter = all the crap that’s in your way. Read more

Travel Organization: Airport Advice

Travel-organizationAs much as you might be looking forward to your next trip, there is always some stress involved planning. Airports don’t make things any easier, with rules and regulations that can make getting through security seem as time consuming as the trip itself. From that feeling in the pit of your stomach that you must have forgotten something to worrying about missing your flight, there’s a lot to keep track of.

The easiest way to keep stress at bay is by planning ahead. With some organization, the right tools and a little forethought, getting in and out of any airport is easy. Read more

10 Things to Unleash Your Inner Neat Freak

get organizedHere's another great post from the gals over at GetButtonedUp.com, Sarah Welch & Alicia Rockmore – enjoy!

Getting organized was one of the top three New Year’s resolutions in 2009 for the majority of people. If you were one of the people hankering to get a little bit more buttoned up this year, but haven’t quite gotten off the mark, what’s holding you back? Are you overwhelmed and wondering where to start? Are you too busy? No matter the excuse, we’ve put together a list of ten simple things you can do today, this week, or this month to get you on your way to a neater, more organized life. Read more

Effective To Do Lists

to do listPlease welcome my friends Sarah Welch & Alicia Rockmore from Buttoned Up – enjoy their post!

No matter the format, what you write down gets done. According to Dave Kohl, a professor emeritus at Virginia Tech., people who regularly write down their goals earn nine times as much over their lifetimes as people who don’t. Think about that for a moment. No matter how lofty or simple your goals may be, reaching them requires a systematic approach. And that begins by writing your to do list down; don’t just think it, ink it! Read more

Clutter From Another Mother

rik-rak-sister KarenHere's a post from my friend Karen over at www.BigGreenHead.com – enjoy!

Oh yes, you know what I'm talking about. All that stuff that has been "passed down" by family. This is a Rik Rak Sister’s worst nightmare! Not only does it add to your pile of stuff, for which you need to find storage, but there are unspoken rules and strings that come attached to these items. One misstep could result in being banished from the family gift exchange. So what is the protocol for dispensing with these unwelcomed items? Read more

5 Ways to Slim-Line Your Wardrobe

organizedHere's a guest post from my friend, Sheila Chandra, from 'across the pond' – enjoy!

Most people wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time… That sounds like a bit of a waste doesn’t it? And the reason they tend to do that, is because many people’s closets are over-stuffed and in chaos. How would it feel to open the doors on a well organised wardrobe every morning? Would it save you 5 minutes every day? Read more

Kitchen Organizing Tips from a Personal Chef

pop containers~Guest post from Pamela Nevarez-Fisher~

Being a chef for the last thirty years, (OMG!…has it been THAT long??) has taught me alot about being organized! I have worked in small kitchnens, large kitchens, clean kitchens, dirty kitchens….you name it! But, the absolute best kitchen is, no doubt, an organized one.

While there is alot to be said about working in a small space, it's certainly not any good unless you know where to find things. I always preferred small kitchens, because things could be done within an arm's reach. Read more

Vicky and Jen's 100th Podcast

VickyandJen.comOnly one week left!
Join the fun on October 22nd as our friends over at Vicky and Jen.com release their special show in honor of their 100th podcast, featuring a few special past guests (The Sneaky Chef, The Noise Guy and Dr. Romance to name a few!)!

They have 30 awesome prizes to give away – donated by some great companies like King Arthur Flour, The Pampered Chef, DaysAgo Counters, Flip and Tumble, and Klutz!

Deadline is November 4, 2008 (midnight EST) – good luck!

Simple Ways to Improve the Resale Value of Your Home

houseWith all of the homes on the market it is more important than ever to make sure that your home stands out to potential buyers. Before placing your home on the market consider doing some simple and inexpensive work on your home to really make your home stand out.

Remember that first impressions count!

The exterior of your home is the first thing a potential buyer will see. Make it inviting and it will set a good first impression. Make sure that there is no trash or debris in the yard and that the lawn is mowed and edged and looks well kept.

Make the foliage inviting: trim the hedges and weed and mulch the flower garden. If you do not have a flower bed consider investing in one– an inviting yard makes a great first impression. Read more

YOU Can Contribute Tips & Photos to Clutter Control Freak

freakWe want you to contribute tips, before & after photos, videos, stories, and advice to Stacks and Stacks' Clutter Control Freak Blog. Other readers will get to vote on which contributions are the most useful. Here are some of the ways you can participate:

   • Freak of the Week
Send us your nomination for the Clutter Control Freak of the Week with photos or videos and readers will pick the winner, who will get a cool prize.

The Freak of the Week can be a person, a process, a before & after, or a how-to.

   • Clutter Hacks
Send us ideas, products, and tips on clearing clutter from your life. We especially love to hear about clutter hacks that take less than 10 minutes to do. Read more

Download Clutter Control Freak Blog's Clutter Hack Widget or Our Custom Toolbar So You Never Miss a Clutter Hack

toolbar.pngNow there are three great ways to be sure you never miss a clutter hack from Clutter Control Freak Blog:
widget   • The Clutter Hack of the Day Widget for your Google Desktop. (Download Google Desktop here first. Then, download the widget here.)

   • The Clutter Hack of the Day Widget for your blog. (Download it here.)

   • The new Clutter Control Freak Toolbar that lets you access our latest posts and all our features, instantly, from your browser. It's easily customizable, has Google-powered search, and is compatible with Internet Explorer and/or Firefox on Mac and PC. (Download it here.) Read more

Reader Hack: Re-use Boxes

kleenexI used Kleenex lavishly to keep after my kids messes and saved the empty boxes. I cut open the top leaving a half inch all around and then stapled the ends for added strength. I made (or had my older kids make) large labels for the box ends. These fit nicely on most bookcases and have made wonderful free organizers.

I used them for sewing notions, household items such as batteries, tape, glue, string, hair accessories, dog "things", tools, workroom items, such as sandpaper or paintbrushes, also for craft items and kids supplies such as pens, pencils , crayons, etc. the list is endless. Read more

Reader Hack: Homework Help

file_boxesHomework Clutter? I have two kids that get notes, homework, permission forms, etc and they used to be all over my kitchen island. They were mixed up, and I usually forgot things, which is a pain.

I now have two plastic magazine holders, one for each girl. When they come home from school, they put all their homework, agenda, papers, etc into their own holder. After dinner we look through to see what needs to be processed for the next day. Once the item is complete, it goes into their backpack.

If the bin is empty, there is nothing to do re: homework or school stuff.

Hope I helped.

Submitted by Lisa

5 Steps to Organizing your Home Office

bunny-slippersThere are some great perks to working from home; bunny slippers, coffee at anytime, and TV. However, time management can be a real issue. (9 to 5 never went by so fast!). One of the best ways to manage time when working from home is to stay organized. Here are five steps to organize your home office!

1. Clear the Cables: Power cords and phone wires can make a room look disorganized even when everything else is in place, so clear the cords! You can use reusable Velcro straps or cable clips to keep them in place. Read more