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Spruce up your home for spring in just a weekend

Sprint Cleaning

(BPT) – As the weather gets warmer, everything outside becomes fresh and new – so why not make your home as nice inside as the weather is outside? In just a weekend, you can complete a few quick, easy projects that will make a big difference in your space. Get inspired to give your home a spring spruce-up with these handy tips.

Wash away winter grime

The first step to making your house feel like new is to clean. Use a weekend to focus on three main areas: the kitchen, bathroom and living room. In the kitchen, toss expired items from your refrigerator and wipe down the inside with soap and water – don’t forget to sweep underneath and give the coils a good dusting, too. To get the bathroom in shape, replace dingy shower curtain liners, pitch old toothbrushes and other unwanted items and purchase a new toilet brush. In the living room, thoroughly dust light fixtures and blinds, and remove and launder slipcovers on couches or chairs. While you’re at it, don’t forget to replace batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Time to de-clutter

Still haven’t eaten that candy from Christmas? It’s time to pitch it. Spend a few hours cleaning out kitchen cabinets, cluttered closets and the junk drawer – you’ll feel more relaxed and organized as a result. Once you’ve gotten rid of items you no longer need, refresh shelves, drawers and pantries throughout the house by installing shelf liner. It’s an easy and inexpensive task that can give any space, whether it’s the kitchen, bathroom or laundry room, a new look in a jiffy. Non-adhesive shelf liners, such as those from Duck brand, are easy to cut and install. The company’s Smooth Top Easy Liner has a grip bottom, meaning the liner stays in place, with a smooth top, making it easy to clean and wipe off debris. Available in a variety of colors and prints, it’s also a great way to add an unexpected pop of color and personality to your shelves and drawers, providing the perfect mix of fashion and function.

Add some accessories

Shelf LinersIt’s amazing what a few accessories can do. To revive a room without spending a fortune, attach some new trim to your existing drapes or add new shades to your favorite lamps. Wall decals or stencils are another way to add a personal touch to a room. Highlight your favorite inspirational quote or try an interesting illustration, such as a floral design or a sophisticated chandelier. Stencils and decals are available at local craft stores in numerous shapes and sizes – some are even offered in wall-size shapes, making the project super simple. You can also bring the season inside with spring flowers in a brightly colored vase or buy a new piece of art to hang as a focal point in your room.

Pull out your paintbrush

If you want to go for a more dramatic redo – but one that’s still doable in a weekend – pick up some paint. The warmer weather means you can keep your windows wide open, making it the ideal time to add a fresh coat of paint to your room. For the simplest touch, paint an accent wall instead of redoing the entire room. Pick a vibrant color for some spring cheer or try tackling a decorative painting technique – such as stripes, zig zag chevron or a geometric print – to really make your room feel modern and stylish. To make painting a breeze, use a premium painter’s tape like FrogTape brand painter’s tape. Its PaintBlock Technology prevents paint bleed, helping to ensure clean, sharp lines. On fresh paint 24 hours old, select the FrogTape Delicate Surface grade for best results.

To really get in the spring spirit, make painting an excuse to have some fun with friends and family. Take turns helping friends with their painting projects and reward the effort with pizza, ice cream or other treats provided by the host.

Whether you’re going for a dramatic makeover or simply giving your home a good scrubbing, find inspiration in these tips to help you make the most of your weekend and get your home in superb shape this spring.

 

Apps For Your Closet

Phones for your Closet

When you are working with peoples’ closets all day you see A LOT of things, and meet a lot of people who are looking for a solution to their organizational quandaries. But lately, I’ve been seeing something very interesting; clients are experimenting with closet organization apps on their smartphones and tablet PCs, and they are having varying amounts of success.

Like all things, there are the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to choosing an app to add to your life. Here’s a quick guide to help you sort it all out.

1. NETROBE  Gold Star

NetrobeWe like Netrobe for iOS (iPhones and iPads) a lot, and we’re giving it a gold star.

The App requires a bit of TLC in terms of uploading EVERY article of clothing in your closet to its database. But it’s worth the investment, because once it’s there you have a categorized inventory of everything you own. You can mix and match outfits and save them to your “styleboard” for quick reference later, you can even go shopping and match clothing that your thinking about purchasing against the things in your closet.

You can even save items you’ve found online or taken pictures to a “lookbook” and then take it with you when your shopping, too.

If you’re so inclined, Netrobe even has an agenda calender in which you can save your outfit picks for each day of the week or special occasions.

Lastly, there isn’t anything these days that isn’t social, and Netrobe is no exception.

Of course, you don’t have to take advantage of this feature if you don’t want to. But even people who don’t like sharing their styleboard outfits out, enjoy a little fashion voyeurism perusing through the outfits that other people are sharing, and even saving them to their own lookbooks.

All in all, Netrobe is a nifty app that, like anything else, gives you back what you put in. But Netrobe is very neat, with a well thought out user interface and list of features. And we think it gives you back a lot for your time and energy investment. In terms of financial investment: it’s free.

2. STYLEBOOK Gold StarGold Star

Stylebook

Stylebook is also an iOS phenomenon (iPads and Iphones only), with a full version that costs $3.99. But before you discount it in favor of a free app, please consider that Stylebook’s full version is very VERY full. Stylebook is the Rolls Royce of closet apps.

There’s hardly a fashion magazine that hasn’t at some point mentioned the Stylebook app, and there are even a few technology magazines that have featured it too. It’s simply loaded with features.

It’s free-form canvas for creating looks actually let’s you put the outfit together so you can see what everything looks like side-by-side. Then you can categorize it any way you like. For example, as a going-out outfit, or a casual look. You can do this with the items in your closet, or with items you find online, or in person.

Stylebook has the sharing capabilities and calendar-planning functionality you’d expect, but add to that a packing list feature, a shopping feature, personal size tracking, and an built-in, interactive expert style blog.

Stylebook will even keep track of what you’ve been wearing and generate statistical data for you on your own personal style trends. It’s a beast of a closet app, and for that, we’re giving Stylebook two gold stars.

3. CLOTH

ClothCloth, free for iOS (iPads and iPhones) doesn’t get any stars from us. Essentially, it’s simply an alternative camera role to store “selfie” photos of your outfits. There are some organizational features here, and some sharing features too, but there really isn’t anything to do with closet inventory at all. It’s essentially a mirror with a memory, which is cool, but doesn’t offer anything above and beyond your phone, so while we’ll list it here, because that is something, we’ll save our precious gold stars, too.

There are a multitude of apps in addition to these three which you’ll encounter when searching specifically for “closet apps”. However, we’ve found that most of them fall into the subtly, but importantly different category of “fashion apps”.

But, if you want to leverage the bleeding edge of modern technology to bring your closet into the future, and get an optimized experience when picking out outfits, shopping for clothing, or organizing your life, than we recommend one of these three.