Courtesy of Shelina Wardrope
CREATIVE STORAGE IDEAS When you spend most of your time in the house all winter, you tend to gather, and get annoyed by, excess clutter. Here are four neat ways to create functional storage in your home this winter. • Storage ottoman - this multipurpose piece can hide books, board games, blankets, seasonal decor and other trinkets while functioning as a place to rest your feet after a long day. • Updated tote - tired of those big blue totes that store so much but look so blah? Upholster one with batting and a cute fabric and then add casters to the bottom so you can wheel it from room to room. Great for toys and clothes and quick clean up. • Banquette bench - if your kitchen or even your entryway allows for it, bench seating complete with storage compartments is a great way to store seasonal clothes like winter boots in the summer or umbrellas in the winter. • Pet stairs - if you have a small pet that needs help to climb onto the bed or sofa, build a set of small stairs for them that allow for their toys, blankets and such to fit inside. With a little creativity and elbow grease, it's easy to add additional storage to your home to give home to any excess items you accumulate this winter.
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OUTSOURCING YOUR LAUNDRY Laundry is one of those tasks that hardly anyone actually enjoys, yet is as inevitable as eating or breathing. We all need clothes to wear and if laundry seems to be taking over your life, consider using a laundry service for a period of time (or indefinitely) to give yourself a break. The biggest benefit you'll notice is the time saved as most laundry services will pick up and drop off your garments leaving you to only put the clean, and folded, clothes away. They'll also treat stains and wash the clothes according to the care label so you don't have to worry about that either. You can send more than just clothes: sheets, towels, quilts, etc. are all items that need to be washed and might not fit in your home’s washer or dryer. Instead of heading to the laundromat, outsource these items to a laundry service. You might be thinking that it's too costly to hire a service, but look into it as it might not be as costly as you think. In the long run you won't need to purchase laundry supplies, incur utility expenses and maintain your washing and drying machines. If you've recently moved to a new home and have to purchase appliances, you might want to weigh the pros and cons of purchasing a washer and dryer vs. using a service. And ultimately, there is always the cost of your time. If you spend hours each week in the laundry room, consider how much it would be worth to you if you could instead spend that time with family, doing a hobby, or working an extra shift at work.
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