Getting Your Home in Shape  
by Barbara Jennings
Organizing your home can be a pretty daunting task. Getting it in shape is easier than you might think, however. To organize your home and make it more functional here are a few simple things you can do.

  • Get a custom door mat. - Always have a floor mat in front of your entry doors. This will help prevent dirt from being tracked inside. If you spray paint an 1830" coir mat with your house numbers, it's a custom mat and will assure any guests that they have arrived at the right place if they have never been to your home before. Large block numbers can be printed out on your computer, transferred to card stock. Cut out the numbers and use as a pattern. Spray painting the numbers on to the mat, and even adding a little color trim will make a huge custom statement at your front door.

  • Protect counter tops. - If you have problems with marring your counter tops, use those handy self-adhesive felt protectors under your small appliances, like your toaster, can opener, coffee maker and the like. You know the kind - the ones that you usually put under the legs of chairs to protect your hard wood floors.

  • Hooks make things convenient. - Utilize the back of your closet doors to hang things such as raincoats or umbrellas. Mount the broom hooks to the inside of the closet door, high enough so that whatever you hang on them will not touch the floor. For the back of any utility closet, use tool hooks to hang your mops and brooms. Hang them upsidedown so that they don't mildew or bend. The dust pan can be hung up as well. They usually come with a hole in the handle for that reason.

  • A towel bar trick. - You can also hang more towel bars on the back of bathroom doors. You can hang just one towel bar or two or three, evenly spaced. Follow the directions that come with the bars. Or hang more hooks to take care of your robe or nightgown. Doors are wooden and quite easy to use.

  • Make your stairs more safe. - A fluorescent stripe at the edge of each step can make basement stairs, which are usually darker, more safe. You can get fluorescent paint at the hardware store or use a strip of adhesive tape. Make sure the surface is clean and dust free first. To minimize wear, put the strip about 1 inch from the edge of the step.

  • Hide those unsightly cords. - Recently I hung a couple of hanging lanterns. The long cords from the light fixtures were unsightly. For a few dollars I purchased a piece of PVC pipe about 2" wide and strung the cords thru the pipe. The pipe was the same color as the wall behind it, so the cords literally "disappeared" from view and it looked much more neat and orderly. When you have other cords that are visible in a room, just placing an artificial plant in front hides them quickly and easily.

  • Look for other areas to make functional. - The inside of doors to an armoire is another place you can make more useful in the same manner as the inside of closet doors. Add additional storage to your home by choosing furniture pieces that have drawers and shelves as part of the piece. I collect all kinds of decorative boxes and baskets and include them as part of my decorating. I've added quite a bit of small storage possibilities to my home over the years. The boxes serve a utilitarian purpose as well as being decorative.

    Making your home more efficient and organized will help you be more productive when you are home. I don't know about other people, but I can only tolerate a certain degree of messiness and disorganization. It doesn't take much of a mess to interfere with my thoughts and ability to concentrate on tasks. While it takes time to pick things up and store things out of sight, the rewards are peace of mind and an ability to relax and be productive. That's worth a lot.

About the Author
Barbara Jennings is a well known author and interior decorator in Southern California. She is also a published artist. She teaches rearrangement design and how to do it as a home based business. Visit her website at Decorate-Redecorate.Com. Used by permission.

More Decorating Articles   by Barbara Jennings
Tips to Change Your Decorating by the Season

How to Get That Warm Feeling in Your Home

Getting More Storage in Your Home

Edible Table Decorations

Make Your Heritage Your Motif

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