Smart Ways to Get Rid of Clothes After You Do a Closet Purge

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice

Sure, we’ve all donated clothes at some point, or had a garage sale and parted ways with old garments for a few bucks. If you’ve recently cleaned out your closet you might have discovered that many of the items you no longer want still have a lot of life left in them. Perhaps you even paid a lot of money for them and you can’t stand the thought of them ending up in a garage sale box. If so, consider these great suggestions.

Donate

“Old-reliables” such as Goodwill and ARC are always a great place to start. But there are some more specific organizations out there that would find women’s clothing especially beneficial. Look for career development organizations that empower underprivileged women to find stable, well paying jobs. They need career wear to help these women look their best on interviews and at work.

If you have beautiful gowns or dresses hanging around, look for organizations that serve underprivileged teens who have hopes of attending formal dances in high schools. Even if the dress isn’t the exact style they have in mind, it might be a great starting piece that can be reinvented at the hand of a crafty seamstress who donates her time.

You should also consider women’s shelter in general. They often provide haven for women and children who had to flee without the opportunity to bring along personal belongings. If you’re not sure where to find these organizations try online resources such as Charity Watch or Charity Navigator. Not only will you feel great about taking the time to find someone truly deserving, you can also keep a record and report them as a write off at tax time!

Host a fabulous swap party at your home or a local restaurant

The only imperative part of this is that you give everyone plenty of notice. Think about how much work it is to clean out your closet! Your guest will need enough time to get their closet purge project done before attending your party. Other than that, this is a super easy and fun way to de-clutter your closet. Simply invite everyone and serve a few goodies and beverages. Devise a basic system for the trade process and let the fun begin!

8 Creative Ways To Use Your Fireplace During Warm Months

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice

If you’re fortunate enough to have real, working fireplace in your home we say bravo! They are rare occurrences in newly built homes. But many older homes feature traditional fireplaces and wood burning stoves. During cold months the fireplace is often the central gathering point in the home, but once it goes defunct in the warmer months it seems like an out-of-place element that distracts from the harmony of a room. Rather than let it sit empty and looking a bit forlorn, we suggest trying a creative way to use it as an architectural feature. If you want to get especially creative with it, try more than one of these ideas at different times. For example, try #1 during Spring and Fall, and try #8 in the months between!

  1. Multi tier expanse of pillar candles
  2. For a special event arrange dozens of symmetrically aligned tea light candles
  3. A large, ornate flower arrangement that fills the majority of the space, both laterally and vertically
  4. Install a temporary curtain rod and hang a pretty curtain to cover the opening; opt for a solid color which will then serve as a backdrop for anything you’d like to set in front of it
  5. Using the wood that will go unused until it’s time to light fires again, create an interesting sculptural formation; refer to the game Jenga for inspiration
  6. A focal point piece of artwork on an easel
  7. Print a favorite photo on a stretch canvas frame that is slightly larger than the opening of the fireplace, then simply set it in front of the opening
  8. If you have a glass walled wood burning fireplace insert a tray the size of the base and plant a terrarium – when it’s time to use the fireplace again you can easily slide it out and display it elsewhere

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Types of Floor Transitions

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice

When two rooms abut one another, it’s common to use different flooring materials in each one, such as a hallway or bedroom or a living room and bathroom. When this occurs, there needs to be a transition between the two different floors. This can help even out differences in height between the two, or merely make a nice looking shift from one type of flooring to the next. There are several different types of thresholds you can use for transitions depending on the area, doorway size, and flooring choices. One of these may suit your purposes.

Marble Thresholds

Marble thresholds make great transitions from bathrooms and other small rooms with tile floors out into the main area of your home. They come in many colors, and are usually between 4 and 6 inches wide. They have a very soft edge that creates a subtle transition between the two floors.

Wood Thresholds

If one of the two floors is made of wood, you can use a matching threshold made of the same wood for a smooth transition between the two rooms. Wood thresholds come in a variety of different widths and lengths, so you can use this in nearly any size doorway.

Tile Transition

If one or both of the rooms has a tiled floor, consider developing a tile transition. This is done by the installer who cuts down one of the floor tiles to fit the space. The edges may need to be bullnosed on site if one of the floors is higher than the other for a nicer shift.

Metal Transition Strip

Metal transition strips are an excellent choice for carpets, tile, wood floors, and for very modern homes. These thin transition strips are designed to protect the edges of the two floors from rubbing against one another, so the effect is subtle. The metal strips come in several different widths as well as different metal finishes and powder coats so you can make them as decorative or unobtrusive as you like.

Thresholds are important to make the transition from one floor to the next as simple and clean as possible. To get the best results, it pays to give the same level of attention to your thresholds as you do to your other flooring choices. 

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What Are Some Ways to Make A Room Appear Larger?

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By tricking the eye a room can actually appear larger. It is a type of optical illusion often used in decorating. What are some of these optical illusions that decorators use to make a room appear larger?

 

Color Usage: Lighter colors have a tendency to make things feel more spacious and open. Darker colors have a tendency to draw things closer and give a feeling of being closed in. You can have a few pieces of darker furniture against a sky colored wall, and you will have the feeling of open space. You might try using bright contrasting colors for the trim. Make your room into a painting and a work of art.

 

Murals: Murals are an excellent way to draw a room out and make it seem endless. You can even extend the mural onto the ceiling in the form of a sun set or clouds. You can use almost any type of mural you want to create the effect you desire. Paths off into a forest or a glimmering city in the night give the illusion of a far away distance. Amusement parks often use this magic on their rides. You feel like you are in a huge space, when actually you are in a small area.

 

Mirrors: We all know the tricks of mirrors to give the illusion of doubling a room size and adding depth. The more mirrors the better. It really is best to use mirrors with out massive frames if possible. A whole wall done in a solid piece of mirror would be excellent. You can also use contrasting colors on mirror frames to give the illusion of floating in space, especially if you are using them against a cloud painted wall of muted colors. You become part of a surrealist painting.

 

Large windows and Natural Light: Windows and sliding glass doors unhampered by coverings really do create a spaciousness because you are working with the real thing. If you live amongst buildings this might not work because of the privacy factor. If you have an adjoining wall or a patio, you could paint a depth creating mural on it. Plants outside are also a depth giving factor, and you could pull a blind at night time.

 

Organized and Less Furnishings: When trying to create spaciousness it is good not to have a lot of pieces of confining furniture. Try to keep excess clutter at bay. The more space you have the better.

 

By using these tricks you are well on the way to making your room appear larger. Be creative and create the optical illusion of a spacious room. All of the same effects that you are using on an eye level can be carried upward, giving the effect of endless space, such as windows and mirrors on the ceiling. You can actually paint your furniture where it blends into the wall. This would work excellent with a mural. You can have your dream and create a room which appears larger for the ultimate in decor. 

Get Rid of Household Clutter

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice

 

Do you have a problem with household clutter? Do you set your car keys down only to have trouble finding them? Usually the problem is a lack of organization and a place to store things. Sometimes in a cluttered house the materials and things start to pile up. Its time to get rid of the clutter and start an organizational house cleaning. This does not need to happen over night. Take your time and try not to get over whelmed. Take it room by room. Look at the storage features in each room, and add new closets if you need to. You can even have creative storage places along one side of your living room. A lot of the storage spaces can actually add to your decor.

Using the room by room method, sit down and take notes on how you can solve your clutter problem. For instance if you are sitting in your bedroom, look around and take notes on what is causing the most clutter. You might have to donate items and clothes to a local charity, or even toss some things out. Garage sales are nice, but involve a large amount of work, pricing and planning. Sometimes it is best to forgo something which involves creating another problem with time and energy. Just take your time, sort out things room by room, and install and create creative storage spaces if you need to.

What Are Some Good Tips for Getting Rid of Household Clutter?

In addition to the tips mentioned above, you might also like these easy tips for cleaning and preventing clutter.

Have a place for your mail when it is brought in.

Have a special place by the door to hang your car keys. Create steady habits to make your life easier.

Have an entryway complete with coat rack and umbrella stand.

Keep dirty clothes bins in each room where clothes are changed.

Teach children to clean up after themselves and have a special place for their belongings.

Keep your kitchen table and top of your refrigerator clean of clutter. This is a common catch all. Make your table beautiful by adding a center piece and a beautiful table cloth if you are of traditional design. Modern usually looks better without table cloth and a sleek clean design. Think of the beauty your clutter is hiding.

Applying Getting Rid of Clutter to Your Household

Getting rid of household clutter can become a life style choice. You will be much more productive in an environment that is tidy and rid of clutter. After awhile you will love your decor so much that is shining through, you will automatically notice when something is out of place. Make it your choice to live in a household without clutter, by adopting good organizational habits.

 

The Top Benefits of Carrying Out Home Cleaning Regularly

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Hints and Advice

 

The home is a place where a person wants to sit comfortably and relax after the stress of a long day or week at work. The last thing you want to see when you come home at the end of a long day is to see dirt, dust and junk cluttering up your living space.  Not only does dirt and dust make it impossible to fully relax, they also have long term negative effects on the structure and value of your home.  Floors, walls, gutters, windows, sinks, everything must be cleaned on a schedule in order to promote a happy, healthy home.

Often times we don’t notice the slow and steady build up of dust and dirt until the ubiquitous season of spring cleaning.  Many people prefer to hire a professional cleaning service to help them start the spring and summer off with a deep clean for the whole house.  If you’re short on your budget, you can always make a list and work through the house on your own. 

There are many reasons to keep up on your cleaning schedule:

Preventing and mitigating damage:  When you are regularly wiping down surfaces, sweeping and moping, you are far more likely to notice the early stages of damage – cracks, fading, stains and the like.  You can easily address many of these issues when you catch them early.

Preventing Allergies: Many people are sensitive to dust and pollutants, so it stands to reason that keeping your house clean and dust free will go a long way towards mitigating the misery that seasonal and atmospheric allergens can cause.

Avoid Mold Attack: Moist and humid atmospheres support the growth of mold.  Not only is it unsightly and damaging to the surfaces of your house, mold also has a proven negative effect on your health. Cleaning and maintenance are the best cures for mold in your home.

Removing Pests:  There are some very tenacious bugs out there, ready to invade even the cleanest of homes.  Yet, taking away obvious sources of food and shelter for pests will go a long way towards stopping the invasion.  Regular cleaning will also betray their presence in the early stages, when the problem of pests is easy to deal with.

Improving The Appearance: It is always embarrassing to visit an untidy home – almost as embarrassing as having someone visit your own cluttered living space.  Regular cleaning will help you to avoid those issues and stop fearing the unexpected visitor.

 

Window Treatments as Practical and Decorative Tools

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Hints and Advice

 

Window treatments are both decorative and functional. They can increase the aesthetic value of a space, provide greater privacy and prevent intense sunlight and heat from entering. With your needs and style in mind, a wide array of window treatment options can be considered.

Treatment Options

There are many choices including three main categories of window treatments. Blinds, which are available in a wide variety of materials, are basically screens that are usually on rollers. Some also come with poles and cords that may be pulled down to roll the screen upward and let a little bit of daylight in.

Shutters, on the other hand, are constructed with panels that can cover the window. If privacy and security is an issue, this treatment might be the best choice. Depending on your preference, the incline of louvered shutters can be adjusted. This treatment also provides good insulation and is appropriate for houses located in cold areas. However, for rooms with high humidity such as the bathroom and the kitchen, shutters are not ideal.

Third, we have the curtain. Mostly made of fabrics, this treatment can be tied and parted easily. Depending on the material of the fabric, sunlight can sometimes shine through. They can also be used to dress up blinds, which usually look rigid and simple.

Layers

In bedrooms where there should be privacy, different layers can be used to consider the necessary level of privacy as well as the ideal amount of daylight allowed inside. Side panels, sheers and blackout rollers, can be combined to let daylight in the room in different intensities.

Colors and Patterns

In a room without very many patterns, bold colors and textures can be introduced through the window treatment. Different prints can be used for the main fabric, lining and trim. On the other hand, if the room is brimming with patterns or is rich with ornaments, solid colors and light patterns would be more suitable.

Shapes and Curves

If you want to provide contrast in a room full of linear furniture and appliances such as the kitchen, curtains that feature soft curves can be a good option.

As practical and attractive additions to a room, the window treatments can be an effective design statement. They come in variety of types, materials, texture, color, patterns and sizes. With these many options, you can easily choose one that is most suitable to your needs and style.

 

Making Your Home Lovely – Part 3

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice

 

Your life will quickly become easier and tidier if you include several daily requirements such as cleaning up the kitchen every night before bed. This includes a quick sweep or mop of the floor. Some who batch it might be tempted to put all this off till the weekend, but no one really wants to start Saturday with a cleaning marathon. 

Instead of taking an “all or nothing” approach, how about just throwing in one load of laundry before you leave for work or after you get home? Folding clothes is so much more appealing while watching television. Run through the house with an empty trash bag the day before garbage pick-up and add the kitchen trash bag and you’re finished for another week.

Take one of those shop towels into the bathroom when you get ready for bed at night, and do a quick wipe down of the surfaces. This will make the weekly cleaning less unappealing and faster. A squeegee in the shower can be used to clear the water spots at the end of a wash up, making water spots less of an issue.

Take a close look at what gets in the way of regular cleaning. Do you need to get up fifteen minutes earlier in the morning to put some projects into play before the rest of the family gets up? Do you resent being the one who does all the household chores? Do you just hate the process? Sometimes figuring out your resistance allows you to work past it.

One final tip – build in some rewards and incentives. Pay yourself for every day you meet your cleaning goals. From a luxurious soak in the tub to that new purse you’ve been eyeing on Overstock, figure out a reasonable reward for your efforts. With the right combination of carrot and stick, you may soon develop the habits you want to keep your home as lovely as you wish it could be.

 

Making Your Home Lovely – Part 2

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice

 

Once you start getting a handle on clutter, it’s time to dive into your housecleaning patterns. Do you have a regular schedule for your efforts or just move in when you notice things are going downhill? Most people don’t enjoy cleaning enough to spend the time to organize their efforts, but it’s really worth the investment up front. The following tips will help make your housecleaning easier, faster and more pleasant.

Buy the right tools. Purchase buckets or plastic containers with a handle to hold your cleaning products. You may want to assign one container to bathrooms, a second to the kitchen and a third to the rest of the house. Include the necessary brushes or cloths for each bucket. That way you’re not wasting time finding all of the supplies you need with each cleaning project. It also encourages you to notice when you’re running low on something so you can add it to your shopping list.

Buy a package of shop towels. These are inexpensive and available at warehouse and hardware stores. These are sized at just a bit larger than a washcloth and are made of white terry fabric. You can use these for anything you need to clean. Shop towels are also terrific for picking up spills and wiping up grime on anything from shoes to the car’s dashboard. They’re nicer to use than paper towels and last for years. Expect to use a lot of them, but when you run low just dump them in the washer with some soap and bleach and they’re ready for next time. 

Our next blog will help with a schedule and some incentives.

 

Making Your Home Lovely- Part 1

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice

 

Would you like to be one of those people who never minds if neighbors or friends stop by because your home always looks fabulous? You can make that happen with just a few changes to your routine. Here are some suggestions to creating a fresh and inviting home free of clutter and dirt. Let’s start with clutter.

A place for everything: Now, getting here is not easy or fast. It’s up to you to make a commitment to organizing and creating systems that everyone in your family can handle. You might want to start by thinking of your home as a retail store. For example, put all of the office/school supplies in one place, all bed linens in another. Also, invest in a little label maker. You can then label every drawer and cupboard with a description of its contents, and even label some items – such as the scissors – with their category so it’s easy to remember where to put them back after using them.

Buy and use a put-away basket: Every evening walk through your house and put everything that’s out of place in the basket. Then walk through a second time and put it all where it belongs. This is also a great project to delegate to your kids. You can even charge a fine – a nickel for anything that any family member forgets to put back in its place. Save the money for a family dinner out in the future.

Assign standard chores: These can include everyone – you, kids and spouse – making their own beds, rinsing and putting their own dishes in the dishwasher, choosing their clothes for school the next day, and whatever else you want to see happen daily. Once these habits develop your responsibilities will diminish. This also provides a good discipline for their future lives. 

Understand that none of these steps will happen overnight. This is a work in process and you will always have to make adjustments over time. But the best time to start is now. And maybe every week you’ll see signs of progress.