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Have you ever wanted to unlock your door with a fingerprint? Control the indoor and outdoor lights with your phone? You can do those things and more with a smart home. We show you how to get a home with connected technology and remote-operated devices that are designed to improve and simplify your life. We sift through the many options, including smart appliances, new apps, and smartphone and tablet innovation, and only bring you those that can make your life better. We give you tips and tricks for navigating the new home technologies and help you with buying decisions.

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In the Bag: 6 Easy Storage Ideas

Think of bags as the kids' version of file drawers and closet organizers. Check out these 6 easy-to-make ideas to clean up the clutter around your house.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Toss It in a Case

      Make cleanup a breeze by converting ready-made pillow cases into storage bags.

      How to Make It

      -- Stitch a casing a couple inches from the case's top edge.

      -- Thread cording through the casing.

      -- Clinch bags and hang.

    • Perfect Shower Storage

      Tuck kids' bath toys and gear into a liner that hangs out of sight behind the shower curtain. Made from athletic mesh, this bag drip-dies fast.

      How to Make It

      -- Size the liner to one width of mesh.

      -- Sew a strip of fabric along the top edge for a stable surface. Add slots for shower curtain pins.

      -- Customize the lines by making a series of mesh pockets to hold gear.

      -- Cut mesh to size for pockets, then stitch a length of contrasting fabric, at the top, to create a casing.

      -- Thread elastic through the casing and pull to gather.

    • Toss It Over the Couch

      Create a place for everything with this fun throw. It tucks under the sofa cushions and lifts off at a moment's notice.

      How to Make It

      -- Sew large pockets to a sturdy throw.

      -- Add 3-inch panels to the sides and bottom.

      -- Add embellishments such as ribbons, buttons, and zippers to complete the look.

    • Hanging Storage

      Oilcloth bags hanging on the back of the door corral blocks, Barbies, and other small toys. Zippers on the sides of each bag let a child open it for use as a play surface.

      How to Make It

      -- Cut two rectangles (one for facing, one for lining) with a 1/2-inch seam allowance on all sides.

      -- Sew zippers into the sides of the bag.

      -- To make the tabs, cut a fabric strip 5-1/2 inches wide.

      -- Fold the long edges in so they slightly overlap and machine stitch.

      -- Cut tabs to fit over rod.

      -- Top off with a snap to hold the ends together.

    • Roll-Up Nap Sack

      Make a one-of-a-kind travel roll that you can pack for an overnight stay at Grandma's house.

      How to Make It

      -- Determine how many pockets you'll need for clothes and gear.

      -- Cut fabric to length and wide enough to hold all your goodies.

      -- Choose a second fabric to line the inside of the bag.

      -- On the inside, stitch pockets out of athletic mesh, sized to fit pajamas, diapers, or blankets.

    • Soap Storage

      Stitch the edges of two washcloths for double-duty bath accessories -- a small bag for soap and the perfect scrub cloth.

    • 7 of 7
      Next Slideshow 1-Hour Fall Crafts

      1-Hour Fall Crafts

      With so many holidays around the corner, fall is the perfect time to do some extra decorating. If you're short on time, try one of our one-hour fall crafts. The easy projects will spruce up your home without stealing an entire afternoon.
      Begin Slideshow »



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