Father’s Day gift ideas: king of the grill
May 25, 2018
There are few places in life where dad has claimed his thrown. We won’t mention the obvious others, but the grill is for sure the one spot dads everywhere lay claim to every summer.
As Father’s Day falls on the first day of this awaited season, it is only fair to celebrate with his favorite summertime activity.
Our line of Barbeque Accessories is the perfect place to start for Father’s Day gift ideas. Here are just a few of our favorites:
18 Piece BBQ Set
Give the man the tools for the job. This outstanding barbecue tool set is filled to the brim with everything you need for a five-star cookout. The set includes:
- Large fork
- Large knife
- Baster brush
- Grill brush/scraper
- Metal skewers (4)
- Corn-on-the-cob holders (4 sets)
If your pops prefers charcoal over propane, this plastic charcoal container and dispenser is ideal. The American-made container can hold up to 25 pounds of charcoal in or out of the bag. The entire piece is completely waterproof and features a side handle for easy carrying and pouring.
Outdoor Food Prep Cart
This outdoor food prep cart is for the serious outdoor chef (who could be your dad). Made of stainless steel with a quality, removable thick butcher block, he can chop vegetable’s to his heart’s delight and store all of his secret sauces and tools on one of the shelves. Wheels make it mobile–to save your dad’s back. This is a high-end gift for dads you really dig.
Finally, a sure Father’s Day win is gifting dad the best to protect his baby. Grill covers are an excellent way to prolong the life and quality of any grill. We have loads to choose from, but our favorites are the Casco Black Polyester Grill Cover and Deluxe Vinyl Barbecue Cover. Both covers are rain, snow and humidity safe as well as crack resistant in temperatures as low as negative 20 degrees. The Polyester comes in four different sizes while the Deluxe is available in six; all come with a five-year limited warranty.
We have lots of other covers for different style grills, as well as patio covers for every kind of furniture or entertaining accessory you can think of. This tan cover fits over some ceramic grills, and you’ll want to check out our website for a huge selection of products.
Add the sizzle of summer to Father’s Day this year with these products and more like them at organizeit.com.
Memorial Day Picnic Planning
May 17, 2018
Everything You Need for Your Memorial Day Picnic
Memorial Day is a time to commemorate those who have died while serving our country. Originating in the aftermath of the Civil War, the holiday has gone through many transformations over the last century and, like other holidays, holds different meanings for different people. Picnics and barbeques are one way that modern people tend to observe Memorial Day, making it a great time to gather with friends and family.
Here are some great products to make your holiday a memorable, enjoyable, and delicious one.
Cooking and Food Prep
A well-equipped barbeque makes grilling more efficient. This 20-piece, stainless steel barbecue set has every utensil you might need for large-scale grilling and includes a hard case to keep it all together.
Barbecuing is a fine art and knowing when the food is cooked to the right temperature is an acquired skill that takes time to master. A dedicated grill thermometer takes some of the guesswork out of cooking and guarantees your food is cooked to perfection, provided you don’t flake and wander off into the pool or get carried away with the drinks. This one has convenient, built-in side hooks and is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
A stainless steel grill tray adds plenty of cooking surface for vegetables and other foods, while providing raised edges and drainage holes for grease to run off. Its 18.25 x 12-inch profile provides plenty of cooking surface for your home-grilled delicacies.
Skewers are that darned item you always seem to forget. Buy this lot of a hundred and have some for your next picnic. Store them in a safe place so you can remember them next time around. When they’re empty, you’re left with a convenient squeeze bottle for barbeque sauce or condiments.
Keep your charcoal dry and free from debris for more efficient burning with this 12-pound capacity charcoal container. It doubles as a pet food storage container, so you might need more than one.
Careful planning of your holiday picnic will save you a lot of stress on the big day, while enabling you, the host, to have more time and energy to spend with your friends and family. Having the right amount of dishes, silverware, and adequate food storage containers is vital to a stress-free, smooth-rolling Memorial Day party.
Mesh food covers are a handy product you most likely have never heard of. Nothing is more of an appetite suppressant than flies and other insects on the potato salad. Well, there are other things, but we don’t need to go there. This set of three covers (15, 13.75 and 12 inches in diameter) keep flies and mosquitoes out and food accessible and appetizing. The really fabulous bonus is that you can collapse them flat for easy storage. For larger or multiple food quantities, you can’t go wrong with these larger, 17-inch food tents.
Condiment squeeze-bottles reduce silverware usage and make for easy cleanup. Choose from mustard (yellow), ketchup (red), or clear (great for dressings) for easy identification of your chosen condiment or sauce.
A standup cooler means easy access to beverages, plus convenient folding storage for when the party’s over. A convenient drain plug makes it easy to dry out before storing or transporting.
For “bring-your-own” parties, this beer (or pop) carrier safely transports cans or bottles and folds flat when empty for easy storage.
Roasted corn is always a treat at a barbeque, and these pronged corn holders make eating corn easier. Tailgaters might enjoy the football-themed corn holders.
A variety of serving trays keep food accessible at your outdoor feast. Plastic, wood, glass and even wicker servers are available to suit your taste and budget. These diner-style plastic baskets are great for outdoor use, and you don’t have to worry about them getting broken.
Serving relishes, salt and pepper and other condiments is easier done when you corral them in a server. This copper condiment caddy makes a great table accent while providing four partitioned holders for your sauces, ketchup and other food accompaniments.
Nothing is worse than a billowing table cloth during a blustery outdoor party. These attractive table weights ensure your picnic doesn’t end up on the ground. The novelty weights are attractive silver castings of the kind of bugs you might actually want near your food.
Storing your food and keeping it fresh is another picnic priority. How about combining your serving and food storage needs into single products for efficiency and less cleanup? Glass storage containers are great and some models are even oven safe, which saves on dishes. The TrueSeal brand have tight-fitting, spill-proof lids, which is great for outdoor events. If breakage is a concern, plastic containers might be a better choice. A variety of options and styles are included, including some vacuum-seal models, which are great when you want to prepare food in advance. Don’t forget some bag clips as they keep chips and other bagged foods fresh and prevent spillage when packing up.
Seating is the thing that seems to get most overlooked at picnics and parties. If we don’t normally have 20 people in our homes, it’s understandable. Always have extra seating with this inexpensive, collapsible picnic table. The built-in seats are smartly designed and the components disassemble and fold into a convenient travel case for on-the-go picnics.
Camping chairs are great for sitting around the fire and can be folded and packed when eating at a park. The brightly-colored folding chair has onboard drink storage, plus a handy side shelf for storing plates and other items. A deluxe chair has adjustable legs for uneven terrain and extra padding for comfort. Both of these chairs are also great for tailgating parties, afternoons spent at the beach and other outings.
Be ready for the unexpected May showers with a canopy. Shelter Logic makes a variety of colors and designs and they’re super-easy to assemble and break down. They start at about 110 dollars which is well worth the price in keeping you and your guests dry, should the weather take an unexpected turn. This is a small investment you’re likely to be thankful for at some point in your picnicking future.
Have we missed anything? Feel free to comment and let us know how you plan your Memorial Day picnic. Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!
Organizing and Managing Papers
May 11, 2018
Drowning in paper? Here’s how to manage and organize your piles.
Paper is the number one clutter element in a lot of homes. The average household receives a barrage of paper on a daily basis in the form of bills, ads, newspapers and magazines. The possibility of drowning in paper is real unless it is dealt with in a vigilant and consistent manner.
I’m personally a visual person, an artist, and things buried in deep files tend to get forgotten. I like my important items close at hand. If I had more wall space, a single-layer, frontal file system consisting of wall collages would work for me. Unfortunately, my work and personal life are too complicated for that to happen, plus I have a small home. Keeping things close at hand make flat spaces, such as desks, problem zones. Everything I want close at hand can quickly become a jumbled pile.
Here are some things that I’ve found to be useful for managing my papers as I combat my idiosyncratic, “visual” organizing tendencies.
Go Digital Where You Can
As much as I despise it for taking up space, I have an unhealthy emotional attachment to paper. It feels tangible, real. It’s proof of something. Proof when the bank screws up. Proof of a purchase. Something I can hold, touch, copy, or send to someone. It’s real, whereas, anything digital might disappear the next time my computer blows up (this has happened several times in my life and, unfortunately backup drives too). Paper, by comparison, will be there, unless, of course, there is a fire or other catastrophe. Digital catastrophes are common, right? More on this later.
Despite my aversion to digital archiving, I made a decision about paper clutter, and finally made the leap and started paying most of my bills online. After a lot of resistance and discomfort, I found that it forced me to be more organized. I now regularly download my statements and organize them into digital files, assign payment dates and names, and schedule regular backups. In the past, they might make it to a paper folder, a burning bin, or get lost in one of the to-file piles in my house.
Paying bills online reduces a third of paper clutter in your home provided you also request digital-only statements. Yes, there is the fear of online breaches and hacking. Many of us have already been the victim of such things. However, that is one of those conditions of the modern world that, really, is hard to avoid. Our data is online whether we save paper copies and write checks or not. The world is moving to digital and there is hardly anything we can do to stop it.
The second thing I did to manage paper was to invest in a paper shredder and routinely shred all junk mail on a daily basis. It’s important to keep up on it whether it’s by shredding on a daily or a weekly schedule. This includes fliers, ads, solicitations for donations and any other undesirable mail. Do you regularly get solicitations? Ask them to remove you from their mailing list. This means less junk in your mailbox.
One of my other problems is magazines and other literature. Some, I never get around to reading. My solution: Don’t read it? Stop subscribing. If you haven’t read it after three months, donate it to the library. If you are certain you want to read it, or if it’s something to refer back to (such as woodworking how-tos or DIY magazines), invest in inexpensive magazine holders. You can still keep them accessible, but they will be organized (by date, title, or some scheme of your choosing) and more attractive than piles of magazines scattered about. Alternately, for the more visual person, you can purchase open magazine wall racks (similar to the ones they have in doctors’ offices). These give you easy, frontal visual access and when they get overstuffed, you can make that donation/toss decision. If they have value and you don’t want them, you can dump them on eBay or Facebook Marketplace (see our post about cashing in on your clutter). If you don’t care about value, most local libraries have donation days, and, of course there is always Goodwill.
Alternately, if you live in the country, use them for a bonfire and you can get rid of a lot of clutter in a single s’more feast or weenie roast. I try to do it once a year.
Receipts stir the same kind of “attachment” issues for me as bank documents. They offer a kind of “proof” should something go wrong with your device, service, or other purchase. However, how long do you really need to keep them? What do you really need them for? If they’re for deductions, some tax software programs offer an app so you can store images (taken with your phone) right in the database. Once scanned, you can properly destroy the paper receipt. Remember to properly back up your files and, of course, you will have to decide whether or not to use a cloud storage service. My personal preference, given my lack of trust in the security of the digital universe, is to make my own backups on my own USB drives. You can even automate it with backup software.
I mentioned earlier about the problems with storage/hard drive failures. I’ve personally had no problems whatsoever with USB drives failing and you can now get lots of storage for a little money. The biggest problem for me is losing them, due to their diminutive size. Solution? A dedicated USB drawer and labels. Easy-peasy. Just remember to keep it there, or keep it plugged into your computer for your frequent, scheduled backups. “Frequent” is the key here. And if you are really compulsive like me, you can back up twice to two different sticks.
For school work or general home office needs, one might want a small floor-style filing cabinet, but for people like me who just want quick access, a desktop file organizer is more convenient. It was a compromise to single-layer collage-style “wallcovering” filing, but it’s a lot more attractive.
A filing system helps keep things accessible. Everyone is different when it comes to organizing. How big are your needs? What kind of language do you use to remember things? Are you an acronym person, or a proper name person, first name or last name? If you’re really visual, color coding files might make more sense than alphabetizing them. Maybe for your needs, a few general categories will be sufficient—i.e. banking, appointments, receipts, tax-related. If you want single-level, quick access, alphabetizing might be the best filing system for you.
I repurposed this inexpensive 31-day bill filing system to manage my most-needed papers using my own labeling system. It’s attractive, made of eco-friendly bamboo, and includes a storage drawer underneath for stamps, pens, Post-Its, and other office supplies. The 17-inch length is substantial and requires a clear, flat place to use. It works great on a desk, shelf, or wherever you need it.
This vertical wood organizer suits smaller filing needs, whether it’s a mail-in, mail-out system, or you want to use it for printing paper. It has a small profile at 12.75 W x 9.5 H x 9.25 D inches, so you can stash it anywhere.
Stacking paper organizers can be customized to suit your needs, or added to later on, should your requirements change. File storage boxes come in a range of sizes and styles, including clear plastic and more decorative, fabric-covered models to match your décor. It’s okay, after all, to integrate decorating into your organizing projects.
For the super-busy visual person with lots to organize, this large file organizer keeps everything you need right in front of you. Just add appropriate labels for a fool-proof system.
For the minimalists, however, traditional filing cabinets will be a better option, as they come in multiple sizes and provide a clean appearance in your home office.
Car Paper Clutter
Cars are one of the places paper can accumulate, whether it’s store and ATM receipts, parking permits, or other items. Visor organizers are a way to keep parking cards, park permits and other essentials close at hand. Just flip the visor down for easy access. They come in a variety of styles to fit your needs.
Cars come with gloveboxes for a reason. Feel free to use them. If you have trouble closing the compartment cover, there’s a problem. Open the latch and investigate! Receipts can easily be stored in an inexpensive, accordion-type file and emptied in the appropriate indoor location (or shredded) on a regular basis. I pick Saturday. Whatever day you choose, make it regular, as maintenance is the key to staying organized.
You can start the paper sorting process right in your car by keeping a trash receptacle handy. There are a variety of over-the-seat styles to suit your needs. Some even have drink, Kleenex, media and other pockets to store miscellaneous travel items.
Photos and Memorabilia
Display a few and organize the rest into boxes or albums. Photos are one of those things that can really consume your walls and accumulate around your house. It IS fun to have a display of people, places and things you love. Why not have a big corkboard and rotate? There are also strip and string-type temporary displays that are also great for notes, receipts, or things that require your immediate attention. Find tons of bulletin boards and other organizers for displaying and managing memos, notes, and miscellany here:
Incidentally, photos are another paper item you might consider putting in albums or digitizing for computer or web use. Digitized photos take up less space and are more easily shared using digital means like social media. Also check out our blog post on photo archiving.
If you have questions about organizing your papers, feel free to contact us on Facebook or write Harriet Schecter (Ask Our Organizer) for free professional advice about your organizing projects. Harriet is one of the pioneers of professional organizing and has authored several books on the topic. Plus she’s really nice! She is also a product expert and has written about every kind of organizing product you can imagine.