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.See More
Turn ordinary household finds into unexpected storage solutions.
New Use: No matter how much ribbon you collect, you always have your favorites that you reach for again and again. A paper-towel holder is the perfect way to keep your favorites in order and on display. The spools slide easily onto the rod, and you can store jars and cards on the shelf.
Old Use: Keeping the nuts and bolds tidy in tiny compartments.
Approximate Cost: $20
New Use: If you collect new embellishments on a regular basis, you most likely have trouble finding a place to store them all. With this system, you can take those small buttons, brads, and flowers out of their packages and stash them within reach. Labels help you locate the items, and the see-through drawers allow for a colorful display as well as an at-a-glance inventory check. The best part: When you run out of room, just stack another cabinet.
Old Use: Perfect for tidying up the garage, this tool organizer fits right into a bucket.
Approximate Cost: $15
New Use: This standard bucket is portable and roomy with plenty of pockets so you won't have to dig to find your stuff. Use the side pockets to store scissors, punches, and other scrapbooking tools of the trade. And inside you can stash your larger items, like paper trimmers and cutting mats.
Old Use: Keeps the air flowing through your home.
Approximate Cost: $7
New Use: Stamp storage is always tricky, and it's hard to find affordable solutions that don't take up too much space. You can find a large vent like this one in the contractor section of your local home improvement store. Lay it flat and you can prop up rows of stamps right on your desktop. They come in metal (which you can paint to fit your color scheme) or plastic, so they are easy to clean.
Old Use: Classic tiles often grace the ceiling, but paired with drawer pulls and magnets we saw beyond its classic use.
Approximate Cost: $20 (depending on price of drawer pulls, which varies)
New Use: Personalize tin tiles with wooden drawer pulls decked out in your favorite color scheme and souped up with magnets attached with a dab of E-6000. Use the decorative magnets to hang layouts in progress, completed pages, or favorite scrapbook ideas.
New Use: This two-tier basket provides easy, open storage. It's a great place for air-drying stamps after washing them and for storing them until you're ready to stamp again. Your favorite inks will stack nicely in it, too. The wire is fanciful and feminine, which makes the basket a beautiful addition in any scrap room.
New Use: These silicone muffin and ice-cube trays are available in a rainbow of colors, but the best thing about them is their price tag. They're inexpensive enough that you can purchase a variety to organize your embellishments by type, size, or color -- without breaking the bank. Simply stash the trays in a drawer and pull them out when you're ready to use the embellishments.
Old Use: You will normally find this drying rack sitting next to your kitchen sink.
Approximate Cost: $25
Old Use: Ushering air through your ducts is a typical day's work for this silver duct joint. We saw potential in its cup-like shape for the perfect place to stash supplies.
Approximate Cost: $4 for chain, $21 for three joints
New Use: These parts don't seem like they have much in common, but they combine into this cool caddy perfect for scrapbookers. A little spray paint, a pair of holes drilled into the top of each joint, and a bit of ball chain combined to make this into a fun catchall you can hang near your desk for quick retrieval of often-used supplies and tools.