Affordable No Sew Curtains for Your Home If you're looking into adding some fresh decorative touches to your home, a good place to start is with your window treatments. But it can be a bit daunting to your budget to purchase window treatments for an entire room. However, there are many window treatment options available that you can do yourself, and you never even have to pick up a needle or thread a sewing machine. With a little imagination and some simple connectors, any piece of fabric can easily and quickly be transformed into a window treatment. So find a fabric that suits your home dйcor and personal style, and choose something that already has finished edges, such as a vintage linen or printed sheet. Then choose a grommet, clip, hook, or cord to hang it with, and you'll have a beautifully simple and inexpensive window treatment that reflects your personal style and creativity. Grommets, slipped over wall hooks, produce a simple, crisp window treatment. Generally, a hammer and a grommet tool works at least as well for setting just a few grommets. The grommet prevents the hook from tearing through the hole. You can thread rayon cording through grommets and tie behind the grommets to create loops to hang from a wooden dowel or hooks above the window. There are also stylish clips that can be found at flea markets and antique stores that simply latch onto the fabric. Home decorating and import stores also carry clip-on rings to hang curtains from. You can even use buttons on curtains. Simply thread fine wire through the holes and sections of ribbon and simply twist the wire on the back side to create simple ribbon loops to hang the curtain with. Let your creativity be your guide, and you can craft window treatments that reflect your personality and style. You're only limited by your own imagination.
Attractive Arrangement of your Furniture Enhances your Room's Dйcor Arranging the furniture in the right manner ensures that the room area is efficiently used. A clever furniture arrangement can also highlight a favorite piece of furniture. However, figuring out the best way to utilize space and create a comfortable atmosphere can be a difficult chore. But with some planning and creativity, it can be accomplished easier than you think. Before you move anything, you have to decide what the focal point of the room is going to be. Focus your efforts around that location or item. Before arranging furniture in the room, decide on what will be the focus of the room. Center your furniture arrangement around that focal point. It can be anything; a fireplace, a picture window, a home entertainment center or a wall painting. Chairs should be placed within about eight feet of each other to encourage conversation. Position a table in such a way that it is easily accessible from every chair. Keep a light source near the seating area. Coffee tables should have a clearance of about 14 to 18 inches from the sofa. Side tables should be at least as tall as the arm of the chairs or sofa to make serving easy and discourage accidental spills. When arranging furniture, make sure you provide enough space to move around the room. In a multipurpose room, arrange furniture in a way that you divide the room into separate living and dining spaces. A strategically placed screen or curtains hung from the ceiling are simple and inexpensive ways to accomplish this. Make sure the room stays balanced and that the sections or divisions don't fight one another. Area rugs are a great way to define areas and groupings. Small pieces can easily get lost in a large room, so be sure to group them with larger elements.
Avoid the Avoiding Habit and Find More Time and Less Stress Procrastination can creep in and easily become a habit. Once it does, it erodes your capacity to function effectively. But it can be a hard habit to break. However, with some honest self-assessment and an organized and attainable plan of attack, it can be overcome successfully. Be gentle with yourself when you decide to try and kick the procrastination habit. It may be so ingrained that you don't fully recognize all the ways you actually procrastinate. Start out by taking a large or complicated task and breaking it down into smaller parts that you can accomplish easier. It's important to bear in mind that the most difficult or complex tasks are simply just a series of smaller jobs. Make a verbal commitment to someone else about improving your time management skills and your desire to avoid procrastinating. Allow others to become involved in your efforts by reviewing your progress, helping you set deadlines or evaluating your results can be very helpful. This will most likely create a commitment on your part to fulfill the expectations they've set for you. Sit down and map out a plan to manage your time more effectively. When a deadline is looming, make sure you allot time each day to work on the project so it doesn't sneak up on you in the final hours or days. Learn to ask for help when you're feeling overwhelmed or overworked. Reward yourself for good behavior and accomplished goals. Don't wait until you've accomplished the ultimate goal, but reward yourself for your successes along the way. Make sure the reward is something you like to do. Treat yourself to the newest book by your favorite author and take the time to read it. Indulge in bubble baths or relaxing music. If you've gotten into the habit of working late, make sure you develop a new habit of going home on time each night. By making a commitment to avoid the avoiding habit, you'll soon be well on your way to finding more time and find yourself more relaxed and productive and less stressed in the process.
Be Safe and Sound When Repairing or Remodeling your Home Home improvement projects can be dangerous. Many tasks call for sharp tools or power tools that can cause injuries. You can't successfully repair or tackle home improvement projects your home if you're not careful. With a little careful organization and forethought, even the most difficult home improvement tasks can be conquered safely and successfully. Be sure to completely read the instruction manual for your power tools and follow the manufacturer's safety cautions. Tighten any adjustments and check that the guard is working before you operate a tool. Keep power tools dry, and plug them into grounded electrical outlets. Take care not to cut the power cord. Never store your power tools while they are still connected to the power supply. Keep fingers well away from a power blade. Clamp small pieces of wood before cutting them, rather than holding them. It's imperative to wear work gloves when you're handling rough materials such as wood, glass, or metal, but take them off when using a power tool so you have complete control over it. Never use any kind of power tool without proper protective eyewear. Unplug a power saw before changing the blade or doing any other kind of maintenance or cleaning to it. Learn how to properly support a board when you cut it with a power tool so it doesn't kick back towards you during use. Always completely shut off power or water when working with the electrical wiring or the plumbing. One of the first questions you should ask as a new homeowner is where your shutoffs are located. When working on a ladder, don't lean out to either side. Keep your body weight between the sides of the ladder. It may take longer to get off the ladder and move it to reach farther, but it is well worth your time. Falls are one of the most common causes of injuries in the home. If you're not used to the physical element of doing construction, remodeling, or renovation work, you might easily injure yourself or strain your muscles. You may not even notice the aches and pains until you wake up the next day. Don't take chances and overexert yourself when lifting heavy objects, or when repeatedly lifting lighter loads. Get a helper to do some of the work, and take plenty of breaks. Listen to your body's signals and realize when enough is enough. Learn to bend and lift with the knees and not your back. You're going to find a great satisfaction and pride knowing that you're able to safely and successfully accomplish repair, remodeling and renovation projects around your house as long as you're smart, safe, and keep yourself organized, focused and on task.
Beginning Recycling at Home Every year, tons of material that could be recycled aren't, and end up clogging our already overwhelmed dumps, waterways and roadsides. Most people think it's a difficult undertaking to organize a recycling center at home. However, with some creativity and commitment, it can be easy to do. You'll feel better about yourself doing your part to care for the environment as a result, too. Find a convenient place in your home or apartment for the center. It doesn't take much room for your recyclables. The garages, a storage closet, corner of the kitchen, or under your kitchen sink all make great locations. Find and clearly label containers in which to store your recycled materials. Plastic buckets, storage containers or even trash cans work great depending on the amount of room you have available. Get your family actively involved in the recycling process. Make sure they all are aware of what products can be recycled. Teach them the difference between the aluminum can bin and the tin can bin. While doing their weekly chores, teach them to be on the lookout for recyclable material lying around the house, and encourage them to place it in the proper storage bins. Encourage them to come up with ideas for reducing the amount of recycled material that's consumed by your household. Take them along with you to the recycling center in your neighborhood so they can witness the process firsthand. Show them how they can reuse recyclable materials in their own organizational efforts at home. Perhaps a large cardboard box can double as a bin for all their shoes, or a coffee can be repurposed as a penny bank. And when they learn the money that can be both saved and earned from recycling and reusing products, they'll have developed an environmentally healthy and thrifty habit for life.
Careful Organization and Planning Helps Preserve your Favorite Photos Photos can be a wonderful way to preserve memories and relive favorite past moments. However, they can also become a cluttered mess without an organized storage plan. Probably the most important tool to have when you begin your photo organization project is a trash can. Statistics show the average person develops one roll of 24 pictures a month but only seven are worth keeping. That being said, you'll probably find many photos in your collection that simply aren't worth keeping. Another tool you'll need during your organization process is several manila envelopes. Do your best to sort the photos by year, and place each group in the envelope with the year clearly marked on it. Place these envelopes in a strong cardboard box or storage bin. You'll probably be able to store a decade's worth of photos in a single container. Collages and shadow boxes are great ways to display several photos from a selected year. Include mementos and keepsakes in the shadowbox to add a unique personality. Special photos should be enlarged and framed to be displayed around your home. Take special care to purchase photo albums that are made with acid-free paper. The acid used in processing everyday paper can be very damaging to photographs over the long haul. Scrapbooking is a growing trend and a clever and creative way to display your photos. Craft stores have an abundance of scrapbook supplies, including stencils, decorative scissors, background papers, rubber stamps and permanent markers. You can also utilize everyday items around your house such as ribbons, magazine clippings, and fabrics. Again, take care to ensure that the paper you use is acid-free or is displayed separately from your favorite photos. Lastly, just in case something should happen to your photos, make sure you have a backup plan to replace them. Store the negatives of your most important and cherished photographs in your safe deposit box to also protect against theft or destruction from elements such as fires or floods.
Conquer Bathroom Clutter Simply and Effectively Bathrooms seem to be notorious for becoming cluttered and unkempt. Between small makeup compacts, medicine bottles, hair accessories, razors and the like, it can be quite easy to lose things in the shuffle. Assess your bathroom and its contents and utilize a few simple ideas and you'll find more space and tranquility as a result. First, take a good look at your medicine cabinets. Ironically, it's probably not a good idea to store medicine in your medicine cabinet, as most bathrooms become hot and humid during showers and baths, and can be detrimental to medication that requires being stored at room temperature. Don't keep medicines past their expiration date, even if you've never opened them or have used them very little. Try storing your medications on a high shelf in your linen closet with a lock-tight lid. This will help lengthen their shelf life as well as keep them out of reach of curious little hands. The same should be done with old makeup. Generally speaking, most makeup will last about 18-24 months, with the exception of mascara, which lasts about three months, and liquid eyeliner, which lasts about three to six months. Nail polish generally only holds up for about a year, so if you have any older than that, get rid of them. And since many makeup products have animal-based ingredients, it's also important to pay attention to how they smell. If they smell like they've gone bad, they probably have, so toss them. Try using a permanent marker to mark the purchase date on the back of the item, so that way you won't have to try to remember just how long it's been since you purchased something. If you take a look in your favorite discount store's home organization aisle, you'll find lots of inexpensive storage containers that can easily be utilized in bathroom drawers, under the sink, and for shower and bathtub areas as well. Since bathrooms are full of small things, they can easily be organized in small bins, baskets or boxes.
Conquer the Household Mail and Paper Demon Households are bombarded with paper on a daily basis. Bills, statements, pay stubs, calendars, schedules, menus and permission slips seem innocent enough individually, but when joined with the other piles of unattended paperwork, they can form an army that overwhelms even the best defenses. But you shouldn't feel defenseless against this persistent warrior. With an organized plan of attack and some disciplined strategy, the paperwork enemy can be conquered and tamed. First of all, take a look at the type of paperwork that's overwhelming you the most. Is it those bills that go unpaid when you can't locate them? Is it the mounds of artwork your children have lovingly created and decorated your refrigerator with? Maybe it's the constantly changing soccer schedule or troop meetings. Once you determined the most invasive paper culprit or culprits, it's time to line them up and sort them out. A successful filling system has three main components. A file for those things that need to be acted on immediately, one for those that are part of a household's ongoing management, and one for those that are more infrequent but nevertheless crucial, such as tax records, insurance policies, wills, and home maintenance documents. When conquering the paperwork monster, make a promise to yourself to deal with each item the first time you handle it. Get out of the habit of rifling through your mail and tossing it aside. Set aside time each day to open mail, go through paperwork in your inbox and sort and file appropriately. Decide if each item is something to be paid, something to be done, or something to be filed. At the end of each week, take out each file and respond appropriately by paying the bill, responding to the request, or moving items that need to be filed into their permanent locations. Of course, if you know something is urgent and can't wait until week's end, clip it to the front of your file box or place it in front in a folder labeled Urgent and act accordingly. Save telephone time by keeping calendars, schedules, take-out menus and phone lists into clear page protectors in a 3-ring binder. Flip through the household notebook to quickly check meeting dates or find phone numbers. Create your own forms, or use our free printable Household Notebook forms. This is also a great place to put correspondence addressed to the entire family. Organize magazines and newspapers into baskets kept near couches and living room chairs for people to look at during their free time. Be sure to keep in the habit of sorting through this on a regular basis and filing those magazines you decide to keep and tossing old newspapers and magazines you wish you toss.
Coordinating Your Busy Family's Schedule If you have a busy family that seems to be traveling in different directions constantly, you know how challenging it can be to coordinate everyone's schedules. Between projects and deadlines at the office, meetings with your children's teachers, after school activities like soccer practice and troop meetings, not to mention the household chores, it can be a dizzying and confusing task. But if each family member is committed and communicates effectively, the task of creating a combined family schedule is a manageable one for you. The first step is to commit to weekly family meetings. Make it mandatory that each family member is there so that the schedule can be discussed and organized. This should also double as a great opportunity to schedule quality family time together, so make sure it's held at a time when everyone is able to attend. Next, design a schedule that can be easily accessed by all family members, so that everyone knows where everyone else should be at any given time. This can be done by designing one yourself using materials such as poster board, markers, pushpins and index cards that can be pinned to the schedule, allowing for changes that can occur from week to week. It could also be designed on your family computer and saved onto the desktop, so each family member can readily access it and make changes if necessary. Have family members get into the habit of indicating on the schedule specific addresses or contact telephone numbers if the activity is new or changes from week to week. Be sure that care providers for your children such as grandparents and babysitters are familiar with your scheduling system and know how to use it. Again, with a commitment from each family member and open lines of communication, the family schedule can be a useful tool for everyone.
Create a Unique Scrapbook with Everyday Items You Already Have at Home Scrapbooking has become a popular pastime through the past few years. If you've looked into it, you know that it can easily become an expensive one as well. But with some creativity, you can use the everyday items in your house to create a scrapbook that reflects your individual personality and style. After you've selected your favorite photos and mementos for your scrapbook, take a look around you. You've probably looked at items around your house hundreds of times without considering their scrapbook potential. If you've got photos from a favorite vacation, look around to see what you have around your home that reminds you of that trip. Postcards, souvenirs and even travel brochures that can be cut apart are great ways of building a great vacation page or section. If you're building a school days page, report cards, awards, certificates, ribbons, graded assignments, and even notebook doodles are clever enhancements. Paper clips or crayon wrappers work nicely. Pressed flowers, handwritten poetry, and clippings from magazines can also nicely enhance a wedding or engagement page. Be sure to jot down details of the day you want to be sure you remember. Use the fronts of some of your favorite cards and remnants from saved gift wrap as backgrounds for your photos. Ribbons and gift wrap remnants also work well for baby's page. Be sure to include an announcement card and a copy of baby's footprints. You might also want to tuck in a corner of a baby blanket or a page from a favorite storybook. Even remembrance pages can reflect your own personal memories of your lost loved one. Enhance your favorite photos with a label from a favorite perfume or cologne, food, beverage. Movie ticket stubs, buttons, newspaper articles, handwriting samples and favorite quotes or funny moments jotted down on paper can make your page special. With a fresh look at some ordinary, every day items, your scrapbook can take on a personal and individual flair.
Creative and Affordable Ideas to Bring your Living Room to Life Your living room is the room in your house where most of the living takes place. It's where your family gathers to watch television, read, and generally unwind and relax after a busy day. It's also the room where company gathers during parties and holidays. But you're struggling to come up with decorating ideas and strategies for it, and you worry that your budget isn't big enough to do the job justice. But with a little planning, creativity, and ingenuity, your living room can be a relaxing environment where you can unwind or entertain with comfort and ease. Consider pulling pieces you have in other rooms into your living room to use. A short, double-sided dresser can easily become a buffet when a table runner and an arrangement of candles or a colorful flower centerpiece is placed on top. Use your furniture arrangement to define functional areas. Strategically placed floor rugs, lamps and furniture can create zones in your home. You can arrange your seating to take advantage of a focal point, such as a television, picture window or a fireplace. You can also find affordable component pieces that combine functional storage with fashionable decorating lines. Tables with drawers and shelves add valuable, and a simple desk doubles for homework, household management, bill paying and filing. When accessorizing your room, remember that less is more. Choose neutral colors and accent with colorful textured throws, rugs, and other decorative and artistic elements. Keep the balance of your room in perspective. You don't want to overwhelm a small room with large, bold pieces, nor do you want to place smaller, neutral pieces in a large room where they'll get lost. If you're working with used furniture, try distracting from worn upholstery or a faded finish by using colorful toss pillows or table runners. Bright curtains can distract from a faded carpet and breathe new life into an old room.
Efficiently Organizing your Small Bathroom Makes Big Sense Small, cramped bathrooms with little space and lots of stuff can present big problems for a busy family. With items strewn across the bathroom countertop with no designated space make it difficult to find that favorite pot of lip gloss, box of dental floss or can of hair mousse when morning routine time is at a minimum. You can conquer this problem with an honest assessment of your bathroom's contents and some creativity. First of all, look around your bathroom. If you have products in your bathroom that you didn't like after the first use, or that someone who previously visited left there and your family doesn't use, get rid of them. This can be a tough pill to swallow if you focus on the money that you spent on buying it, but if it's taking up valuable space in your cramped bathroom quarters, it's costing you more in headaches and stress than it's worth. You'll probably be amazed at how much space you can free up by clearing out these unused, unwanted items. After you've cleared these items out, assess what's left. If there's a drawer for makeup, but nothing in it is sorted, consider some small boxes or baskets to place them in. Place lipsticks and glosses in one bin, another for makeup compacts, and another for makeup applicators such as brushes and sponges. If there are a lot of hair products, consider using a larger basket to place them in and stored under the sink which can be easily removed and put away each morning. If you're in the habit of stocking up on those products you seem to go through quickly such as toilet paper, lotion, or toothpaste, consider storing those in a pantry or linen closet instead of in the bathroom itself. Make sure all family members know where to look for a replacement or refill should they run out. Most importantly, get your family to agree on using and maintaining the organization system that's been developed. It'll do no good to organize only to find things disheveled and unorganized the following week. Ask for input when devising a system, and make sure it's one that everyone involved can live with.
Eliminate the Chaos of Home Office Clutter The home office has slowly become the foundation of the modern day household. We pay the bills, organize recipe files and photo albums and develop calendars and schedules on our computers, and some of us make a living from here. With so many different activities happening here, it's easy to see how it can easily become the most disorganized and unkempt area of the home. A clean organized desk and home office can save time, stress and even money if we work from home. So if you're feeling overwhelmed by your messy desk and disorganized office, take a good hard look and see what's overwhelming your order the most. Mail is probably the biggest contributing factor to our messy desktops. Get in the habit of dealing with your mail on a daily basis. Toss what you can, place those things that need to be shredded into a shredding bin and shred them once per week, and file the rest away properly. This might also be the time to update your filing system and make folders for current years or months. Another culprit of office clutter is computer storage media such as CDs, DVDs and floppy disks. Take the time to ensure each is properly labeled and placed in a protective file or case. Categorize and alphabetize them for easy access. If you have an office area that is commonly used by all family members, it can easily become cluttered with glasses, coffee cups, food wrappers and dirty dishes. Since computer equipment can easily be damaged should something spill on it, it's probably wise to impose a rule forbidding eating and drinking while using the computer. This would lessen the clutter at the same time. If you spend a considerable amount of time during the day in your office and your office space is large enough, provide for an area far from the computer and other electronic equipment where food and drink can be set without the fear of ruining equipment should a spill occur. If you utilize a bulletin board, take the time to make sure all the items posted on it are current. If not, take them down and file away or toss. Make sure your calendar is always displaying the current month so you can see the month's activities and appointments in an easy glance. Office supplies have a way of easily cluttering up our workspace as well. Take the extra time to clean out and organize desk drawers if necessary and make sure all office supplies have a home other than the top of your desk. With some forethought, planning and discipline, your home office can become and stay productive, efficient and serene.
Fun Ways to Display your Favorite Photos Photos of family, friends and favorite places add a touch of personality, style, flair, and jazz to any room. Sometimes however it's difficult to think of inventive and creative ways to display your treasured pictures. First you need to take a good look at the photos you want to display. One of your favorite photos might be a large group picture, but it may not actually display well when hanging on a wall. Save that one for the scrapbook and look for pictures that have vibrant images that convey a message or a thought. Older photographs can be brought to live with the advances in photographic reproduction technology. If you have a favorite old photo that's fading, or has been damaged or crinkled through the years, take it to a photo shop to have it restored and reprinted. You might even be able to do this yourself at home with photo imaging software. You might want to consider added a special effect, enlarging or cropping the photo differently to add a new perspective to a familiar photo. Mixing frames of different styles and sizes can be fun, but takes some planning and forethought. Lay the framed photos on a tabletop or the floor and rearrange until you find a workable arrangement, then employ a friend or family member's help when measuring and preparing to mount on the wall. Have your level ready to be sure that a picture that looks straight actually is straight. Photos don't have to be limited to the walls. Tabletops, desktops, bookshelves, and your family entertainment wall unit are all great places to add a picture frame. Even a dressing screen can make a clever and unique backdrop. You can even decoupage photos onto a table lamp base or mirror frame for an added jazzy effect. And by using fabric transfer sheets, you can even transfer a favorite photo onto a pillowcase or wall hanging. Photo collages of friends or family members make great placemats. Simple arrange and laminate. This is also a great way to hang a collage on the wall or corkboard above your desk or in your office. Individual laminated photos can be affixed to magnets to put on the refrigerator and other metal surfaces in your home.
Garage Organization Made Simple You've conquered your house, your home office, and your car, and you've mastered the art of scheduling and cooking in bulk. But your garage is still a cluttered and unorganized mess. As with everything else, a neat and organized garage is attainable with just a little elbow grease and some simple storage solutions. First, get a handle on the mess by moving everything out to sort through what goes and what stays. Large, clear plastic containers can help you do this. They're great for clearing away the clutter and then using for storage. Be ruthless with yourself during the sorting and purging process. Don't keep paint from a project from two years ago, and if you have parts to things you no longer have, get rid of the parts as well. Consider adding a cabinet to your garage. Look for units that offer keyed locks, so you're able to store poisonous materials and sharp tools out of children's reach. The garage is also where most of your kid's sporting goods land. To keep bats and balls organized, purchase a hamper-style organizer. Designate a section for each child. Add a bin or shelf outside to store messy, muddy shoes as well. Find a workable storage solution for all the little things in your garage. Organize bolts, screws, nails, fasteners and other small parts into small clear containers so you can easily see what each contains. Organize into steady stacks or consider installing a shelving unit to house these out of the reach of small and curious fingers. For long-handled items, such as rakes and shovels, look for storage units to keep everything straight or use a durable rubber trash can. Pegboards can also be installed on garage walls, and can be a simple solution for hanging items such as rakes or shovels out of the way. They can also be hung on hooks. Inexpensive hooks come in a variety of sizes. Large deep hooks are perfect for hanging a ladder and bikes can be hung and kept off the garage floor as well. Now that you've practiced on your house, your office and your car, organizing your garage is a snap with a little creativity, some hard work, and a well thought out plan.