Celebrating Buy Michigan Week

This one is for our local friends.
Organize-It is based in Michigan – our warehouse is in Rochester Hills and if you’ve been to our storefront, you know it’s in Shelby on the corner of 25 Mile Road and Dequindre. Naturally, we’re big promoters of goods made in our beloved mitten state.

This week, July 27 to Aug. 2, has been declared Buy Michigan Week by Governor Rick Snyder. To celebrate, we want to take this opportunity to highlight a couple Michigan based manufacturers that we love working with.

Whitehall

whitehall-1Whitehall Products is based in Montague, Mich. Recognized as the worlds largest manufacturer of weathervanes, Whitehall offers lots of classic, customizable indoor and outdoor accents. The manufacturer specializes in mailboxes and address plaques, but they also offer lots of garden accents including hose holders, birdbaths, bird-feeders and sundials. You can also find lots of indoor/outdoor clocks, thermometers and personalized doormats on their site.

House Art

A little closer to home for us here at Organize-It is House Art, a exterior decor manufacturer based in Rochester, Mich. Our friends in Rochester offer some beautiful home address characters as well as stylish, modern mailbox designs and doorbell plates. We love the simplicity and clean look of their products – they seamlessly accent any home. Their popular house characters are available in a multitude of sizes, styles and colors. houseart-3

We are excited to work with local manufactures and happy to support such a wonderful event. Happy Buy Michigan Week -support your local businesses!


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How to: A paperless kitchen is not a far off idea

I like to consider myself pretty eco friendly. I’m always yelling at my roommate to recycle, I’m going through a costly transition to all cruelty-free cosmetics (don’t make fun) and I’m even trying to grow my own veggies this year. But one of the biggest projects I want to tackle is converting my kitchen to completely paperless. That’s right — I’m done with paper towels, napkins and those large tubs of disinfecting wipes.

My grandmother would laugh at me right now. Paper towels? What a waste!

In reality, it’s not a stretch to strive for a paperless kitchen.  How quickly we forget that the whole eco friendly call to action is a recent phenomenon because our grandparents (and their grandparents) didn’t have an abundance of paper products like we do today.  If anything, that realization makes me more determined to knock out the wasteful cleaning supplies.

Plan

This transition is not an easy for everyone and it’s actually best done over a period of time. When making a change of this size, you need to allow yourself time to adjust and prepare.  The best thing you can do is set a timeline highlighting small goals.

Maybe in two weeks’ time you want to stock up at least 20 cloth napkins. In another week, dish and hand towels. One more week and you can decide on storage that works for you.

Plan ahead and set goals – if you try to achieve a complete transition in a weekend, it will be a hard adjustment for you and those around you. Make it a learning experience and take the time to find the best solutions for your specific needs.

Stock up

First, work to gather all your supplies. Start to build up your new towels and napkins while you’re still working your way through your surviving paper products — don’t wait for them to run out.

If you check out our adjoining Pinterest board you’ll find lots of easy ways to create your own linens, whether its napkins, dish or hand towels. If you’re planning to go the DIY route, the consensus seems to be that diaper cloth or birdseye cloth is the best fabric for making your own kitchen towels. This fabric is absorbent and textured, perfect for cleaning up spills and stuck on food. The fabric is pretty inexpensive both in craft stores and online. And it’s super easy for anyone to do – simply cut, hem the sides and voila! Towels!paperless-1

But what about your favorite dish sponge? Skoy cloths come in for the save. These cool biodegradable towels are designed to replace 15 rolls of paper towel each! They’re super absorbent and long lasting, perfect for washing dishes. They also dry quickly, fighting bacteria build up.

Storage

Once you have figured out your paper replacements, it is time to think about storage. You want to keep your towels close by and easy to access. You also want to keep towels separated and organized by use. Claim different spots for napkins, hand or dish towels and rags to make the transition easier on your family.

paperless-5Keep napkins on your kitchen counter or table in a basket or glass jar. Large candy jars work perfectly for this. The glass containers keep cloths accessible, covered and they create a unique display that adds character to any décor.

For hand towels, hang them over your dishwasher or stove handlepaperless-3 – or add an Over the Cabinet Towel Rack. These racks are perfect if you’re still deciding where to stash your new hand towels, because you can move it from cabinet to cabinet. This hanger is designed to slide over cabinet doors and features padding to protect wood from scratches or wear marks.

Rags should be kept accessible too, but you don’t need to keep them out and about. You can keep them tucked in a drawer or under your kitchen sink, but the best idea I’ve found is a unique one. Utilize a Mounted Plastic Bag Recycler to keep rags easy to grab. This bin can be mounted to the inside of a kitchen cabinet door. Simply pile in your rags and pull them out one by one when needed – compare it to the way those handy sanitizing wipes pop out of the container.paperless-2

Clean up

One of the biggest hesitations that people have when considering a paperless kitchen is the clean-up. It is common to assume that using linens for everything means more laundry, but it’s not the case. If you create an ample supply and utilize a convenient deposit bin for soiled towels, it’s easy – just throw them in the wash with the rest of the towels you’re already washing every week.

paperless-4Add a small hamper to your pantry or under the kitchen sink to make it easy to switch hand and dish towels every day. The Door knob Hamper is a great addition. Add this small hamper to a pantry or closet door and keep dirty towels tucked away. The hanging design makes it easy to allow towels to dry before combining too, which helps fight mildew and bacteria build up.

Sharing

It may seem like a small detail, but it is important to ensure your entire household is in the loop. Talk to them, discuss ideas, see what they’re willing to give up and what they’re not – and compromise if you need to.  Again, this is a transition not an instant change and it may take longer for some to get with it than others.

Take your time, plan the details and soon you’ll be enjoying the ease of a paperless kitchen.

Find these products and more at OrganizeIt.com.
Find related crafts, products and DIY projects at Pinterest.com/OrganizeIt.

Trending: Chalk it up

The trend of using chalkboard paint in the home shows no signs of slowing down in 2015. In fact, trends show it’s going to boom again – but in a different way. Avid Pinterest-ers and bloggers are discovering that you can make your own chalk board paint – wait for it – in any color! While we feature many ways to do this yourself on our Pinterest board, we thought we’d also highlight some of the cool chalkboard themed home goods we offer – some obviously handy and others uniquely decorative.

Write on it

  • chalk-1Chalkboard Wall Organizer: Let’s start with the universal pieces. This organizer is perfect for any entryway. Hang keys, sort mail, post up notes on the magnetic strips, plan your week on the chalkboard and more. This simple piece keeps your thoughts in one place and makes it super simple to share schedules with the entire family. The design features three front hooks and three back storage compartments.  This cool piece comes with two magnets and all hardware is included so installation is quick and painless.
  •  Chalkboard Travel Coffee Mug: This eco-friendly cup offers limitless uses. Perk yourself up with a daily affirmation, write down your name when using the cup for a refill at your favorite coffee spot, or just jot down last minute notes for your morning commute. This whimsical piece comes with an included chalk pencil for easy writing. All pieces are dishwasher and microwave safe.chalk-2
  • Chalkboard Globe: Yup. You read that correctly. Create your own unique view of the world with this clever décor piece. Perfect for a home office or the kid’s room, this writable surface allows you to cover every inch of the Earth with your imagination. Kids can study geography, plan trips and create mythical planets for their own enjoyment. This piece definitely inspires those right side of the brain thinkers.
  • Chalkboard Rug: If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then this rug is sure to compliment any living space. Designed to look like a blackboard in a local café, this kitchen mat is designed to add character and comfort. If you enjoy the look of chalkboards but not the cleanup, this rug is the perfect accent piece for your décor. Made with a slip-proof polypropylene backing and a color-fast polyester front this rug is long lasting and easy to clean – you can even throw it in the washer.

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DIY

For those of you more interested in creating this trend on our own, you can find a bunch of tutorials on our Pinterest page.

  • Chalkboard paint: Create your own colorful chalkboard paint by adding one part hot water, one part plaster of paris and two parts flat latext paint in your choice of color. Combine the hot water and plaster, mixing well then stir in the paint until well combined. Larger items may require multiple coats.
  • Indoor/outdoor chalk: You can even make your own chalk with nothing more than water, plaster of paris and tempra paint. Supplies include: toilet paper or paper towel cardboard tubes, scissors, duct tape, disposable plastic containers for mixing, a large mixing spoon, a plastic spatula and a cooling rack. Mix the plaster of paris as directed while separately mixing tempera paint and water. Slowly combine the two mixtures and fill lined cardboard tubes.

Find more crafts and unique products on our at Pinterest.com/OrganizeIt.
Find these products and more at Organizeit.com, Stacksandstacks.com and Organization-Store.com.