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
It's the little things in life that can cause the most chaos at home -- until now. These 25 tricks will give you organizational control, just in time for the holidays!
Classic X-shape dividers can do more than store bottles of wine. They're a genius way to store everything from taper candles to rolled linens.
Bonus idea: Post a bulletin board close to your entertaining supplies to pin up recipes and table ideas that might work for your next get-together.
Cabinets with fixed shelves can create dead space. Use that air space to best advantage by storing short highball glasses and stacks of dishes below hanging stemware.
Put your walls to work by organizing papers in wall-mount filing racks outfitted with folders.
Optimize efficiency by installing a corkboard, a dry-erase board, and a magnetic calendar above the work surface.
Insert a divided tray or drawer organizer into a desk drawer to sort fasteners and other office supplies. You'll need to choose an organizer that has a bottom (as opposed to the type of bottomless drawer divider used for socks) to keep small items from slipping underneath.
Here's a sneaky little trick for keeping frequently used tools such as rulers, scissors, or tape handy. Simply affix hooks to a desk, cabinet frame, or shelf.
Fill a deep desk drawer with containers of snacks (we used clear-glass cracker jars). Label the lids with dry-erase markers on vinyl-coated paper.
Keep your bills front and center by storing them in a clear-glass jar that refuses to be ignored.
Don't waste time looking for rubber bands and paper clips. Keep them handy and visible by repurposing a sectional dish that once was used for condiments.
Attach a sturdy food-storage bag to the side of a desk to keep stationery ready for your next bout of letter writing.
Reuse empty egg cartons, spread-eagled for maximum storage, to hold small items in the sections and larger items in the lid.
Take a tip from the workshop and use magnetic pegboard and small plastic bins to keep sewing and crafts supplies organized.
Bonus tip: Attaching tags to pegboard hooks makes it easy to remember which tool goes where.
Organize all your favorite spools of ribbon by sliding them onto a dowel held in place by brackets.
Clever kitchen cabinets have something to teach your gift-wrapping station. Use a pullout basket to store your bows, loosely stacked, to keep them from getting crushed.
Make use of every inch of space in your crafts area by hanging rolls of paper from a dowel mounted on brackets beneath a worktable. The paper stays securely, yet unobtrusively, tucked away until the next time you work on a project.
Use short mailing tubes or potato-chip cans to keep paintbrushes, pencils, and other art supplies organized. Cover the mailing tubes with decorative paper to fit your decor. Stack them and attach them to one another with crafts glue or double-sided tape to keep them stable.
Keep your project materials and tools stored together for efficiency's sake by nesting a muffin tin (vintage or new) within a large shallow basket. The muffin tin's wells keep small pieces organized while the rest of the basket easily holds hole punches, scissors, and other crafting tools.
Repurpose a tiered wire display stand (often used for storing fruits and vegetables) into a tool for holding rolls of ribbon. The larger bottom tier works well for holding entire rolls, while the smaller tiers above store odds and ends.
Delicate glass Christmas ornaments and miniature tree toppers last longer when stored securely. Start with a diamond drawer organizer. Tuck felt, soft cloth, or acid-free tissue paper in the wells and safely stow your treasures in a drawer or sturdy box until next season.
Eliminate the need to run through the house looking for batteries ever again. Use a plastic tackle box with multiple sizes of openings to hold your batteries, grouped by size.
Use a classic 12-well ice-cube tray to store a variety of fasteners for remodeling and picture-hanging projects. This type of tray is stackable (think of it as it is meant to be used in a freezer), meaning you can conserve space if needed on your workbench.
Clear glass kitchen canisters work as well in the garage or workshop as they do in the kitchen. Use them to store screws, nails, and other hardware that often gets lost in the backs of drawers or the bottom of a toolbox.