Hunkering Down With Home Improvement: 3 Projects That Make Sense Today

One thing for sure in this unpredictable economy is that homeowners are staying put. In fact, most people do not plan to move any time soon, according to a 2011 Harris Interactive poll. This shift from sell to stay is why it pays for homeowners to look beyond resale value when making home improvement decisions.

As Designer and HGTV Personality Lori Dennis explains, “People today are looking more holistically at home remodeling, choosing projects that add comfort, efficiency and functionality.” In this new era of home improvement, three projects stand out.

Window Replacement

Baby Teeth Are More Important That You Might Think

Childhood cavities seem inevitable – nearly every kid gets one at some point or another – and baby teeth aren’t permanent, so it’s no big deal if kids occasionally skip brushing and flossing, right? Pediatric dentists disagree. Despite the common belief that baby teeth aren’t important, taking care of children’s teeth will help them develop healthy adult smiles.

Baby teeth serve the same important functions as adult teeth: kids use them to chew and speak. On top of that, baby teeth preserve the structure of the gumline and “save space” for adult teeth to grow.

How Your Garage Can Make the Grade for Back-to-School Season

<b>How Your Garage Can Make the Grade for Back-to-School Season</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Once known as “that place you park your car,” garages now serve as work rooms, craft corners, and entertaining and recreation spaces. In short, garages have become an extension of the home.

Most people prepare their home for the changing seasons, but many do not give their garages a second thought. Yet, updating garages can make them more functional while also improving the home’s security and safety.

The Chamberlain Group, the manufacturer of LiftMaster (, a brand of professionally installed garage door openers and access solutions, offers tips for improving garages this fall:

* Create more storage space. As school begins, kids start to bring home sports equipment, so finding storage space may become an issue. But it’s easy to create additional storage space — just look to the ceiling! Installing an innovative, yet powerful, side-mounted garage door opener, such as the LiftMaster Side-Mounted Opener, opens up space on the ceiling for storing bikes, sports equipment and kayaks that need to be put away until next summer.

* Secure the entrance to your home. More than 70 percent of homeowners use the garage as the primary entrance to their homes, and many children let themselves in when they get home from school. Installing a fingerprint-activated keyless entry means that you won’t have to worry about lost keys or kids telling their friends the access code.

Kids may accidentally leave doors half-open. Keep your house from becoming vulnerable by installing a garage door monitoring system. The monitor, which can sit anywhere in your home, alerts you when the garage door has been left ajar.

* Always have a back-up plan. If you store your car in the garage and there’s a power outage, you could find yourself stranded. Luckily, some garage door openers are capable of functioning even if the rest of the house has no power. For example, LiftMaster garage door openers with the EverCharge Standby Power System will open and close the door for up to two days without power.

For more information, visit

Strange Fact: Cars Belong in the Garage

<b>Strange Fact: Cars Belong in the Garage</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Take a look around your garage, and you probably see snow shovels, bikes, baseball bats and a spare fridge — the only motor vehicle in sight is your lawn mower. The fact that garages are meant to house cars seems downright bizarre, like a factoid from a “strange news” column.

People have used garages for almost 100 years. In the beginning, garages were detached from houses and held nothing but cars. Today, most garages are attached to houses and contain enough space for two to four cars, at least theoretically. In reality, garages often store heaps of mismatched and disorganized clutter, which quickly invades every inch of space and leaves no room for parking vehicles.

But restoring your garage to its original purpose doesn’t have to be some Herculean task — free-standing or wall-mounted wire shelving should do the trick. With wire shelving your shelves won’t collect dust, dirt and grimes. Use pentagon-shaped wire shelves in corners to get the most out of every inch of space. Create more shelf space with shelving units that are seven to eight feet high. For seasonal storage, consider ceiling-mounted shelving solutions. Install casters on free-standing wire shelving units or raise wall-mounted shelving one foot above the floor. Mobile shelving units or wall-mounted units will make cleaning your garage floor easy. and its sister site,, have been making space work better since 1960. They help their customers make the best use of their space by utilizing the proper sized shelving unit for the allotted space.

When it comes to maximizing existing space, one size does not fit all. Shelves are available in seven depths and ten widths so you can use every cubic foot of your space. If you need assistance with designing an efficient storage system, contact the professionals. When you are done with your project, you will finally be able to park your car in your garage — where it belongs.

8 Steps to a More Organized Home

Don’t get overwhelmed by the piles of paper on the coffee table, the coats, toys and shoes scattered around the house, and the remains of your holiday decorations! Instead, get started today with these simple 8 steps to home organization.

1. Take it one room at a time.
Clear a space in the room you want to organize. Place all unorganized items, like magazines, books, DVDs and remote controls, in one space, so you can categorize the items before storing them in their appropriate bins and cabinets.

Simple Tips to Organize Your Home

<b>Simple Tips to Organize Your Home</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – At the start of the new year, many resolve to become more organized. But the next day, they look around their homes and see the piles of paper on the coffee table, the coats, toys and shoes scattered around the house, and the remains of their holiday decorations. Organizing the house, it seems, can wait a few weeks.

But there’s no reason to feel overwhelmed by a task that is, after all, intended to make lives easier. Here are some tips for those looking to make their homes run more smoothly:

– Take it one room at a time. Clear a space in the room you want to organize. Place all unorganized items, like magazines, books, DVDs and remote controls, in one space, so you can categorize the items before storing them in their appropriate bins and cabinets.

– Throw things out, and be ruthless. Don’t waste your time and space on items you don’t need. Toss out or recycle old magazines and papers. Donate outgrown or unwanted clothes and toys, as well as other household items, like the fondue set you never use.

– Find unused space. Your home probably has more storage space than you think. For example, decorative under-bed storage boxes, like those from The Company Store, allow you to use every inch of available space.

– Teach the kids to clean up after themselves. Make organizing a game by making “special” spaces. For example, children might remember to hang up their coats and scarves if they have their own, fun coat hooks. Company Kids makes coat hooks shaped like flowers, ponies, pirates, trains and safari animals.

– Teach children to take pride in their belongings by giving them their own storage areas. Try clearing a space in your entertainment unit for your children’s movies and video games. For toys, use colorful bins, like the Kendall Storage Collection, to separate hard toys from plush and put away arts and crafts supplies.

– Designate spaces for different activities. For example, all board games, entertainment units and DVDs should be in the same area. This will help keep items from being scattered throughout the house.

– Create a master calendar for the family. Put it on the refrigerator or beside the computer desk. Time management is an important skill, and kids should learn it early.

– Make cleaning and organizing a family affair. After all, your family helps make the clutter, so they should help organize it, too.

For more information, visit and

Resolve to Get Organized in 2010

<b>Resolve to Get Organized in 2010</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Start 2010 with a bang: organize your home and work space! Take the first step by installing shelving that is specifically suited to maximize your space. To successfully clear out and keep out clutter, you need storage space. The folks who operate and have been providing shelving and storage fixtures for over fifty years. They know that one size does not fit all when it comes to maximizing your available storage space.

When measuring the space for your shelving project, go up as high as you can. If you have a 9-foot ceiling, use shelving units

that are 8-feet high. If you have large and bulky items to store, use shelves that are as deep as your space will allow. Shelving units that are 24-inch, 30-inch, 36-inch deep or even deeper provide much-needed room.

The more shelves you have in each unit, the greater your storage space per square feet of density. For example, a 24-inch-deep by 48-inch-wide shelving unit will occupy 8 square feet of floor space. If you erect a shelving unit 8 feet high and add eight shelves to the unit, you would create 128 square feet of shelving space in just 8 square feet of floor space. Think higher, deeper, wider and add as many shelf levels as possible if you want to get the most density out of your floor space.

Be organized (always), be practical (keep it simple) and get some functional shelving. Wall-mounted decorative shelving is a wonderful complement to just about any room, and they create shelving space where free-standing shelving wouldn’t be appropriate. Consider glass shelving for a more contemporary design, or wood grain shelves for a softer, warmer tone.

Whatever your interior design tastes, there are shelves that will satisfy your desire for form and function. With decorative wall-mounted shelving, you can display your prized items like trophies, pottery and pictures in frames. Your home and office should reflect your personality, so choose personalized displays. Using the right shelf will get you on your way to being organized.

An efficient home is a happy home. Start 2010 happy and organized with the help of The Shelving Store.

Visit their Web sites at and for more ideas on how to better utilize your existing storage space. They offer free shelving designs for any project.

Winter Pledge: Clearing Garage Floors Gets Cars Indoors

<b>Winter Pledge: Clearing Garage Floors Gets Cars Indoors</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – When a chill is in the air and clutter is in the garage, your car is often forced out in the cold.

“Like any other meaningful and valuable item in our life, cars need protection,” said Alan Taylor of Car & Driver Radio. “I’m often asked how people can make their cars last longer, and it’s not always just about the mechanics, it is also about protection and shelter. I tell them to get their car in their garage.”

Whether its colors are fading or it’s taking even longer to “warm” the car on those chilly winter mornings, Mother Nature’s elements take their toll on your car. As the mercury drops, now is the time to get the car back in the garage.

Rakes and shovels, gardening pots, tools, golf clubs, basketballs, footballs and other sporting equipment litter most garages, leaving little to no space to move within, let alone park a car.

“Getting the car in the garage starts with getting the garage in order,” says do-it-yourself expert Karl Champley. Champley points out that the first step to organizing the garage and getting the car back inside requires lifting the junk up off the floor and organizing it on the walls. The walls are storage space too often left unused. Plus, many people leave items on the floor, loosely stacked against the walls with no support, leaving the chance that if you bump them getting in or out of the car, they may fall onto the car and scratch it or cause other damage.

To clear the mess, get the car inside, and avoid damaging the car when it’s in its proper home — the garage — Champley suggests the following tips:

* From Garage Floor Sprawl to On the Wall. Clear every inch of floor space to make it clutter-free. Products are available from companies like Gladiator GarageWorks, which offers modular hooks, shelving and storage cabinets that allow you to organize what you have on the wall. You can even hang your bike, wheel barrow and ladders to clear additional floor space and prevent damage to the car when parked in the garage.

* Organize the Place with Tailored Space. Once you know what needs to go up on the wall, it’s time to create zones for your sports equipment, your workshop projects, your gardening center or other hobbies you’re passionate about. Items are not only off the floor but in a familiar place every time you need something.

* To Keep It Straight, You Must Create. As you accumulate more and more keepsakes or other materials that need a home in the garage, get creative. Use organization tools like Gladiator GarageWorks blueprint estimator ( which allows you to virtually organize your space online and then print out a plan to expand.

Get Organized for Holiday Entertaining

<b>Get Organized for Holiday Entertaining</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – As you start preparing for holiday guests, take a look at your home. Is it crowded with clutter? If so, you might want to think about getting your home in order. After all, you need to make room for a Christmas tree, gifts and stockings!

Not sure how to start? Here are some tips from, where folks have been making space work better for almost 50 years. If you need more efficient storage space, they have the answer:

– Maximize your space. If you have an old-fashioned closet with just one shelf and one hanging bar, install shelves and use all the vertical space you have. Most closets only utilize about 50 percent of their storage capacity. With a properly designed shelving system, you can use nearly all of the available space.

– Make items easy to find. You don’t want to waste time pawing through closets or searching under beds to find what you need, so don’t just jam clutter out of sight. Create a more efficient storage space. Use labeled bins in your closet. Box up and store off season items. Use shelves and drawers to categorize items.

– Decorate with storage space. Put ottomans in the living room, and use them to store magazines or board games. Hang attractive shelves to decorate along your walls. Instead of end tables, use antique chests or drawers that also provide useable storage space.

Keeping calm during the chaotic holiday season starts at home — clutter creates stress and will certainly disrupt the peace and joy of the holiday season. Start with one project (say, a single room or closet) before tackling another.

An efficient home is a happy home. Become happy and organized with the help of The Shelving Store. Visit their Web site at for ideas. They offer free shelving designs for just about any space in your home.

Tips to Live Large in a Smaller Space

<b>Tips to Live Large in a Smaller Space</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Today’s economic reality has changed the spaces that Americans call “home.” Some have downsized, moving into smaller and more affordable homes. Other families have expanded, bringing grandparents and older children under the same roof.

But moving into a smaller space — or having to make the same space accommodate more people — presents challenges. Where are you going to put everything? How are you going to make rooms feel comfortable, not crowded?

The experts at, a company that specializes in designing shelving systems to fit any space, offer the following tips to find more room in your smaller space:

– “Edit” your belongings. If you’re moving into a significantly smaller space, you will need to get rid of some items. Make a list of the pieces your new home needs, like beds, sofas and dining room tables. Look at the pieces you own, and determine what will work in your new space. If you don’t like a piece, don’t use it often or don’t think it fits the decor of your new space, it’s time to donate or sell.

– Eliminate clutter. Life is too busy to have clutter. Don’t shove too much stuff in one space. Use all of the space you have to get rid of clutter. Creative storage solutions prove both functional and decorative. Consider chrome wire shelves, which are economical, keep stored items ventilated and eliminate the need to dust. While buying wire shelves at a big discount store can prove problematic — you might have trouble finding shelves to fit your space — specialized companies like offer a wide variety of sizes and styles.

– Let the light in. Contrary to popular belief, painting a room white doesn’t make it look larger, just cold and uninviting. Choose soft pastels to warm up rooms. Make sure that light comes in from the windows by choosing light drapes in quality fabrics. Not only do drapes make a room feel homier, they can also add an illusion of height. If a room’s dark, add extra lighting with sconces and uplighting, not hanging lights, which can make the ceiling look low. Decorate with mirrors to redirect light, making spaces feel more open.

For more information, visit or