Organizing 101

Organization is a big market–it seems like people are always coming up with new and improved ways to control the clutter and get things in order.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image by nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

From organizing holiday decorations (where on earth to store the artificial Christmas tree and boatload of ornaments you never use?) to organizing kids’ closets (how long has that lunchbox been down there?!), there are tips and tricks to getting your home in order. Here are a few easy tips for basic, everyday changes that make a big difference in the overall organization of your home.

1. Find a place for everything.

“A place for everything, and everything in its place” has become so cliché that it’s easy to ignore. But this is a time-tested organizational strategy that really works!

You can break the process into bite-sized chunks by moving through your home one room at a time. Start with a section of a room–a desk, for instance, then an end table, then a set of shelves. Don’t let yourself just relocate the clutter; make sure there’s a place for everything as you go through, or get rid of it. You’ll thank yourself later.

2. Build teamwork.

Unless the whole family is on board, your organizational journey will feel more like a treadmill set on an Olympian’s pace. Talk to your spouse and kids about working together to creatively solve organizational dilemmas and develop a game plan to stay on track.

3. Be creative.

Sometimes organization isn’t just a matter of taking the time to put things where they belong. If you live in an apartment or a small home with limited storage space, you’ll have to look for creative ideas to find all the right places–like using the insides of cabinet doors or repurposing shower curtain rings to organize scarves. Check out this site for a wealth of clever storage ideas that make organization easy, attractive and affordable.

By working through your space a bit at a time, making small, day-to-day changes, and enlisting your family’s help, finding your inner Martha Stewart will be easier–and more effective–than ever.

It’s Warming Up! Time to Clear Out the Shed

Time to Clean the Shed! Use these Tips to Make it Easy

ID-1006801Spring is here! The warmer temperatures have you dreaming of walks in the park and gardening. Before you start running through a field of flowers, remember that task that you put on the back burner until the sun came out: cleaning the shed.

The cold weather has kept you from tackling the clutter in your garage or shed, but now – alas – you have no excuse. These quick tips for organizing your shed or garage will get you back into the spring sunshine in no time!

Shelves

Install shelves in the shed or garage for a simple organizing solution. Build the shelves larger to small, with the larger ones on the bottom and small ones on the top to store less frequently used stuff. Larger shelves can house things like artificial Christmas trees, while mid-sized shelves are perfect for winter clothes boxes or other square-shaped items. Staggering the size of the shelves gives you a host of organization options.

Wall Hooks

Utility hooks offer an easy way to organize large yard tools like rakes or shovels. Simply hang them on the hooks to prevent a pile of tipped tools.

Board Racks

Tools like shears and saws should definitely not be left lying around the shed. Maintain a safe shed or garage environment by storing these tools on a board rack. Board racks keep tools separate to prevent scratching as well as helping to eliminate hazards.

Ramp

If the door to your shed or garage is elevated, install a ramp to make pushing in wheelbarrows or lawnmowers a little less awkward.

Hanging Basket

Hang a basket on the wall to hold wire, garden gloves or other small tools.

Toolbox

Keep your toolbox in top form by putting a charcoal briquette in it. Sounds weird, but the charcoal actually helps prevent rust from forming on your tools. Make sure you stick the coal in a bag first to keep black dust from getting on your tools.

See, organizing your outdoor tools is easier than you thought. Now clap the dust off your hands, rub off the elbow grease and enjoy that sunshine!

Featured Tree Classics Product: Arctic White Pine Tree

The Arctic White Pine Tree

arcticwhitepineChristmas isn’t Christmas until you have the perfect tree. From the top to the bottom branch, your holiday tree should be as magical as you imagined.

The Arctic White Pine Tree from Tree Classics manifests the holiday postcard in your head into a beautiful centerpiece for your home. Christmas perfection – realized.

Because it’s white, you get the full snowy forest effect. Added bonus: the faux snow hue adds even more luster to your Christmas tree lights.

In addition to being postcard pretty, the tree is sturdy enough to showcase your favorite ornaments. And you can put them front and center, thanks to the PVC needle tips and spacing that helps keep the décor in place. Continue reading

How to Recycle an Artificial Christmas Tree

Recycle Your Artificial Christmas Tree

Tree Classics: How to Recycle an Artificial Christmas Tree
by Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So the holidays are over, and you’re ready to retire your old artificial Christmas tree. What are your options? Here are a few alternatives to just throwing the whole thing in the dump.

1. Around Christmastime, most communities offer curbside pick-up of both real and artificial Christmas trees. These programs vary from city to city, so the best bet is to check with the waste management authority in your area to find out what options are available.

2. Take your tree to a drop-off recycling center. Almost every city or town has a recycling center where you can drop off your plastic, glass, aluminum, scrap metal, paper or artificial Christmas tree.

3. Sometimes, non-profit organizations conduct recycling campaigns to raise money or sustainability awareness. Often, Boy and Girl Scout troops organize these types of campaigns. You could do a quick Google search or call similar non-profits in your area to see what recycling efforts they have in progress–they might come pick up your tree for you.

No matter where your artificial Christmas tree ends up, there are a few general guidelines to follow before hauling it off or setting it out for recycling. Follow these steps to make sure your tree is as recyclable as possible:

  • Remove all lights. This could be trickier on a pre-lit Christmas tree, but if it’s at all possible, un-string the wires so the tree can be easily recycled.
  • Remove all decorations. Any non-organic decorations like garland, tinsel or ornaments should be removed, because they’ll interfere with the recycling process.

If you’re more interested in repurposing your artificial tree than recycling it, try cutting the limbs apart to create wreaths or garland you can use to ornament your front door, mantle or banisters in years to come. Depending on the shape of the limbs on your artificial tree, you should be able to use wire cutters to snip them to the length you want and re-use them around your home to add a touch of greenery and freshness.

Coupled with festive ribbons, lights and ornaments, last year’s Christmas tree could add a lovely, magical touch to the rest of your seasonal decorations. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box!

How to Decorate with Christmas Lights and Not Come Off Tacky

Christmas Lights All Year Round: Use these Chic Decorating Ideas to Light Up Your Home

christmaslightsYou and Christmas haven’t always gotten along. Your memories of the holiday include your mother’s gigantic yard ornaments and gaudy reindeer sweaters. You may be surprised to know that Christmas can be quite chic. Before you raise your eyebrows and flashback to a 10-foot inflatable Frosty, check out these innovative ideas for year-round decorating with Christmas lights.

Christmas Lights in the Bedroom
The soft glow of Christmas lights in the bedroom creates a mellow, romantic vibe. Use white lights for the best result. Festoon your bed canopy with Christmas lights by draping them on top of the canopy and over the sides. Another great bedroom lighting idea is to secure lights to the wall in heart shapes or trail lights from bottom corner to top corner for a light-vine effect.

Mirror Mirror

Festoon the frame of a hallway mirror with soft white Christmas lights. The lights reflected in the mirror creates a cozy glow.

Writing on the Wall

Use double-sided tape to create words on the wall. Then track the tape with Christmas lights for a truly captivating look.

A Tree Grows…On Your Wall

For this one you’ll needs lights and discarded branches. To find the branches, take a walk in your local park or check for sticks in your backyard. Use a handsaw or other tool to stagger the size of the branches. Drill a hole in the middle of each branch, string them together with twine and then hang the “tree” on your wall. Once it’s up, simple weave white Christmas lights in and out of the branches. Check out Turtles and Tails for detailed instructions.

Light Balls

This one is super easy. Simply wrap white lights around grapevine balls. You can find the materials at your local craft store.

Check Christmas tree clearance after the holiday season to find lights at a great price. The rest of the materials you need for these fun decorating ideas are probably sitting around your house. Who knew that those twinkling lights could lend charm way beyond your artificial Christmas tree? Now, block those memories of your Mom’s yard ornaments out of your mind and start creating completely chic Christmas light images of your own.

Holiday Fun Facts for Kids

© Grant Cochrane / 123RF.COM

© Grant Cochrane / 123RF.COM

 

Do the corners of your rooms look bare without your artificial Christmas trees? Are you missing the aroma of freshly baked cookies and bayberry candles? If you miss the fun holiday spirit and just can’t wait for Christmas to roll around again, take advantage of all the fun holidays that roll around the rest of the year.

Whether you want to keep the kids entertained with timely tidbits or just brighten up your little corner in the office, these fun facts about our most popular holidays will put you in the mood to decorate and maybe even bake a batch of homemade cookies!

Valentine’s Day

Heart-shaped sugar cookies with white icing and pink sprinkles are edibles hugs—delicious!

Be careful if you eat an apple on Valentine’s Day. There’s an old myth that says if you eat an apple on Valentine’s Day, you will have as many children as the number of seeds you find inside. The average is about three, but some varieties have up to 12 seeds.

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Tree Classics’ Favorite Spring Holidays!

Celebrate Spring Holidays with these Festive Ideas

Tree Classics obviously loves Christmas! But we’re not holiday snobs. We appreciate celebration in any form.

When the snow melts and Santa puts his sleigh up for the season, we enjoy the traditions and festivities associated with our favorite spring holidays.

So put away those red and green decorations, and pack your artificial Christmas tree into the storage. It’s time to celebrate the coming of spring!

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Featured Tree Classics Product: Tree Storage Bag

Tree Classics Tree Storage Bag

Looking for the perfect way to store your pre-lit artificial Christmas tree? The Tree Classics rolling storage bag makes it easy to store the most important part of your seasonal holiday decorations. It offers a practical, workable solution that’ll keep your tree in top shape for years to come.

Your artificial Christmas tree is an investment worth protecting, and sometimes a closet just won’t cut it. Cardboard boxes fall apart and allow dust to collect in all the tree’s crevices and branches–not what you want to find when you pull it out next holiday season. A quality tree bag will keep your tree dust-free. When you get ready to decorate next year, you won’t have to worry about shaking out the dust, so your family will be able to focus on what really matters-the ornaments, garland and lights.

storagebag1The Large TreeKeeper Pro Tree Storage Bag measures 65 inches in diameter and is tall enough to accommodate a 7.5- to 9-foot tall tree. Secure straps make it easy to adjust the bag to fit a variety of different sizes. And because it’s on wheels, you’ll be able to transport it without trouble, so getting it out at the beginning of next season won’t be a hassle. It’s also easy to transport in case of a move.

Extra reinforced storage space at the bottom of the TreeKeeper Pro Storage bag allows room for decorations, accessories or lights–no more tangled wires next season! And the reinforced polyester fabric is weather-resistant, made to last for years to come without getting musty or moldy. Whether you have a white Christmas tree or a pre-lit artificial tree, this storage bag is a worthwhile investment for your home and can make decorating next year exponentially simpler.

If you’re not unbending your tree from a poor storage situation, dusting or trying to find the parts of a tree stand lost in the back of a closet, you can instead enjoy the real meaning of the season: spending time with your family and friends as you decorate your home. That makes all the difference!

Top 10 Spring Cleaning Tips

10 Spring Cleaning Tips

spongeSpring cleaning doesn’t have to feel overwhelming.

Sure, the dust has had a year to accumulate, but you can bust that unwanted stuff in a hurry with these 10 spring cleaning tips.

Get your home in order and sparkling just in time for warmer weather. Then, open the windows and enjoy! Continue reading

Creating the Perfect Flower Arrangement for Spring

It’s springtime! Everything seems to be stirring to life after a long winter season. Finally, a reprieve from the winter blues after the holidays have been boxed up for the year.

Your artificial Christmas tree might be packed away until next winter, but you can pull out a few white or cream colored poinsettias from the Christmas decorations to set off yellow daisies and pink roses. Now is the time to think about springtime flower arrangements to give your home a fresh, bright feel.

Simplicity is in style this season, so it’s easy for you to create classic flower arrangements of your own using fresh cut flowers from your garden or from a local florist. Go with monochromatic color combinations–poppies and tulips are a lively, bright duo that lend cheeriness to any room.

Image c/o marthastewart.com

Image c/o marthastewart.com

By coupling colorful arrangements with simple, modern vases or bowls, you can mix and match an accent that will work well in any room of your home.

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