Oops! How to Fix 5 Moving Mishaps

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Did your moving truck hit some potholes? Could your fragile items have used an extra layer of bubble wrap? Don’t despair! Follow these fixes for common moving uh-ohs.

1. Chipped Mirror

No! Anything but your favorite mirror! Mirrors are just like windshields: Many chips and cracks can be fixed, but only a pro can tackle the repair. Consider an alternative: If the chip or crack is near the mirror’s edge, buy (or DIY) a frame wide enough to hide the blemish.

2. Scratched Tabletop

If your coffee table’s surface is looking rough, get crafty. A few swipes of a wood repair penmay help a tiny scratch blend in. For larger scratches, sand and restain or paint the surface. If the damage is a gouge rather than a scratch, and you can’t bear to get rid of the piece, seize the opportunity to update your décor: Top the coffee table with a cushion — instant ottoman! Same goes for dining-room tables: If the dings are too big to fix, give the table a makeover with a fresh stain or a paint job in a graphic pattern — or just put your favorite tablecloths in permanent rotation.

3. Damaged Furniture Leg

Who knew a chair leg could snap so easily? First, mix wood glue and wood filler and reattach the leg; once it’s dry, repaint or restain the item. If the break is too severe, replace each leg with a more contemporary metal leg. If a table leg is damaged beyond repair, consider removing the remaining legs and setting the tabletop on a new base.

4. Smashed Drawer Pulls or Knobs

If a drawer pull (or four) was nicked or — worse — broken clean off, go for a makeover. Pick up new knobs and drawer pulls, choosing ones with the same number of screws as the old knobs; or fill the old screw holes, refinish the item and then install any new hardware that you like.

5. Upholstery Snafus

If your sofa’s snagged or permanently stained, but otherwise comfy, don’t count it as a loss. Hide the flaw with a throw pillow (or reverse the cushion); if that won’t cut it, a budget-friendly slipcover will put the couch back in the game.

5 Tips for Maximizing Your Under-Sink Space

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If the vanity is the only storage spot in your new bathroom, there’s no room for clutter or wasted space. Kyle Schuneman, our resident authority on squeezing stuff into small spaces, explains how to make the most of every inch in your under-sink cabinet.

1. Use Wire Shelves

You can double the size of your space when you position a wire shelving unit inside the vanity cabinet. “By going vertical under your sink, you’ll get a lot more room,” Schuneman says. Store items that have some heft and won’t slip through the shelf’s slots — think bottles of mouthwash and extra bars of soap — and place smaller, lesser-used items on the lower shelf. Before buying a shelf, measure the height and width of the cabinet space, making sure to note where the pipes are.

2. Break Out the Trays

No, not the kind you use to serve drinks (that’s for later!), but the kind you put on top of or slide inside a bathroom vanity to bring order to your stuff. “Assign different trays for different uses: cleaning products on one, makeup or shaving needs on another, etc., so you can take one tray out at a time as you need it,” Schuneman says.

3. Stack Clear Plastic Bins

Use up every precious inch of a cabinet’s vertical space and contain clutter with a few stacks of clear storage bins. (Get bins with lids to make stacking a cinch.) Any plastic organizer will help separate the eye shadow from the iodine, but only clear ones take the guessing game out of, “Where’s the cough syrup?”

4. Opt for Sliding Drawers

If your main gripe about under-sink storage is having to dig through/pull out/practically reorganize the stuff up front every time you want to grab a bottle from the back, save square footage (and your sanity) with sliding basket organizers. Need that defrizzer on a humid day? Slide open the basket to retrieve it in a snap!

5. Hang Stuff on the Door

Don’t overlook the back of the cabinet door, which is just the spot to hang an over-the-door caddy to store cleaning products. Or affix sturdy 3M hooks to hang hairdryers, flat irons and other bulky items, Schuneman suggests. It’s even a good place to hang that jumbo bag of cotton balls you bought on sale. “Poke a hole at the top of the bag, then place it on the hook.” Instant storage!

5 Ways to Make a Small Room Multifunctional

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If you find yourself wondering whether to make that spare bedroom a guest room or an office, consider a third option: Make it both. Two rooms combined in one multifunctional space means you get the best of both worlds. But how do you divide a room without erecting a wall? We consulted Kyle Schuneman, interior designer and author of “The First Apartment Book: Cool Design for Small Spaces,” for tips on setting up a space with dual purposes.

1. Combine rooms that make sense.
When considering which room types are a solid match, opt for a classic combination like a guest room/office, guest room/living room or bedroom/gym. Or match up your dining room with an office. “It’s become a huge trend since more people are working from home,” Schuneman explains. “The dining room table can double as your desk/conference table; a shelf in your buffet can be used as file storage to keep the room tidy.” Or get a rolling storage cart to keep office essentials handy during the workday but out of sight for your Saturday night dinner parties.

2. Keep the room’s main job function in mind — but don’t be one-sided.
Let’s say you’re designing a hybrid office/craft room. You work from home on weekdays and work on your scrapbook on the weekends. Resist the urge to divide the room in a 50-50 split. It makes more sense to set up the space for its primary function — in this case, the place you do your 9-to-5. So make a desk the room’s focal point, but give a shout-out to its crafty alter ego with a pegboard of scrapbooking supplies (ribbons, tools, thread spools) hanging on the wall.

3. Buy multifunctional furniture.
Furniture with built-in storage is key to a room leading a double life. For example, pick out side tables with drawers to hold work supplies for a space that’s an office by day and a living room by night. Or if you’re combining a living room and guest room, get a storage ottomanwith a flip-up compartment that can store extra sheets and blankets. “Choose your pieces wisely,” Schuneman says.

4. Subscribe to the “less is more” theory.
The more furniture and accessories you add, the smaller the space will seem, so don’t go overboard when setting up. Decide on what the room really needs to serve its two purposes to keep the environment free of clutter.

5. Coordinate colors.
You’ve heard it before, and it’s still true: Nothing ties a room together like color. So pick a two- or three-shade combination while setting up the room. Even though it’s multifunctional, the room will look balanced and coordinated.

6 Steps to an Organized Pantry

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With food constantly going in and out of your pantry, it’s natural for the spice rack to become disheveled and the oatmeal to migrate near the Worcestershire sauce. But if you find yourself upending the Cheerios every time you grab a soup can, or quite literally spilling the beans on chili night, it’s time for a pantry intervention. Follow these six steps to get your pantry shipshape.

1. Purge

Pull everything — yes, everything, even that naughty little stash of plastic grocery bags — out of your pantry. Paw through the nonfood stuff. How’d that toy car get in there? Is the bottom shelf really the best place for placemats? Would the tinfoil be more accessible in a drawer? Find a new home for anything that doesn’t belong. Then discard any food that’s stale, moldy or expired. Donate to a local food pantry food or spices that you don’t plan to use but aren’t expired (we’re looking at you, canned sardines!).

2. Deep Clean

Dirt, hairballs and mystery crumbs just shouldn’t coexist with pasta and peppercorns. If you only see surface dirt, use a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water or another food-safe cleaner to scrub down the pantry’s shelves. If the damage goes deeper, give the pantry a new coat of paint using a water-based latex formula — the fumes from oil-based paint and a poorly ventilated pantry don’t mix — in a glossy finish for easy wiping. And if your pantry is dimly lit, now’s the time to install lighting so you never mistake salt for sugar again.

3. Feel Out the Crowd

If you live alone, you can organize your pantry however you please. But if you’re sharing your pantry with roommates or family, hold a quick strategy session. Talk about the items the group needs frequently and whether everyone should be able to reach them. (Fido may get two treats a day, but he shouldn’t be able to nose around the pantry and fetch them himself.) Kids should be able to grab healthy snacks and their favorite cereal, though you may debate whether to put the cookies within arm’s reach.

4. Go Shopping

Shop for organizational help in two categories: shelving and containers. Start with shelving, armed with the measurements (height, length and depth) of your pantry shelves. If your shelves are spaced close together, look for shelf risers that let you display small cans, jars and spice-size bottles on steps for easier viewing. If your shelves are spaced so far apart you see a lot of empty space, opt for standalone cabinet shelves that could double your storage. And consider an over-the-door pantry rack — just make sure you have enough interior clearance.

Then select containers to hold flour, grains, pasta and anything else with spill potential. Pick out canisters that are square — they’re a more efficient use of space than round ones — and that have tight or locking lids that keep out moisture and critters. Buy a few wire or clear baskets for snacks so they can see what’s inside, and use smaller baskets or bins to group spice packets, tea bags and loose cracker sleeves.

Oh, and don’t forget to grab a folding step stool for extra-high shelves.

5. Organize It

Bring the food back in, but don’t just throw those tuna cans anywhere. Rule No. 1: Heavy stuff on the bottom, lighter stuff on the top — nobody should have to lift a sack of potatoes over their head. Rule No. 2: Divide in zones. Group food together in categories based on how you cook. If you bake often, sugar, baking soda and muffin mix should all go on a shelf of baking supplies. If you don’t, you may only need a corner to stash your flour. Stash all of your pasta containers on the same shelf, same goes for cereal. Canned veggies should stand apart from jarred jellies. Corral your spices together (and consider a revolving spice rack). Keep it logical!

6. Keep It Nice

Embrace the zen of the “everything in its place” look and keep the newly organized pantry tidy. (You might just have to hold a family meeting to make that rule official.) Sweep up stray noodles or errant kidney beans and wipe down the shelves monthly.

5 Storage Spots You’re Probably Not Using (But Should Be!)

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Crammed every closet and stuffed every shelf but still have stuff to store? Look harder: Every home has overlooked spaces that are prime spots to squeeze in some extra storage. Bed Bath & Beyond small space authority Kyle Schuneman identifies five of the best storage opportunities hidden in plain sight.

1. The Back of a Door

Behind every door is a surprising amount of wasted space. “I like to get over-the-door hooksto hang guest towels and light jackets,” Schuneman says. If you’ve got a lot to hang, an over-the-door towel rack may be even better. Schuneman also loves hanging shoe organizers with see-through pockets, which can hold so much more than just shoes — hairbrushes, power cords, art supplies and more.

2. Above a Door

Look up! The space above that same door might be a super spot for some sneaky storage. Just install a floating shelf over the doorway. Use it to show off collectibles, or displaydecorative boxes filled with photos, craft supplies and other stuff you only use occasionally.

3. Under the Bed

Don’t let dust bunnies take control of this valuable square footage. Instead, get shallow bagsor boxes specifically made for underbed storage, and reserve them for items you don’t need daily, such as seasonal clothing, Halloween costumes and guest linens. Want even more space? “Use risers, or bed lifts, to raise the bed without taking up any more of the room’s footprint,” Schuneman says.

4. Above the Toilet Tank

An over-the-toilet stand — a space saver with closed-door shelving to keep toiletries out of sight — offers increased bathroom storage, too; secure it to the wall for added safety. If you want something less furniture-like, hang floating shelves or a wall cabinet designed to fit a small space.

5. Corner of a Room

What’s lurking over there in the corner? More storage space! Available in many sizes and materials, modern corner shelving units are decorative and functional (and don’t resemble your grandma’s curio cabinet). Teak and bamboo work nicely in a bathroom, while metal or glass is suited to a bedroom or living room.

How to Organize Four of Your Home’s Smallest Storage Spaces

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If your medicine cabinet looks like someone shook it, and your silverware drawer’s even scarier, please accept this organization intervention. Kyle Schuneman, our resident authority on small spaces, says these four household storage spots can hold a lot more than you think — if you organize them right.

1. Medicine Cabinet

First thing you should do is decide what really belongs in this slim wall unit, the best of which have adjustable shelves. Toothpaste? Of course. Face cleanser? Definitely. That bottle of hydrogen peroxide you bought in 2006 and used once? Chuck it. (You get the idea.) After paring down your toiletries to those you use every day and sorting by height, move the shelves to best fit your specific items.

Because you don’t need to shelf all 4,000 cotton swabs in their original bulky packaging, put some in a small clear jar in the cabinet instead; do the same with dental picks, cotton balls and other personal-care items you buy in large quantities. Hang toothbrushes in flat-backed self-adhesive cups installed on the inside of the cabinet door.

2. Linen Closet

If you’re afraid to open your linen closet because the avalanche of sheets and toilet-paper rolls might finally clobber you for good, there’s a simple solution: “Storage boxes and basketswork wonders,” Schuneman says, since they’re a neat and tidy way to store towels, sheets and other essentials (and are almost guaranteed to prevent an avalanche). Stack boxes with lids to make the most of the vertical space. Schuneman suggests labeling everything — sheet sets, blankets, hand towels, toilet paper, whatever — to easily find what you need.

3. Spice Rack

Where do small jars of dried oregano, cinnamon, garlic powder and thyme go to hang out? Your kitchen wall, of course! It’s a smart use of space that doesn’t involve a countertop or a cabinet. Uniformly sized spice jars keep the shelves looking neat, but be sure each unit is clearly labeled so you don’t mistake the ground cloves for cinnamon. And ditch any spices you don’t use regularly; most ground spices keep for three years, while many ground herbs keep for only a year or two. If you’ve got extra spaces in the rack, store other small bottles, such as vanilla and food colorings.

4. Flatware Drawer

Like a pack of unruly children, it’s best to separate the forks, knives and spoons, and the most efficient way to do so is with a cutlery tray — it’ll keep everything streamlined. “If it’s smaller than the drawer, store boxes of plastic wrap and storage bags around it to use up every inch of space and prevent the tray from shifting around,” Schuneman says. Still have a little extra room? Use a smaller drawer organizer to give specialized tools, such as an ice cream scoop and a cake knife, a home.

Get (and Keep!) Your Closet Organized in 5 Steps

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You can’t dress for success if you can’t find the dress (or shirt, or slacks). Take time to organize that empty new closet with an organizing pro’s foolproof strategies.

1. Get focused.
Keepsake items — your wedding dress, for example — should not find a home in your closet, nor should craft supplies or photo albums. “Evict anything that doesn’t have to do with getting dressed from day to day,” says Mindy Godding, a certified professional organizer withAbundance Organizing, in Virginia.

2. Evaluate the closet.
Maximize every square inch of space. “If you look in the closet and see bare wall, you can do more in terms of storage,” says Godding. If the closet contains just a single rod, consider adding a second one beneath it, or multiply your hanging space with a rod doubler that hooks onto the existing bar. If you’re a shoe lover or T-shirt hound, think about installing shelves, melamine boxes or racks to contain your collections. Or completely trick out the space with a modular floor or wall system; they fit various closet sizes and allow you to pick only the components you need.

3. Develop a plan of attack …
Think of your wardrobe in terms of clothing categories and seasons. Start by grouping like clothing together, placing pants with pants, dresses with dresses, etc. Then, within those groups, organize everything by season, separating long sleeves, short sleeves and so forth. Next, group items together by length. When you hang longer garments, push them as far back against the wall as possible to free up space underneath shorter clothes for more storage.

4. … Then stick to it.
Commit to transitioning your clothes at the end of each season. “This might be as simple as moving clothes from front and back,” Godding says. “You want the current season in the most accessible location. This gives you the opportunity to let go of things you didn’t wear, and freshen things up by moving current items forward and other items back.”

5. Get the goods.
Invest in items that keep your closet organized and looking sharp. Start with sturdy wood hangers for pants, jackets and structured shirts, and purchase slim, velvet-swathed hangers for delicate blouses. Bins are ideal for storing special-occasion or seasonal clothes and accessories; stackable clear shoeboxes in the same size and shape work nicely, too. And clear, over-the-door shoe pocket organizers go far beyond shoes, Godding says; use them for stashing belts, scarves and large jewelry.

CHECKLIST: What to Buy on Your First Post-Move Shopping Trip

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Whew — you made it! The moving truck’s gone and the unpacking has begun. One quick check, though: What did you trash while you were packing, reasoning that it was too big and heavy or too dirty and old to bother with? That list may be longer than you think.

From your not-so-fluffy bed pillows to your kitchen trash can, you probably left a lot behind when you were sorting the must-pack items from the “hmm, maybe this can go” pile. (And some you left behind intentionally — like the toilet brush, right?) Use this handy checklist to stock up on the must-have items you’ll need to get settled in your new home.

Cleaning Supplies

Floor cleaner

Dust mop

Wet mop

Dustpan & brush

Vacuum

Window cleaner

Multipurpose cleaner

Sponges

Cleaning rags

 

Bathroom

Shower curtain/liner

Toilet seat

Toilet paper

Toilet brush

Trash can

Trash can liners

Bath rug

Tub mat

Towels

Bathroom cleaner

Shower caddy

 

Kitchen

Trash can

Trash bags

Dish rack and drying mat

Water filter system

Dish soap

Dishwasher detergent

Compost bin

Paper towels

Paper towel holder

Flatware organizer

 

Bedroom

Mattress pad

Mattress protector

Pillows

Clothes hangers

 

Laundry

Laundry basket/hamper

Laundry detergent

Ironing board

Drying rack

 

Miscellaneous

Welcome mat

Hanging hardware for artwork and photos

Candles and matches

First-aid kit

Light bulbs

Smoke alarm

Batteries

Baby gates

Childproofing hardware

Extension cord

In the Zone: How to Organize Your Kitchen Drawers

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You have a kitchen full of empty drawers and boxes upon boxes of utensils, pots and pans, and other cooking supplies waiting to be unpacked. Before you start throwing things in any old drawer, make a plan.

“When you’re working in the kitchen, you want to be able to plant your feet and get to everything in one task,” says Mindy Godding, a certified professional organizer withAbundance Organizing in Virginia. Start by thinking through how you prep and cook meals and clean up afterward. Then divide your kitchen into task-specific zones. Generally, there are five zones — food prep, cooking and baking, storage, tableware and cleaning — though some kitchens have more or fewer, depending on space and homeowner preferences.

Zone 1: Food Prep

This zone should be located next to the largest area of countertop. Stock drawers in this section with knives, cutting boards, mixing bowls and measuring spoons.

Zone 2: Cooking & Baking

Pots and pans, cooking utensils, baking sheets and potholders are ideally stored close to the stove and oven. More and more, people are storing pots and pans in drawers. “Keep the lids separate so you can stack pots and pans by shape,” Godding advises.

Zone 3: Storage

Ideally, storage-related drawers are located close to the refrigerator and contain food-storage containers, sandwich bags, plastic wrap, tinfoil, etc.

Zone 4: Tableware

Situate this zone near the dishwasher for easy-peasy cleanup. Here, you’ll dedicate your drawers to flatware and plates. And, yes, plates can go in drawers. “A lot of families with young kids are moving to melamine plasticware,” says Godding, “and I’ve seen those stored in lower drawers so kids have access.”

Zone 5: Cleaning

Stash cleaning supplies — sponges, rags, dish towels and garbage bags — near the sink.

Within each zone, prioritize drawer placement based on frequency of use. If you have two to three drawers in a row, the items you use the most should go in the top drawer, followed by those you use less often, and so on. This way, the things you use daily are the most accessible.

As for the ubiquitous junk drawer, Godding advises getting rid of it altogether (she is a professional organizer, after all). If you must have one, she suggests placing it at the outermost edge of the kitchen.