Home Help: Organization tips

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

With summer fast approaching, it is important for on-the-go families to realize that home organization does not have to be difficult or time consuming.

Here are tips to help you prioritize your home organization needs and save valuable time:

* Make a plan: Keep a small journal in which you list all the areas you would like to tackle during the summer. This will remind you what to focus on and help you organize and clean in less time. 

* Teach your family to pitch in: If you're the main housekeeper, it's reasonable to ask family members to help with chores, such as loading the dishwasher, picking up toys, taking out the trash and doing the laundry.

* Tackle one room at a time: To prevent yourself from becoming overwhelmed, it is important to identify the areas that need to be organized. From there, determine which tasks are most necessary in each of those rooms.

* Use bins and labels to organize trash: Instead of simply dividing items into separate piles that will likely get knocked over or mixed up, use plastic bins and adhesive labels that say “keep,” “recycle” or “donate.”

-- ARA

Decorating Tip: Bedding glossary

Comforter -- A thick bed covering packed with down or synthetic fill and usually quilted; does not require a fabric cover.

Coverlet -- A bed covering that is generally thinner and lighter than a comforter.

Duvet -- Term used alternately to refer to a thick comforter filled with down, one that requires a fabric covering or the fabric covering itself, so check packaging carefully to be sure what you're getting.

-- Scripps Howard News Service

Home-Selling Tip: The front door

Since the front door is the first thing a buyer will see, it should make a statement that is welcoming and refreshing. Consider hanging an inviting, seasonal wreath, or replace the door knocker with something modern. Buy a big welcome mat, and outline the path leading up to the door with flowers. Some sellers paint their front door a bright color to make it stand out.

-- FrontDoor.com

Going Green: Grow a container garden

To reduce your carbon footprint, grow your own container garden that consists of your favorite herbs and veggies. According to a study at Iowa State University, produce is shipped an average of 1,500 miles before it reaches the grocery's shelves. Growing your own food will also reduce packaging waste, improve indoor air quality and ensure the quality and safety of your food.

-- Earth911.com

Did You Know …

Realtors specializing in commercial real estate reported an increase in transactions in 2011, as well as a rise in their median gross annual income. -- Realtors.org

New Product: Wireless Emergency Alerts

A system of text-like Wireless Emergency Alerts, including “imminent threats” like natural disasters, presidential alerts and AMBER alerts, are set to roll out soon. Such carriers like AT&T, Cricket, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless are participating in the system, which will automatically send subscribers these alerts for free, according to The Wireless Association.

-- Consumer Reports Electronics Blog

Garden Guide: Cutting flowers for vases

Cutting gardens, which were a normal part of Victorian gardens, are made up of a variety of annuals and perennials, both flowering and foliage, that can be used in flower arrangements.

Harvest early in the day when temperatures are the coolest. Take a bucket filled with water to the garden. Wash the bucket thoroughly to reduce the chances of bacteria and algae clogging the water-conducting tissues of the flowers and add a commercial, floral preservative solution to the water. To prevent the flowers from wilting beyond their ability to recover, put them in the bucket immediately after cutting them.

-- University of Illinois Extension

GateHouse News Service