Susie CushnerStep 1: Gather all the garments you anticipate needing.
Then put half of them back. Select clothes in the same color family, packing more tops than bottoms. For a five-day trip, you'll likely need five shirts, two pairs of slacks or jeans, and one skirt, says Kathleen Ameche, author of The Woman Road Warrior: A Woman's Guide to Business Travel (Agate. $13, Amazon). The average 22-inch check-in bag fits roughly two pairs of jeans, three sweaters, two dresses, and five shirts.
Step 2: Choose knits, wools, and cottons.
These fabrics tend to resist wrinkles and are versatile (some garments can do double duty, like yoga pants that moonlight as pajamas).
Step 3: Roll softer garments and fold stiffer ones.
Underwear, T-shirts, jeans, cotton pants, and knitwear won't wrinkle when rolled tightly, says Judy Gilford, author of The Packing Book (Ten Speed Press, $13, Amazon). Stiffer fabrics, such as starched cotton shirts, blazers, dressy pants, and skirts, should be carefully folded.
Blog Posts by Real Simple Magazine
Susie CushnerStep 1: Gather all the garments you anticipate needing.Read More »from Best way to pack for a business trip
Kana OkadaCertain foods play well with others, while others lose strength in pairs. Watch out for these toothsome twosomes.
Do Mix Grilled Steak and Brussels Sprouts
It turns out that certain compounds in Brussels sprouts (and other cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower) may help rid the body of carcinogens that can form on meat during high-heat cooking. That said, loading up on these vegetables doesn't give you license to char meat, chicken, or fish on the barbecue. "It's always best to cook meat or fish at low temperatures until it's done," says Kristin E. Anderson, Ph.D., a cancer epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health and Cancer Center, in Minneapolis. "And if there are burned pieces, trim them off."
See Real Simple's No-Fuss 30-Minute Meals
Do Mix Avocado and Tomato
Tomatoes, which contain the antioxidant lycopene, are a superfood. Eat some avocado at the same time and you've got a super superfood -- the fat in the avocado helps the Read More »from Food Pairings 101
Caren AlpertWhether you're hosting a formal party or just throwing together snacks for drinks with friends, we've got ideas for transforming carryout into crowd-pleasing cuisine. Everyone will assume your sink is stacked with dirty pots and pans. (And if you keep them out of the kitchen, they'll never know the truth.)Read More »from Fake it with takeout: Tiny-size pizzas
Start with: A large cheese pizza. (Ask for it unsliced and, if possible, slightly underbaked.)
To make: Avoiding the crust, cut out mini pizzas with round cookie or biscuit cutters. Heat the rounds at 400Âº F for about 5 minutes. Top with slices of olives, marinated mushrooms, chopped prosciutto, an anchovy fillet, or fresh herbs (such as basil, flat-leaf parsley, rosemary, thyme, or oregano).
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How to Speed-Clean Your Kitchen
Kitchen Cleanup Conundrums, Solved
Ngoc Minh NgoUse your body's natural rhythms -- and a few tips from the experts -- to find the best time of day to work out, see a doctor, go to the post office, and more.Read More »from The best time of day to do just about anything
The Best Time of Day to Clean the House: 4 p.m.
You're more likely to whistle while you window wash (and not kick over the bucket) if you do it in the late afternoon. That's when hand-eye coordination is at its peak and mood levels are high, says Michael Smolensky, a professor of environmental physiology at the University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston and author of The Body Clock Guide to Better Health (Owl Books, $11, www.amazon.com). If anyone in the house has allergies or asthma, avoid insomnia-hour and morning cleaning sprees (nasal-allergy symptoms are most severe between 6 a.m. and noon, asthma attacks more likely between midnight and 6 a.m.), and finish well before that person walks in the door. "It takes about an hour for allergens and dust to settle after you clean," says Martha White, M.D., director of
David PrinceGet the house under control, whether you want to hide things quickly or sort them efficiently.Read More »from 12 Ways to Cut Clutter
Sort Belongings with a Shoe Organizer
Designed to hold six pairs of shoes, this folding cotton-canvas and wood frame organizer can be repurposed for sorting and distributing belongings by room or family member.
The Shoe Bagger, $35, www.organizes-it.com.
Contain Collectibles in a Pie Cabinet
Are beloved collectibles beginning to clutter your tabletops? Instead of using an expensive and cumbersome curio cabinet, display treasures or delicate glassware in a diner pie cabinet. It protects valuables from touchy-feely guests and eliminates frequent dusting.
Display case by Carib, 10 by 14 by 10 inches, $130, Bowery Kitchen Supply, www.bowerykitchens.com.
Hang Boots to Save Space
Regain valuable floor space by hanging boots on a galvanized-steel rack. Chore Boot Rack, $13, www.gemplers.com.
Store Rings on Icing Tips
Instead of hiding rings away in a drawer, stack them on icing tips purchased
Monica Buck26 easy ways to help save the planet, today and every dayRead More »from Environmentally Friendly Tips
When You're at Home
Use a water-filter pitcher
Bottled water isn't necessarily cleaner or better for you than tap water. Get a Brita water-filter pitcher ($22, www.bedbathandbeyond.com) or an in-sink faucet filter. Take advantage of what you already pay for and save the environmental cost of transporting bottled water to the grocer's shelf.
Skip red meat once a week
Meat production -- especially in mass-produced beef -- is extremely resource-intensive. It can take seven or more pounds of grain to produce one pound of beef, and livestock consumes 70 percent of America's grain. Eat less of it and choose pasture-fed, sustainably raised beef whenever you can. If you alone gave it up once every seven days, you would save the 840 gallons of fresh water it takes to produce a single serving.
Clean up your dishwasher
Switch to a dishwashing powder that's biodegradable and plant-based (try Ecover Ecological or Trader Joe's powders).
Problem:Read More »from Don't Lose Your Restaurant Reservation
You are running late and don't want to lose your reservation.
Be sure to call if you're more than 15 minutes behind schedule. Be specific about what is delaying you: the babysitter, traffic, or a work meeting. And be clear on when you expect to arrive. If you are so late that your table has been given away, apologize and ask, "Is there anything you can do for us?". Most restaurants get far more last-minute cancellations than they'd like to admit, so the chances are slim that there will be nothing available for you all night. Many restaurants also have at least one reserve table that they reluctantly bring out for unexpected situations.
See Real Simple's Menu Lingo Defined
If the restaurant truly cannot offer you a table, try eating at the bar, as you'll get a sense of the restaurant's items and the chef's style, and the food might even be cheaper. As a bonus, you can forge a relationship with the staff, increasing your likelihood of getting -- and keeping --
Whether you're serving dinner, lunch, or brunch, follow these rules of the table
Special-Occasion Dinner Johnny Valiant
A formal setting isn't meant to be "overcomplicated or just plain pretty," says Eric Ripert, executive chef of Le Bernardin, a four-star restaurant in New York City. "The order of everything on the table is logical."
- This table, featuring handpainted dishes by Pupilles et Papilles at Michael C. Fina, is set for a first course of soup, followed by a salad, an entrée, and a dessert.
- A charger, or presentation plate (shown under the soup bowl), holds a spot for the dinner plate and should be removed after the salad course. In all but the most formal settings, you can forgo chargers, but etiquette sticklers swear by them, insisting guests should never walk up to a bare table.
- All flatware should be evenly spaced, about a half inch apart. People typically reach for water more often than wine, so the water goblet goes above the knife tip, with wineglasses (red above
Bob HiemstraConquering chaos and creating closets that work is easier than you think with these expert tips and strategies.Read More »from 12 Secrets of the Closet Pros
1. Double Rods
You don't have to get out the power drill or call a handyman to add a second rod to a closet. Hanging rods that hook over existing rails are a smart, inexpensive, and instant way to create extra room for short hanging clothes.
2. Valet Hook
Outside your closet, install a hook or a pullout rod for hanging dry cleaning before it goes into the closet or to plan outfits for parties, vacations, or the next day's work.
There's a good reason wire hangers are free: They're basically worthless. If you want to prolong the life of your clothes, don't keep them on wire or flimsy plastic hangers. Wood and padded hangers are the best ways to go for maintaining the shape of a garment.
Put all your purses in baskets and you'll never be on your hands and knees searching for a runaway again.
Belts invariably get tangled up or lost on the
David PrinceWhen you have egg whites forming stiff peaks, an oven at 400 degrees, and butter melting on the stove, a hunt for kitchen supplies can have catastrophic consequences. The most efficient organizing principle is to group things by activity and keep them stationed around the starring appliance.Read More »from Arrange Your Kitchen by Activity
Anything that doesn't fall under the main kitchen-activity categories -- baking, cooking, serving, and storing -- doesn't need to be taking up valuable space. Larger serving dishes and roasting pans should go on low or high shelves in the kitchen or pantry.
If you're really strapped for space, store seldom-used and seasonal items, such as birthday-cake molds and cookie cutters, away from the kitchen entirely. Be sure to label the boxes or storage containers so you know what's stored where.
As for never-used fondue sets, chafing dishes, bread and ice-cream makers, snow-cone machines, and creme brulee torches, share the wealth at your next tag sale.
Area: Near the mixer