Author Archives: Diana Augspurger

10 Things You Can Do in 10 Minutes or Less

Things You Can Do in 2 Minutes or Less

The little things in life that constantly pile up around us at home are often more stressful than the big projects waiting for us back at work. Think about it. When was the last time you felt like melting down while cooking dinner over a spreadsheet you have due next week? Or was it finding yet another glass on the side table beside the couch that did it? I’m guessing it was the glass. Or the socks on the floor. Or the muddy footprints through the laundry room. Or, or, or…

There are plenty of lists out there and plenty of life coaches who advocate to just DO something if it’s fast and easy. You’ll spend more time writing these things down on a list than you will just doing them. We agree, and these are our favorite things to accomplish in our 2 minutes!

  1. Make your bed and check off the first thing on your to-do listMake your bed – This may actually take you less than a minute! And there’s more to it than just the amazing feeling of sliding between crisp sheets every night – making your bed prevents all sorts of dust and dirt and debris from settling on an unmade bed. Which means you can go longer between washes. Which means you’ll be doing a little bit more to save the planet.   AND… it will help you get your day jump started, because within moments of rising, you’ll be able to go ahead and check something off your list! Admiral William McRaven gave a great talk which you can find on YouTube about how you can “Change the World by Making Your Bed” – check it out!
  2. Collect stray dirty dishes and gather them in the sink – No one likes getting the dishes finished only to turn around and find a few more glasses on the countertop. (This is a good little two-minute-task to delegate to kids as well… “Dinner is almost ready! Scour the house for extra dishes, then come wash up!”
  3. Drink a glass of water – Honestly, you’re probablDrink a glass of water to restart your brainy drinking enough already. Wondering how much is enough? Sports dietitian Dana Angelo White, who is also an assistant clinical professor at Quinnipiac University, in Hamden, Conn. says: “I often recommend half your weight in ounces as a starting point. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, aim for 75 ounces of fluid per day, and more if you exercise regularly.” So grab a wee glass next time you’re floundering through the kitchen feeling at loose ends. Maybe a shot of hydration will refresh your mind and giveDIY recipe squirt bottle you enough of a break to carry on.
  4. Wipe off your bathroom mirror – If you share yours with your kids like we do, there’s no end to the white spots and streaks that quickly gather on the surface. Keep cleaner nearby where you can spritz, wipe, and go. Next time you pop into the bathroom, life will be more sparkly and you’ll feel accomplished and on top of domestic menutia.
  5. Go through the stack of mail on your counter and THROW AWAY all the junThrow away your junk mail!k! Seriously. You’re not missing anything by not even opening it up. Save yourself the few moments of grief. Recycle the paper and spend the saved time inventorying your wine stash instead.
  6. Add an item to your Amazon list – how often have you heard about something in passing or thought of something while cooking dinner that you would like to have one day, or know you might need soon? Set up Amazon wish lists so that when these thoughts occur, you can add the items on the go. It will save you the trouble of beating your head in later when you can’t rememSwedish Dish Cloths are the answer to paper towels, sponges, and more!ber that “brilliant” idea. With online grocery shopping gaining in possibility and popularity, soon your groceries will be magically appearing on your doorstep… make ordering a snap by adding things as you think of them!
  7. Wipe down your countertops – we’ve expounded on the awesomeness of Swedish Dish Cloths before, and we’re SERIOUS! Having a dishcloth handy makes wiping down kitchen appliances and countertops easy, fun, beautiful, and FAST!
  8. Dust bust under your kitchen cabinets – dust busters are my #1 tool for sanity in child-rearing! All those tiny messes add up, especially at meal time. I keep my dust buster charged and tucked just underneath a rolling shelf beside my fridge where I can easily suck up life’s little, and continual, disasters.
  9. Refill the sink dispenser (a good chore to delegate!) – Soap getting low? Fill ‘er up! Kids ages 3 and up can help, and tend to enjoy this task. Conveniently, it also gets their hands clean before dinner…
  10. Take out the trash (another good delegation chore) – Especially the little bags in the bathrooms, offices and laundry rooms. Grab one a day and “trash day” will become much less chaotic!

Bonus: prep tomorrow’s coffee pot. I don’t know about you, but I definitely need fuel. And        there’s nothing worse than waking up in the morning and NOT being able to just push a button. So prep your next pot while you’re waiting for water to boil or chatting on the phone. It’s quick and easy to do even while distracted. You’ll thank yourself later!

What else can you do in two minutes or less? We’d love to hear about what you do to tackle procrastination and slam through your to-do lists!

 

Super Wine Storage

CLASSIC ARCH WINE RACKS https://morestorage.com/classic-arch-wine-racks-p-2539.html

CLASSIC ARCH WINE RACKS

It’s that time again… the smell of fall is beginning to drift in the air… There are only a couple of weeks of summer left and if you reside on the east coast like we do, you’ll soon be blessed with copious quantities of snow along with sub zero temperatures as the rotten cherry on top. (If you live in an area with a warmer climate where you can drink wine outside all year long, stop teasing us!)

Get prepared, it’s never too early to get ready for the inevitable winter blizzard! Get to the grocery store and get all your canned soups and veggies, cases of bottled water, candles and batteries, and… wait, a second… what are we talking about? Canned veggies are gross, soup is overrated, and if you have kids, you’ll need more than just water and batteries to survive a power outage. If there’s even a remote possibility you could become barricaded in your home under 6 tons of frigid ice and snow, I think the recommended number of FULL wine bottles to have on hand is… 47!

Now hold on, maybe you’re sitting there saying to yourself “…that’s a lot of wine, how will I store it all safely?” You’re in luck! With our Classic Arch Wine Rack, storage is easier than ever, and it’s easy to see if you’re fully stocked when weather alerts come roaring your way. This rack features 47 individual bays, enough for all of your finest wine. The unit is constructed of durable steel with a powder-coasted black matte finish. (In other words, virtually damage proof!)

Once you’ve made it through the long winter months, this unit has plenty of summer uses, too! Place the rack on your pool deck with rolled towels in the wine cubbies for kids and guests to quickly grab. Store paper towels. Corral art supplies. Place rolled magazines in the slots and silently point if any tiny humans in the vicinity complain of boredom… the possibilities are endless!

Need a few extra spaces for luck? Have a more industrial style? All of the above applies to our Epicurean Wine Storage, as well… except that there’s space for a whopping 91 bottles!

EPICUREAN WINE STORAGE SYSTEM, 7 ROW RACK https://morestorage.com/epicurean-wine-storage-system-row-rack-p-648.html

EPICUREAN WINE STORAGE SYSTEM

How about you? Where would you use this Wine Rack in your home? Are you a fledgling wine connoisseur who needs storage space? Preparing for the apocalypse? A creative crafter? Hit us up in the comments with your thoughts!

There are so many uses for these drawers! https://morestorage.com/clear-shoe-drawer-set-of-p-282.html

From Closet to… Fridge?

It's easy to organize and fully access "stuff" with our clear drawers at https://morestorage.com/clear-shoe-drawer-set-of-p-282.html

This happy customer tidied up odds and ends in her fridge using our clear shoe drawers!

If you have a simply, sturdy, affordable fridge… it probably didn’t come with a lot of frills. We heard from one customer over the weekend that bought our Aberdeen stacking drawers and completely transformed her fridge just by adding two drawers! She says she keeps sandwich supplies in one, and kids snacks in the other – Bravo! for thinking outside the ‘box!’

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard from a happy customer who was using these products for something other than their limited original purpose: a glass artist several years ago sent us this picture of her bins being used to sort glass scraps:

“I love that the bins are completely clear and that they easily slide all the way in and out of the frame. It saves me valuable time to stay organized and to be able to easily move material back and forth from my work tables.”

There are so many uses for these drawers! https://morestorage.com/clear-shoe-drawer-set-of-p-282.html

Glass scraps organized in Clear Shoe Drawers from MoreStorage.com

There are so many uses for these drawers! https://morestorage.com/clear-shoe-drawer-set-of-p-282.html

Glass scraps organized in Clear Shoe Drawers from MoreStorage.com

There are so many uses for these drawers! https://morestorage.com/clear-shoe-drawer-set-of-p-282.html

Glass scraps organized in Clear Shoe Drawers from MoreStorage.com

Wishy-Washy Laundries ..a thing of the past

We have always mourned the lack of respect the  hardworking laundry gets despite being one of the most used areas of the house.  Often allocated little space, it’s as if it was a last minute thought. Most people will agree that a well appointed laundry is a pleasure to work in. Accessible cabinetry boosts the function up to utility room status where everything from light bulbs to hand tools can be squirreled away.

Laundry

Look up, look down, look all around for unused space….

drying line, Lofti, laundry drying rack

…behind a door where we found space for storing hangers used for hang-drying. This could easily be mop and broom holders also. Adjust your door stop so the hooks don’t hit the back of the door.

Hanger storage

…or like this drying rack that drops from the ceiling.

It’s hard to visualize where everything should go so utilize some professional expertise so you don’t waste any space. Our friends at Ironaway did a pretty good job with this project. Having the ironing board tuck away easily makes life so much easier. Good lighting makes up for the lack of a window. This project incorporates craft space which makes total sense.

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A pullout table can be hidden in drawer space, at your finger tips when you need it not only for your machine but also wrapping gifts or laying out a project.

Sewing room, craft room, pullout sewing table, pullout table

Divide at least one drawer for sewing supplies. Easily replace a missing button or tack a pesky loose hem which always seem to come loose in the dryer.

drawer dividers, sewing organizer,

At the very least, arm yourself with a simple sewing kit

sewing kit, mending, button

Small gadgets like the Neatfold can really add to your efficiency. This easy to install tool acts like a second pair of hands for folding sheets.

laundry folding, sheet folding, laundry tools

The perfect laundry accessory

Don’t forget necessary functions like sorting…

laundry hamper, laundry sortinglaundry hamper….and flat drying

laundry drying rack

Folds flat to the wall when not in use

…and perhaps a spot for hanging, even if you don’t have the space for a rod.

laundry hanging, hanging bar, laundry drying

Now you see it, now you don’t!

Lastly, you can consider this compact, do everything, laundry centerfolding laundry center, folding ironing board

So now you can see how your laundry, small or large, can really add value to your life. Go forth and make it as powerful as your high efficiency washing machine!

The Microegg

Faster Than Drive-Through: A Perfect Egg Sandwich in Under a Minute

microegg

A perfectly poached egg in under a minute?! It seems too good to be true, but that’s what the Microegg offers. We’re not really ones for endorsing unitaskers, but this little silicone box is pretty neat.

microegg3

 

Yes, the egg really will cook up in the microwave just the way you like it (the whites cooked through, the yolks runny in our case). Here’s how to create the perfect homemade breakfast sandwich in no time. Now, you really have no excuse to pick up drive-through for breakfast.

Cut an english muffin in half width-wise, or grab a few slices of your favorite bread then toast to your liking.

Meanwhile, coat the Microegg with cooking spray. Crack the egg inside the Microegg. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Close top securely and microwave for 25-60 seconds (depending on your microwave and how you like your egg cooked).

microegg2
When your muffin or bread is toasted, slather about one tablespoon of salted butter on each side. Carefully open the top of the Microegg and slip the egg on top of the bottom half of the english muffin. Add a slice of cheese (or avocado) to the top, close, and enjoy!

microegg4

Kitchen Scales

Any professional baker will tell you that for precise measurements you need a scale.

img4_wall-scale_16_319_i22m0id3

Not only are scales a more accurate way of measuring ingredients, you create less mess! Simply put your bowl on the scale and turn the readout to zero then add your first ingredient, zero out the scale then pour your next ingredient – and so on. With a scale you can get away with using nothing more than a bowl and one spoon.

read-digital-kitchen-scale
A small kitchen scale is also great for measuring out your meals to help with portion control, weight loss, and healthy eating.

curve-stainless-digital-kitchen-scale

Kitchen scales mean better results when cooking, simple portion control, faster cooking, and less mess and cleanup!

 

Shop now!

 

Happy New Year!

You would think that  being in the storage and organization business my home would have a masterful array of tidy drawers and spiffed up closets with a side of storage savvy garage cabinets.  It does. However, it also takes some effort to keep from collecting too much and overwhelming those same spaces with tidbits of nonsense that we drag in the house and don’t get around to using or throwing out. There is also that added burden of living with others who may not be like-minded (ahem, husband) about what we keep (or buy for that matter- really, the jumbo case of baked beans?).

If you didn’t get around to making a New Year’s resolution I have a suggestion. One drawer, one closet, one shelf at a time. Don’t try to eat the whole cake when one piece can be very satisfying. Nothing feels as good as order in your home.

The Kindness of Cooking

It’s an amazing time of year for family. Joyful. One way to share that with our families is through our cooking. Good food is an expression of our creativity and in a way delivers comfort to those close to us. It’s a kindness that we offer all year. However, at the holidays, it has special meaning. It ties all of us together at the most basic level and for the most important reasons. It’s a point of remembrance- your grandmother’s cookies or your aunt’s cranberry relish. We honor our past and pass those memories on to our future- our children and grandchildren. At this very busy time of year, we wish you time to cook and all the joy that serving your treasured family recipes can possibly bring.

Small Space Living Attitude

I just read an interesting quote from architect Mark Schratz when talking about his 980 sqft home “It’s not minimal living; this is just small-scale living” he said. I think he hit the nail on the head. I hear that phrase a lot “I’m a minimalist”. Mark’s take is that minimalist living is not just pared down but also stripped bare while small scale living seeks out rich textures and high quality materials used in small spaces. Big difference.

In a recent article about his design philosophy, he speaks of his mechanical spaces functioning like a Swiss army knife- everything intertwined and dual purposed. I love this way of thinking and it speaks to my own sense of design. As you seek to organize your life and remove clutter, remember that living efficiently doesn’t have to mean living without warmth and character in the home. I have found that the smaller and more functional something is, the more likely it will be expensive as it often is multi-tasking. For example, I once saw a wall separating a kitchen and bath made from opaque tempered glass. This was not an inexpensive solution (and not the image I am posting as an example) but one that saved inches of floor space while flooding the bath with natural light from the already bright kitchen. It was genius. What will they think of next as the world embraces smaller and smaller living spaces as the norm again?

switchable-smart-glass-frosted-portman_main

Link

Neatfold...can you say it’s a gift from heaven? Seriously….Ok, maybe a little exaggerating but this simple bracket does make folding sheets neat, easy and fast. Martha Stewart once wrote a whole article about folding fitted sheets. I kid you not. Obviously America has a real problem here. If she had the Neatfold she wouldn’t have had to do that. Honestly, a cabinet with crisp linens all lined up in tidy stacks is a joy to behold. Visually, it creates a sense of organization immediately. It won’t sort them into twin, full size, queen or king. Nor will it separate towels from bath mats. After all, you have to do SOMETHING to make this your dream closet. Add a few baskets for managing small toiletries and medical supplies and your new closet will become a fabulous asset rather than a daily nightmare.

The perfect laundry accessory