Organizing Dirty vs Clean at the Kitchen Sink {Day 10}

Remember when I shared with you my thoughts on kitchen sponges and a healthy dish brush alternative?  Then, remember when I shared my woes about hidden filth around the kitchen sink?  Well, continuing along the same vein, it’s time to share how I organize those brushes, scrubbers, sink pluggers, and more.

Kitchen Sink Hidden Storage

You’ll have to follow me over to Morganize With Me today where I wrote a post on the topic.  It’s actually written about utilizing unused space at the kitchen sink.  However, you will also read about where I stash my sink stuff that otherwise has no home.  Towards the end, it shows you how I keep the dirty brushes separated from the clean brushes.

Below is a pretty obvious hint. ;)

Keeping dirty sink brushes separated from the clean brushes

I have no scientific proof for you, but I can only assume keeping dirty tools separated from clean tools prevents germ swapping.  I would never keep my toothbrush next to my toilet cleaning brush – yuck!  Same goes with my dirty scrubbers kept in their own pocket away from my beloved OXO Dish Brush.

Anyways, head over HERE to read a little more detail and tell me what ya think!

 

 

Indoor Drying Line

My laundry room has drawn some attention (the vertical laundry wall HERE and the counter top skirt HERE), so I decided to continue the tour and share other favorite details.  I’m currently putting together a Q & A post stemming from the most popular questions I’ve received by comment or by email.  Hint, now is your chance to ask anything related and be included in the upcoming discussion.

Today I’ll quickly share one of my most frequently used additions in this functional room – an indoor drying line.  In Florida, I regularly air dried clothing outside, in the abundant sunshine.  Here in GA, well… it’s been more rain than sunshine at times and I had to adapt my laundry drying habits.  I found a retractable drying line at Homegoods and knew it was the answer.

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The cord retracts and the whole piece folds flat against the wall when not in use.  But to be honest, it’s a rare moment when this is in storage mode because I always seem to use it in one way or another.

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In the picture below, you will notice the sideways oval bump at the bottom of the unit.  This is very important when shopping for a retractable drying line.  It’s called a “cleat” that keeps the line straight and stable.  You don’t want a sagging line where all your items slide toward the center and wrinkle.

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This is what the cleat looks like in action…

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The germ avoider that I am loves the smooth plastic cord that makes the line easy to clean away dirt.  It’s slick and doesn’t leave big impressions in my delicate clothing.  It’s specially formulated to not harbor bacteria.  This is a major bonus in comparison to rope and other fabric materials that contain pores and crevices which can easily encourage bacterial growth and turn smelly (similar to the household sponge I detest HERE).  Outdoors, the rope doesn’t matter as much since the sun will kill surface bacteria, but inside is a different story.

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As you can see in the picture above, the cord “housing” portion is mounted behind my folding drying rack (read about my hubby’s brilliant hanging solution HERE) .  It would appear that I have an addiction to air drying options. :)

On the opposite wall is the corresponding latch.  The hook on the end of the line connects with the latch on an opposite wall.  The line can stretch up to twenty feet, so I stretched mine across the longest distance in the room.

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I hid the latch portion beside a decorative yet functional shelf (more on that later).  When the line is retracted, only a small sliver of it is noticeable.  If it weren’t for the line drawing attention to it, you can barely see the latch mounted on the wall.

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Overall, I think this is the next best thing to an outdoor drying line, if not better because it’s right where I need it most – in the laundry room.  I’m debating about getting a second one and hanging it in the bathroom for wet swimming suits in the summer.  Time will tell if that will be useful.

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I always like to link you to a product I find useful.  Unfortunately, I could not find this particular favorite online.  However, I found one (sold HERE on Amazon) that is very similar.  It costs a few dollars more than mine did, I think because the line length is much longer (the Amazon version is a 40 feet capable, mine is only 20 feet).  On the bright side, it has all of the same features I love; white, folds against wall, cleanable plastic line, retractable, stabilizer cleat to keep the line level, & designed for indoor or outdoor use.  You can look for one like mine at Homegoods/TJ Maxx/Marshalls or buy something similar through Amazon (HERE).  IMO, what matters most is to find one that has a wipe-able plastic line and uses a stabilizer cleat.  All the other features are just icing.

Next up on the Laundry Room mini series is this beauty…

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It’s a bad picture and you see a really bad selfie in the reflection.  Hopefully I can take a few better shots and edit them up for you soon!  Until then, I’ll be washing a mountain of laundry built up during last week’s get-away.  I love to travel but hate the dirty laundry pile up.  I prefer doing a load of laundry every day or so to avoid giant piles.

What kind of laundry lady are you?  Are you like me and spread out the task by doing a load every day or are you a marathon washer and get it all done in one long laundry day?  Oh, and don’t forget to ask your questions here in the comment section or contact me via email (HERE) regarding my laundry room!

 

Hot Drink Station Details

I’ve always admired hot chocolate stations.  There are so many beautiful displays.  As it turns out, I’m a winter wimp and got to work on my own hot drink station – and not just for party time but for permanent use!  Read all about it today at I’m an Organizing Junkie HERE.

Making a Hot Drink Station Useful & Beautiful

I used a 2″ hole puncher to cut out the labels I made.  The punch is similar to this one HERE on Amazon.  I’m amazed how often I use this little gadget.  It started with making sparkly paper garland at Christmas and I haven’t quit finding uses for it.

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If you want to print your own 5″x7″ sign that reads, “Warm Up Here/Hot Drink Station” & a set of hot beverage labels, I should have them available next week.  I’m out of town right now and not near my usual computer for making printables available.

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Finally, if you’re looking for colorful entertaining straws, I’ll point you in the right direction.  Several ladies have asked me where to find them.  They’re increasingly popular at places like Homegoods/TJ Maxx, Target, and Hobby Lobby.  Or, you can order them online through Amazon (click HERE).

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And just a few more pictures because I can’t resist…

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 Now, go grab yourself a cup of hot (insert favorite soul warming drink) and spend some Saturday time catching up on your blog reading.  I’ll meet you over HERE at I’m an Organizing Junkie! :)

 

Art Supplies – Organized

Happy Monday y’all!  I’m excited to share a guest post today written by my friend, Morgan.  She is the talented author behind an inspiring blog called Morganize with Me, where she regularly shares motivational insight for organizing both health & home.  On her list of many achievements, she was recently hired as a team member to contribute for A Bowl Full of Lemons.  What an honor to have her visiting here at Useful Beautiful Home!  After you read her guest post below, go check out her beautiful blog (or click HERE) for additional tips and tricks to help you organize life.   

January is the month of new beginnings isn’t it? So, I’ve got a little project/challenge to share with you this month. If you fall into the category of needing to better organize art supplies. Then this post is going to give you the extra bit of motivation and direction you have been looking for!

When my daughter received a Snapware system loaded with art supplies for her Birthday one year, I was thrilled. What a marvelous concept to store all of those little art supplies. I too turned to the same system and created one for my scrapbooking supplies. See below.

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Every section has a “zone.” Scissors, pens, stickers, cardstock paper…

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I love that it stacks and is compact. I love that I can carry it around with me to where I want to do my crafting. I love that I can tuck my daughter’s up high if I don’t want her to play with her “art” for a while.

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Here is a photo from the Snapware Site. You can usually find their products at retail stores such as Target, Walmart, or Joanns.

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But what about all the other art “stuff?” I am a big fan of bins and putting things in zones. I keep the paint supplies in a bin (up high), all of the crayons in a caddy that can be tucked easily away into a cupboard and separate pencil boxes to organize the colored pencils from the markers. I also use magazine holders to keep coloring books neatly tucked away and keep plenty of paper stacked into letter trays so my kids can self-serve during their creative times.

Now what do I do with all of the finished art???

What is one system you have put in place to better corral the art supplies? Share with me in the comments!

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Morgan is the energetic and motivated, but also realistic girl behind the blog Morganize with Me. Her mission is to share tried and true techniques that she hopes will encourage her readers and clients as they focus on their health and homes. She believes in simplifying, prioritizing, and measuring progress one day at a time. When she is not blogging, organizing, or exercising, she can be found cooking a simple dinner or spending time with her sweet family. Her life is full and fun and somewhat messy too. A motto she holds near and dear to her heart, is that less IS more. Unless of course, she as an opportunity for another Chai Tea Latte or she is shopping at Target!

 

Top 10 Posts for UBH (2013)

So here’s the deal – last week I had no intentions of posting a “year in review”.  As 2013 drew to a close, I didn’t want to mimic what many other (and much more talented) bloggers do around this time of year.  I didn’t want to seem cliché.  I didn’t think it’d be of much interest.  I didn’t… blah, blah, blah.

However, I got curious.  After reading several blog yearly recaps, I began wondering what my statistics looked like.  To be honest, I barely pay attention to the “numbers” I receive because it isn’t my focus per say.  I blog because I enjoy it and I enjoy interacting with those of you who comment and/or email me.  I even enjoy all my silent readers (I know you’re out there :)) because I can identify with your style.

UBH is like a project journal and I love sharing it with friends.  And that’s the truth, so many of you are dear friends who support me & the rest of you are friends I’ve made along the way.  Whether you’re a regular reader, an occasional reviewer, or a new visitor; I appreciate every one of your thoughtful comments and friendly support!

And now you see me doing the very thing I didn’t plan to do; the recap of writings that unbeknownst to me gained a little internet interest.  I blame my curiosity for making this change in plans.  Hmmm, isn’t curiosity what killed the cat?  Hopefully I’m not doing myself a disservice here. :)  Keeping my fingers crossed that you’ll enjoy this small recap and see the bigger picture I’m drawing for 2014.

Listed below are the Top 10 Useful Beautiful Home posts for 2013.  Along with it, I write YOU sincerest thanks for being the reason writing & photography are my most enjoyable hobby!

 

NUMBER 10: Organizing Cosmetics

Organizer in Drawer, slide to back

 

NUMBER 9: Fast and Frugal Counter Top Cleaning

Fast & Frugal Counter Top Cleaning

 

NUMBER 8: Organizing Concept for Kids – Basic Overview

Concepts for Kids Basic Overview copy

 

NUMBER 7: Organizing Random Shopping Trips

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NUMBER 6: DIY Hospital Care Package

DIY Hospital Care Package

 

NUMBER 5: How to Make an Art Cart

This one will be getting an update at some point.  It still works great in our household, but I want to keep you refreshed on some smart changes I’ve made as well as where I keep the “messy” art supplies.  *Hint ~ NOT on the Art Cart. :)

Container Store cart organized with supplies

 

NUMBER 4: Get Your Medicine Cabinet Up to *Sniff*

Medicine Cabinet Up to Sniff Part 1

 

NUMBER 3: Cleaning Makeup Brushes

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NUMBER 2: Laundry Room Counter Skirt How-to

Laundry Room Skirt from UsefulBeautifulHome.com

UBH grommet curtain

 

And my NUMBER 1 most popular blog post: Using Vertical Space in the Laundry Room

Using Vertical Space in the Laundry Room

There were a couple that didn’t make the top 10 that surprised me (like DIY Cowboy Photo Booth from a Wardrobe Box and Colorful DIY Playroom Art Collage and Organizing a Game Closet) but they were close in numbers.  All in all, not a bad way to end the year.  I look forward to all your future feedback.  I have lots & lots on my blogging agenda as well as finishing some promised posts (nope, haven’t forgotten about ‘em, just been busy-busy!).  Hopefully you’ll stick around to see how 2014 shapes up around here!