Dorm Living

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Dorm Living – 10 Essentials Less than 10 Dollars Each

It’s a new semester, and you’re getting used to dorm living, and probably missing all the conveniences of home, while enjoying your new freedom. But now that you’re settled in and rooted in the space, you remember everything you forgot to bring to college. You may share a bath with one to four other people, in which case, there probably isn’t room for four hair dryers in your cupboard. Where to put yours? And what about that curling iron? You might have lots of odds and ends and just don’t know where to put them. A stackable basket is one idea. Cabinet door organizers are another great way to add storage and maximize space. And, then there’s the problem of cosmetics. What do you do with your lipstick and eye makeup? Now that you’re actually in your space, you can better evaluate what you really need to keep yourself organized. Read on for 10 inexpensive dorm living essentials – all under 10 dollars (some are as low as 7 – great for a girl or guy on a budget).

wall mount blow dryer holder

1. Wall Mount Blow Dryer Holder

Install the blow dryer holder on the wall or on a cabinet, and your hairdryer is accessible and ready to use. Plus it won’t hog space in your cabinet.



curling iron holder over door

2. Curling Iron Holder – Over Door

Over door hangers are great when you’re short on space. This curling iron holder comes in nickel and bronze and can also hold your hair dryer. It takes up little space and requires no hardware.



dorm living silver stackable tray

3. Silver Mesh Stackable Tray

This stacking tray gives you a place to put notes, mail, class assignments, printed homework and other paper items that need organizing. Buy as many as you need to manage your paper clutter.



magnetic chalkboard

4. Magnetic Chalkboard

This magnetic chalkboard attaches to any metal surface and is a great place for you and your roommates to leave notes, poems and random thoughts. Nice thing is you can erase them.



acrylic vanity holder

5. Acrylic Vanity Organizer

Lipstick and eye makeup won’t end up in unexpected places – or lost forever – when you use this lightweight little acrylic organizer. Keep makeup here and you won’t find mascara globs in your purse or backpack.



over the door hook rack

6. Over the Door Hook Rack

The over the door hook Rack is the perfect solution for dormroom space crunches. Create storage for towels, jackets and other items instantly. No hardware or tools required.



pop and fold laundry basket

7. Pop and Fold Laundry Basket

Lugging laundry is bad enough, but the weight of large plastic baskets just adds to the chore. Plus baskets take up space, which is premium when you live in a dorm. When you’re done with this lightweight basket you can fold it up for compact storage.



bedside storage caddy

8. Bedside Storage Caddy

This denier bedside storage caddy is a fabulous indulgence because you can keep magazines, notebooks and other reading materials right on your bed. It has storage for tissue, a pocket for cell phones and larger pockets for books, magazines and tablets. Use it to make a mini-entertainment center right on your bed.



foldable cell phone holder

9. Foldable Cell Phone Holder

This super-slim folding cell phone charging station attached to any outlet and folds up when not in use. This is also a great way to keep track of your phone if you make it a habit to charge it when you come home.



stckable plastic storage basket

10. Stackable Plastic Storage Basket

This stacking basket is ideal for storing all those things that tend to get scattered around your room – a versatile dorm accessory. Use it for bathroom products, makeup, devices or other small items. It’s about 9 inches long and comes in several cool colors.



Enjoy your semester and if you need accessories for dorm living, be sure to check out our websites. You might also like our Dorm Pinterest Board for TONS of dorm organizing and decorating ideas. Also read about dorm essentials here on our blog.

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How to Remove Rust

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rust removal

How to Remove Rust Naturally

Have you ever wondered how to remove rust without expensive chemicals and toxic fumes? We’ve all had mishaps with metal, whether it was the prized garden tool left out in the rain or a sink of utensils inadvertently left over night. Rust – the annoying thing that eats our cars, hardware, faucets, garden tools and more.

I have used a variety of expensive chemicals including naval jelly and those stinky nitric acid solutions that make you choke. Most of them do actually remove rust, but at a cost to your pocket book, health and the environment. How to remove rust without toxic fumes and scary chemicals? Here’s how, using safe, biodegradable ingredients you are likely to have in your home.

1. Salt and Vinegar

Vinegar is great by itself but salt adds some abrasion when you want to scrub it. Use 6 parts white vinegar to a tablespoon salt. Submerge your object or, if that’s not possible, wrap it in rags soaked with the solution, replenishing as necessary. This is a great way to clean shower heads and faucets if you don’t want to disassemble them.

2. Plain White Vinegar

Soak the rusty kitchen accessory or other object in a vat of white vinegar for a day. Pull it out to see if rust has dissolved. For larger objects, soak a wash cloth or towel in vinegar and wrap it around the object; then pour more vinegar on it and let it soak. This is great for faucets and faucet parts.

3. Molasses and Water

This is a farmer’s trick (my favorite method) and I’ve seen whole cars submerged in baths that came out completely clean. Ratios vary, but try 1/4 molasses to 3/4 parts water, mix it, and then soak your rusty can opener or other accessory for a day. Pull it out to see if rust has dissolved and soak for another day if it hasn’t. Do not leave your rusty object in the solution for more than a day without checking it, as this is a really powerful solution.

4. Lemon and Lemon Juice

Cut a lemon in half and use it to clean around fixtures. Let the juice sit and the acid with loosen the rust. You can also use lemon juice in a container and submerge the rusty object (check it every couple hours). Lemon also excels at removing hard water deposits.

There you are, four natural solutions for removing rust that won’t break the bank. Please use these ideas but take care in continually monitoring your progress, as the molasses trick in particular can break down iron if left in too long. Feel free to send pictures of your de-rusting projects too!

You might enjoy this post about removing water spots from furniture (from the Clutter Control Freak).

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Organized Fridge

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organized fridge

How to Manifest an Organized Fridge

The organized fridge, while uncommon, is easily manifested with a couple of clever products and minor changes to your daily habits. Here are a few storage items I use to keep my refrigerator organized and my food fresh and accessible:

Fridge Storage Bins

fridge-binCold-temperature-safe and easy to clean, these clear fridge bins prevent scary spills from descending your fridge shelves, while keeping food organized. Several kinds are available but these stackable fridge bins by Dial are my favorites and they come with built-in handles to easily pull food out when you need it. Several sizes are available for fruits, cans, cheeses, bottles and other foods.

TrueSeal Glass Storage Containers by Anchor Hocking

trueseal glass storage containersI love glass. It’s recyclable, food safe and great for refrigeration, freezing, microwaving and even oven baking. This Anchor Hocking set is great for storing casseroles, desserts and other leftovers. Included are 2 – 1-7/8-cup and 1 – 4-3/4-cup storage containers. Use them in your lunch and rest assured the patented TrueSeal lids won’t fall off like most competitor brands. A clear window in the top of lid makes for easy viewing from every angle. And finally, they’re safe for the dishwasher. These are available in square, round and rectangular varieties with a range of storage capacities. You can’t go wrong with good old-fashioned, American-made glassware.

No Spill Ice Tray

For freezers, the No Spill Ice Tray is the bee’s knees for keeping your in-process ice cubes from splashing all over the interior. A silicone top keeps water put while freezing.

Once you have the organized refrigerator products to keep your refrigerator in top shape, you need to also develop some habits to maintain your organization. Everything has a place, and if you remember that, you’re halfway to having the organized, dream fridge you’ve always wanted. Regular maintenance also keeps your fridge clean and inviting. At least once a week give exposed surfaces a swipe with a warm rag soaked in dish detergent. If you notice a spill, just remove the fridge bin and wipe clean. You’ll find maintenance much more manageable with removable fridge bins and secure food storage containers.

You might like to peruse our other refrigerator storage products here.
Also see our Small Kitchen and Tiny Kitchen organizing blog posts. Also, see Ask Our Organizer for more fridge ideas, as well as tons of great organizing tips.

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