Archive for the ‘Organizing’ Category

7 Ways To Green Your Holidays

December 10th, 2008 by Amy

The holiday season is a great time to reduce-reuse-recycle. Here are some simple ways: 


1.  Big is best

Tempting as it is to buy the individually-packaged snacks, grab the big bag. With kids and family at home a big bowl of pretzels is much more efficient and cost-effective than a dozen little bags. Same goes for drinks. One big recyclable container of juice or a trash can full of empty juice boxes?


2.  Candlelight

Nothing says Holiday Season like candlelight. Candle-lit dinners are romantic for grownups, magical for kids, and relaxing for all. This season try turning off the switch and light several candles instead.


3.  Furoshiki

In the 1970’s my mother used to wrap presents in cloth wrapping paper, and the practice just might come back in vogue. The idea is simple enough: buy a selection of inexpensive fabric, cut and hem in various sizes, and use as “wrapping paper.”  Turns out, folks in Japan – where the swatch of cloth is called a furoshiki – have been ingeniously doing just this for centuries.


4.  Go paperless

With stamps over 40 cents a pop, consider emailing your greetings and good wishes. Make your own or use a free service like Hallmark’s. Attach a cute .jpg and everyone’s just as happy.


5.  Green bag it

Make it your New Year’s resolution to actually start using those cute alternative non-disposable bags you bought and left sitting in your trunk ever since. (Oh wait, that’s me.) Added bonus: Give them as gifts. You can’t beat inexpensive, useful, and thoughtful. Pick up cute bags at the grocery store for a few dollars apiece or spend a little more for something a little more stylish.


6.  Reuse your drinking glasses

Have guests personalize their drinking glass with a sticker, piece of tape, or grease pen and reduce the need to rewash them all over and over and over again throughout the day. Less washing, more drinking.


7.  Use paper

Sounds counterintuitive, but it might just be a good idea. Dig through all your mismatched paper goods – napkins, cups, and plates – and use them to serve little things like desserts, sandwiches, and snacks. Using up what you have at a time when dishes are being dirtied faster than you can unload the dishwasher can add up to big savings of time, energy, and hassle.

7 Uses For One Sock

December 3rd, 2008 by Amy

Two go in – washer, dryer, hamper, drawer – and only one comes out. It’s an age-old problem and we’ve got a few solutions.


1. Eye pillow

Fill with rice, sew or knot the end, and microwave for an at-home spa treatment that puts a stray sock back to work earning its keep.


2. Toy

Fill one stray sock with a couple more and knot the end. Pets and kids love them so much you can even give them as gifts.


3. Protection

A stray sock makes a great prophylactic for fragile items that spend much of their time in storage. Slip over ornaments, cutlery, and wine glasses for safety, containment, and protection.


4. Ice pack

Next time you’re injured, leave that frozen chunk of blue plastic in the freezer and reach for a clean stray stock and a handful of ice cubes instead. On a more dramatic note, a stray sock can be a real lifesaver when you need a tourniquet to stop excessive bleeding.


5. Wash mitt

Why pay money for a fancy wash mitt when you can simply bring a stray sock into the tub next time you bathe? Turn a tube sock inside out for more exfoliating power.


6. Make Animals and Dolls

A classic creative idea epitomized by the iconic Sock Monkey (a pattern which actually requires two socks.). Those looking for wacky and whimsical updated patterns will love John Murphy’s book Stupid Sock Creatures: Making Quirky, Lovable Figures from Cast-off Socks.


7. Buddy up

While the above are all remedies for a lone sock, an actual solution to the problem might just lie in keeping your socks from becoming strays in the first place. The Sock Cop is a small clip that secures socks to one another, keeping them paired from your feet, through the laundry, and back without becoming separated.

© 2008 7of