Archive for the ‘charity’ Category

How To Organize Anything

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.

Step3: Shop

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.




Designers and Psychology of the Closet Sale

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


Closet Expo 2013

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!

New Improved Sidelines_TieBelt Hooks Render

Sidelines_THREE Render

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.

Eco Friendly Living

Thursday, January 24th, 2013


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

1 Recycle
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.

Organizing Your Home Office for the New Year

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

Happy Holidays!

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!

Organizing For Thanksgiving

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.



Home Organization For the Holidays

Monday, October 8th, 2012

When your home becomes hectic during the holiday season, simple, straightforward organization really comes in handy.  Transform your home into a haven for you, your family and your holiday guests with special, organized touches.  We’ll help make it easy for you to keep everything running smoothly with thoughtful suggestions for the kitchen, living room and bathroom.

CALM THE KITCHEN When everything is in its place, cooking, entertaining and finding what you need is a breeze.  Guests can help themselves and that helps you!

Organize Your Workspace:  A well laid-out kitchen can make all the difference during the busy holiday season.

Kitchen Clean Up:  To keep your kitchen in tip-top shape during the holidays, make an effort to immediately clean up after every meal.

Lovely Labels: Once your kitchen is organized and clean for efficiency, label cabinets and drawers so necessary items are always easy to find for you and your visitors ~ Attach decorative luggage tags to knobs and handles or print and hang festive hang tags to designate what’s inside.

Dish Cart Solution:  Transporting dishes back and forth from the dining room to the kitchen can be quite a hassle.  A rolling cart can be your saving grace, serving as portable storage for glasses and dishes and even a serving table for drinks and appetizers.  When dinner is over, roll the cart back to the kitchen and place dishes in the sink or dishwasher.

CLOSET With chilly weather soon approaching, you’ll need to easily access your winter wardrobe and  must-have items like scarves, gloves and boots.  Organize your entry closet and create space for visitors’ cold-weather items.

RELAX THE LIVING ROOM Kicking back with close family friends all winter long is easy when everything you need is organized and right at your fingertips.

ORGANIZED ESSENTIALS: Try to remove all non-essentials like magazines, mail and toys, from the living room or entertainment area during this time of year so your space feels clean and un-cluttered.

Remotes: Place all remotes in a basket or on a tray and label each one with the name of the corresponding device.

Coasters:  Protect your furniture by placing sets of coasters on tables throughout the living room.

Memories:  Place a set of photo albums or decorative photo boxes on a coffee table for instant, easy reminiscing.  Get out your holiday DVDs or family movies and store them in a basket or on a shelf near your media center.

STREAMLINE THE BATHROOM Keep this highly trafficked room tidy and looking great.  With basic necessities in plain sight, friends and family don’t need to search around for what they need.

Make Storage:  All too often bathrooms can fall short on space, allowing items to become cluttered.  Keep items orderly, allowing visitors to easily navigate the bathroom.

Organizing Most Used Items: Start by clearing off all your bathroom surfaces.  First decide which items you can toss and what can be stored away in a closet or drawer.  Next, use the ideas below to organize the essentials you want to keep out for easy access.

Countertop:  In a large bathroom, set out a folded hand towel and collection of your essential toiletries on a decorative dish next to the sink.

Toilet Tank:  Use the top of the toilet tank as a resting spot for a slim basket filled with holiday hand towels, soap, lotion, mouthwash and other everyday needs.

Replenishing:  Keep a basket in a bathroom closet or under the sink and fill it with essentials like extra hand towels, toiletries, air fresheners and toilet paper so you can easily replenish any used-up items in a snap.

It’s often the small, simple touches that are most appreciated.  Making your home organized and accessible is an easy way to make everyone feel at home for the holidays.

Fall Cleaning Checklist

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Fall Cleaning Checklist

In the past, once-a-year cleaning tasks were done in the spring. Over the years, it has gradually moved to the fall. It just makes more sense.

If you have friends or family over for Thanksgiving or winter holidays, fall is the perfect time to do these things. It will ensure that you have a cleaner house and don’t end up putting things off until the last minute. It makes the holidays a lot less stressful.


According to carpeting industry experts, you shouldhave your carpet professionally cleaned every 6-18 months depending on traffic. If you do it once a year, fall is the perfect time. Your carpet will bebeautiful for holiday family gatherings and parties.  Most carpet cleaning companies offer a special deal where they will come back and take care of any stain within so many months of cleaning.  If you clean in the fall and one of the kids spills cranberry sauce on the carpet at Thanksgiving, you’re covered.  You should also let them professionally vacuum your carpet before cleaning. They can remove more dirt than your vacuum can.

Attic or Garage

When the weather cools down, it’s the best time to getup there and get rid of your dust and mildew breeding factory. All you have to do is take a vacuum up into the attic, start at the ceilings, and work your way down. If you’ve never been in your attic or just don’t want to try this project yourself (some attics require some dangerous maneuvering), you can hire someoneto do it for you.  The benefit is that you will increase the air quality in the whole house. You’ll also have a clean place for storage. Be sure to use a dust mask and protective eyewear, especially if you’ve never cleaned your attic. You are going to create a lot of particle clouds floating around up there. Check for wet areas caused by roof leaks.

Chandeliers & Light Fixtures

The beginning of fall is the best time to clean chandeliers, light globes, and light diffusers. You are probably going to have people over for the holidays, and let’s face it – that’s the only time you notice how dirty your lights are. The easiest way to clean a chandelier is to leave it where it is. Taking apart the chandelier creates a much larger job, and you might not know how to put everything back together again. Get a step stool or a ladder and clean with a damp cloth. Another method is to use two cotton gloves – one sprayed with window cleaner and one dry.  Next you should tackle the light globes on ceiling fans and other fixtures. You should do a room at a time. Detach the globes carefully and let them soak while you are cleaning that room. Rinse and wipe them clean and replace them afterward. It’s not difficult, but most people have a lot of light fixtures. You’ll notice a change in lighting immediately. Don’t forget your porch lights.


Check the labels of your draperies. If they are machine washable, wash them on a gentle cycle with Woolite or other gentle detergent and let them hang dry. If they say dry clean only, don’t take chances.

Oven and Range

You probably do this as needed, but this is a good time to do a thorough oven cleaning, especially if you cook and bake a lot during the holidays. Use a spray cleaner and let it sit overnight. Wipe clean in the morning. This is a much safer technique than using a self-cleaning oven.  Starting with a clean oven makes it a lot easier to simply wipe the oven clean the day after Thanksgiving. Don’t forget to take off the range and oven dials and let them soak in soapy dishwater.

Refrigerator & Freezer

This is the time to do a thorough job where you take everything out and clean the shelves. It won’t take long enough to worry about food spoiling if you just get in there and do it. Use an antibacterial household cleaner and clean off all the shelves. Take out the drawers and wash  them in the kitchen sink. When you’re done, take everything out of the freezer and put it in one side of the sink. Use the same cleaner to wipe down all surfaces. If you have ice cube trays, wash them in the top shelf of the dishwasher or let them soak in the sink.

Polish Silver

Most people only use their good silver around the
holidays, so this is the perfect time to polish silver serving pieces and tarnished silver flatware.

Furniture and Rugs

Move heavy furniture and mop or vacuum underneath it.  This only has to be done once a year, so don’t break your back doing it more often.

Turn over area rugs and vacuum the backs of them. This will help get out any dirt that is hiding out at the base of the rug fibers.  Never beat an area rug to clean it. It will break down the rug backing and fibers.


Of course, fall is the time of year that your gutters get filled with leaves. Clean them with a special hose attachment that has a hooked end to get down into the gutters.

Better yet, look into attaching “hoods” or “helmets” to your gutters so you won’t have to worry as much about leaves in the future.



Pantry Pointers

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Clutter breeds when we stock a library of choices.  Children get out of the house easier in the morning if they don’t have to puzzle through more than two choices of cereals, juice boxes, or snack foods.

Throw away expired and barely used items and say hello to an orderly approach to everyday food storage.

ELIMINATE BULKY PACKAGING and save space in your pantry by consolidating smaller items, such as snacks and chips in one large container.  Store cereals and pastas in see through containers.

USE BASKETS – Sidelines Signature Baskets – to hold commonly used supplies, such as baking supplies or cooking supplies, and you’ll have what you need without digging through the pantry shelves.  Store fresh fruits, vegetables and breads.

VISIBILITY IS THE KEY in a pantry.  You can’t cook it and eat it if you can’t see it and know you have it!  Put older items in front of newer items and mark expiration dates on perishable items with a marker.

Sidelines Signature Baskets in Oil Rubbed Bronze