Sunday, January 28, 2007

Part 3 - The Bedroom - 101 New Uses for Everyday Items

The same items that keep your bed comfortable and wardrobe neat can also preserve produce or hold CDs.

The Bedroom

  • Dress up a bathroom. To replace a plain vinyl shower curtain, attach 16 clip-on drapery rings to one edge of a sheet, then slide it onto a shower-curtain rod. Back it with a waterproof plastic liner.

  • Sleep easier. If your mattress dips in the middle, place several folded bedsheets under the center to even out the surface. (The number you need will depend on the depth of the dip.)

  • Beat the heat. Tie the corners of a large sheet to close-set trees in your backyard for instant summer shade.

  • Keep the car clean. To protect upholstery and carpet from pet hair, mud, and grass, line your vehicle’s seats and floor with sheets when you’re going hiking or taking your dog to the vet.)

  • Make a headboard. Wrap a sheet over a piece of plywood, staple in back, and prop up as a headboard for a quick update.

  • Move furniture. Place a sheet underneath heavy furniture to protect floors and make repositioning easier.

  • Tie Rack
  • Avoid necklace-untangling nightmares. Sort, organize, and display beads and chains on the pegs of a horizontally mounted tie rack. Many wooden versions have hooks about an inch apart and can separate dozens of necklaces with no overlap.

  • Display scarves — dressy silk or wooly winter versions.

  • Keep dish towels and pot holders within arm’s reach. Install the rack horizontally on a kitchen wall and hang everything right where you need it.

  • Organize a desktop. Place a wooden rack flat on a table and use the spaces between the pegs to sort CDs or mail.

  • Pillowcases
  • Keep your underwear under wraps. When traveling, pack intimates in a pillowcase within your suitcase so they don’t get lost in a pant leg or emerge at an airport security checkpoint.

  • Protect party dresses. Slit a hole in the top of a pillowcase and slide it over a hanger for a durable slipcover.

  • Fend off dust. Use a pillowcase to cover a sewing machine or any other small appliance that collects dirt in its crevices.

  • Make lettuce last longer. After shaking off excess water from just-washed greens, place them in a clean cotton pillowcase. Pat dry and put the whole thing in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. The moist cotton will keep the lettuce fresh longer than a plastic bag alone.

  • Fashion a child’s smock. Cut a large neck hole in the top of a pillowcase and two smaller armholes in the sides. Gather the fabric between the neck hole and each armhole and tie with ribbon to help the smock sit on narrow shoulders.

  • Shoe Organizer
  • Raise the bar. Use a sturdy organizer to store wine and liquor bottles, a cocktail shaker, bar tools, and towels.

  • Store art supplies. A plastic version is perfect for holding paints, pens, brushes, markers, clay, and more.

  • Declutter the bathroom. Keep soaps, razors, tonics, and sprays from crowding countertops and the medicine cabinet.

  • Separate socks. Keep all your panty hose, tights, and socks untangled and in full view in a clear plastic version.

  • Arrange gift-wrapping supplies. Wrapping presents goes faster when you can find the bows, ribbons, tape, scissors, and cards without digging around in a box or a drawer.
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