Your kids are back in school — time to take back your home! “Today” home fix-it expert Lou Manfredini explains how to undo the mess left behind by the boys and girls of summer.
If your home is like mine, a summer's worth of Little League, camp and barbecue has left things a little unorganized. I have some tips and products that will help tame the mess, and might even help you avoid one down the line.
If you are actually able to park a car in there, you can jump to the next tip. If not, read on. There are countless systems out there to organize a garage but one that I have found that’s easy to use, flexible and affordable is the “Fast Track” system from Rubbermaid; www.rubbermaid.com. This system uses a mounting track that you attach to the wall of your garage and then clip on different styles of hooks and shelves to keep everything in its place. The beauty of this system is that you can change the configuration as your organizing needs change and you can also add tracks as you get more stuff. The basic system starts at around $100 and goes up from there. There is also a new hook system, launching next month, called Tornado Hooks (www.tornadohook.com) that use a fastener that you just screw into the wall with a Philips screwdriver. The hooks can be installed directly into the drywall and support up to 30 pounds, hit the studs and you can hold up to 50 pounds.
Your basement or storage room
It seems like this is the area that collects all of the things we don’t have a place for, and the pile keeps growing because you don’t really see it all the time. Here is a place where a few dollars can go a long way. Plastic shelves, cabinets and storage totes like the ones by Sterilite (www.sterilite.com) can help you to organize and keep an eye on what you have. Click together shelving is a snap and can hold up to 50 pounds per shelf. There are durable cabinets and a huge selection of totes. These totes keep things neat and tidy — and dry, if you ever encounter water damage. You can find these at most retailers across the country. One tip is to look for opaque totes so you can see what’s inside, and don’t be afraid to stack them; they are designed to do that.
Your child's room
Take a deep breath ... there is something you can do. Give them an area that is full of places to keep stuff, and looks cool too. The Container Store (www.containerstore.com) has a teen workspace that can be used for almost any child. With a desk, shelving, baskets and wall art, your child will have a spot to put everything, and when things have a place there is a better chance they’ll be put back. The grouping featured on the show costs around $700 complete. But you can mix and match and get the right items for your home.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at .