A laundry room may be one of the spaces that you use the most, but cramped quarters and clutter can hinder your productivity. Eliminate the excuses and get your laundry room under control with these tips to add function to your washing routine.
How to Create a More Functional Laundry Room
(Family Features) A laundry room may be one of the spaces that you use the most, but cramped quarters and clutter can hinder your productivity. Eliminate the excuses and get your laundry room under control with these tips to add function to your washing routine.
Use space wisely. Your laundry room may not have a big footprint, but you probably have more usable space than you realize. Install shelves or storage units on the walls and consider the ceiling as a spot to hang a floating drying rack. Don't overlook the back of the door, where you can mount a storage system or use an over-the-door alternative.
Maximize storage. Many laundry rooms suffer from a lack of storage, which hinders space to fold and manage laundry while making the room less pleasant overall. A durable, attractive organization system like Dimensions by ClosetMaid can add instant organization and style to your laundry room. The system provides numerous design options, convenient accessories and configurations of cabinets and drawers, accommodating virtually any space.
Resist wrinkles. Prevent unsightly wrinkles by hanging garments straight out of the dryer. A hanging rod is easy to install and lets you take advantage of vertical space in smaller rooms. Be sure to also stock up on hangers of various styles so you always have an ample supply ready when the buzzer sounds that another load is ready for your attention.
Promote ventilation. Another common issue in laundry rooms is limited ventilation, which can promote mold, affect air quality and hinder air drying for special garments. A clever way to enhance ventilation while increasing your storage space is ventilated shelving that helps keep air flow moving. For example, ClosetMaid's Premium Wood Kits feature sturdy slatted shelves to stash your laundry essentials and can include accessories like hanging rods.
Create a folding station. One of the biggest laundry pitfalls is folding and putting away clean clothes. A clear, clean space in the laundry room can help nudge you toward completing the task more efficiently. If you have front-loading machines, it may be as simple as adding a counter or sturdy shelf above them. If you use top-loaders, you may need to get more creative. If there's room, a laundry sorter with a flat top is a good solution. Or if floor space is at a premium, you might consider a shelf that mounts to the wall and folds down when you need it.
Get inspired with more ideas to make your laundry room work for you at ClosetMaid.com.
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Between sorting, washing, pouring, transferring, drying and folding, laundry can often feel like a daunting chore. While you can’t skip laundry completely, you can stop those baskets from overflowing with these time-saving tips.
5 Time-Saving Laundry Tips
(Family Features) Between sorting, washing, pouring, transferring, drying and folding, laundry can often feel like a daunting chore.
While you can’t skip laundry completely, you can stop those baskets from overflowing with these time-saving tips from the laundry experts at Whirlpool.
Sort clothes ahead of time. One way to make laundry more manageable is to sort as you go. Instead of tossing dirty clothes into a hamper, distribute items into separate bins. While the exact division depends on your wardrobe, you’ll want to separate dark and light colors, as well as clothing that needs special care.
Pretreat stains. Once a stained garment makes its way through the dryer, chances are the stain is set for life. Protect your clothes by pretreating stains as soon as possible to help keep even the toughest stains from setting in. If you’re unsure of how to treat a particular stain, such as spaghetti sauce or grass, Whirlpool offers a Stain Guide within its laundry app that provides helpful, step-by-step instructions*.
Keep your space organized. Just like it’s hard to cook in a messy kitchen or work at a cluttered desk, you’re less likely to be productive in a sloppy laundry room. Clean and organize your laundry area periodically so you have easy access to the supplies you need and a clean surface for folding fresh laundry or switching loads.
Take advantage of technology. New smart home technology is making laundry faster and easier, such as Whirlpool’s Smart Front Load Laundry Pair with the Load & Go™ dispenser. This innovative feature allows you to skip a step in your laundry routine by eliminating the need to measure out and add detergent every time you start a load for up to 40 loads**.
Whether you are on the run or across the room, you can control your washer and dryer using an app on your smartphone or a compatible voice-enabled device for hands-free assistance. You can track how much time is left on your load while cooking dinner, assign washing settings while enjoying family movie night or begin a cycle when running errands. Touch-screen technology also guides you to the correct washer or dryer presets, or you can pre-program cycles of your own to tackle specific care settings for items like baby clothing or bulky comforters.
Finish with ease. For some, it’s not the washing that makes laundry a drag, it’s the folding. Hitting the tumble button to shake out wrinkles is one solution, but there are alternatives. Use your dryer’s end-of-cycle buzzer as an easy way to keep track of when a load needs your attention or make folding a fun game with your family.
Find more information at whirlpool.com.
*Wi-Fi and app required. Features subject to change. Appliance must be set to Remote Enable for remote control capabilities. Details and privacy info at whirlpool.com/connect.
**Model WFW9620H. Based on an 8-pound load of laundry. The Load & Go™ dispenser capacity varies by model.SOURCE:
(BPT) - Pull back the drapes, crack open the window and let in the warm, sun-soaked air. That’s right, spring is right around the corner and that means it’ll soon be time to chase away the grime and odors that have settled in over the long winter.
For many, spring cleaning is something of a tradition, a ritual. But things have changed. The days of dipping an old mop into a tin bucket filled with gray water belong to another era. In the age of smart cars and smartphones, cleaning has become smarter as well.
Here are a few smart innovations that will make your spring cleaning routine much more efficient and thorough.
1. Freshen up your style. A change in seasons is the perfect time to change up your wardrobe. Take advantage of this transitional period to purge items you haven’t worn in 12 months or more — be honest with yourself! When you’re free of unnecessary items, indulge in a trip to a specialty store offering storage and organization products to uncover new space-saving solutions. Unsure of what to get rid of? If a beloved item just needs a little love, run it through a steam-powered clothing care system like the LG Styler or delicates cycle in the LG TWINWash system — both certified by AAFA as asthma and allergy friendly(R) — to see if it’s salvageable.
2. Breathe easy. It’s easy to spend the lion's share of your time trying to tackle the stains, dust and smudges in your home. However, one of the most important parts of your home to clean is the part you can’t see. We’re talking about air quality, of course. Opening windows and placing plants around your home is a good way to start, but if you really want to get serious, put an LG PuriCare Air Purifier to work. With sensors to monitor the air quality, this cutting-edge purifier is certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, and is perfect for anyone who suffers from allergies.
3. Multitask like never before. By now, most of us are familiar with robot vacuums. Having one of these zoom around your home on cleaning days frees you up to do other things, saving you time and making manual vacuuming a thing of the past. Over the years, the technology has advanced so that nowadays these nifty cleaning assistants are quieter than ever before — some even come equipped with a camera to monitor your home while you're away!
4. Use the power of light. The battle against germs is a year-round endeavor. This spring, instead of repeating the old routine of a rag and some harsh cleaner, which often can spread more germs than it kills, try a UV sanitizing wand. These simple devices use a powerful ultraviolet light to kill odor-causing bacteria and germs on hard surfaces. It’s the same technology used in many hospitals and is perfect for bathrooms, kitchens, even cleaning your kids’ toys.
5. Let your appliances do more work. Have you ever wondered whether your oven, dishwasher and refrigerator could be doing a little more to reach their full potential? If so, you probably have yet to use the new generation of smart appliances. LG’s line of SmartThinQ appliances are Wi-Fi enabled, allowing you to monitor dishwashing and laundry cycles, remotely clean the oven or even check the air quality at home from your phone or computer while you are out of the house.
Far from being a chore, spring cleaning is a celebration, a chance to chase away the stuffiness of winter and bring a fresh, revitalizing feeling into your house. With the help of new technology, it’s even easier to get a start on this season of growth and regeneration.
Fall provides a time for fun and celebration, but it also can be an opportunity to refocus on taking care of your home both indoors and out. These simple upgrade ideas can help you improve aesthetic appeal, upgrade safety, keep your home free from pests and save you time, resources and money.
Fall upgrades for enhancing your home
(Family Features) Fall provides a time for fun and celebration, but it also can be an opportunity to refocus on taking care of your home both indoors and out.
These simple upgrade ideas can help you improve aesthetic appeal, upgrade safety, keep your home free from pests and save you time, resources and money.
Find more ideas for upgrading and updating your home at eLivingToday.com.
De-bug Your Doors
Get Smart About Laundry
Feel the Heat
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (heater, shredder, mudroom)SOURCE:
If your favorite room is outdated and dingy, a renovation may be all you need to make the old feel new and to fall in love with your home all over again. Upgrading your home can be a big job, and unless it’s part of a pre-move-in plan, few homeowners find it practical (or even possible, from a budget standpoint) to execute a large-scale project. However, tackling the updates one room at a time and focusing on small changes that bring big returns can put those overdue enhancements well within reach.
Small changes that add up to a big impact
(Family Features) If your favorite room is outdated and dingy, a renovation may be all you need to make the old feel new and to fall in love with your home all over again.
Upgrading your home can be a big job, and unless it’s part of a pre-move-in plan, few homeowners find it practical (or even possible, from a budget standpoint) to execute a large-scale project. However, tackling the updates one room at a time and focusing on small changes that bring big returns can put those overdue enhancements well within reach.
Also consider upgrades that can increase natural light and fresh air without compromising privacy, such as the addition of skylights to your ceiling, or “fifth wall,” which can completely change the lighting dynamic of the room. In addition to balanced, natural light, skylights like those from Velux can open to help refresh your space and keep it odor- and moisture-free.
Which Skylight is Right?
Electric skylights are wired into your home electrical system and open and close via a radio frequency, touch-screen remote control.
Manual skylights open with a hand lever; a control rod is generally available for out-of-reach installations.
For extra style and light control, consider complementing the room’s decor with skylights featuring colored blinds, which are available in more than 100 colors and styles, and also offer remote control operation for convenience in raising and lowering the blinds and opening skylights to let in fresh air. Learn more about making the fifth wall part of your renovation plan at whyskylights.com.SOURCE:
(BPT) - Are you planning an upcoming home improvement? If so, you are not alone.
Higher-than-average renovation spending is expected in 2017, according to a leading consumer magazine, with more than half of homeowners planning to spend money on home improvements throughout the year.
From upgrading appliances to gutting entire rooms, big projects can have a big impact on a home and on your wallet, so it’s important to approach any renovation with thoughtful intention.
To ensure you make the right decisions when it comes to large purchases and major home improvements, ask yourself these five questions:
How long do you plan to live in the home?
Knowing how long you expect to live in your home can help you better navigate home improvements. If you only plan to live in your home for five years you'll likely make different decisions than if it is your forever home.
What is your budget?
Home upgrades don't come cheap, so it's helpful to determine a budget before you start. Consider renovations and upgrades as a smart way to maintain your home investment. By putting money into your home, you are helping maintain its integrity, style, usefulness and value.
When setting a budget, you can pay out of pocket or take out a personal or home equity loan. Additionally, some companies offer low-interest financing. If you plan to borrow for your project, make sure you clearly understand and are comfortable with payment terms.
Once you set a budget, stick to it. Problems may arise that require unexpected additional costs, but often budget blowouts are from homeowners who start spending and the excitement of the project causes them to go beyond their means.
What purchases are worth the splurge?
Research and decide which purchases are worth spending more on. For example, appliances used nearly every day are a worthwhile investment — especially if they are more energy efficient and offer features that enhance your day-to-day routine.
Rather than getting a basic washer, opt for the LG TWINWash(TM) 2-in-1 washer. It can run two loads at once, saving homeowners time and energy.
LG TWINWash combines any Energy Star(R)-certified LG front load washer — including the largest capacity on the market (at 5.8 cu. ft., it’s large enough to fit a full set of king-size bedding and a comforter) — with a second washer, the LG SideKick(TM). This smaller washer sits in place of the pedestal, and washes 3-4 lbs. of clothes, making it perfect for custom-care items.
Owners of LG washers can also decide to upgrade their existing front load washer from 2009 on with the LG SideKick instead of purchasing a new one — making a big upgrade simple.
Bottom line: Make sure your purchase improves your daily life and is proven to last. (For example, LG washers and dryers were recently named the most reliable in all laundry categories by a leading U.S. consumer products publication).
What is the ROI?
The return on investment should be considered in many ways for home improvements. First, check out reputable reports like the Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report. For example, adding fiberglass attic insulation recoups 107.7 percent of the cost.
In addition to resale ROI, consider other ways you'll get a return on your investment. Will your upgrade help you save energy and reduce your bills? Will it save you time and stress in daily life? Does it enhance your home's aesthetic and flow? These are other ROIs that are just as valuable to consider as resale ROI.
What does the research say?
It's worth your time to conduct research so you get the best outcome possible. Learn about materials to discover which is best for your lifestyle and research brands. If you're hiring the project out, research contractors to find a reputable professional for the job.
Starting a home improvement project is exciting. Answering these questions will help ensure your time and financial investment are well spent.
While springtime means blooming flowers, warmer temperatures and more time spent outdoors, it also means allergies and pollen. Tackling dust mite matter, tree pollen and animal dander is different than protecting your home against the flu and requires a new regimen of preparation and cleaning. Take on spring allergens by refreshing your home with these simple practices, and help get your family ready to enjoy the warmer months.
Take a Mindful Approach to Fighting Spring Allergens
(Family Features) While springtime means blooming flowers, warmer temperatures and more time spent outdoors, it also means allergies and pollen. Tackling dust mite matter, tree pollen and animal dander is completely different from protecting your home against the winter flu and requires a new regimen of preparation and cleaning.
Take on spring allergens by refreshing your home with these simple practices, and help get your family ready to enjoy the warmer months.
Prep for Bed. Allergens don’t go to bed when you do; they can continue to irritate even while you’re sleeping, causing a restless slumber. To help ensure allergens and pollens aren’t tracked into bedrooms, leave a laundry basket in the hall and have family members remove their clothing before entering their rooms. A quick rinse in a warm shower before bed can help you relax and wind down while also washing away any unwanted pollens still stuck in your hair or on your skin.
Freshen Fabrics. Clothing, towels and bed linens – items you come in contact with multiple times a day – can trap pollens, dust mite matter, allergens and dander. It’s important to not only rinse these items but to use a detergent that removes allergens and is gentle on skin, like all free clear liquid and mightypacs laundry detergent for sensitive skin. The liquid detergent removes 99 percent of everyday and seasonal allergens, including the top spring allergens: tree and grass pollen, and is the No. 1 recommended detergent brand by dermatologists, allergists and pediatricians for sensitive skin. To view the full line of laundry products, visit allfreeclear.com.
Ingredients Matter. Taking preventative measures against spring allergens can start in a surprising place: the refrigerator. While most people think about treating allergens in their homes and on their clothes, they tend to forget that a good diet is also a good defense. Avoiding aged, pickled or fermented foods like blue cheese and kimchi with naturally occurring histamines can help prevent coughing, sneezing and itching triggered by spring allergens. Instead, look to boost your meals with ingredients found in the Mediterranean Diet, such as fresh fruits and vegetables like apples and broccoli as well as nuts and fatty fishes that have essential vitamins and nutrients known to fight allergy symptoms.
With these four steps to help protect your home and family against spring allergens, you can start enjoying a healthy, clean spring.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
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