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
Find new uses for old household items. Boost comfort and organization in your home with these easy DIY projects that use items you probably already have.
Hang a wire mesh utensil organizer near your door as a hub for keys, sunglasses, and other essentials. Use nails with small heads (that fit through the mesh of the organizer) and hang it. Let the nails stick out far enough from the wall so that you can also use them as key hooks.
Organize kid's toys by providing visual cues. Print photos of toys and place them in frames. Attach the frames to plastic bins to designate where blocks, action figures, and other small toys belong.
Use a trouser hanger to suspend a make-up bag in an easy-to-reach place. Position the hanger on a hook on the back of a vanity door and clip the bag to the hanger.
Turn an ordinary shoe organizer into a stylish buffet. Place same-size cubby-style and shelf-style shoe organizers side by side and screw them together. Cut a MDF top and base to span the length of the organizers with a slight overhang on the sides and front. Secure a stemware holder underneath, and outfit the buffet with barware and fun accessories such as the tall glass vessel.
Preserve jewelry and prevent tangles and scratches by sorting pieces into bags. Label and organize in a clear recipe-card holder for an easy DIY jewelry box.
Minimize the chaos and clutter of power cords by clinching them together with a small hair clip. If needed, use more than one clip to keep cords under control behind a console, entertainment center, or computer.
Store your shoes in easy-to-see clear plastic boxes for a clutter-free closet and hassle-free morning.
For a low-cost alternative for shoe storage, reuse original shoe boxes and cover them with decorative paper to create streamlined shoe storage. Attach a picture of the shoes to the front of the box to help you find your favorite pair.
Secure cord bundles with stretchable bands designed to slip around baby bottles and sippy cups. Bands can be customized with any text, including information about cord length and usage.
Use fabric scraps to make weighted pouches to use as cute bookends. Cut two rectangles of fabric and place the right sides together. Sew around the edges, leaving a small opening. Turn the pouch right side out and fill with sand. Sew the opening closed. This technique can be used for a doorstop, too. Simply use larger squares of fabric and more sand.
When space is at a premium, call the front of a shelf into office duty. Here, stenciled letters designate days of the week, and repositionable clips hold reminders and to-dos for that day of the week.
Nix the water puddles that are inherent with snowy and rainy weather. Dry shoes by resting them on metal cooling racks inside a large plastic tray in the mudroom or entry room.
Wrap metal containers in pretty paper and fill with pens, pencils, and markers. Use extra-strong neodymium magnets to hold the containers in place on a mesh panel, or store them on top of your desk.
Help yourself, your child, and his or her teacher keep track of important papers. A clear zipper bag connected to a backpack with a carabiner makes notes and field trip money easy to spot.
Stop misplacing board game pieces and make setup a cinch by organizing cards, dice, markers, and other accessories in individual bags.
Fill coin purses with a single size of rechargeable batteries. Carry them along with on-the-go devices such as digital cameras, flashlights, and media players.