Entries from November 2011 ↓

Review: Frameless Suit Bag

Frameless Suit Bag

Frameless Suit Bag

Finding more storage space in your home can seem like an impossible task, especially when it comes to seasonal clothing. Bulky winter coats, sweaters and boots can be especially difficult to store. Often it’s more of a challenge to find the extra room than it is to figure out how to store it. When every possible inch of closet space is full it’s time to get creative!

Sweaters bags are a must for storing your favorite knits. Easily stretched out by hangers, sweaters are best stored folded flat. Make sure they have been properly clean before packing them up so no moth damage occurs. Storage bags are also a useful when traveling, you can pack all your shirts together or use them to keep outfits organized, then towards the end of the trip you can use them to store dirty clothes.

Garment racks are an easy way to gain clothes storage when closets are full. Ideal for using in bedrooms when you live in an older home without closets or want to create additional storage in an extra room or garage. To keep clothes in good condition add a Frameless Suit Bag that creates a portable, mini closet. A frameless zippered suit bag from Stacks and Stacks is easy to transport and doesn’t take up as much room as a dresser or wardrobe. Clear vinyl design makes it easy to find what you’re looking for.

Under bed storage bins are a great way to make the most of unused space. Slide out bins with lift tops are an easy way to store items you don’t need everyday. Add risers underneath your bed frame and you can gain a few more inches of storage for larger bins. Platform bed frames with built in drawers are an even more convenient form of under bed storage. Easy to open drawers make it good storage for items you need more regularly, like sweaters or shoes.

Protect It All With A Jumbo Clothes Bag

Proper clothes storage prolongs the life of your clothes, saving them for years to come. Whether it’s a wedding dress or tailor made suit, it’s easy to find just the right garment bag for your clothes and your closet. There are a few basic storage rules that are important to follow and help you get the storage you need.

Prevent fading and damage from sunlight by storing clothes away from direct light. Keeping clothes away from sunlight is easy in a standard closet, but for a walk in closet with a window or skylight make sure to store nicer clothes that are only worn occasionally in a garment bag made of solid material that blocks out the light. For closets that are free from natural light consider a clear vinyl design that makes it easy to see where all your clothes are.

Jumbo Clothes Bag

Jumbo Clothes Bag

Mold and Mildew love crowded spaces, keep them at bay by giving your clothes plenty of air flow and room to breath. A Jumbo Clothes Bag from Stacks and Stacks is a great clothes storage solution, providing plenty of room to spread out hangers. A jumbo clear vinyl dress bag keeps dust from gathering on top of the clothes you want to preserve but don’t often have an occasion to wear. Great for suits or dresses, a clothes bag will keep them straight from the dry cleaner fresh.

As opposed to garment bags that slip over the hanger, a bag with an interior hanger rod makes hanging and sorting through clothes easy. Ideal for storing seasonal clothes, heavy wool coats or rain jackets, an extra large clothes bag gives you enough room to store puffy down jackets. Used in a hall or guest room closet, garment bags are also a good way to keep clothes organized and out of the way. Follow these simple steps and you can keep your favorite pieces looking like new!

Saving Precious Space with Sweater Bags

Whether you live in a studio apartment or a mansion, the problem of efficient and handy storage is all too familiar, especially if you have twenty aunties giving you twenty reindeer sweaters any given Christmas.

Of course, you don’t want to hurt their feelings by donating these treasures to the community scarecrow clothing drive; you may also want to keep those on hand for that Antarctic expedition where you were planning to attire underprivileged penguins. At the same time, you may have indulged more than a few times by getting some fancy cashmere cardigans, and now mold, dust and moths take whimsically ominous shapes in your increasingly frequent nightmares.

Clear Vinyl Sweater Bag

Clear Vinyl Sweater Bag

Fortunately, containing hideous knitwear and protecting your cherished designer garbs is equally convenient with the help of zippered garment bags.  They come in all shapes and sizes, offering a simple yet effective answer to an otherwise frustrating task. Come to think of it, those baby blankets, onesies, small stuffed toys and other infant items that are waiting to be handed down to a worthy successor can also use a safe and easy storage solution.

My personal pick is this set of 6 clear vinyl sweater bags from Stacks and Stacks. Transparent design lets you quickly tell the difference between your all-time favorite apparel and the stuff you picture maybe using one day down the road. Heavy duty vinyl makes sure that no matter how heavily armed the dust mites may be, they’re not getting through. Self-correcting zippers forgive an occasional lapse in judgment, like trying to fit a cruise ship into a garment bag.

If you let your imagination run rampant, you may find a gazillion other uses for these storage champions. I, for one, inflate a myriad of little balloons and trap them in these bags in colorful arrangements. That serves no purpose whatsoever, but a girl needs a hobby.

Make Clothes Last Longer to Stretch your Budget

As we all tighten our budgets, we are looking for ways to save money in every area of our lives.  We find ourselves asking questions like:  How can I make my car last longer?  How can I stretch my grocery dollar?  And how can I shop for clothing less?  Fortunately, the last question has an easy answer.  To spend less on money on clothes, you’ve got to use what you have better.  With clothes, that means you will want to take better care of them to make them last longer.  There are many ways to do this, and one of the easiest and cheapest methods is to use vinyl hanging shoulder covers.

Vinyl Shoulder Covers

Vinyl Shoulder Covers

These nifty clothes saving inventions couldn’t be easier to use.  Simply hang your clothes up as you normally would on a hanger, gather a few of those hangers together and then slip one of these plastic clothes storage bags over the top of the hanger.  This helps with everything from dust and water stains to damage from moths and other insects.  And since they are crystal clear, you can still see everything that you have in your closet.

Here are some additional ways to make your clothes last longer:
1.     Cedar – Cedar is a natural insect repellent and smells heavenly, doing double duty in the closet and helping to extend the life of your clothing.  Look for cedar hangers, sachets and other products.
2.    Washing Carefully – Don’t be lazy with your laundry.  Following the manufacturer’s instructions on washing and drying can save wear and tear, extending the life of your garments substantially.  Example:  If it says wash in cold water, then do so.  Not HOT water, not WARM water, just cold.
3.    Out of Season Clothes Storage – store clothes that are out of season properly, taking careful care to keep them free from moisture damage.  Sealed plastic boxes and garment bags are two simple ways to do this.

Get your Vinyl Shoulder Covers at Stacks and Stacks!

Natural Canvas Cotton 6 Shelf Sweater Bag with Bamboo Inserts

Natural Canvas Cotton 6 Shelf Sweater Bag with Bamboo Inserts

Natural Canvas Cotton 6 Shelf Sweater Bag with Bamboo Inserts

Some people are really good at organizing their homes with meticulous diligence and making do with whatever little resources are at hand. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. I need lots and lots of help.

While my friend Maria’s closet always shines with stacked, categorized and color-coded perfection, mine, until recently, looked more like the aftermath of an F5 degree tornado.

I made peace with the fact that I will never match the organization skills of detective Monk or Ms. Monica Geller, but the situation doesn’t have to be completely hopeless. The trick, as I found out just recently, is to divide the overwhelmingly chaotic space into smaller, more manageable structures.

For me, designating storage spaces for particular items creates a few tiny, contained messes that all of a sudden don’t look so atrocious. Hanging closet organizers prove to be one of the most efficient and cost-effective storage solutions.  From cascading skirt hangers to revolving tie racks, from over-the-door shoe keepers to hanging garment bags – the possibilities for creating an orderly and easy to maintain closet are endless.

My personal favorite is the Natural Canvas Cotton 6 Shelf Sweater Bag with Bamboo Inserts. Sweaters, hats, gloves and scarves are notorious for undermining your attempts at stacking them in a neat, tidy manner, having a tendency to give in to gravity and just fall over when you are not looking. Curb that sabotage by trapping such items in cozy compartments where they have nowhere to go.

Life’s challenges and complications are abundant, and you have more important battles to fight than the ones with your closet. Simplify. Give yourself room to breathe. A well organized space provides a peace of mind and helps you rid your thoughts of clutter. Making your home a safe haven is easier than you might think. You can get yours at Stacks and Stacks!

How my Laundry Valet Rod saved Christmas

Laundry Valet Rod

Laundry Valet Rod

No, this isn’t a fairy tale about a little magic clothes hanger that helped Santa by leading all the reindeer through a foggy night. No! This is a true tale of how a little metal hanger saved my first holiday experience with the in-laws (and maybe my marriage).

Well, it all started last year when I was living in the frigid and damp environs of Boston, MA. The sort of place you always need a coat in the winter, and in turn, a sturdy clothes hanger for the substantial weight of my puffy jacket collection.

My newly-minted in laws were coming into town for the holidays, and being from sunny California, boy did they bring a lot of extra winter wear! We saw the sights of Bean Town and had decided to go out for dinner on Christmas Eve and my father in law chose to wear his favorite leather jacket, handed down for generations. I decided the weather looked clear enough and we should just hoof it home. While walking back to our apartment we were caught in a white-out blizzard, leaving my father-in-law’s jacket soaked, and near ruin.

Luckily I had planned ahead and purchased the Laundry Valet Rod! This strong metal hanger really came in handy when we needed to drip dry that leather jacket. My favorite part is that we were able to fit all of our jackets onto just one of these wall mounted metal hangers, with plenty of room for my aforementioned puffy jacket collection (I now have eight). I was able to adjust the rod to hang the jackets horizontally, allowing them to drip on my brand new carpet instead of onto each other! The next morning every jacket on the clothes hanger was dry as a bone. I was impressed with how my valet rod had saved the day. It came with an oil rubbed bronze finish and was made from chrome plated steel, purchased from the gang at Stacks and Stacks!

So ends my tale: the leather jacket was saved, drip drying away on the Laundry Valet Rack. In turn, Christmas was saved and my in-laws were in awe of my foresight.

How to Take Care of Your Chair Cushions

Here are my easy to follow steps to cleaning chair cushions.
• Remove the cushion. If you can’t remove the cushion, feel free to skip this step.

• Loosen dirt with a handheld dusting brush while using a vacuum brush attachment to remove the dust. If you don’t have a dusting brush, use a toothbrush. If you don’t have a toothbrush, you can use your fingernails. Or maybe a small, clean twig. That’s what some people use for a toothbrush, so I’m sure that would work

• Vacuum all surfaces of the chair, back, sides, arms, and underneath the chair. You can also think about vacuuming the walls. I’ve never done it, but what if it really helps with everything. Anyway, just think about it.

• Vacuum both sides of the loose cushions. If you weren’t able to remove the cushion, again, you can skip this step.

• Replace cushions. Again, if you didn’t remove the cushion, you’re ahead of the game. See! Cleaning is easy.

• Add 1/4 cup of laundry detergent or liquid dish detergent to 1 cup of warm water. This is called a ratio. Blend with an electric mixer; whip the mixture until the suds look like whipped cream (it will be dry and form peaks). Do not eat it. Not even a little taste. Okay, have a little taste, but just so you know you shouldn’t eat it.

• Test for fading by dipping a cloth in the suds and rubbing a small place on the back of furniture. Let dry. If fading, shrinkage or discoloration occurs, have the job done professionally; or, just give up on the whole thing. If not, proceed to the next step.

• Pick an area on the furniture, dip cloth and rub suds on. Do this for about 4 minutes. Listen to a song you like. Or just the static on the radio, it’s soothing and will help you get a rhythm going.

• Dirt will begin to appear in suds as they work. Use a scraper to scrape suds away. Look, you made soap dirty. Who knew that was even possible? See, cleaning can be fun.

• Rinse area with a damp cloth. Damp means water. Don’t use anything other than water. I guess you could use seltzer water, but that’s still water.

• Repeat steps 8 through 10 on other areas of furniture, allowing for overlap of areas during cleaning. This could take several hours, a few days, or two months – depending on schedule.

• Allow to dry overnight, preferably with a fan blowing on furniture. If you do not have a fan, I suggest fanning it yourself with a piece of folded paper. Or, just blowing on it. It’s the personal touches that make a house a home, you know.

Conversely, you could get this set of 2 Clear Vinyl Chair Protectors. Then, it doesn’t matter. Nothing matters when you have these plastic covers on your furniture.