Erin’s Kitchen Sink

 

September 7, 2010

In my opinion one of the most mundane tasks in the world is doing the dishes.  One of the ways I have found to make this task ever so slightly more fun is to set myself up with some fun accessories.  My favorite place to buy all these dispensers, sponges and scrubbies is non other than The Container Store (too bad you can’t find every last thing there)!!!!  Here are all the goodies I’m currently using:

Umbra Teardrop Soap Dispenser

Mini Scrub Brushes with Caddy

Dobie Sponge (thanks Mom for this recommendation)

Bigelow Hand Soap (because it smells so pretty)

I’m hoping to add this little gem soon… I need to have a more permanent home for my Dobie Sponge.  Plus anything from Good Grips makes me happy especially when it’s resides under the category sink organization:

Good Grips Sponge Holder

 

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  Left or Right, It’s Real Simple

 

July 13, 2010

Are you curious if your organizational skills stem from the right or the left side of your brain?  Check out Real Simple’s article “Organizing your Personality“.  It wasn’t a huge surprise to me when I found out that I am a Left-Brainer.  I am most definitely  someone who thinks in words, does a lot of advance planning, and approaches challenges in a rational, linear way.  But there are times when I’m designing that I feel that my sense of style comes more  from the right side  of my brain.  This is the side that allows me to be a bit more visual when selecting the approach and colors behind a project.

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  On the Eve of a Move: Part Two

 

March 21, 2010

Now that you have all the supplies and a clean apartment it’s time to start packing!  Well… not quite yet.  Before you start packing up all those boxes you want to make sure that each box that your packing is filled with items you actually want or more importantly need.  So make sure before you start tossing items into boxes that you have thought about where it will go in your next home, will it be useful and used, will it be sentimental and an item to cherish over the years… or will it most likely just collect dust or take up room in another closet.  If it’s a dust collector be strong and toss it!

Next you need to have a game plan.  Which room you want to begin in and which items need to be packed last.  You don’t want to pack up every last plate and fork when you still have three weeks left in your current home.  Start with the items in storage or office season clothing and work your way towards the kitchen and entertainment center.

When it comes to actually putting items in boxes there are a few helpful items to keep in mind.  Make sure you don’t pack the boxes too heavy, whether it’s you, a loved one or a hired mover no one will appreciate the box I like to the term “the back breaker”.  The rule of thumb for box size is that the smallest boxes should be used for books, and the medium and large boxes should be used for clothes, bedding, pillows and kitchen goods.

Remember you want to keep boxes filled with items from the same room so when the movers bring them to your new home and you begin unpacking you aren’t running from room to room.  Last but not least make sure to label! It helps when unpacking that you know what you’re getting into.  You want to be able to unpack the most important boxes first- like bedding and bathroom items.  Good luck!

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  On the Eve of a Move: Part One

 

March 9, 2010

This post is close to my heart since I just recently went through a move.  I had been living in the same apartment for the past five years and in those years I’d not only grown as a designer and expanded my worldly possessions but I’d also met, married and moved in with my husband.  As you can imagine doubling the inhabitants of the apartment meant almost doubling it’s contents.  After three years sharing the space we had outgrown every nook and cranny.

After many months of talking about moving and one weekend of looking at new places we found our new home, and we only had to move a few stops out of the city and into Cambridge on the Red Line. Finding the apartment was easy, the difficult part came next… packing.  Coincidentally I had planned a stay at home vacation for the week prior to our move, and while my original plan for that time off didn’t include packing up our apartment I took advantage of the time and slowly got us packed up.

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It was during this time time that I realized I should share my experience of moving with my readers. Well…tackling a post on Tips For Moving is no small feat, and I quickly realized that one post was was not going to be enough.  So here is post number one of Tips For Moving focusing on the first steps- stocking up and cleaning.

Before you can even begin to start packing up your apartment or home you will need supplies and a game plan.  The supplies are the easy part and they include; a variety of boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, packing paper, scissors and a few thick black sharpies.  You can swap out the packing paper for newspaper, but beware you will end up getting black ink everywhere and will have to wash or dust all your belongings when you unpack!  We found a local U-Haul retail store and we were able to select and pay for all of our supplies online and then just stop by the store to pick them up.  It saved us a lot of time not having to wander around the aisles contemplating how many boxes we may need.

Tip:  Even though people may tell you that stopping at your local liquor or grocery store for empty boxes is a great way to save money we found that creating a moving budget and picking up all our supplies at one time saved us a lot of time and energy.  At the end of the day it’s all about weighing cost against your time and labor and deciding what is more important.

Next you need to take a deep breath and pull out all your cleaning supplies.  There is no point in moving dirty belongings and it will only end up frustrating you if you are packing and organizing a dirty home.  So go ahead and clean every nook and cranny one more time.  Now you are ready to start packing.  Good luck!

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  Keeping Things Shiny

 

March 7, 2010

Well give a girl the week off and all those piled up tasks finally get done.  I took a full week off from work last month and made it a stay-cation.  I have a hard time relaxing or at the very least sitting still so I decided to tackle a number of tasks I had been putting off for years during my break.  The first of which was cleaning our fan that I recently wrote about.  I also decided to polish our brass lamp.  This was a lamp I proudly bought upon my graduation from college and it has been sitting pretty next to my sofa for a few years (well maybe more than a few).  Needless to say it had become quite tarnished.  Since I had some time and Netflix Instant up and running I decided to finally put some elbow grease into the project.

The lamp was the Port-o-Call table lamp from Crate and Barrel, they no longer carry the polished brass version but you can get a sense of the style of the lamp:

I used Goddard’s Brass & Copper Polish and was very pleased with the outcome.  The instructions told me to wipe the polish on in a circular motion and let sit for a few moments and then wipe off with a clean cloth.  Well… I started off following those instructions but quickly found out that it was much more effective if I just put a bit of polish on a cloth and scrubbed the lamp hard and until the shine came through the tarnish and I then wiped the lamp clean, no waiting.  The end result was a shiny lamp that identically resembled the lamp I bought those few years back.  One less task on my home improvement checklist.

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  Clean Air

 

February 9, 2010

Yuck!  That’s what I thought when I went over to turn off the fan yesterday morning.  I am a light sleeper and have found that a traditional box fan provides the best white noise for snoozing.  Being so reliant on my fan has meant that it is out every night, all year round, even with the windows open.  As you can see below that has lead to a really dirty fan.  I live in an old apartment which seems to catch all the dust that exists in the world, or so it seems, and most of that dust was embedded in my fan.  Well I could not let this continue so I sat down yesterday with my Better Life What-ever cleaner and spent a good 45 minutes taking apartment the fan and cleaning every square inch.

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And here is the result, a beautiful sparkly white fan that looks like it did the day I took it out of the box.  My tips for cleaning this type of household machine is to have a roll of select-a-size paper towels, a handful of q-tips, a screwdriver (to take it apart) and a good cleaning agent… oh and a lot of patience.

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  For all Interior Designers with iPhones

 

January 24, 2010

I am the owner of an iPhone and have found it to be very useful for my work as a designer.  Not only can I check the Internet and email as you can with many phones, but I have found that the quality of the photos taken by the camera are very useful for a quick record of a set of finishes or an architectural detail you want to study later.

Updated Finishes

I’ve also come across a number of very useful Apps.   My current favorite is the Units Convertor App. It is such a nifty little tool that has come in handy time and time again to help me quickly convert mm to inches.  I’ve been knee deep in Furniture Specifications for the last few weeks and a lot of furniture and fabric that I’ve selected is European, it has been such a treat to not have to pull out my calculator and work on conversions, so much so it’s collecting dust.  This App has so many more functions  that can be helpful to many people in many types of professions, but for me all I can attest to is how much easier my day has gotten writing those pesky specs!

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