Organizing Cabinets & Shelves: Closet Space

Part Two in this Series, this week we look at how to make the most of an oft-crowded space: your closet. Whether you have a sprawling boudoir or a compact NYC apartment with “less-than adequate” space, here are some tips for you.

Being organized has its advantages, all throughout your home. How many of us have a not-quite-so-functional closet, either too small or too cluttered? Here are some great ideas on how to use a little bit of creativity and some cleverness to make the most out of your closet storage space.

Closet Storage:  Valet Rods (sliding & pull out)

Ever need an extra hand? Valet rods to the rescue. Standard or collapsible rods can be installed in a variety of places. Now you can keep that freshly ironed shirt ready for an upcoming event, or remind yourself what needs to go to the dry cleaners. Continue reading “Organizing Cabinets & Shelves: Closet Space”

Ways to Lower Your Heating Bill This Winter

thermostat

The late fall chills are a sign that winter is just around the corner. As the colder months approach us, our heating bill inevitably rises. Since efficient heating is important to your health and happiness, it’s hard to avoid it all together. However, you can take action to reduce your heating bill this winter.

First, you should clean and check your heating systems. Much like cleaning out your air conditioner right before summer, late fall is the best time to do so with your heating system. Check that your heat pump, furnace and stoves are all operating properly and replace and clean any filters. This makes sure that your heat will come out efficiently. If you have an old heating system, it may be time to invest is a new one, since older versions are less competent than newer versions. This will ultimately cut your heating bill a bit and increase the value of your home in the long run.

Next, you want to make sure that the heat you are getting from your system stays in your home. Sealing your windows and doors properly is the best way to do this. Windows and doors that have holes or leaks will release heat and raise your bill each month. You may need to replace a window altogether if the cracks and leaks are bad enough. However, you can usually seal up cracks on your own or with the help of a contractor. You may want to have your home properly insulated as well, since this can help your home from losing heat.

Turn the heat down when you are away or sleeping. Since most people sleep better in cooler conditions, turn your heat down slightly at nighttime. Those 8 hours can save some money on your bill each month. When you are away from your home during the day or for an extended period of time (such as a vacation or weekend trip), turn the heat down as well. There’s no need to keep your house warm when you aren't there! Consider buying a programmable thermostat so you don’t have to worry about lowering the heat on your own.

You can also turn down the thermostat on your water heater a small amount to save some money without a noticeable difference. Generally, it shouldn't be set any higher than 125 degrees. If your water heater is old, you may want to install a water heater blanket or look into getting a new and more efficient one in the future. You can also insulate the pipes around the water heater.

Use curtains to your advantage. Opening curtains during sunny days allows the solar radiation to warm your room. At night, closing curtains helps the heat from escaping and the cold air from coming in.

10 Stocking Stuffers for Him

With the holiday season right around the corner, it's time to start thinking about what you should be buying for the special guy in your life. The gift itself is important, but what about the stocking stuffers? Whether he's a handyman at heart or you have an upcoming remodeling project coming up, these ten items will get the job done.

Minolta tape measure

$10.95 / buy here

This metric tape measure goes above and beyond your standard, everyday tape measure. This Pro-carpenter comes with 7 extra features, including an erasable note pad, pencil sharpener, rugged rubberized case, a lever action belt clip and a super thick 1″ blade. This gadget will come in handy for just about any home remodeling project, making it a must-have for the holiday season.


USB wall charger

$12.01/ buy here

This USB wall charger plugs into your wall to charge his favorite devices. Simply plug in the iPod, iPhone or other gadget into its corresponding USB cord and then hook that up to this charger. This stocking stuffer is great for those who like to travel or who are always connected to their devices.


safety gloves

$8.99 / buy here

These Nitrile disposable gloves will come in handy for a variety of occasions. It's important that he keeps his hands safe and protected during all of his projects, so these safety gloves are a must. Whether he's using them for painting, packaging, gardening or as an auto mechanic, these gloves will keep him protected. They are low-powdered and each box comes with 100 gloves to last him for months.


bulls eye level

$2.84 / buy here

This bulls eye surface level is designed to level surfaces in every direction. This tool makes any woodworking job easy with its precise measurement and ease of use. Whether he's using this tool to level appliances, tables or another surface, it's sure to come in handy.


utility knife

$19.12 / buy here

This utility knife with a quick-change locking and folding blade is a must-have for packaging. There are so many uses for this tool, he'll want to keep it around his belt at all times. It comes in handy when opening tough packages, cutting plastic or vinyl materials, trimming carpet or even to remove old screws. He'll end up using this tool for just about everything.


working hands cream

$6.99 / buy here

O'Keeffe's Working Hands Cream will moisturize dry hands that crack and split. It's guaranteed to improve both the look and feel of his overworked hands. This hand cream comes in a 3.4 oz jar and is an oil-free formula developed from moisturizing ingredients to retain moisture and hydrate the skin. Watch as his hands go from rough to healthy with the use of this miracle cream.


tool cleaner

$12.20 / buy here

He can give his tools a nice clean with the help of this tool & bit cleaner. This concoction removes pitch and resin build-up from saw blades, router bits and other cutting tools and reduces friction to make cutting easier. Simply spray it on, let it soak for a few minutes and then wipe away the build-up.


safety glasses

$5.99 / buy here

Keep his eyes safe and protected this year with the help of these safety glasses. With their blue, anti-fog coated lens, a rubber nose-bridge and shatterproof wrap-around lenses, these glasses are both stylish and comfortable. For just under $6, you get 12 glasses- so he can leave a pair at work, at home or anywhere he pleases.


cable grip

$6.99 / buy here

These cable grips make a great stocking stuffer for someone who loves technology. This media storage item keeps his cords organized and separated at the office or for his home entertainment system.


masking tape

$2.40 / buy here

He'll use this masking tape for just about any project. It serves as a guide when cutting or painting, removes lint or other particles from surfaces and is great for labeling items in the tool shed or basement.