Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Thursday, November 21st, 2013
It can be a pain to organize your photos. You probably have several digital cameras and smartphones in your household – plus even the kids’ have devices that take photos. On top of it, you have multiple desktop computers, laptops, and tablets with collections of photos you’ve accumulated over the years. Then people text you photos, share photos on Facebook and Instagram. The photos are everywhere! It’s easy to get overwhelmed and just let the photos pile up. But if you want to preserve your digital memories and easily reference them years from now, Here are 6 tips for how to organize photos.
Centralize: Keep all your photos in one spot. It’s frustrating when you’re trying to find old vacation photos, and they could be in one of several places. Maybe they’re on your laptop, maybe they’re on the external drive in the den, or maybe they’re on the old computer in the garage that crashed. Have all your photos on a desktop computer with a large hard drive. Many newer computers come with very large hard drives capable of storing a decade of family photos. If you have access to technical support, install a second large hard drive – with 2 or 3 terabytes of storage – in your desktop computer. A second drive won’t be running your operating system (eg: Windows), so it will spin less and likely have a longer life. Tip: Make a habit of downloading all your photos to your central location.
Cloud Caution: Isn’t the cloud supposed to be the one of the latest and greatest trends in computing? Yes! But storing your life’s photos in the cloud (on someone else’s servers) as the one and only location can be problematic for a few reasons. Some photo services will size down your photos when you upload them, so you lose the original photos’ quality and metadata (the timestamp, camera model, and even location). So don’t delete those originals! For instance, you may have a 10MB photo from your camera, and when you upload it to your photo service’s site, it might be 1MB and half the resolution. There are some great sites like Snapfish and Flickr that offer many options for uploading and sharing photos, but use these as secondary locations for the photos you want to share, not your primary, one-and-only location. Photo website’s may have changing storage policies, limits, and price increases that can creep up with little notice, and while they have extensive backup systems, they’re not exempt from systems failure and data loss. Tip: Own your own storage for all your photos and use cloud services for sharing and secondary storage.
Create Folders: The key to organizing collections of photos on your hard drive is a well thought out folder, or directory, structure. The surest way to organize photos is by maintaining a set of folders on your computer, just like you may do with emails or documents you save. Creating folders of photos on your hard drive will future proof your collection and can be moved from computer to computer for decades to come, since folders and files can easily be migrated to newer and different systems. Create sets of folders for all the photos you download from your devices. Use a Year/Month/Day naming format, so you can easily find photos by date – without that you’ll end up with just a giant set of arbitrarily named folders. Tip: It’s worth the effort to organize your photos with a logical hierarchy of folders in order to stay organized long term.
Stay on Top of It: Immediately get into the habit of downloading photos regularly. Of course it’s easy to let your camera’s memory card fill up before thinking about downloading to your computer. But if you stay up on it, you’re not only saving yourself from a larger chunk of work later on, you’re protecting yourself from data loss. It’s risky to carry your camera around with hundreds of precious photos because it’s vulnerable to being lost, stolen, or damaged. Pop that memory card into your computer as soon as you can to cut and paste those photos into the right folder on your hard drive. Even if you don’t have time to put all the photos into the right folders now, it’s at least better to put them in a generic folder that you can sort through later. Tip: Download frequently to make it easy on yourself and take away the worry of losing photos.
The Social Life of Photos: A large part of your life in photos may actually be snapped by some other friend or family member. Those photos can be all over the place: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Emails, and Text Messages to name a few. Some of those photos can be great memories for years to come, but when they live in those locations, they scroll up and away from memory. Save any photo that you really like that comes your way. Facebook on your computer’s browser has a “Download” option for every image you open up. Smartphones allow you to save most photos to your camera roll, which then will make it to your hard drive when you download. Tip: If you’re a fanatic about a having a photo box of memories then grabbing pics from those who share them is a great way to build a story of your life.
Protect Yourself: Last, but most important, backup your photos. Without a backup, your hard drive of lifetime photos is at risk of being lost. Computers fail, get stolen, damaged, and just don’t last. Tip: With a good backup strategy, you have peace of mind that your digital memories are with you forever.
Tuesday, September 17th, 2013
Special organizing touches help you pull together the perfect look for any occasion.
Rainbow Connection ~ Spray paint wood hangers to give your closet a style upgrade and introduce a color coded wardrobe management system. Assign colors to different types of garments, seasons, or users.
Drop – Ins ~ Some articles of clothing – socks, workout clothes, pajamas – are difficult to keep folded and stacked. Avoid toppling piles by setting items in labeled Sidelines baskets.
Tag ~ Tie gift tags to wire shelves to designate storage zones. Affix an envelope of blank tags and extra ties to the back of the door so you can update labels quickly.
Eye of the Beholder ~ Use digital or instant photos as visual reminders of what’s inside boxes and bins. While you’re snapping away, take pictures of favorite combinations of clothing, shoes, and accessories. That way, you can assemble an outfit in a flash
Monday, August 5th, 2013
Organizing for Back – To – School
Even though many kids don’t go back to school until the first of September, many of us have kids going back to school in August.
Yes it’s definitely that time of the year again when the lazy days of summer can quickly turn into an overwhelmed chaotic nightmare if we aren’t prepared for back to school. And by prepared I mean organized.
Incorporating some simple organized solutions into your day can take you from stressed out to calm and controlled when it comes to getting the kids out the door and off to school each day.
Establish Evening and Morning Routines:
Nothing will set up your day better than when everyone knows exactly what is expected of them. Take some time before school starts to figure out what types of steps and regular routines are required to make sure everyone gets out the door on time with everything they need.
In preparation of the big day, go through all of your children’s clothes and create an inventory of what they have and what they’ll need. The night before school, put the clothes out that they will wear in the morning including socks and shoes.
The biggest contributing factor for staying on top of the school craziness is having a designated backpack station by the front door.
The kids know exactly where their backpacks need to go when they get home from school and the central location allows you the opportunity to check the backpacks each day to ensure notes are received and homework is done. Mornings are also a snap because backpacks can quickly be grabbed on the way out the door.
As for all the school papers, and boy there’s a lot of them! Set up a Command Central to keep important papers and calendars all in one place that everyone can check on a daily basis.
Before you know it the first day of school will be here and we’ll be back in the swing of things trying to keep up with it all. By implementing a few simple strategies as listed above you’ll be able to navigate through the school year like a pro.
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
Four simple steps are all it takes to conquer clutter!
From kitchen counters to the coat closet, getting organized is easier than you think. Just follow this process: Empty, Sort, Shop, and Reassemble. It works for any space in the house, adapts to the busiest schedule, and is guaranteed to reduce stress.
Step 1: Empty
Whatever you are organizing, empty it completely to gain a full understanding of what you own. That doesn’t mean you have to empty your entire bedroom all at once. Tackle the closet first. Or if time is limited, just organize your shoes.
Step 2: Sort
Quick decision-making is the key to letting go of clutter. As you evalute each item, ask: Do I like this? Do I use it? Do I have a place to keep it? Then decide what you are going to keep, donate or sell.
Too many people shop for containers first, figuring it will make it easy for them to get organized. Instead, decide what you’re keeping, measure it, and determine where it’s going to be stored. Then you can go shopping for right sized pieces that you need.
Step 4: Reassemble
Store things where you use them. Any area at eye level you can easily reach is where things you use every day should go. Place items used weekly in slightly less convenient storage areas. Put rarely used items such as holiday decorations in the least accessible locations – ones that require you to get a step stool or bend to reach them.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by a big organizing project. That’s why you have to take it one step at a time. Organzing for lasting results is a process. Take your time and you will reach your ultimate goal of a neat, organized room.
Tuesday, April 16th, 2013
Closets have a life of their own, as do their owners and as such require a unique set of skills to bring them to life. For most closet companies, it is the designer who introduces the potential customer to the initial point of physical contact to the product. Whether in the home or in the showroom, it is the designer who provides the initial introduction of the solution for your customer and a key factor in closing the deal. The designer needs to understand not only the product line and organizational advantages, but the psychology of the customer and the true nature of their need. They face a multitude of challenges. Here’s how to help your designers make the most of their valuable time with their customers.
One concrete expectation of closet designers is that they know their product line. But do they? If I have heard it once at trade shows, I have heard it a thousand times. Designers often do not know the complete product offering of the companies they represent. Business owners can help this situation by providing intervals for their designers to be briefed and updated. Designers can’t sell what they are not aware of. The responsibility for the information highway lies is in management, not design. If your designers know what is available to solve the customers’ problems, they will sell it. Provide them with the tools they need to be the educated and resourceful professional that you already know they are. This is Closets 101.
Designers also need to be a psychologist of sorts. Many times customers come to them already in a disorganized crisis! Some customers are excited to become organized, but there is certainly a fair share of those who are already in a funk. Often they are in the midst of construction overload, or simply buried in their own bulk. These types of customers need the designer’s help but don’t necessarily know what they need. The solution for these customers is not only structural in nature, but lies in the talent of the designer to get inside the customer’s head and steer through their confusion. The successful designer is able to think through the confusion or frustration and emerge enthusiastically and resourcefully with with a customer feeling focused and engaged. Dealing with the public is not always easy, and at times there is more value in emotionally supporting your designers than there is offering them other perks.
Another slice of the design pie is the final installation. It is often said that sales and accounting are on opposite sides of the table. This can also be true of designers and installers, but it doesn’t have to be. Include your designer in the technicalities of production. Even an hour a month discussing the latest edge banding technique or why your new point to point offers a superior outcome can help the designer. Keep it simple so designers can keep it smart. There are times when an extra dose of knowledge is the tipping point for the sale to a savvy customer.
Designers are one of several right hands business owners rely on daily. At the forefront of every thriving custom closet company are its empowered designers
By Kris Costa for ClosetsDaily.Com
Monday, March 11th, 2013
The Closet Expo in Edison, NJ had a very nice turn out this year, busy with attendees and vendors. It was nice to see friends, colleagues and a pleasure to meet with new clients.
Sidelines was proud to introduce the following products at our booth this year.
New & Improved Sliding Tie – Belt Racks!
STATIONARY RACKS with 6 non-slip arms which can be used for ties, belts, or scarves. Can be mounted quickly & easily with 2 screws to a wall or vertical partition. One push down on the rack enables the spring loaded mechanism to pop up & out at 45 degrees to the wall.
SLIDING RACKS with 3 separate sets of 6 hooks are pre-mounted to a beautiful housing unit and lie flat to the wall or vertical partition. Simple pull-out and then push down to allow each rack to pop-up & out. Same spring loaded feature as used with the stationary rack. This unit holds 18 belts, ties or scarves.
Our new and improved Telescopic Valet Rod is now spring loaded to automatically extend with one push.
We are proud to introduce the new Wardrobe Lift.
We’ll have more on these new products as they become available.
If you would like a packet with Sidelines brochures and information please contact us at 480-767-9091.
Thursday, January 24th, 2013
ECO FRIENDLY LIVING
There is a saying, “It’s not easy being green.” However, thanks to modern day innovation and creativity, supporting and maintaining green living has never been simpler. Whether you wish to help the environment, improve your family home or just feel good about making a difference in the world, these easy-to-follow environmental tips and tricks can make your goal of living the green life a healthy reality.
10 ways to live greener
This may seem like a no-brainer but the unfortunate truth is that the average American produces about 4.4 pounds of garbage a day, or a total of 29 pounds per week and 1,600 pounds a year. This only takes into consideration the average household member and does not count industrial waste or commercial trash. Recycling is a big part of the solution to the garbage problem. Newspapers, aluminum containers, and certain plastics can be recycled to reuse in a different form, thus saving space in landfills.
2 Nurture your outdoor living space
Part of prettying up your outdoor living space can involve welcoming wildlife into your backyard. While you are busy arranging your stylish outdoor furniture, consider including a few attractive birdhouses and feeders to make your backyard an outdoor oasis for wildlife too.
3 Put your lights on timers
While it’s important to illuminate your home, leaving the lights on can be an unnecessary waste of energy. Purchase a few timers and program them so that the lights come on and turn off at the most beneficial times.
4 Keep a garden
You may not have the greenest thumb in the world, but designing a garden and caring for it can plant a deep sense of appreciation for the earth. Plant a few vegetables over the summer or a plethora of wildflowers and revel in the beauty of your personal green space.
5 Go vintage
Investing in second-hand pieces – be it clothes, furniture or home decor accessories – not only helps reduce your personal consumerism levels, but it can also offer an instant infusion of charm and character into your home.
6 Choose eco-friendly home decor accessories
When looking for those special final touches to make your dream bedroom, contemporary kitchen or soothing bathroom absolutely perfect opt for eco-friendly home accessories. There are all sorts of stylish choices available today that are created using environmental materials.
7 Compost Composting may not be the most appetizing subject to bring up at the dining table, but it is an important environmental step towards living green. Plus, if you create a little compost corner in your own backyard you can nourish your garden and cut down on fertilizing costs in the spring.
8 Repair, don’t replace While it may be awfully tempting to throw out that broken table, ripped sofa or faded bookshelf, choosing to repair an item instead of replacing it is the more environmentally friendly approach. In addition to cutting down on waste, repairing increases the sentimentality of an object and with time, can transform something that was once considered ordinary into an heirloom.
9 Carpool Leave your car in the garage more often and hop onto a bus, join a carpool program or grab your bike when running your errands. Better still, lace up your sneakers and start walking to your destinations. The perks? A workout-inspired and waste-free outing!
10 Keep with it One of the most important things anyone can do when attempting to embrace easy green living is to simply stick with it. Don’t expect you or your family to become perfect ‘green’ citizens of the world overnight. Instead, focus on a few choice goals, such as keeping a garden and recycling regularly, and follow through on those goals before adding to them. Over time, these resolutions will begin to feel like habits and you will be living the green life full-time.
Friday, January 4th, 2013
Does your home office need to get a whole new face lift for the New Year? Depending on what you use your home office for will dictate how much you have to purge, decipher and organize for the New Year. Believe it or not, the more organized you are at the beginning of the year will set the stage for the remainder of the year! Here are tips to organize your home office for the New Year.
- Understand where you stand: Put simply, understand the state that your home office is in currently, and determine what you would like it to turn into. For some, clearing out old clutter, papers and files may be in order. For others a true organization system, whether it is file folders, electronic software, or smart phone applications, choose which may be more suited for you. Once you have done this you will be ready to organize!
- Organize small and move bigger: Throughout the year, we all have little pet peeves that didn’t work in your home office. If you have to get up from your desk every time the phone rings, or if your computer monitor location is prohibiting you from being productive. Start small, and work on these items one at a time. On a larger scale, opt for visual organization such as bulletin boards, dry erase boards, and even paint a wall with chalkboard or Idea paint to help see your organized life in front of you.
- Beautify your home office: Whether you are a work-at-home professional or you use your home office for surfing the internet. Your home office should be a place that you enjoy staying in and being productive in. Look through home décor magazines, online publications, or Pinterest for inspiration. Try a bold new color on the walls to spark creativity or bring in an office chair that allows you to be comfortable as you pine away the hours at your desk. New matching desk accessories or just a new calendar can start the New Year off right in your home office.
- Take on a new ritual: If last year you decided to start using electronic calendars instead of hundreds of sticky note reminders, take on a new lifestyle ritual for the New Year. If your life is busier and busier and you don’t have time to check in at the home office, try using a smart phone for organization at your finger tips. If you have challenges in organizing, consider using services that can help. Many online services can organize your receipts, keep track of your electronic files, and assist you in uncluttering your old ways and taking on new ones!
The New Year is about learning from the last year and changing your life for the better. If your home office is in need of organizing and beautifying, use these easy tips to get you on the right track. If the job seems daunting, ask a friend to help you sort out objectively, without feeling guilty at the end of your purge. If you have a home business or a portion of your life too big for your home office, consider hiring an organizing professional that can help you start from scratch and get organized for you to be your best!
Photo Credit: Amber Interiors
Tuesday, December 11th, 2012
Holiday Organizing Tips
It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but it also tends to be the most stressful. Here are some simple organizing tips to reduce some of that holiday stress.
Clear your closet That’s right. Clearing your closet feels great and can actually be fun. It’s a great time of year to donate clothes and other items to the needy and a wonderful opportunity to free up space for new gifts!
Keep a dedicated gift zone Whether you enjoy buying gifts or dread it, it makes sense to dedicate a gift-giving zone in your home. It can be a bin, a couple of drawers, or a shelf on that closet you cleared out. It’s important that there be just one zone and that it be limited. This ensures that these gifts actually get used and that you don’t buy too many.
Limit gift wrapping Also, dedicate a limited zone for the gift wrapping, but keep it realistic. Those all-in-one tallish plastic bins make sense when you need the strict limitations of a small apartment, but they are inadequate in most of the homes we see. A dedicated zone works when it is small enough to ensure that items get used, but not so small that they are doomed to failure. Keeping a lot of wrapping paper to cover those really big gifts? Use colorful tablecloths one can get inexpensively at party supply stores.
Simplify gift giving We are big fans of online gift wish-list sites like Amazon and Kaboodle. They provide a great way to ensure that you are getting people items they actually want, that you know exactly where to obtain them, and that you’re not making duplicate purchases. Consider also, experience gifts. Whether it’s a weekend getaway, a day at the spa, or a night at the movies, experience gifts can spread out the joy of giving throughout the year and cut the clutter!
Simplify entertaining Organizing a party can be one of the most stressful holiday projects. Pot luck means not all the burden falls on you! Another option is to invite friends and family to a nice restaurant and bring them back to your place for dessert and coffee. You get the best of both worlds, with less stress. Maybe you’d like to hold a New Year’s party instead this year. If so, consider an open house format. It’s a much more informal approach, so it lowers expectations. Plan simple fare that can be prepared quickly, like omelets. Catch up with friends and family throughout the day, as they drop in.
Limit decor As you’re bringing out your holiday decor, pass a critical eye over the decor you have left in the bin. If you’re not using it this year, are you really likely to use it next year? If those light-up reindeer that your kids used to love are still in good shape, consider giving them to a family with kids. The space that those reindeer are taking up could almost certainly be put to better use. Limit decor packaging, too. The packaging that decor comes in is designed for display, not storage. It is often overly complicated and wastes space. For example, toss the box the tree lights come in and keep them in Ziploc bags. It keeps them visible, minimal, and untangled.
Dedicated zone for cards Many households are littered with greeting cards, taking up valuable space. Framing a doorway or window with a ribbon is a super simple solution. Just keep a little bowl of paper clips nearby and have fun clipping your cards to the ribbon as the come in. This way they are showcased and more appreciated, because they are in one place. Also, they aren’t cluttering up your valuable surfaces.
Of course, not all holiday stress can be controlled, but our clutter can be. Remove the stuff that doesn’t matter and be sure to enjoy the people that do.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Sidelines!
Wednesday, November 7th, 2012
The Halloween sugar binge is nearly complete and Starbucks is serving the eggnog latte in holiday-themed cups. This can only mean one thing: Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Like most of you, I cherish any holiday that combines thanking people with large amounts of carbs and sitting on the couch. Finally, a holiday about relaxing!
Thanksgiving can be a time of stress but shouldn’t be. It should be a time of family fun and everyone coming together to eat a wonderful meal. Of course it is all to help us remember and realize how thankful we need to be for everything we have!
Whether you’re creating a big Thanksgiving meal or an everyday dinner, creating a clean, organized kitchen can make all the difference. A well laid-out kitchen makes time spent cooking a more efficient and enjoyable experience for everyone.
Start With The Fridge Before you do anything else, clean out and organize your refrigerator so you have plenty of room for all of your Thanksgiving goodies. When you organize, make sure to leave plenty of room for the items you’ll be buying for your meal, any dishes or drinks your guests may bring and dinner leftovers.
Organize Your Tools and Spaces Look at your workspaces and the organization of your kitchen items. Are there appliances crowding your countertops? Do you have to dig through a disorganized drawer to find what you need? This may be a good time to sort out your tools.
Start out with a clean and organized workspace. Make sure all of your kitchen surfaces are wiped down and decluttered. Whether you have a large expanse of countertop or limited space, designate at least one area to keep clear for food preparation at all times.
Create a kitchen work triangle. For efficient kitchen organization, set up three main workspaces: preparation area, cook and serve area, and clean-up area. It’s called the kitchen triangle, and connects these three areas with your refrigerator, sink and stove at each point.
Organizing your most important tools and ingredients around these key kitchen zones will help you take fewer steps to get to the items you need for preparation and cooking. Try keeping useful items in each zone
Organize your spice rack. Store herbs and spices in groups that are commonly used together for easy use. Fennel, sage and rosemary are good examples. To keep them fresher longer, don’t keep spices directly over your stove or in direct sunlight.
Tip: Check your herbs and spices for freshness when you organize. Dried herbs and ground spices should last for around 1-2 years. An easy way to tell if they’re past their prime is to shake a bit out on your hand and check the color and scent. If most of the color has vanished and the scent is bland or non-existent it’s time to replace it. When you buy new herbs and spices, label the containers with the date to help keep track of freshness.
Let Sidelines elegant accessories help you with your organization needs!
Sidelines wine rack, spice and can rack, and our Signature baskets. Just a few of our accessories to help keep you organized.