Home & Garden

Switch off, bundle up to save, save, save

Tom Kraeutler, host of "The Money Pit" syndicated radio show, recommends plugging power-draining computers and electronic equipment into a power strip with a switch, so they can all be easily turned off when not in use.

Another tip: Add a sweater and lower the thermostat. For every degree you lower your thermostat, you may be able to save 5 percent on heating costs.

More: http://www.myhomemymoneypit.com

A good day begins, ends in the bedroom

A well-appointed bed, situated in a beautifully-colored, well-organized bedroom, is wonderful for both your body and soul. It starts your day off happily, and it ends your day the same way. The editors of Fresh Home recommend you keep your room tidy, your bed made and your personal style well on display. Here are ways to do just that.

- Choose the perfect color. Forget trend and choose colors that make you feel good, comfortable, and happy. Neutrals, like brown, white, black, tan, gray and even a very light blue are ideal. Then punch it up with an accent color - an orange pillow, a bright rug or bedcover.

- Focus on the headboard. It's often an afterthought, but your headboard is the focal point of your room. If it's paintable, liven it up with a color related to the room's overall palette, but in a bolder, stronger, hue.

- Create a highlight wall. Paint the wall behind your bed a different color. Highlight walls draw your eye, and create a nice centering effect for your bed. Use a deeper shade of the color you used for the rest of the room to give this wall more weight. A large print on the wall behind the bed can accomplish the same thing.

- Change your bedclothes. Coverlets, shams, and bed linens are all options, but sometimes, less is more. A coverlet in white or ivory is timeless, and can be dressed up with accent pillows and a little texture.

- Go for comfy sheets. Don't get too hung up on numbers. While thread count is important, focus more on fabric content, like Egyptian or Pima cotton.

- Prevent clutter. Just as organized homes have a "landing strip" in the entry way to accommodate keys and mail, your bedroom should also have a place for you to put your robe, watch, and jewelry. The fact is that clutter happens, so it's wise to have a place to put everything.

GIT your life together in 15-minute bites

Get it together girl, a 28-day guide to practical not perfect home organization, helps you get organized in 15-minute increments, five days a week.

GIT tasks cover your kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living room and computer area, with optional weekend accelerators. Each week ends with keeping-it-together tips so you don't fall back into old habits. Cost is $19.95, which includes a downloadable eBook, daily audio clips that give advice and encouragement and access to the message board.

The first GIT assignment is a refrigerator run: Take 15 minutes to throw away outdated items

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