Handling Holiday Houseguests’ Laundry

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The holidays are around the corner, and for a lot of us that means one thing – house guests.  By Christmas day, my house is packed with out of town relatives.  My sister, her husband and their two kids, my mom and dad, and Aunt Henrietta on my husband’s side of the family.  We always wanted a big house with lots of space for guest to stay over and feel welcomed during the holidays.  That was before we realized what an ordeal it can turn out to be, especially when it comes to the laundry mess!  The first year we hosted the whole family at Christmas, it didn’t occur to use to have spare laundry hampers around.  You can imaging the chaos that ensued.

Around day four of our family gathering I walked into the laundry room which looked more like a war zone.  Never mind the piles of dirty clothes – I couldn’t tell what belonged to whom and getting all the socks matched back up was a bigger task than cooking Christmas day dinner!  So the next year, I got smart and decided that every family/couple would have their own laundry basket.  But I didn’t want to have three or four extra clothes hampers around all year, so I needed something that would fold down and store away the rest of the year.  I decided on getting four spiral Pop hampers because they’re made of canvas and fold down flat.  When the gang isn’t in town, I can store them in the garage with other seasonal items.

I am so glad that I solved the holiday laundry problem, and that it was such an easy solution!  Doing laundry when my family is in town for the holidays is easier on everyone, not just myself.  Everyone’s dirty clothes come in and go out in the same laundry hamper and now they can fold their own socks!

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Guide for Practical Gifts Pt 1 – Laundry Hampers

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Who says a practical item like a clothes hamper can’t make a great gift?  I have a friend who loves practical gifts because she’s very minimalistic and doesn’t like “things”.  Being a single working mom, she also can’t afford to buy herself a lot of those basic necessities.  Chances are you probably have someone in your life like that as well.  So here are some gift ideas for that who could not only benefit from a practical gift, but would love it because they wouldn’t or couldn’t afford themselves the luxury of getting a fancy laundry hamper.

Because she’s a busy mom, my friend could really benefit from a laundry sorter to keep her organized and cut back on laundry time.  With something like this, she can keep everyone’s dirty clothes sorted, and gain some storage:

 

For someone with a family but limited space, I would recommend something a little more compact.  You can still get the large capacity, without taking over the laundry room with something like this:

Anyone who doesn’t have a washer and dryer in their home and has to travel with their laundry needs an easy way to tote it around.  I suggest either a bag that they can carry over their shoulder, or a rolling cart to bear the load, like this:

If you just need a basic laundry hamper to hold your laundry and maybe one other person’s, go with something stylish like this:

 

If you need a larger capacity hamper to sort laundry but still want style like the last hamper, then this one gives you the best of both worlds!

If you like these hampers either for yourself or as a practical gift for someone in your life, then I think you have great taste too!

Here’s where you can find them:

1.  Laundry Cart: Bamboo Laundry Center by Neu Home

2. Compact Cart:  Triple Laundry Sorter

3. Portable Hamper:  Collapsible Laundry Hamper Caddy by Caddy Concepts

4. Stylish Hamper:  Nadina Hamper by LaMont

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Drying Racks Gift Guide

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Just in time for holiday shopping, I have compiled a list of favorite clothes drying racks.  “Why on earth would I buy someone a drying rack as a gift?”, you say.  Because a clothes drying rack is something that every one needs!  Get one for your wife, your sister, a friend, anyone who needs a new solution for hanging clothes to dry.  I have made sure to include something here for everyone, including apartment dwellers, home owners and everyone in between!

This expandable drying rack is perfect for anyone.  It has the ability to expand and contract to meet one’s needs.  It holds a large capacity without taking up too much space:

For someone who doesn’t have a lot of space in their laundry room, or doesn’t have one at all, this countertop rack is ideal.  Best of all, it can be folded down and stored in a tight space when not in use:

Another space saving solution for garment drying racks is something that hangs over the door, like this one:

Someone with a large family and enough space in their laundry room would benefit from a larger, more traditional drying rack.  I recommend this one because it offers A LOT of hanging space:

Last but certainly not least, this over door drying rack is the simplest and smallest solution, to meet the most basic needs.  It also makes the perfect stocking stuffer!

As you can see, drying racks come in all shapes and sizes and there is just about any kind available to meet everyone’s needs.  Show someone you really care about them this holiday season with an unforgettable gift like the ones I’ve listed above.  Happy Holidays folks!

Here’s where you can find these awesome clothes drying racks:

1.  Expandable Clothes Drying Rack by Household Essentials

2. Countertop Drying Rack by Polder

3. Brabantia Door Drying Rack

4. 3 Tier Airer Clothes Drying Rack by Moerman Americas

5. Over the Door Hanger Holder – Set of 2

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Clothes Drying Racks – Everyone needs a good one!

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Whether you have access to an automatic dryer or not, manual line clothes drying is a necessity for almost anyone!  Some of us don’t have a machine to dry our clothes and even those of us who do, often have to line dry delicate garments.  I have noticed that line drying clothes is becoming popular as a “green” way of living.  It cuts down on energy use and will save you a little money monthly (and everyone is looking to save a penny here and there in this economy).

Now, you can find just about any kind of clothes drying rack for sale out there on the internet.  Whether you need something to hang a whole load outside, a few garments in your laundry area, or a load over the bathtub in your tiny urban apartment.  There are laundry racks that hang over the door, mount to the wall, stand over the tub, extend from the wall, and everywhere in between! The reason this topic interests me is because it applies to just about everyone.  Even if all you need to hang dry is a blouse or pair of stockings here and there.

When looking for a rack to dry garments and laundry, consider your needs.  First and foremost: capacity.  Are you going to be drying whole loads of laundry or just a few pieces at a time?  Secondly, consider how much space is available; do you have a laundry room, a back yard, or just a space in your bathroom?  Will you need to use a wall mounted drying rack to save floor space, or will you have to go with a freestanding rack because the landlord won’t abide wall damage?  Whatever your needs, there’s sure to be a perfect clothes drying rack out there for you!

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An Unexpected Entertaining Necessity

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The warm weather months can be a great time to entertain, but hosting can be a lot of work. From freshly pressed table cloths to appetizers there is so much that needs to get done before the guests arrive. Make sure you don’t get stuck in the kitchen all night while you’re guests enjoy themselves. With the right tools, planning and preparing for that next dinner party or cocktail hour it can all seem like a breeze.

Empressa Steam Press - by Reliable

Empressa Steam Press – by Reliable

A pressed tablecloth is the perfect foundation for a perfectly set table. Don’t waste hours toiling with a hot iron, use the Empressa Steam Press to quickly and efficiently press table linens. Pressing a much larger area than a standard iron, this steam press makes it easy to breeze through ironing so that everything from the napkins to a button up shirt are ready for the party.
Don’t get stuck in a hot kitchen while you’re guests wonder where the host or hostess is. Consider serving some fresh, chilled fruit or veggies as a healthy appetizer. These can be prepared before hand and stored in a bowl with dividers and a compartment for ice in the bottom so everything stays chilled even after it has been served. This way guests can have a refreshing appetizer and enjoy time with their host.
Looking for a way to serve guests drinks without having to turn yourself into the bartender? Choose a mixed drink for the evening that can be made ahead of time and simply serve it in a lovely pitcher or drink dispenser. For a decorative touch add garnishes to the pitcher that compliment the drink of your choice, like slices of lemon or sprigs of mint.
These tools can make it seem like you had a staff of twenty helping to get ready even when it’s all you!

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How To Keep Your Home Green Even In The Heat

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30-Line 210' Steel Clothesline - by Household Essentials

30-Line 210′ Steel Clothesline – by Household Essentials

What with running the air conditioner or having blowing fans throughout the house summer can seem like a difficult time to take any environmentally friendly steps around the house. That doesn’t have to be the case though! Make the most of that hot summer sun with items that span from the traditional to high tech.

Don’t waste money drying clothes in the dryer when a classic clothesline can do the job just as well. Adding a clothesline like the 5-Line Retractable Clothesline is a convenient way to gain drying space when it’s needed. This clothesline features a retractable design so the line can be stored out of sight when not in use.

Looking for a more heavy duty drying option? The 3″ Diameter Clothesline Post or the 30-Line 210′ Aluminum Clothesline provide lots of clotheslines for drying. These clotheslines are great for a larger yard with lots of space for a more permanent option. A clothing line is a must have in the summer when there are always towels from the pool that need to dry. Keeping clothes out of the dryer is also a good way to cut down on the wear and tear of drying in a dryer.

Like to enjoy the backyard at night? Save energy by choosing outdoor lights that stores up sunlight with built in solar panels so you can enjoy your garden night and day. Coming in a variety of designs and styles it’s easy to find lighting that looks great with your décor and works with your lighting needs. Consider using solar powdered lighting in the front yard as well. Light up your address plaque or front walkway with a solar powdered light so the light doesn’t have to pull power off the grid.

With a few small steps you cut back on energy use and energy bills which is good for the environment and your wallet.

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