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Spring Home Improvement Guide - April 12, 2013


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    SpringHome Improvement Guide

    Special Supplement APRIL 12, 2013

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    By Sharon Naylor

    Kids rooms are often a chaos of clothing, colors and craft items. Parents strive to keep some sense of order in their little ones rooms, often experiencing aggravation when youngsters dont follow clean-up directions. One way to reduce the struggle, and give kids an organized, clean living space where they can play in peace, is to create a new organizing plan for the rooms biggest opportunity for order: the closet. Robert Guerin, owner of the professional closet design company Hang It Up Closets, says that when a child grows up in an organized, neat room, good skills are developed for later in life. As kids learn their new organizing system, theyre also learning their colors, matching items and thinking about item function - lessons that may help them in school and stick with them to create a foundation of order in their adult lives. Right now, their belongings will nd easily accessed storage spots and bins in that closet, getting all of

    Tidy childrens roomsFive organizing tips

    the clutter o the oor, desks and dressers. Kids will also get pride of accomplishment when they clean their rooms more easily - and enjoy the perk of praise from you. A key to organizing kids closets is formulating a plan that can be easily and inexpensively adjusted as they grow. Th eres a big di erence be-tween baby hangers, kids toys and a teenagers more grown-up collections, says Guerin. [You need] closets designed to grow and adjust for your childs changing needs. At the start, decide if you want to hire a professional closet organizer to construct the ideal layout of bars for hang-ing clothes, floor-to-ceiling cubbies and higher shelving features. An expert knows ex-actly how to take a small closet and maximize the storage space within, using perfectly measured shelves, bins and other features. When two or more children are sharing one closet, the expert can create a sector for each. Or you might wish to tackle your closet-organizing plan on your own, using these ve top suggestions: - Start by pulling every-thing out. Have four bins near-by, marked Current, Do-nate, Hand-Me-Downs and

    Trash. Current is for clothing, shoes, accessories, toys and other items the child uses now. Do-nate is for items to be donated to a charity. Hand-Me-Downs is for outgrown items that can be o ered to siblings or friends children. And, of course, trash is for ripped, stained and other-wise unwearable items, broken toys and other discardables. If items can be recycled, have a bin for those, as well. With an entirely empty space before you, and items in their bins, thoroughly clean the closet walls, ceilings and oor, and consider painting the closet interior. Kids can help choose their desired color, and stencils and wall clings can add a fun, decorative air to parts of the wall visible beneath hanging clothes or on the side walls. - Install double bars for kids clothes, set low enough for your child to be able to hang his or her own clothing. Since kids clothing is short and thin, hang one rod higher and further back in the closet, with the sec-ond rod lower and toward the front. Kids can then hang up their clothes with more space between each item, for easier viewing - or your older child can claim the back bar, while your smaller child gets the front bar. Spring tension rods can be used for narrow closets, so you dont need to drill holes and screw in the bars. As kids age, the tension bars can be raised to the heights needed. Make hanging up clothing easier and more fun for kids by investing in colorful plastic hangers. As a rainy day project, kids can a x small stickers of their choice to the center point of the hanger just below the hook. Th is gives kids ownership of their hanger collection, which may inspire better use of them. - Set colorful fabric bins on the closet floor, such as bright pinks or apple greens, with pictures on the front for pre-readers or large letter iden-ti cation labels for older kids. Th ese labels identify whats to be placed in these lidless bins. Laundry is more easily depos-ited, especially when you teach kids to stand a few feet away and score baskets with their dirty socks and shirts. Another bin might be for stu ed animals, giving beloved Teddy bear col-lections a cozy home where they can all be together. When storage bins have lids, kids are less likely to take the extra step

    Childrens rooms page 3

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    Tidy childrens roomsFive organizing tips

    of pulling out the bin, opening a snap top and closing it again. Th e open-top of a fabric bin inspires more use. - Plan tall enough shelves in built-ins. Meryl Starr, profes-sional organizer and author of Th e Organizing Workbook, suggests shelving heights that allow for a 6- to 12-inch pile of folded clothes to still have room on top for airier storage that cuts down on any mold or mildew. When cubbies or shelves have room on top, its easier for kids to retrieve the shirt they want without the entire pile of shirts

    falling to the oor (and staying there). --Use hanging organizers for smaller items. A hanging fabric shoe rack can be used for shoes and also for kids little purses and dress-up items like tiaras. A hanging travel orga-nizer intended for toiletries can hold jewelry, craft items, small toys and other tiny things. When organizing bins and items are colorful and inviting, o ering easy access, kids will use them. And on those days when kids are resistant to stowing the Teddy bears in their bin, its very easy for you to deposit them there and call it a day.

    Childrens room Continued from page 2

    By Eric Figueiredo, owner Power Home Remodeling Group

    Its that time of year when many homeowners consider investing back in their homes. Whether its a project youve

    been meaning to do or youre trying to be proactive after taxes, springtime is when many remodeling projects are scheduled so the summer can be enjoyed to the fullest. When tackling an interior or exterior project, there are

    many vital things to keep it mind to make sure the project gets done right the rst time. One of the most important things is picking the right company. Finding a company that suits your needs and can solve your problems is what every-one wants. Unfortunately, the remodeling industry has an unforgiving complaint rate. Simply put, many homeown-ers