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Its springtime folks! And that means it’s time for a little Spring Cleaning. Time to fling open the shutters and roll up your sleeves and reclaim your space as a home, and not the den of hibernation you spent the winter in. Perhaps a light cleaning will do the trick or maybe an overhaul is in order. Whatever the case may be I thought I’d share some of my most favorite new uses for old things with y’all, so while doing your spring cleaning you can keep your eyes peeled for some of these otherwise overlooked items.

A Tape Cassette Case

if you haven’t shipped all of these off to the Smithsonian yet, you can repurpose it as a fantastic storage case for your earbuds. A great way to keep them neatly stored away and knot free.

Rubber Bands

I am a super fan of the rubber band, it is my MacGyver go to. But my favorite use for it keeps closets looking spit spot. Slipping a thick rubber band onto each of end of a hanger will keep those strappy little tanks and summer dress from slipping off and becoming unsightly heaps of strappy things.

Magnets

For those little metal office trash bins that seem to always lose their plastic liner at the bottom, try using magnets as trash bag holder! Just pull the trash liner over the rim of the trash bin and set at least 4 magnets around the edge to keep the liner in place.

So, those are some of my favorite new uses for old things. What are some of your favorite new uses for old things? Be sure to share them with us!

Post authored by Josh Schulteis

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Have you ever looked into your closet and made the realization that yours is a black hole simply by definition? Items go in, but never come out. Don’t worry you’re not alone. Here are some ideas to help de-clutter and make sense of the abyss that has become your closet.

Good Lighting

If you are blessed with a light bulb in your closet, try adding an adapter that can create up to 2 more light fixtures for you. These can be found at your local hardware store. If a light fixture is not in the cards, get one that is battery operated. They are easily installed with either adhesive or by screw and come in all shapes in sizes.

Label, Label, Label

Instead of just piling items on top of one another, try bagging or boxing like items together. Label them for quick access and watch your closet transform. For example, pair cardigans with cardigans and V-Necks with V-Necks… you get the gist.

Jewelry & Accessories

Looking for a necklace in a rat’s nest of tangled baubles and beads? A clear hanging accessory sorter is the solution you’re looking for. It’ll allow you to separate and see all of your pieces and your bling should be shown off!

Belts

A 6-prong belt hanger will stop the madness and is a quick fix for this storage issue. If you have the drawer space you might try a sock organizer as a new way to bring order to your belt collection, simply roll and sort.

Scarves, Gloves and Hats

Why not use an over the door shoe organizer to store these small, but very important items.

And let’s not forget the finishing touch, a dryer sheet. It’ll leave your closet smelling fresh and clean every time!

Post authored by Maria Skopas

With the weather being as it has this past week here in NYC, two things are certain; the Mayans have had it right all along and cold season is in full swing. As the later is more substantiated I’ll stick to it, though do check back in December regarding the former.

We do what we can to prevent from catching cold but when it does happen all we can do is push liquids and wait. For me, I sequester myself away and watch Top Model marathons with a box of tissues, some homemade chicken soup (which is only homemade because I opened the can at home) and gallons of Gatorade.

Well, with any luck the bug passes after a few days and your only left with a couple sniffles, some empty soup cans, and a few new catch phrases you wish you didn’t remember! Your also left with what might have been your only constant companion while you were feelin’ down right crummy – your box of tissues. Always there, showing constant concern for you sheet after sheet. Tissues always ready at hand to soothe and care for you and if you splurged all with a touch of aloe.

I propose its time we repay the kindness that our box of tissues showed us in our time of need and we show them that they can continue to be needed long after they are emptied of tissues. Reuse them! I like to reuse my empty tissue box as a storage solution for plastic grocery bags. If you hold your plastic grocery bag and flatten it so its about the width of a 2” rope and fold it in half, its the perfect size to keep them in your empty tissue box. Insert your flat and folded plastic grocery bag into the top of the tissue box and continue to fill it so that the bags fit snuggly inside. Hooray! Your tissue box will be elated with its new lease on life. You’ll be happy ‘cause its cheap and useful storage solution and the Earth will be psyched because it’s a little greener. And who doesn’t like a greener planet – even if the Mayans are right…

Post authored by Josh Schulteis

I’m proposing that Star Wars has potentially solved the single greatest storage conundrum faced by man – holiday stringed lights.

So, I was getting ready for a friend’s “Who’s Your Daddy?” costume party (I know, bear with me) and decided to go as Luke Skywalker. My costume was spot on– a manly shift dress and camel leggings paired with a smart ninja knee-high sand boot. My feathered hair, self-tanner and post-apocalyptic utility Zen belt would have Mark Hamill thinking he was getting punk’d on an episode of Quantum Leap.

Anyway, while practicing my best surprised face for when my name is announced for the best costume, I went to strike my best Jedi pose and realized I was missing the most important piece of my ensemble– a lightsaber. Panic!

What was I going to do? The party was mere hours away and my window for crafting genius narrowed because the party was in Brooklyn (of course, where else would a “Who’s your Daddy” party be hosted?). How could I let this happen? It’s like doing Björk without a swan dress or a Kardashian with class –it is just wrong! I began to see my best costume title disappear like a sand mandala taken by the wind. Noooooooo!

While I was wallowing in the defeat of my oversight and thinking of what miserable costume was to take my title, she came to me; my MacGyver Muse and without a minute to spare. I saw the empty tube from the giftwrap I used for my friend’s present and knew instantly what to do. I gathered my crafting essentials and broke into my holiday stringed lights that I had just a week ago packed away. Of course, the lights had somehow managed to knot and tangle themselves like Virginia creeper in spite of my best efforts  to solve this annual crisis. After several long minutes and more than a few expletives, I finally freed a strand and began to wrap it around the cardboard tube to fashion my makeshift lighsaber

While doing this I had the moment of clarity my Muse had probably always intended. What a great way to store holiday stringed lights and keep them tangle free. They are very space conscious; these lightsabers can be easily stored in the tightest of spaces or assembled for neat group storage in clear, flat containers with the rest of your holiday keepsakes. They’re also a fantastic green solution and with the amount of gift warp we go through during the holidays, I’m sure you’ll have enough giftwrapping tubes to accommodate the number of light strands you need to tame and store.

Feeling as if I solved world hunger I hurried off to claim my title and party down like one does in Brooklyn – holler!

Post authored by Josh Schulteis

Who doesn’t love a great cashmere sweater or scarf?  Most of us read those bossy labels that tell us to “Dry Clean Only” and obey. However, the harsh chemicals in the dry cleaning process will actually shorten the lifespan of this very delicate (read: expensive) yarn.  Instead, try hand washing your cashmere in cold water with mild baby shampoo. Rinse with cold water and DO NOT TWIST! Gently wring out dripping water and lay flat on a towel.  Begin to roll the towel/sweater into a wrap until you have soaked up all excess water, then lay your cashmere flat to dry. Once your cashmere has dried, store your pieces in freezer ziploc bags or plastic containers (we love The Container Store Sweater Boxes) to keep safe from snags, moths and odors.  Your investment will last a lifetime! This method can be used for wool as well.

If you are thinking “Who has time for this?!” try putting an eco friendly tote in your bathroom, depositing the to-be-washed items within as the week goes on, and washing out your bag full of woolens IN your shower on Sundays while your deep conditioner is taking effect! Wring dry when you get out of the shower while your lotion dries.

If you MUST dry clean from time to time, remember to immediately remove the plastic and move garments to felt hangars. This will allow your garments to breathe. Don’t forget to recycle the outer plastic and wire hangars.

Dry cleaning junkies be warned: you will begin to notice a “shine” on wool from pressing and fraying in fabrics after repeated exposure to chemical cleaners.

Post authored by Maria Skopas

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