• Devote just 1 week-a project a day-to creating order and you'll be amazed what a calming influence it can be. If 7 days in a row is too much, too soon, take 7 Saturdays in a row. You'll be glad you did.

    Why a to-do list keeps you healthy


    Monday: Organize your inbox. Slip into the office an hour early for an uninterrupted cleaning session. Activate your out-of-office e-mail reply and turn off the auto chime for 2 hours. Create new electronic folders for contacts, projects, and meetings. Sort alphabetically, then redirect e-mails to folders or delete them. In the future, be relentless and begin filing/deleting e-mails on arrival. When you get a request for a project update, the information will be only a click away.

    9 easy ways to clean up your diet


    Tuesday: Calm cabinet chaos. Roll up your sleeves and tackle your kitchen cabinets. Gather two cardboard boxes. Place punch bowls and platters you haven't used in months in basement- or yard sale-bound boxes. Replace

    Read More »from 7 Simple ways to get organized
  • A peek inside Sandra's New Orleans Mansion, courtesy of The Real Estalker.A peek inside Sandra's New Orleans Mansion, courtesy of The Real Estalker.When Sandra Bullock revealed in last month's jaw-dropping cover story in People that she'd adopted a baby boy from New Orleans, she spoke about raising him there, saying: "It's his city." Just a few weeks later, the actor and single mom followed through on that promise. Bullock recently moved herself and baby Louis into a historic Victorian mansion in the city's Garden District.

    The mansion, known as the Koch-Mays house, was built in the 1860s. It boasts 6,615 square feet, five bedrooms, four and a half baths, ornate chandeliers, and a lagoon-like pool in the backyard. Bullock bought the house for $2.25 million last June with her now-estranged husband, Jesse James. (She filed for divorce from James in April.)

    Dramatic photos of the mansion, which were posted on a real estate site after her June 2009 purchase of the home, show rooms bedecked with opulent antique furniture, Victorian wallpaper, and huge, gold Gothic mirrors. But Bullock has most likely filled the home with her own

    Read More »from Inside Sandra Bullock's New $2.25 Million Mansion
  • This morning as I was stripping my bed to do a load of laundry I realized it had been a full two weeks since I'd last washed them-which had me wondering if there were adverse side effects to changing them at that rate. This also got me curious as to whether or not, relative to the rest of you out there, washing sheets every two weeks is considered slacking or standard.

    According to examiner.com and ehow.com, the scientific consensus is it's best to wash sheets weekly to ward of dust mites. Icky as it is to think about, we're all shedding skin cells while in bed-which is apparently dust mites' favorite snack food. Laundering bedding once every week, in hot water, helps avoid allergy issues.

    Washing sheets every week is a fair amount of work though, especially once you start counting multiple beds/family members, so it's no wonder a poll on AOL Health last year showed that only 40% of Americans are washing their bedding weekly, which makes me feel slightly better about my own

    Read More »from How often do you change your sheets?
  • At a dinner party this weekend, my host was wrestling with a jar of honey in the kitchen, unable to unscrew the lid. Just as she was about to fetch her boyfriend to have him finish the job, I asked her if she had a rubber band. "What for?" she asked, having never heard of the following trick:


    For stubborn tops, wrap a rubber band around the perimeter of the the lid a couple times before attempting to open it-the band acts as a grip and makes it about a thousand times easier to undo.

    This got me thinking about and researching other uses for rubber bands, which led me to a really helpful post on the subject on the blog Marc and Angel Hack Life. Here, some highlights:

    Paint can marker. If you're partially finished with a can of paint, wrap a rubber band around its exterior at the same level as the paint that's inside the can so you can tell at a glance how much you have left.

    Pencil eraser. Fold a rubber band a few times to rub off pencil doodles.

    To keep soap

    Read More »from A dozen ways to stretch out a rubber band you might not have guessed
  • Though I agree with our celebrity panelists that soft sheets (Alyssa Milano), a roomy nightstand (Jewel), and a great comforter (Lindsey Vonn) are all critical to a good night's sleep, my bedroom must-have is a fantastic, super-comfy pillow. And while what makes for a great pillow is definitely subjective, there are a few things that everyone should know before they shop to make sure they're getting the best possible option. Here's a breakdown of the key considerations:

    Down vs. Synthetic. Personally, I love a down pillow. They're definitely more expensive than synthetics, but they're supremely plush and cozy. I finally made the switch a couple years ago, and I'm never going back. There are different kinds of down but the two main options are goose and duck. Goose tends to be a little more pricey, and offers slightly better insulation. Many manufacturers mix feathers with down to cut prices-the more feathers, the cheaper the pillow since it takes a lot more down to fill a pillow. For

    Read More »from Things to know before you buy a new bed pillow
  • It's yesterday's news that the real estate market has taken a beating. But this spring, market analysts see hope for those looking to sell. For the past nine months, sales have been above last year's levels. Plus, the home-buyer tax credit has helped prod sideline buyers into making a purchase. "We're expecting a surge in sales this spring," says Walter Molony of the National Association of Realtors, though he is quick to add that if the uptick in home sales is to have any legs, it must be strongly anchored to job creation.

    So if you're in the position of wanting to sell your home, just how do you get it noticed in a sea of FOR SALE signs? And more importantly, how do you go from FOR SALE to SOLD as quickly as possible?

    Four top real estate agents across the country divulge their insider tips on selling high in a down market.

    On Making Your Home Red-Carpet (And Twitter) Ready

    1. Buy, rent, borrow, or steal a good camera and lens.
    Buyers do judge a home by the pictures and they can

    Read More »from Insider secrets on selling your home in a down market
  • We spend more time in our bedrooms than any other room in the house so creating the best and most comfortable environment is crucial. Make Home A Haven is making the bed and sharing the best 2010 bedroom must haves.



    An unexpected must have to make your bedroom a haven is an upholstered headboard. Design expert Michelle Morgan Harrison says once you cozy up to a soft and supple upholstered headboard there's no going back to hard wood ever again and as you'll see in this week's episode they range from very expensive to very affordable.

    Layering a bed with great pillows, sheets and blankets doesn't just look luxurious it feels luxurious; starting with 500 thread count sheets. You'll notice the difference and now they're more affordable than ever. Pillows pay it forward, the right one is like a gift that keeps on giving.

    The bedside end table can be functional and a design statement, choose one that adds some new life to the corner of the room. Michelle Morgan likes mirrored finishes Read More »from Celebrity inspired bedroom must haves
  • Right now I've got a staggering 11,616 emails in my inbox, and among those, 473 unread messages. Needless to say I've been slacking big time on cyber housekeeping, and while the idea of tackling my entire inbox in one fell swoop is far too overwhelming, I need to employ some maintenance tricks, stat, before my inbox fills up and I'm no longer able to send and receive mail (a completely horrifying, debilitating thought for someone as email addicted as I am).

    My downfall has (clearly) been my reticence to delete. I actually do reference old mail with regularity, but I know there's a ton in there that I don't need. While I started by trashing mail chronologically, working my way back from the top of my inbox, after researching the subject, I found it's much more efficient to plug in certain keywords that strike at the all the useless notifications and random email newsletters that count me on their distribution lists. To wipe out automated messages, try searching for: "donotreply,"

    Read More »from Confessions of an email hoarder (and tips for de-cluttering your inbox)
  • Is your living space a relaxing retreat? Creating a home that's a peaceful respite from everyday stress doesn't just feel good, it's good for you. Indeed, a growing body of research called "sensory science" supports the notion of home as a sanctuary. Experts have found that the environment you create has a big impact on your outlook and sense of well-being. "Everything from the pictures on the wall to the slipcover on your couch can have a positive influence on your mood and attitude," says environmental psychologist Sally Augustin, PhD, president of the design firm PlaceCoach in Los Angeles. Make these small changes to turn your home into a healing haven.

    1) Add tactile fabrics

    Textile researchers have found that holding certain types of cloth can evoke powerful emotions. When female students evaluated 10 different fabrics in one British study, both corduroy and fleece elicited feelings of contentment. Try buying a corduroy slipcover for your couch, or draping a fleece

    Read More »from 6 Ways to create a healing home
  • The cleaning aisle at just about any grocery store is stocked with a dizzying array of options-and when it comes down to it, there are a lot of expensive, toxic, superfluous products crowding the market. Chances are, you already have one of the best, all-purpose cleaning agents in your pantry: white vinegar. As noted earlier, vinegar actually works as a great laundry booster, stripping away the chemical build-up that detergent leaves behind (and gets rid of clingy odors in the process). And beyond that, there are tons of other applications for the stuff around your home. Here, from vinegartips.com and frugalfun.com, 25 ideas for making the most of vinegar:

    1. Deodorize the sink: Pour 1 cup baking soda, followed by 1 cup hot vinegar, down the drain. Let sit for at least 5 minutes, then rinse with hot water.

    2. Deodorize the garbage disposal: Make ice cubes out of vinegar. Run the disposal with a few vinegar ice cubes and cold water.

    3. Clean countertops: Wipe down

    Read More »from 25 ways to clean with vinegar

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