Help keep your home clutter-free with these stylish organizing tools.
If clutter is closing in on you and you can’t seem to climb out from underneath it, the organizing mantra, ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’ can help. It underscores the notion that every single thing in your home should have a place where it belongs. If it doesn’t have a home, then find one or consider whether you need the item at all. These 8 organizing tools will help you to keep everything in its rightful place.
A catchall is perfect for keeping items that easily go astray all in one place. Perfect for the front hallway to keep coins and keys corralled or use it on your nightstand to keep jewelry and other accessories in one spot where you can easily find them in the morning. Made from luxurious French calfskin leather, this piece is as practical as it is pretty. Medium Leather Catchall, Gigi New York, $98.
If your home seems to have an infinite number of cords and cables and chargers lying around, try to eliminate the chaos with tools that’ll streamline things. This charging dock, for instance, hides unsightly wires for at least two devices and allows you to charge an iPhone and an Apple Watch in one place, using a charging station that is neat, organized and design-friendly. Valet Charge Dock for Apple Watch + iPhone, Belkin, $129.99.
A house only has so much storage space so sometimes, you have to create more using creative ideas. This woodblock wall shelf is beautifully handcrafted from carved wood and has three sliding drawers and two hooks for hanging coats, umbrellas or other things that need somewhere to go. This piece is as much an organizing tool as it is a decorative piece of wall art. Painted Woodblock Wall Shelf, Urban Outfitters, $49.
Need to eliminate all the ‘stuff’ in your home? Find multifunctional pieces that serve more than one purpose. This ottoman, for instance, can serve as an extra seat for a guest, a side table and a footstool and also provides storage space for things like blankets, throw cushions, magazines and anything else you need to store somewhere. Burlap Seat Storage Ottoman, Ballard Designs, $279.
Bye-bye junk drawers, hello organized haven! For less than the price of a fancy cup of coffee, you can create order out of disorder in any drawer in your home. Whether it’s the junk drawer in the kitchen, the sock drawer in your bedroom or the toiletry drawer in the bathroom, these drawer dividers will make it easy for you to find exactly what you’re looking for. HÖFTA drawer dividers, IKEA, $3.99/3-pack.
We don’t mean to overstate things but: A label maker will change your life. Fine. We said it. You’ll never not know where things are once everything is neatly organized and labelled. This next-gen label maker will create professional looking labels for files, storage bins, clothing and pretty much anything else that easily gets lost in the shuffle. But, it’s easy to get carried away so if you start labelling the kids, you know it’s time to put the label maker down and step away. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Epson Labelworks Lw-300 Label Printer, Amazon, $38.75.
Admittedly, they had us at the name ‘cord taco’. But beyond that, these little leather organizing tools are just adorable and practical. Keep rogue cords around the house like charger cables, USB cords and earphones neat and tidy with these leather holders that shut with a metal snap. Cord Tacos, This is Ground, $29.
In the kitchen, craft room, garage or front hallway, this customizable metal pegboard will help you to keep odds and ends visible and easily accessible. We love that it comes in a variety of fun colours and includes six hooks so that you can design the board to best suit your needs. Metal Pegboard Organizer, Einadesign on Etsy, $59.
Learn how to properly clean your carpets.
Tips, tricks and stylish solutions to keep your carpets fresh and clean.
How to keep carpets clean
Step 1: Be diligent about vacuuming. Dragging the machine across the surface once isn’t sufficient. Make a number of passes over each section, giving extra attention to high-traffic areas.
Step 2: Attend to spills immediately. Blot stains with a paper towel before spot cleaning; never rub, as that can push the dirt further into the fibres. Use a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water to wet - not soak - the area, then blot again. For stubborn stains, try spill-specific solutions: Cornstarch works well on grease, club soda on coffee spills and salt on mud.
Step 3: To maintain a clean surface long term, invest in yearly professional deep cleaning. Wall-to-wall carpets as well as rugs that have a waterproof backing can be cleaned on-site; rugs without a waterproof layers should be sent out to a cleaning facility.
Got set stains you can’t shake? Swap your current floor covering for carpet tiles like these from Flor (flor.com). If you mark a tile, it can be lifted and replaced easily and inexpensively - prices start at only $8 US each.
A high-performance vacuum is a worthy investment for keeping carpets looking beautiful year after year.
Dyson’s latest innovation is its Cinetic cyclone technology. The 54 cyclones feature new oscillating tips that prevent any dust buildup and blockage. Read: Zero loss of suction for at least a decade. DC78 Turbinehead Animal VACUUM, $800, Dyson, dysoncanada.ca.
Psst! One of the most powerful machines on the market, made in France, is also the quietest - four times more muted than the average. Silence Force Extreme VACUUM, $500, Rowena, rowentafloorcare.ca.
In true Jetsons-esque fashion, an automated vacuum like this one from Miele does all the work without you. Just set it and forget it - can’t get simpler than that! Scout RX1 VACUUM, $799, Miele, miele.ca.
TIP: For a fresh scent, sprinkle baking soda infused with your favourite essential oil, like sage (add one drop per cup of soda), on the carpet. Leave on for 20 minutes before vacuuming.
Our sweetest comfort food recipes
These coconut macaroons have an added ingredient to make them perfectly sweet.
Martha Stewart's crisp coconut and chocolate pie
Who knew such a seductively sweet pie could be so simple? Martha Stewart makes this dessert recipe easy to enjoy.
Chocolate angel pie
Give your dinner guests a taste of heaven with this chocolate angel pie.
Channel your inner southern belle with this sweet and silky butterscotch pie recipe.
These holiday classics are sure to be a hit at your next get together.
Candy bar hot chocolate
Satisfy your sweet tooth and keep warm with Dylan Lauren's hot chocolate recipe.
Indulge your sweet tooth with this simple but decadent Mexican milk fudge.
White chocolate and fig cookies
These chewy cookies are super indulgent with white chocolate and dried figs.
Double fudge chocolate cupcakes
These classic cupcakes have an amazing deep chocolate flavour and are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.
Lead photography by Leigh Beisch.
Stylish sewing room.
Two sewing studios designed on drastically different budgets. Can you tell which is high and which is low?
We've dressed two home sewing studios to the nines on both a bargain brand and a haute couture budget. Can you tell the difference between these two stylish workspaces?
1 Coiled cotton rope basket, Michaels, $25. 2 Sektion cabinetry bases, IKEA, $152. Painted fibreboard Veddinge cabinetry doors in white, 24" x 30", $28 each, and 24" x 60", $46 each, IKEA. 3 Powder-coated metal Inez task lamp in white, Structube, $49. 4 Lacquered engineered wood Hi-Gloss trays in Swoon Blue-Green, orange and white, CB2, $35 each. 5 Stained solid Acacia wood and veneer Verona dining table (used as desk), Jysk, $400. 6 Canvas Retro Jumbo Text bin, Jysk, $17. 7 Wicker basket, HomeSense, $20. 8 Powder-coated aluminum and wool blend Patrik Swivel office chair in Ullevi Blue, IKEA, $199. 9 Singer One Plus elec- tronic 231-stitch sewing machine, SVP Worldwide, $599. 10 Olfa Self-healing cutting mat, 24" x 36", Michaels, $45.
1 Small coiled cotton-blend rope cove basket, Crate and Barrel, $40. 2 Sektion cabinetry bases, IKEA, $152. Foiled fibreboard ringhult cabinetry doors in high-gloss white, 24" x 30", $98 each, and 24" x 60", $161 each, IKEA. 3 White oak and powder-coated steel rex task lamp in ivory, Crate and Barrel, $119. 4 Painted pine and engineered wood zuma trays in aqua sky, orange and white, Crate and Barrel, $35 each. 5 Solid reclaimed pine post and rail dining table (used as desk) in driftwood, Urban Barn, $999. 6 Seletti cotton bin, Neat, $99. 7 Hand-woven wicker basket, HomeSense, $50. 8 Chrome-plated metal Coup office chair with polyester Harper fabric in Teal Blue, CB2, $349. 9 Husqvarna Viking computerized 1,000-plus-stitch Designer Ruby Royale sewing machine with embroidery attachment (not shown), SVP Worldwide, $12,000. 10 Green cutting mat, 24" x 36", DeSerres, $68.
Wayward buttons, rolling bobbins...The very fabric of order can unravel quickly in the seamstress’s quarters. Give this creative organizing idea a whirl. Stack a few thick-rimmed square trays on your work table (mix colours for a fun look). Fill the top one with oft-used bits and bobs, including scissors and a measuring tape; stash flat sartorial essentials like fabric remnants in the bottom ones.
Keep supplies for current projects top of mind by storing them on open shelving. Here we’ve intentionally omitted doors on one cabinetry column. To give the display some cohesion, we lined the back of the cabinet with a favourite fabric.
When you think of a pincushion, the classic tomato shape likely comes to mind. The icon dates back to the Victorian era, when tomatoes were placed on mantels to ward off evil and invite prosperity. When the fruit was out of season, dummy versions (made from red fabric and filled with sawdust) were improvised. One seamstress thought to store pins and needles in hers, and the rest is history. As the design gained popularity, a small strawberry form containing an abrasive for cleaning and sharpening was added. To honour that creative spirit, we’ve compiled some unique pincushions from the Etsy-verse. Who knows – maybe the icon will be replaced by a red apple? Clockwise 1 Needle-felted wool Apple, Ewe and Me Yarns, $22 US. 2 Scented organic felted wool in Aqua, Simple Is Pretty Shop, $10. 3 Cotton Wrist, Caractacus Crane, $10.
Dreaming big, but your budget’s almost laughable? Don’t worry – here are four affordable sewing machines for the eager beginner. HIGH 1 Computerized 50-stitch CE-5000, Brother, $200. 2 Singer mechanical 8-stitch 1408 Promise, SVP Worldwide, $149. LOW 1 Mechanical 56-stitch XB2510, Brother, $130. 2 SY Electronic 13-stitch, IKEA, $80.