Butler County Times Gazette
  • Family Time: Clutter-clearing tips turn chaos into harmony

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  • Tip of the Week
    The stack of shoes that pile up by the front door, the linen closet that you're afraid to open, the junk drawer that may well hide the mysteries of the universe - we all have one or two spots in our home that cry out for organization and tidying. Spring cleaning season is approaching, and with a plan of attack you can take this opportunity to clear away clutter, organize underutilized spaces and generally improve the overall usability of your home. Procter & Gamble and The Home Depot have teamed up with seven DIY bloggers to offer room-by-room tips for getting organized this spring:
    Cutting kitchen chaos
    * Nearly everyone has one drawer in their kitchen that becomes the "catch-all spot." Empty yours, wipe down the inside, and insert a silverware tray to help organize pens, batteries, buttons, random screws and other items that find their way into the drawer.
    * Every family needs a central spot for sharing information. But if a cork board, white board or chalkboard isn't your idea of wall decor, try hiding them away on the inside of a kitchen cabinet. Mount a cork panel on the inside of a cabinet door, or use chalkboard paint to create a hidden and useful spot for notes, shopping lists, coupons and reminders.
    * You likely sweep the kitchen floor daily, but floors can also benefit from a good steam cleaning at least once a week.
    * Organize the cupboard and pantry by using boxes, jars and baskets with labels on them. When it's time to put an item away, everyone will know where it belongs, rather than be tempted to toss it randomly into a cupboard.
    Better bathrooms
    * Bathroom drawers can easily become cluttered. Place desk organizing trays in drawers so that items like makeup, combs, curling irons, etc. stay neat and orderly. A bit of Velcro keeps trays in place and makes it easy to remove them when it's time to clean them out.
    * The cabinet under the sink can be a scary place. Baskets bring both organization and style to under-sink storage spaces.
    * Not everything needs to be hidden away. A basket makes a great way to cleverly display toilet paper and still make it easily accessible when needed. Placing grooming supplies in a tiered serving tray brings organization, style and convenience to a bathroom.
    * Scent is a key concern in bathrooms. Scrubbing the shower, floors, toilet and sink until they sparkle is a good start, but sometimes baths need a scent boost. Try placing scented candles in the bathroom to help neutralize odors and add a fresh, welcoming aura to the room.
    Lighten the load in laundry rooms
    * Even small laundry rooms often have unused space above the washer and dryer where you can install shelving for storage. Head over to your local home improvement store for a variety of shelving to store detergents, stain removers and fabric softeners.
    Page 2 of 2 - * Add a rolling cart or laundry butler to your laundry room. It's a great way to add organization and function to the space, helping keep clothes off the floor - plus they're simple to transport.
    * Laundry rooms are often overlooked in the decor department, but a fresh coat of paint can really liven up a dingy, utilitarian room. Choose a bold and bright color - the laundry room is about making things clean, so the room should inspire the vividness you want to achieve in your clothes.
    Cleaning up closets
    * Empty your linen closet and refresh all those stale sheets with a good wash. Keep sets together by bundling sheets and pillowcases together with a bit of ribbon. It also makes for a pretty display inside the closet.
    * Swapping mismatched hangers for one type is a quick, easy way to make a closet look more organized, clean and stylish.
    * Consider creating a cleaning closet or cabinet where all your cleaning supplies live.
    - Brandpoint
    Family Movie Night
    “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” Rated: PG Length: 92 minutes Synopsis: The time-travelling adventures of an advanced canine and his adopted son as they endeavor to fix a time rift they created. Violence/scary rating: 2 Sexual-content rating: 1 Profanity rating: 1.5 Drugs/alcohol rating: 1.5 Family Time rating: 1.5. A great family film! (Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)
    Book Report
    “The Finest Hours: The True Story of a Heroic Sea Rescue,” by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman Ages: 9-13 Pages: 176 Synopsis: On the night of Feb. 18, 1952, during one of the worst winter storms that New England has ever seen, two oil tankers just off the shore of Cape Cod were torn in half by the force of the storm. This middle-grade adaptation of an adult nonfiction book tells the story of a harrowing Coast Guard rescue when four men in a tiny lifeboat overcame insurmountable odds and saved more than 30 stranded sailors. This is a fast-paced, uplifting story that puts young readers in the middle of the action. It’s a gripping story of heroism and survival with the same intensity as the bestselling book and movie “The Perfect Storm.” - Henry Holt and Co.
    Did You Know
    According to study author Dr. Jenny Radesky, observations of 55 families dining out found that of those 55 groups, 40 had caregivers who took out their smartphones during the meal and were preoccupied with them rather than the child or children.
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