Lost Socks

Lost Socks

Lost Socks – The Antidote

We all have them – well most of us. Lost socks. Orphaned socks. The one that got away, ran away, got eaten – or disappeared into the sock black hole never again to be found. We keep the orphaned socks, hoping the mates will show up some day, like the tomcat who went out carousing. Only the socks usually aren’t out rollicking. They are, sadly and simply, lost socks.

The bag of lost socks may hang on the back of a door or in a closet – a big dumb clump of fabric and annoying reminder of a careless moment (or twenty). I have had such a bag for ten years. Every year or two, I dump them out, take another assessment, and then put them away after another failed attempt at matching.

Eventually, the lost socks get converted into dust cloths and then relegated to the trash soon after. It’s a sad thing, a widowed sock. Dusting with one is only a reminder of the thing that’s missing. I discovered something recently though, that put an end to my lost sock problem – SockPro Wash Organizer Discs. They’re made of flexible rubber and have non-destructive grips that hold your socks together. The rubber is completely safe for the washer and dryer and super-easy to use. Simply pull your socks through the center and the built-in soft teeth grip them, holding them in perfect pairs.

If you make it a habit to insert your sock pairs into the SockPro as soon as you take them off, you’ll never lose another sock. They come in sets of ten and are inexpensive – well worth the cost to keep your socks happily married forever.

Love, Clutter Control Freak
lost socks sockpro

My Closet is Scary: Confessions of a Clutter Control Freak

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My Closet is Scary

My closet is scary. What’s in my closet? Well, clothes from previous decades (I won’t say how many) that I may alternately bulge out of or get lost in. Clothes with room for several people from a body image issue I finally conquered. Odd-looking clothes, with tags still attached, that I apparently bought while in a fugue state and did and will not wear – ever. Strange clothes from some unidentified person – where did they come from? Who knows? Polyester clothes. Clothes with moth holes, worn out knees, bleach spots, food stains, etc. The gigantic box of jeans I accidentally bought on eBay… all of which strangely slip off of me now… Embarrassing and unflattering both.

Then there are the shoes, the tattered ones that I have an unnatural emotional attachment to and the ones I stopped wearing after that really bad date two years ago – plus the dress shoes that cause painful blisters – the 120 dollar ones. Darn it. I remember that walk in Chicago to the Contemporary that left my feet blistering and weeping for a week after. Of course, I had to buy another pair while there, just to get around. Okay, and shoes I never wear. Lots of them. I’m embarrassed to say how many because, while I’ve always maintained I’m not addictive, I have this one little thing, a habit, if you will… I’m no Imelda Marcos, but I suspect if I contacted the Toronto Bata Shoe Museum, they would want to devote a wing to my collection which includes some great 90s Doc Martens and Steve Maddens. Chunky, witty and ridiculous, I know. The 90s were, I believe, the Renaissance of shoes. Sigh. They don’t make them like that anymore, which is partly why they still exist in my collection.

There are also things that shouldn’t have ever been there like board games (which I hate) and the Twister game from the 70s – which violated my personal-space rules. The Operation game that never did work quite right (good thing we didn’t get shocked).

So here’s the problem: my 1000 square foot house and its two ridiculously makeshift, tiny, oddball closets built by farmers 100-and-some odd years ago. Something’s got to give and I know it involves shoes, board games, and never-worn clothes.

I’m making a pile, as I write this – in the middle of my living room. For Purple Heart, for the shoe museum, for Goodwill and for ceremonial trash bin burning (yes, I live in the country). Eyeing the ill-fitting stack of jeans, that’s an easy 300 in mad money for a rainy day, a Chicago weekend – or a car payment, whichever strikes me at that moment. I’m listing them this weekend and scheduling the Purple Heart pickup for tomorrow.

As I write this, my closet is no longer scary. It’s splendidly empty, waiting for some Clutter Control Freak magic, some cedar, some shelving, some organizing, and possibly something uniquely freakish in a clutter-controlling kind of way.

Yes, I am a Clutter Control Freak. It evolved out of my dark side, my scary closet, and a gradual shift in consciousness, as well as an honest moment about my aversion to board games. As I continue on my journey to organization, I’ll share my experiences with you, my solutions, my tips and tricks, and my joy.

If you have, or have ever had a scary closet, no need to feel bad. Organize it! And feel free to share your stories, before and after photos, etc. in our forthcoming contests on Facebook. Check out www.facebook.com/organizeit for tips, links, articles AND contests. And be sure to bookmark Clutter Control Freak Blog for lots of organizing ideas.

That’s it for today. More soon…

Love,

Clutter Control Freak

 

picture credit: Laurie Halbritter

You might also want to read about closet organizing here.

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Declutter Kitchen Instantly by Tossing These 8 Items

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Tossing duplicate and worn pans and utensils is an excellent way to declutter your kitchen – plus it paves the road to kitchen organization. Kitchen organizing, while a challenge, starts with the difficult process of letting go. Most of what we have, we do not use, and this is true of clothing, kitchen accessories and most other possessions. Here is a list of common things you most likely need to toss to help declutter your kitchen quickly and efficiently. Sometimes we want to sell you things; today we want you to just let go.

1. Duplicate Utensils

You don’t need three spatulas, two slotted spoons and four ladles. Determine what you need and don’t need and give them away or donate them. Utensils takes up tons of storage in your drawers and on your counter. Someone else will be happy to have your discarded ones.

2. Ragged Towels and Dish Cloths

Know when it’s time to let go. Your clean new ones will bring you joy when you see them hanging from the towel bar.

3. Extra Coffee Cups

You saved them because they were gifts, or because you felt guilty. But do you really have to? No. Unload them on your coworkers (don’t tell Marie Kondo) or give them to the Goodwill. Think of all the inches you reclaimed in your cupboard.

4. Extra Drink Containers or Water Bottles

They find their way to the back of the cupboard. You can’t find them. You purchase more. Yes, you must stay hydrated. No, you don’t need all of those extra bottles. You are one person, not a camel – okay, maybe four, including kids, but those bottles are just hogging space in your cupboards. Make sure to check under the car seat too. You’re sure to find more, plus things you might need.

5. Worn Anodized Pans

Toxic, ugly, are you really eating those flaky bits? Use the excuse that they are worn to finally let them go. You’ll feel safer and you won’t regret it. Feel free to toss the duplicate ones too and be glad for the 100 plus cubic inches of space you now have. Pat yourself on the back. Breathe. It’s a good day.

6. Chipped and Cracked Dishes and Glasses

They’re chipped. They’re cracked. They might cut your mouth, or someone else’s. You feel sad every time you see the damage and remember the careless thing you did to break it. It was once shiny and new. Now it’s not. Why keep the negative reminder? You have other ones that are perfect.

7. Expired Canned Goods and Other Food

Think of a reason you need to keep these. No, don’t. Compost pile or trash. Now, please, thank you. You rock.

8. Orphaned Plastic Lids or Storage Containers

You will never find them, so just let go. They are off with the socks somewhere, also never to be found. But rest assured – they are happy, wherever they are, and they’re not alone – they’re keeping the socks company.

Make yourself a nice meal now with your newly spacious kitchen. Or just enjoy a warm cuppa and congratulate yourself. You’re on the right track to decluttering your kitchen. You did it! You let things go. Enjoy your splendid emptiness.

Love,

Clutter Control Freak


You might also enjoy this kitchen cleaning for single people blog post on Organizeit.com.

Tiny House Accessories

tiny house accessories girl kitchen

When converting to small, tiny house accessories are as essential to staying organized as reducing our belongings.

over door towel rack Tiny houses and small kitchens alike make for unique storage problems. Tiny House Accessories such as the Over-Cabinet-Door Rack are lifesavers for small kitchens. This particular one is unique in that it has cleverly-designed, two-sided storage for maximum space efficiency. One side is useful for holding sponges, scouring pads and similar kitchen accessories and the other provides a handy towel hanger, which is great to have right under your sink.

While there are no actual products marketed as “tiny house accessories,” a variety of over-door, over-cabinet-door, under-cabinet, and simply small and efficient products are available for small kitchens and bathrooms. Here is a quick list of space-saving organizing and kitchen products that are well-suited for your tiny house:

  • Collapsible kitchen products: strainers, dishpans, dish drains.
  • Over-cabinet-door towel hangers and racks.
  • Over-door racks: shoe racks, cap racks, clothes racks, pantry bins.
  • Shower caddies that hang over your shower head.
  • Floating shelves add instant storage to any free wall.
  • Expandable cabinet shelves can be tailored to most cabinet sizes.
  • In-drawer spice racks add convenient, concealed storage to any free drawer.
  • Over-toilet storage racks make good use of underutilized space.
  • Wire, over-sink storage shelves provide access to kitchen cleaning supplies.

Of course, when owning a tiny home, reducing your belongings, as well as your attachment to things is as essential to getting organized as having the right tiny house accessories. Simple living is part of the tiny home draw.

We’ll be posting more ideas about tiny home organizing, so be sure to check back. In the interim, you may enjoy these two small kitchen blog posts on Organizeit.com, our sister site:

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Remove Water Stains from Wood

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Remove Water Stains from Wood


7 Tips for Removing Water Rings from Wood Furniture and Wood Surfaces Using Simple Household Products

Spilling a beverage or leaving a window open next to heirloom furniture can feel devastating when it happens. White rings from glasses or blotches from rain can ruin the surface of an otherwise beautiful piece of furniture. Fortunately there are a few solutions to remove water stains from wood that can reduce the appearance of blemishes and sometimes remove them altogether. Of course, if the damage is too great, a furniture piece might require refinishing, but you owe it to yourself to try a few of these easy water stain removal methods before throwing in the towel.

  • Sometimes carefully applied heat via an iron (with a cotton ironing cloth) will lift white rings – especially if they are still fresh. Applying heat removes some of the moisture trapped in the grain.
  • Toothpaste, very carefully rubbed in to a small area with a cloth. Use the white paste, not the gel, and don’t over-rub because the polish can alter the finish and make it glossy.
  • Mayonnaise – rub it over the stain and leave for an hour. Wipe it off and see if it improves the stain.
  • Equal parts olive oil and vinegar. Rub across grain with a soft cloth and see if it restores some of the depth and color of wood. This works the same way as mayonnaise, as it replaces oils in woods but it has a higher oil concentration.
  • Massage petroleum jelly into the stain (yet another variant of the oil remedy).
  • Combine a teaspoon or so of salt with a little water and put that on the stain. Salt has an absorbing capability but will also act as a mild abrasive so do this with caution, or you may polish the surface of your dresser.
  • Mix oil or butter with powdered charcoal or cigarette ashes and rub into the wood. Using a dark substance is especially effective on dark old furniture as it can replace some of the color and conceal the damage.

The main photo shows before and after images of a water-damaged walnut dresser top. Imagine my dismay as I woke to find those water rings after absent-mindedly leaving the windows open. I used the mayonnaise method to remove the water stains, which produced rather amazing results. As you can see in photos, it’s barely visible now. The stains were about two years old. If you treat water damaged wood right away, it’s likely to yield even more impressive results.

There are no guarantees that the methods above will fix your water rings, and please try them at your own risk. Before resorting to refinishing or even veneering your furniture it may be worth it to try some of these water-stain-removal hacks, however.

mayo water stain removal


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Shed and Garage Storage Made Easy

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Now that the snow is gone, every outdoor project I failed to complete last fall looms largely as the rains approach and the perennials begin peeking through the grass. The 2015 winter came suddenly, as it often does, and I haphazardly stashed every garden tool and accessory in my newly-built shed quickly before the first snow fell. With only a single pegboard for storage and no hooks or shelves, the shed is well, a mess. Fortunately, my workplace has lots of garage and shed storage accessories to get me organized and ready for my spring yard-cleaning tasks.

For shovels and rakes, the freestanding rack quickly organizes the weed whacker, shovels, rakes and other gardening tools. It accommodates 20 long-handled tools, 17 short-handled tools, an electrical cord – plus it has casters for short-distance moving. It’s made of resin, is fairly lightweight, and yet sturdy enough to store heavy tools.

The wall storage rack is an alternative way to store gardening tools. Made of metal, it holds up to 50 pounds of shovels, rakes, trimmers and other gardening essentials. This kit includes a single hook, a loop hook, a long-handled hook, two double hooks, and a 48-inch rail which mounts to studs or the wall using included hardware.

The ladder bracket is a super-inexpensive way to keep ladders upright and prevent them from falling over. It doubles as a wheelbarrow rack, so I purchased several. They’re simple to install with only two screws which come in the package.

For household hand tools and other gardening items, this Pegboard 32 Piece Kit has tons of components for many other storage needs. This includes two 18 x 36-inch steel epoxy-coated pegboards which won’t warp or degrade like common boards – plus a huge selection of storage accessories, including single, double and curved hooks. The bright white color will brighten my dim, windowless shed. Other sized and style pegboards are also available in our garage storage section.

For gas cans, spray washing supplies, and other items, a small cabinet is appropriate. We sell both resin and metal storage cabinets here. With an organized shed, now I can spend less time rummaging around for things and more time getting to the important business of yard cleanup!

by Laurie H.

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Closet Storage

To get the most out of your closet space, think vertically.:

Shelf Dividers

To get the most out of your closet space, think vertically. One simple way to do that is to utilize shelf dividers. If you have a classic small closet (like myself), you’re probably working with just one rod and one top shelf.

That top shelf typically becomes lost space because you throw some shoes or sweaters up there and call it a day, but by using shelf dividers you can create space that can be used vertically. Use dividers and stack folded clothes or shoe boxes without worrying about them tipping over. 

I recommend acrylic dividers because they do not have perforations like wire ones, and therefore keep items more secure.

Check out this one from Stacks and Stacks. Made from sturdy acrylic, these dividers are easy to install, do not require hardware and fit on any shelf measuring up to 3/4 inch thick.

Hanging Organizers

The possibilities are limitless with hanging organizers. There are lots of different styles to help get your closet space in order, including: belt organizers, scarf or tie organizers, shelves, bins, shoe pockets, hanging jewelry organizers and more. Out of the whole lot, I cannot live without a scarf hanger and hanging shelves.

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Scarf hangers are very versatile and can be used to corral scarves, belts, ties, layering pieces like camisoles and more.

This 10 hook organizer is my favorite because all of the hooks are parallel, never on top of each other, so you never have to remove other pieces or search under them to get to the item you want. A rubber coating keeps items from falling to the floor, too. And at just $4, you can’t beat the price. 

I also love using hanging shelves/cubbies. Again, thinking vertically will transform so much dead space in your closet into usable storage. This five shelf hanging organizer lets me organize simple pieces without over crowding the closet. I used to hang each camisole and t shirt, but now I can keep them nicely folded and still accessible.

Over the Door Organizers

Last on the list of must-have closet organizers is over the door storage pieces — especially for shoe storage. Leave the bottom of your closet open and use over the door organizers instead. The standard vertical pocket shoe organizers you see everywhere really don’t work as well as you’d like, that’s why I tend to opt for something with larger, horizontal pockets like this closet door organizer.

This organizers fits great on the inside of your closet door and holds up to 26 pairs. I also like to stick hats, handbags, stockings and other accessories in the pockets. Three top hooks keep it secure over any door measuring up to 1 3/4 inches thick.

 Shop OrganizeIt.com for custom closet designs and schedule a free consultation today!

Star Wars Storage Combats Toy Clutter

ball gown prom dresses The last of the Christmas cookies are gone, the tree has been taken down, but the house is covered with all those new toys that Santa brought. Sound familiar? We love seeing the thrill and joy in our kids eyes Christmas morning, but we don’t necessarily love the clutter that comes with the holidays.  Toy storage is just one of our many job descriptions at OrganizeIt.com. It is important to utilize organizers and storage pieces that appeal to kids and entice them to want to organize. Lo and behold — our new line of Star Wars toy storage pieces. These awesome organizers come just at the right time — after the splurge of Christmas gifts and as the new Star Wars: Force Awakens film masters the box office. Using pieces like these branded organizers encourage healthy habits at a young age — ones that will follow kids throughout their entire lives. Let’s take a closer look: Star Wars Toy Storage.

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  1. Star Wars Fabric Storage Bin: This fabric storage bin is collapsible so you can easily store it in a drawer when it’s not in use, and the removable rigid bottom keeps the bin upright so you can easily store items inside. The top of the fabric bin is completely open so you can see and retrieve stored items with ease. The durable cardboard interior structure offers years of reliable use while the polypropylene fabric provides long-lasting style.
  2. Star Wars Folding Play Mat (Millennium Falcon): Make it easy for kids to play on the go with the Star Wars Folding Play Mat. Crafted from soft, bendable fabric, this toy organizer is easy to clean. With young kids, it is important to keep toys and other surfaces disinfected; the sleek finish on this case can be wiped down with a wet rag or anti-bacterial towelette. A fabric handle makes this lightweight piece even easier to carry — especially for little hands! The multi-use design does double duty for play and storage; this storage case is also a race track play mat. Two zippers create a small storage case for race cars and other toys, or reveal a cool two-lane space themed track.
  3. Star Wars Toy Car Storage: Whether their favorite vehicles travel pavement or space, this carrier is made to transport them between home, school, friend’s homes and more. Crafted from durable tin, this lunch-box style organizer is made to withstand years. A strong latch keeps contents safely inside while an easy-to-use handle makes the lightweight piece easy to transport. Inside, this bin boasts 15 slots that are just the right size for toy cars, action figures and more.
  4. Star Wars Collapsible Toy Box: Kids can play on the go or transport their favorite toys thanks to the Star Wars Collapsible Toy Box. Crafted from soft fabric that is safe for ages 3 years and up, this box features a special coating that is easy to clean. The sleek surface can be wiped down with a wet rag for quick sanitation. This versatile piece is designed for storage and play. Four zippers follow the length of each corner; zip them all up and this piece turns into a lightweight storage box perfect for toys. Two velcro straps hold the lid on securely and two side handles make the entire piece easy to transport. Create a play mat by unzipping each corner and letting the piece lay flat. The inside surface is designed to replicate the inside of a spaceship, perfect for encouraging imagination and creative playtime. On the outside, you will see the faces of classic Star Wars characters.
  5. Star Wars Playmat: This activity mat is made from a soft fabric that features a protective coating; keep it sanitary with the easy wipe of a wet rag or disinfecting towelette. Measuring a large 3 feet by 1.5 feet, this play mat is perfect for the home or on the go. The pliable piece is simple to roll or fold, so you can tuck it away in storage or transport it. The large surface is great on tables, protecting hardwood from rough playing; it’s great on floors, creating a clean play space; even use it in the car to keep young travelers focused and happy. 

 

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with class — and good food

We’re just starting to reach the calm after the storm of Christmas, and here comes New Year’s Eve. If you hosting this event, it can be easy to give in and let it get out of control. But this celebration can be simple and elegant. Here are some tips to ring in your new year with less work.

  • Serve small plates: Since most of your party-goers won’t be arriving until later in the evening, you don’t need to plan a large meal. Make prep and clean up easier on yourself by serving small plates or horderves. Divided serving dishes make it super simple to present small offerings like olives, nuts, cheese and more.
  • Utilize serving trays: While we’re on the subject, serving trays will be your best friend. With them, you won’t clutter up your surfaces with your normal plates. And some designs, like this one with room for ice, are designed to keep your food cold all night — so food is fresh for all parry-goers, no matter what time they show up. Tiered serving trays are also a great investment; these decorative pieces are also super convenient because they allow you to present more options without taking up previous space.
  • Use a serving caddy: Keep plates, napkins, flatware and serving pieces all in one area. These awesome caddies make it even easier for guests to help themselves to food. Opt for the disposable plates and flatware, too.

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1.) Bamboo Entertaining Set

2.) Serving Caddy

3.) Three Tier Serving Tray

4.) Appetizers on Ice Serving Tray

5.) Divided Serving Dish

Modern alternatives to Christmas tree skirts

 

Chiffon Bridesmaid Dresses uk

I’m really excited about Christmas this year. You see, it’s my first winter in my house and that means it’s the first time I can have a fresh tree for Christmas. My apartment before (and most here in Michigan) did not allow them because of the fire hazard. In my jolly excitement, I’m trying real hard not to go overboard with ornaments, lights and the whole mess.

As I’ve enjoyed decorating my own home for the first time, I have had a real interest in minimalism. I am trying to incorporate that into my holiday decorations. I have an excellent vintage tree topper, some hand-me-down glass bulbs from my parents and the perfect hand-knit stockings. Simple and classic, that’s what I like. But there is one element, that for some reason, I cannot agree upon. Tree skirts.

I just don’t like them; and while I realize I can scrap the detail all together, I would like some element under the tree.

A few months ago we started working with an awesome manufacturer, Bungalow Flooring. Aside from their innovative photo-realistic rugs and padded floor mats, they make some really cool Christmas pieces. If you hadn’t already guessed, my favorite is fit for your tree. Buy Bridesmaid dresses NZ at discount price at Topbridal.co.nz

The Bungalow Tree Mat is a round rug designed to protect hard floors from tree stands. Available in multiple designs — and each in 19 different colors — these mats are a great modern alternative to your mama’s old tree skirt.

Patterns include snowflakes (at right), little Christmas trees or reindeer.

You can choose colors from purple to orange, from teal to yellow; my house is all reds and teals so I think I’m gonna go with the basics and opt for the bright, cheery red.

A polypropylene front and rubber backing is skid resistant as well as resistant to mold, mildew, rot, cracking and other wear. The wide border helps contain any spilled water and dirt, keeping floors clean.

Measuring 35 inches in diameter, this protective floor rug is great for any area of the home. Now that I can do a fresh tree, I just may consider adding one in the master bedroom too. Imagine waking up to the wonderful scent of blue spruce every morning. Does it get any better?

Better yet, Bungalow Flooring manufacturers all of their products right here in the United States. I love these mats and it makes me even happier to support a U.S. manufacturer.