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The post below is a copy of the article I wrote for the online publication of Seattle’s Child, where I publish bi-weekly articles on home organization. To see a complete list of all past articles, please visit the Reclaim Your Home section on Seattle’s Child. See this article on the Seattle’s Child website here.

School is back in session and fall is just around the bend. After the footloose days of summer, it’s time to (literally) plug back in.

Computers, lighting, and chargers mean power cords galore! If you’re tired of trying to stuff power cords out of sight, try one of these ideas for letting them shine.

That’s a Wrap!
With just a small piece of fabric and a few stitches you can create a stylish, custom cord cover in about ten minutes tops. Go over-sized and scrunchy or snug and streamlined. Choose a subdued fabric to blend with other furnishings or create a little flair with contrast and color. (Click photos below for easy how to’s!)

LampCordFabricCover.jpg
Photo source: Let It Shine

CloseCover.jpg
Photo source: By Stephanie Lynn

Tape Tips
If you haven’t discovered the endless fun and practical uses for Washi tape, you are in for a treat! With tons of cute designs to choose from, you can dress up cords or any other unsightly element in your home in mere minutes. Electrical tape also works in a pinch, but isn’t nearly as fun.

washiCord.jpg
Photo source: Design Love Fest

TapeStripes.jpg
Photo source: Bambula

Weave
Wrapping cords with jute or yarn can produce some beautiful results. The tight weave also makes for a tidy appearance and keeps cords clean.

SisalCord.jpg
Photo source: The VOW

FriendshipCord.jpg
Photo source: Brit + Co

yarnbraid.jpg
Photo source: Design Sponge

Front and Center
Who says a cord has to be…just a cord? Put that power cord front and center and turn it into art! Map out your design in advance and determine the length of cord required to get it done. You may want to swap out your existing cord for one that’s extra long so you can get as extravagant as you like. No matter what you create, you can bet it will be one of a kind! ( Click photo below for how-to)

CordPicture.jpg
Photo source: Maisie Broadhead

A few smart companies, such as Monkey Business,  are onto this trend and are selling decorative wall clips that transform power cords into a pretty scene. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more of these designs before too long!

WallCord.jpg
Photo source: Brit + Co; Buy it on Amazon

Power cords are a reality, but that doesn’t mean they have to be boring or stuck out of sight. Rather than fighting the cord chaos in your own home, have some fun with it. Anything can become art with a little vision and effort!

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Five Pin Friday

August 29, 2014

There’s just something about the lines in each of these that I love! Clean, crisp and FUN!

  1. Small space but love to entertain? Check out these hanging folding chairs!!HangFoldChairs
  2. It’s a floor lamp… on the wall!
    LampWallLamp
  3. How beautiful is this pendant light by David Trubridge, made even more beautiful by the sustainable bamboo its made of!
    ModPendant
  4. This living room cubist rug is another take on the modular rug – I’m loving these designs!
    ModularRug
  5. How about a coffee table that grows with your needs?

PullOutCoffeeTable

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The post below is a copy of the article I wrote for the online publication of Seattle’s Child, where I publish bi-weekly articles on home organization. To see a complete list of all past articles, please visit the Reclaim Your Home section on Seattle’s Child. See this article on the Seattle’s Child website here.

Back-to-school is always an exciting and, let’s face it, exhausting time of year. With new clothes and supplies to be purchased and a new routine for the whole family, things can get chaotic pretty fast.

In this article I’ll share some tips for making back-to-school, and the entire school year, run a little more smoothly.

Every Day, A Fresh Start
Mornings with school-age kids can be hectic. I can’t be the only one who has sent their kid to school late with mismatched socks!

My solution is to make sure all the essentials you need to get your child out the door has its own place. That means:

  • Backpacks and lunch bags
  • Homework, school projects, permission slips
  • Shoes and boots
  • Coats, jackets, umbrellas, and cold-weather gear

If your home has a mudroom or other spacious entry way, lucky you! A little organizing may be all you need.

MudroomWHanger.png
Photo source: Houzz – Cory Connor Designs

For starters, I find that it really helps to give each person their own designated space. Naturally, make sure hooks and cubbies are height appropriate so even your littlest ones can learn to be self-sufficient.

Pro Tip: Keep a message board by the door for important reminders (e.g., Monday piano lessons) or sweet notes to send them out the door with love.

KidCubby2.jpg
Photo source: Pinterest

If you don’t have the luxury of designated entry space, you don’t need a ton of room to make one of your own.

Consider hanging a staggered row of hooks on a bare wall for an easy solution (Command Hooks) with a spot for shoes and boots below. Baking sheets covered with stones or cooling racks are a cute, crafty way to keep muddy shoes off your floors.

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Photo source: Martha Stewart

The Great Paper Pile-Up
Before you know it, the kids will be coming home with a stacks of papers and treasured artwork. Much like assigning a spot for each person’s backpack, it helps to have a designated spot for each child’s papers, too. I just love the wall-mounted, magnetic magazine pockets by Three By Three. Get one for each child plus an “in” box for papers that need to be looked at or signed.

magazine pocket.png
Photo source: Three by Three

(For longer term storage of special art and school work, check out my previous article: Storing School Year Projects.)

Kids these days are BUSY and someone has to keep track of where everyone is supposed to go. My favorite method is a family calendar that lives right along side the paper and homework space. You may still be the commander-in-chief of the schedule, but as your kids get older the family calendar will help them take responsibility for their social, school, and extracurricular life.

Calendar.jpg
Photo source: It’s Always Autumn

A Workable Space
Every child has unique needs for homework and project space. Some might need peace and quiet while others need a little activity or the motivation of mom looking over their shoulder to keep them on track. Consider what works best for your child. While there are no set rules, giving kids separate space often works the best.

homeworkStation.jpg
Photo source: BHG

To avoid distractions or melt-downs over lost scissors, keep school and art supplies easily within reach. I love the idea of using containers that you already have on hand to store anything from crayons to erasers to colored pencils.

supplyorganization.jpg
Photo source: Etsy – BradensGrace shop

Food for Thought
Unless your child buys lunch every day, chances are you have lunch boxes, baggies, thermoses, and cutlery spilling out of your cupboards. To stop the sack lunch insanity, designate one cupboard for all things lunch and label categories clearly.

LunchSupply.jpg
Photo source: Uncommon Designs

I also like to have a designated set of utensils that is just for lunch and lunch prep (no sharp knives or pokable objects) so your kids can assist in lunch making responsibility. At the end of the day, have your kids empty out their lunch boxes and put things back where they belong. No more stinky milk cups!

Spreader.png
Photo source: Amazon Tulz Utility Spreader

There’s the Bell!
The most important part of all of this back-to-school prep? Making sure your kids are on board with this vision for smooth-sailing school days. Label designated areas clearly and review with the whole family so everyone is on the same page. You might even practice prepping a school lunch and have a picnic out on the lawn.

Back-to-school is a transition, and transitions can be hard when it comes to kids. Go easy on yourself. Even if you implement just one or two of these ideas, you will likely find that next season is that much easier.

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The post below is a copy of the article I wrote for the online publication of Seattle’s Child, where I publish bi-weekly articles on home organization. To see a complete list of all past articles, please visit the Reclaim Your Home section on Seattle’s Child. See this article on the Seattle’s Child website here.

Area Rugs 101: Choosing the right rug for you.
Area rugs are such a fun way to add a little pizazz to any space. With so many great options in the market today, choosing the right one can be daunting. Here are some things to consider before you start shopping.

What kind of space do you want to create?
Area rugs are a great way to connect different pieces of furniture, anchor a seating area, or define a smaller area within a large room. For example, an area rug can help create an intimate conversation zone within a large living room.

Before you trek to the store or dive into the black hole of online shopping, consider your own floor plan and space. Could a certain kind of rug help you use the space more efficiently? Or create a totally new look and feel? Maybe now is the time to get creative and break up a large or awkward room into more intimate, social, or family-friendly spaces.


Photo Source: The Interiors Addict


Photo Source: Pinterest


Photo Source: Sara Eizen via Houzz

Furniture on or off the rug?
There are no hard and fast rules for the placement of furniture in relation to rugs, but naturally I do have my opinions! I tend to favor front-legs-on placement, meaning only put the front legs of the sofa and chairs on the rug.


Photo Source: Sara Eizen via Houzz

Some people prefer to have all the furniture on the rug. In the right space, it can work quite nicely.


Photo Source: Homebunch

I am definitely not a fan of placing all furniture off the rug as it tends to make it look like you mismeasured and the rug is too small for the space. It’s also not as cozy and cohesive of a look.


Photo Source: Houzz


Photo Source: Burlap & Lace

Size up the situation.
Now that you’ve answered some general layout questions, it’s time to really size up the situation. Take traffic patterns into consideration when determining the size of the rug; you don’t want any one area of the rug to take a beating from heavy foot traffic. While I prefer that the long side of the rug run parallel with the sofa, there are times when it works best due to high traffic zones to run it the other way.


Photo Source: Apartment Therapy

Typical sizes for living room rugs are 5×8, 8×10, and 9×12 (6×9 is not as common but it does exist). What if you want or need an 8×8 rug? FLOR carpet tiles to the rescue! FLOR carpet tiles come in a wide variety of sizes and great styles so you can essentially create just about any kind of rug you might want.

Mind your materials.
When it comes rug material, I prefer natural fibers, especially wool. Even though it has the potential to shed, wool really has the best durability.


Photo Source: My Shop

When you are shopping online, beware of low-priced rugs that look too good to be true. There’s a good chance it’s either an indoor/outdoor rug, which you really don’t want in your living room, or it’s made out of polypropylene or nylon which can look cheap.


Photo Source: Ballard Designs


Photo Source: Overstock

While they can work well as an accent in low-traffic zones, flat woven rugs, or dhurries, are not typically great for active spaces because they move around a lot, even with a pad. When the kids come skidding into the living room, the rug will go right along with them!


Photo Source: West Elm

The timeless look of sisal rug is classic, however it’s not the most cozy under bare feet or little hands and knees. With its neutrality and durability, sisal is ideal for entry ways and or under dining tables.


Photo Source: Bubblesoda

Rugs are fun. I love rugs! I hope these tips make it easier for you to find the right rugs to love, too.

 

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