Feel Better About Yourself: Organize Your Junk Drawer


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There is one home project that everybody can do relatively quickly and easily that will immediately make you feel better about yourself… organizing your junk drawer!  Nearly everyone has one, and although we say it’s filled with “junk” it is more likely filled with plenty of things you would actually use if you could find it when you needed it!  If you want to feel productive and feel better about yourself in an hour or so then start by dumping everything on a table, counter, or floor so you can spread it out and see it.  Once you can see it, sort it into piles… one pile for things to be thrown away, another for recycling, and another pile for things you need (or want) to keep.  Don’t save everything just because you feel you have to.  You don’t really need to keep the business cards of everyone you’ve ever met… chances are the important numbers are in your phone anyway.  If something broken has been sitting there for months (or years!) waiting to be fixed, toss it.  If you haven’t missed it enough to fix it already chances are you never will.  Test all your pens/markers, etc. if they don’t write, toss them.  (This is an excellent way to get children involved if they’re bugging you!)  After you’ve purged, look at everything in your “keep” pile and decide where it’s permanent home should be.  For example, receipts, old bills, appliance manuals, etc. should be filed away.  Loose change should be put in your wallet or a piggy bank, paper clips/rubber bands/thumb tacks/etc. should be moved to your office, and so on.  Once you’ve decluttered, take everything that is left and organize it.  Ice cube trays make excellent organizers for small items, and empty margarine tubs or Tupperware containers are great for everything else.  Silverware drawer inserts are also a great way to organize without spending too much.  Finally, keep it all organized by adding a quick cleaning of the junk drawer to your monthly to-do list.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-856-6434.

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Great Ideas for Garage Storage


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If your garage is in need of some organization, consider some of these storage ideas, specifically intended for the garage:

An Overhead Storage Rack:  These racks come in many styles and sizes and are ideal for maximizing unused space to store off-season items that are used infrequently.

Metal Pegboard:  Metal pegboards are several times stronger than conventional pegboards and can be customized with pegs, hooks and brackets to fit whatever organizational needs you have.

Utility Shelving:  Utility shelving can be made in any configuration to fit a variety of spaces, sizes and needs.  You can include shelves, baskets, drawers, hooks, etc. to create the ideal shelving for your situation.

Commercial Bins:  A commercially designed bin rack can organize tools and much more.

Bike Hoist:  A bike hoist can raise and store your bike with a simple pulley system to free up floor space and take advantage of underutilized vertical storage space.  Bike hoists don’t have to be used exclusively for bikes, you can also use them for your kayak, ladders, or other bulky items as well.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you — 302-644-2266.

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3 Storage Tricks Anyone Can Use


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If you are in need of some extra storage, take a look around at what you can do with what you already have:

1.  Bookcase Sides.  If you have a bookcase, armoire, or any wall mounted cabinet you can attach racks, hooks, or shelving to the outer sides for additional storage.

2.  Use The Underside.  Stow baskets or bins underneath your sofa, living room chairs, or any other sturdy furniture that can handle it, as well as under your beds.

3.  Decorate Doorknobs.  If space is at a premium, hanging decorative tote bags to closet doorknobs can add extra storage space for small items that need to be stowed.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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5 Simple Tips to Maximize Kitchen Storage


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No matter how large your kitchen is, it always seems that every kitchen needs more storage.  Here are five tips for maximizing the storage your kitchen already has:

1.  Corral your lids.  By mounting a drawer for pot lids directly under your pot shelf you will be able to corral your lids and create a more efficient kitchen.

2.  A second utensil drawer.  Utensils drawers tend to be a deep jumbled mess of interlocking utensils and other handy tools.  By building a sliding tray that creates two shallower spaces in one drawer you can organize your utensils more efficiently.

3.  Add upright storage.  Keep baking trays, cutting boards, and other difficult to store items that take up a lot of flat cabinet space upright by adding a divider to one of your cabinets and creating an upright storage space.

4.  Add shelves.  Take a look in your kitchen cabinets… is there a lot of wasted space?  If so, add an additional shelf to your cabinet by cutting some plywood to fit and purchasing a bag of shelf supports.

5.  Utilize cabinet doors.  Your cabinet doors offer many storage options such as a built in knife rack, hooks for storing measuring cups or spoons, narrow racks for storing spices, and more.  Depending on what would best suit your space, a quick internet search is bound to bring up many suggestions for cabinet door storage that I would recommend taking a look at.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-856-6434.

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3 Simple Storage Solutions


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If you’re looking to add storage to your home, try one of these tricks:

1.  Utilize Your Foyer.  Add a storage bench to your foyer for both storage and seating.  You can also stretch mesh, rubber boating straps, and a myriad of other materials around painted frames for both decorative and storage purposes.

2.  Over The Fridge.  If you don’t have cabinets above your fridge, build or purchase some storage boxes that match the décor of your kitchen and store odds and ends that you don’t use every day.

3.  Think Outside The Box.  Many handy organizers can be used for things other than their intended purpose.  For example, install an over the door shoe holder in your pantry to store small bottles, spice packets, and more.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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Back To School Storage Solutions


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If you or someone you know has gone off to college recently, chances are you’ve noticed that storage space is at a premium in college dorms and apartments.  Luckily, there are a few great storage ideas that can help any student make the most of their space.

  • Combine storage & seating.  Find items that do double duty such as a bench with storage inside or underneath.
  • Use everyday items for décor.  For example, hang a couple of hooks on the wall and attach a basic chain at both ends and then hang your jewelry for instant storage and décor for just a few dollars or hang some painted crown molding to display heels from. 
  • Make it mobile.  Add wheels to a bookshelf or bench and then place it in front of your closet door.  Added storage in an instant and you can just wheel it out of the way when you need access to your clothes!
  • Charging station.  Although it will take up space, creating a charging station will keep you and your space more organized, giving the feel of actually having more space.
  • Shoe rack.  If your space has a common area, create a shoe rack for everyone to keep the place cleaner and free up some valuable closet space.
  • Use old drawers.  If you can find some old drawers, painting and lining them and stacking them vertically will give a homey feel and much needed storage space in a small area.  Or, if you can find beautiful old drawers or baskets, filling them with the items that remain in plain sight (like lotions, toothpaste, etc.) will just make everything look nicer as well as be easy to move around if necessary.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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3 Easy Storage Solutions


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Consider these professional storage tips to declutter your home:

1.  Sliding drawers.  Add shelves on rollers to any deep, difficult to access storage space, such as a linen closet.

2.  Divide and declutter.  Set up busy drawers like nightstand drawers and junk drawers with compartments to keep things organized.

3.  Mobile office.  To help tame clutter keep your office mobile.  A cart with wheels allows you to move about and work wherever you want, but it also limits the amount of clutter you can stow, keeping you organized and clutter-free.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-629-6693.

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Find Space In Your Bathroom!


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If your bathroom is seriously lacking in storage, consider these options:

A true space saver:  Hang a decorative hook next to the sink, fill a beautiful bucket with your toiletries and then hang the bucket from the hook.  Voila!  Instant storage, and since you can get creative with the finishes of both the hook and the bucket there are a million different options for how this can look!

Pretend you’re in a hotel:  Install a towel rack above the tub, over the toilet, or next to the sink – wherever you need to keep towels handy.  Be sure the rack includes both shelves and hooks for maximum storage.

Hang shelves:  Most people severely underutilize the wall space in their bathrooms.  Make the most of yours by hanging shelves to open up many more storage options!  Narrow shelves along a wall or the perimeter will add architectural interest as well as offer storage.  Hanging shelves on a narrow or oddly shaped wall can offer an instant “closet” without any of the remodeling effort or cost!  A small shelf directly above the sink will add the perfect place to stow away often used toiletries.  There are many other ways to utilize shelving in your bathroom as well, so be creative!

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266!

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Make The Most Of Your Entryway


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The entryway of a home is often either abused or underutilized.  At its best an entryway should welcome people into your home and be an organized spot that makes your life easier!  Here are three tips for organizing your entryway to allow for both beauty and function.

  1. Limit clutter – Don’t drop everything you’re holding in the entryway as soon as you enter.  Mail, keys, bags, shoes, coats etc. can clutter an area faster than you can blink, so make sure everything has a designated spot and put it away as soon as you walk in!
  2. Utilize multifunctional pieces – Multifunctional pieces that offer storage and fit your space are the key to having a welcoming, organized entryway.  For example, a chest can offer both seating and storage, a coat rack/bench combo has many uses, and a basket rack gives you a place to hang your coat as well as out of site storage for keys, mail, pet leashes, or anything else you might need to stash on your way in or out of the house.
  3. Have a key rack – Be sure to have a designated spot to put your keys as soon as you walk in the door.  Having your keys on hand will save you time and energy later when you need to run a quick errand or make it to an appointment on time!

Of course, once you put the time and energy into making sure your entryway is organized and inviting be sure to keep it that way by making new habits and maintaining them every time you walk through the door!

Are you looking to buy or sell a home in Southern Delaware?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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3 Brilliant Storage Solutions


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Consider these professional storage tips to declutter your home:

1.  Sliding drawers.  Add shelves on rollers to any deep, difficult to access storage space, such as a linen closet.

2.  Divide and declutter.  Set up busy drawers like nightstand drawers and junk drawers with compartments to keep things organized.

3.  Mobile office.  To help tame clutter keep your office mobile.  A cart with wheels allows you to move about and work wherever you want, but it also limits the amount of clutter you can stow, keeping you organized and clutter-free.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-629-6693.

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Five Chores You Should Do Daily


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Chores are not fun… that’s one of the reasons they are called chores!  To keep yours manageable, try doing these five daily.  It will make everything else easier!

1.  Make the beds.  This doesn’t take very long and makes every bedroom in the house look a thousand times better automatically!

2  Dishes.  Do the dishes every evening.  If you’re lucky enough to have a dishwasher, unload and reload it each time a cycle is finished.  Trust me… when there are no dirty dishes cluttering the area, the kitchen automatically seems clean!

3.  Wipe the bathroom.  A quick wipe down of the sink and toilet each day make a deep clean of the bathroom a cinch when the time comes!

4.  Laundry.  Throw in a load each morning (or evening, or whenever is convenient) and fold it while you’re watching television before bed.  By doing a load a day your laundry will never pile up and take days to catch up on!

5.  Declutter.  At the end of each day put everything away in its place!  This will magically make your home appear loads cleaner than if you let your clutter accumulate until its overwhelming.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County? Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-856-6434.

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5 Tips for Clearing Out Clutter


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f071e7f70ebb03ec_8351-w406-h406-b0-p0--traditional-home-office

 

If you live in your home and have virtually any amount of stuff, chances are clutter can become an issue in the blink of an eye.  Here are five suggestions to help you control the clutter and keep it from taking over.

1.  Maximize Your Cabinets.  By installing lazy Susans, pullout drawers, wire shelves, and other cabinet organization tools, you will maximize the space, creating more room for your stuff.

2.  Utilize Open Shelving.  Open shelves are difficult to keep neat.  Purchasing baskets, metal bins, or other organizational containers for the shelves you can keep your clutter controlled and out of sight.

3.  Control Your Closets.  There are many ready-made storage solutions for closets.  Find the type of shelving unit that best fits your needs and install it.

4.  Build Beautiful Built-Ins.  Surround a wall of windows, a set of doors, or other architectural feature of your home with simple built-in shelving to add an enormous amount of storage and structural interest to your home.

5.  Choose Double-Duty Pieces.  Utilize pieces of furniture that double as storage.  For example a coffee table chest, storage bench, or storage ottoman.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-856-6434.

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Three Garage Update Ideas


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GarageOrganization_tip

If you have a garage that is tired and in desperate need of an update.  Try one of these ideas:

1.  Cover the floor.  Paint an epoxy garage floor covering over dirty, old concrete floors.

2.  More Storage.  Add an overhead storage system to add a lot of usefulness to space that would otherwise remain empty.

3.  Keep things handy.  Utilize pegboard for covering at least one full wall so that well-loved tools and equipment can be easily reached and well organized.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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5 Homemade Cleaning Solutions to Try

Wanting to go green with your cleaning products? Try these well rated solutions:


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Wanting to go green with your cleaning products?  Try these well rated solutions:

1.  All Purpose Cleaner.  With gloves on, mix 1 tsp. washing soda, 2 tsp. borax, 2 Tbsp. white vinegar, 2 ½ cups hot water, 5 drops lavender essential oil & 7 drops of lemon essential oil in a 32-oz spray bottle.  Shake well, add ¼ cup liquid castile soap & shake again.  Once mixed, use as you would any multi-purpose pray.

2.  Glass Cleaner.  With gloves on, mix 3 cups water, 2 Tbsp. rubbing alcohol, and ¼ cup white vinegar into a 32-oz spray bottle and shake well.  Add ½ Tbsp. liquid castile soap and shake again.  Spray onto windows and wipe clean with newspaper.

3.  Furniture Polish.  With gloves on, mix 2 Tbsp. olive oil, ¼ cup white vinegar, and ¼ tsp lemon oil or fresh lemon juice in an 8-oz squirt bottle and shake well.  Make sure it is very well mixed.  Squirt polish onto a microfiber cloth and polish wood furniture with the grain.  Remove excess polish with a clean microfiber cloth.

4.  Toilet Bowl Cleaner.  Pour ½ cup baking soda into the toilet bowl.  Follow with 10 drops of tea-tree essential oil.  Follow oil with ½ cup white vinegar.  Let sit and bubble for 10 minutes then scrub with a toilet brush and flush.

5.  Laundry Soap.  With gloves on, mix ½ cup washing soda, ½ cup borax, and 1 bar of lavender castile soap (grated), ¼ cup baking soda, and 15 drops of lemon essential oil in a tightly lidded 24-oz plastic container.  Cover, shake well, and use 3 Tbsp detergent per load.  This detergent is HE friendly, but don’t use too much.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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5 Ways To Make Your Laundry Room Work For You

The laundry room is an often underutilized part of the home. Here are 5 ideas to give your laundry room more life and function:


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The laundry room is an often underutilized part of the home.  Here are 5 ideas to give your laundry room more life and function:

1.  Add storage.  Add as many shelves and cabinets as you can and your laundry room can store not only cleaning supplies and toiletries, but also craft supplies, a gift wrap station, inbox for household mail, office space, and really anything that would benefit you that doesn’t need a huge amount of square footage elsewhere.

2.  Make it a mudroom.  Install durable flooring, a sink for washing grungy hands, a bench for removing shoes and a rack to store them on, and some hooks for coats.  Voila! You’ve got a great transition area between the outdoor living space and indoor living space of your home!

3.  Make it pet friendly.  If you’ve got to keep your pet confined during the day, the laundry room is a great place to do it.  If it would work for your situation, you could even add a doggie door so that Fido can let himself in and out during the day!

4.  Add amenities.  Adding things like a drying rack, hanging rod, and counter space for folding can help speed up the chore of laundry and cut down on your ironing.

5.  Boost your appliances.  If you have a front loading washer and dryer, put them on pedestals so that loading and unloading them isn’t so back-breaking.  But not only should you put them on pedestals, make those platforms work for you by building drawers or other storage into them!

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-856-6434.

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Clean Your House In Just 5 Minutes

Keeping your house clean is a never ending job. It’s easiest to do when you don’t let things pile up and become overwhelming. I recently read an article about tips for cleaning your home, and one of their suggestions was to do a few small jobs whenever you’re on the phone or watching television. I thought that was a good tip, so I put together a list of quick jobs you can do while you’re somewhat distracted. Just think how clean your house will be after all those extra five minute cleaning sessions add up! Here are some suggestions to get you started:


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Keeping your house clean is a never ending job.  It’s easiest to do when you don’t let things pile up and become overwhelming.  I recently read an article about tips for cleaning your home, and one of their suggestions was to do a few small jobs whenever you’re on the phone or watching television.  I thought that was a good tip, so I put together a list of quick jobs you can do while you’re somewhat distracted.  Just think how clean your house will be after all those extra five minute cleaning sessions add up!  Here are some suggestions to get you started: 

  • Load or unload the dishwasher
  • Wipe countertops
  • Sweep the floor
  • Wipe down kitchen appliances
  • Clean out the kitchen or bathroom sink
  • Polish faucets
  • Choose a room and dust
  • Dust picture frames and knick knacks
  • Choose a room and clean the windows
  • Dust the television and other electronics
  • Clean mirrors
  • Empty wastebaskets throughout the house
  • Sort laundry and start a load
  • Fold and put away clean laundry
  • Make beds
  • Choose a room and pick up/organize clutter
  • Iron
  • Organize a cabinet, desk, closet, or drawer

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty and put us to work for you – 302-629-6693.

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Five Ways to Get Organized This Weekend

If you feel like your home is too cluttered, try a few of these tricks to get organized. Best of all, none of them should take very long at all!

In the entryway. Prime and paint an old bookshelf, adjust shelves and add buckets or baskets to match your décor. For even more organization, personalize buckets or baskets, one for each member of the family and charge everyone with taking charge of their own clutter!


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If you feel like your home is too cluttered, try a few of these tricks to get organized.  Best of all, none of them should take very long at all!

In the entryway.  Prime and paint an old bookshelf, adjust shelves and add buckets or baskets to match your décor.  For even more organization, personalize buckets or baskets, one for each member of the family and charge everyone with taking charge of their own clutter!

In the kitchen.  Purchase an over-the-door shoe organizer with clear pockets.  Label each pocket, hang the organizer over the pantry door, and use it as a catchall for kitchen utensils and supplies.  These pockets are perfect for measuring cups & spoons, pens/pencils, spices, seasoning packets (taco, gravy, etc.), wooden spoons, boxes of jello, and much more!

In the bedroom.  Organize your jewelry by creating a piece of artwork.  All you have to do is find a beautiful picture frame and paint it to match your décor.  Frame a radiator cover or wire screen, or run ribbon back and forth across the frame and back it with a piece of fabric.  Then hook earrings through the grid and add hooks for necklaces and bracelets.

In the office.  Hide cluttered bookshelves with bookcase shades.  Measure openings and sew shades out of canvas or another weighted material.  Use tension rods to hang the shades over shelves.  Be sure to leave some shelves unshaded and display artwork and accessories to create an elegant look.

Anywhere.  Corral electronics and their cords by creating a charging station.  Decorate a shadow box with paint and/or fabric, replace one side with a power strip.  Cover the power strip by adding decorative paper to a piece of foam board and fitting it into the box.  Plug cords in, feed the wires under the foam board (chipping a notch in the bottom of the foam if necessary), plug in your electronics and store them on the shelf you have created.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266!

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