Contributing Editors

Decluttering and Storage: All Natural Solutions to Getting Rid of Bedbugs

by John Stevens September 21, 2010 11:20 PM
Bedbugs can survive freezing temperatures. They can also survive pesticide application, now that they have developed a resistance to it. But if you are willing to be patient, there is one thing that bedbugs cannot survive -- storage for long periods of time. Bedbugs cannot go more than a year without a food source. If you are able to store belongings that have a persistent bedbug infestation for more than a year (sealed in clear plastic bags), any bedbugs that remain in the object should die. Scientists say that people who store their mattresses with vinyl covers, or who store stuffed animals and clothing inside sealed plastic bags, should not have to worry about bedbugs infesting their belongings, no matter where they live or where the items are stored (in a closet, attic, basement, or self storage unit). Likewise, decluttering is an important part of addressing a bedbug problem, because it eliminates places where bedbugs can hide. [More]

Professional Organizers Offer Kitchen Advice

by John Stevens September 9, 2010 12:38 PM
The parallel to spring cleaning, it seems, is back to school organizing. In newspapers and on websites at this time of year, professional organizers are offering tips to help keep families from drowning in clutter. In many families, clutter tends to migrate into the kitchen. But organizing kitchen clutter does not have to be an impossible chore.

Most organizers suggest a twofold kitchen organizing strategy. First, move or store any items that do not truly need to be in the kitchen. Second, organize the items that remain, maximizing your use of space and expanding into previously unused spaces whenever possible. Kitchen counters, kitchen drawers, kitchen cupboards, kitchen cabinets can all be organized so that their entire space is functional. [More]

Seattle Engineer Takes Downsizing to a New Extreme

by Holly Robinson August 31, 2010 5:46 PM
These days, many people are downsizing their homes to reduce expenses. A small house or home may not only cost less in terms of rent or a mortgage payment, but also costs less to heat and cool, and uses less electricity. The first part of downsizing is decluttering -- giving away, reusing, recycling, or throwing out whatever an individual or a family can live without. Part of the decluttering process, for many people, is storing items that are not needed year round in a self storage unit. The second part is making a small house plan: exactly how much space do you truly need to live in? Some people even draw up their own small house plans. For many, the downsizing process, especially when it is supported by good storage options, leads straight to tiny houses and the tiny house movement -- a movement for people who are determined to live in the smallest possible space. [More]

Spring Cleaning Gives Way to Summer Organizing

by Winnie Hsiu July 9, 2010 11:01 PM
Whatever happened to spring cleaning? Many families never had time to do spring cleaning, and home organization and housekeeping have been suffering ever since. During the summer months when children are out of school, the sense of structure imposed by the school day can sometimes cause a family’s routines, including house cleaning and decluttering routines, to devolve into clutter and chaos. In newspapers all over America, professional organizers are offering their advice on everything from spring cleaning tips, getting rid of clutter, closet organization and closet organizers, organizing everything from children’s schedules to basements, and how to decide what to keep, what to throw out or recycle, who might be able to reuse certain items, and what should be safely stowed in a secure self storage unit or other secure location. Most of all, they are offering tips on time management -- how to make time to declutter, clean, and organize. [More]