Home improvement: Cleaning & organizing

Rid your home of toxic chemicals

May 11, 2012

Rid your home of toxic chemicals

Myron Wentz, a microbiologist, recently wrote a book called "The Healthy Home" — http://www.myhealthyhome.com — and offers some ways to create one at your house:

My favorite hang: Pegboard and hooks that work

December 30, 2011

My favorite hang: Pegboard and hooks that work

DEAR TIM: One of my New Year projects is to organize my garage and workshop. My tools are scattered everywhere, and I waste time looking for them. My dad used pegboard for his tool organization, but the hooks never seemed to fit the tools properly. I want as near a custom solution as possible. Surely, you've come across some great pegboard as well as hangers and hooks that work well. Talk to me about the workbench that should be up against the pegboard if you can. --Lisanne L., Denver

What to do with all that extra stuff after the holidays

January 13, 2012

What to do with all that extra stuff after the holidays

It's the time of year when our homes are absolutely filled to the brim with stuff.

Time for a makeover? Start with the closet

November 23, 2011

Time for a makeover? Start with the closet

Over time, our closets get cluttered. We buy new clothes, we add more shoes, we stash rolls of holiday gift wrap.

Time for a storage checkup

11:22 AM EST, January 6, 2012

Time for a storage checkup

What's the one thing most homes don't have enough of? It's closets, and storage space in general. The perennial shortage has spawned hundreds of organizers, pull-out bins, wire racks, stackable baskets — you name it. To decide which option works best, try working through this list.

Carpet cleaning, removing stains without a pro

April 15, 2011

Carpet cleaning, removing stains without a pro

With carpeting on the floors you should "vacuum daily in high-traffic or pet areas," according to the Carpet and Rug Institute, which adds that you will "feel better for it." Back here on Earth where vacuuming is called a chore, once a week or so will usually do.

Storage solutions  that hold everything

September 18, 2009

Storage solutions that hold everything

A few years ago, Chicago interior designer Mitchell Putlack worked with an older female client moving from a large Glencoe home to a high-rise condo in Chicago. Over her lifetime, she had acquired a fortune in silver, crystal and cookware, and despite her new home's smaller confines was intent on keeping those treasured belongings.

October 10, 2008


Cycles of change with washer/dryer

If you're still holding onto an old, boxy washing machine that rattles around during the spin cycle, it's time to join the new age of laundry.

April 17, 2008

A rite of spring

"Spring cleaning" seems such an archaic phrase, conjuring rug beating outdoors and hands-and-knees floor scrubbing indoors. How Victorian. How June Cleaver. How ugh.

February 10, 2008

Keep your systems simple to keep it organized

If you are one of those people who spent January neatly arranging your stuff in see-through plastic boxes and identifying the contents with a Dymo labelmaker, please go do something else. Alphabetize your spices. Clean the grout with a toothbrush. This story is not for you.

November 18, 2007

Entryway organizers keep house clutter to a minimum

Friends and family were intrigued when Maura and Greg Grusse began a major addition to the ground level of their home in Glastonbury, Conn. Part of their plans included a kitchen expansion and renovation designed to make the space more efficient and inviting for the family of five. The function of the rest of the project -- a 10-by-12-foot room between the new kitchen and the garage -- was not as obvious.

October 7, 2007

Always a better way to clean

Life changes fast. Cleaning methods do too.

July 26, 2007

Garage organization, the new frontier

Have you spent any quality time in your garage lately? Or is yours just a cluttered, sort-of-smelly place that you shove through on your way to the driveway -- where your cars are always parked for want of room inside?

April 22, 2007

How to part ways properly with non-green cleaners

Holy cow! After our story "Make it a green sweep this spring" [April 15, 2007] on how to green your house's cleaning, we got gobs of e-mails from the newly converted with this must-know question: How in the world do you get rid of all the old toxins that used to populate your cleaning caddy? Pour them down the drain?

April 15, 2007

Make your own cleaning solutions

Perhaps you were once a chemistry geek. Perhaps not. Perhaps you merely get your thrills cleaning house the cheapest, greenest way.

April 15, 2007

Make it a green sweep this spring

Excuse me while I finish something here -- gurgle, slurp, kerplunk. That noise in the background? The sound of me dumping out my old toxic cleaning caddy.

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