Corral Clutter and Create Beautiful Vignettes Around the Home Using Serving Trays

If you’re looking for an affordable way to add high style to your home, using serving trays is a great idea. On countertops, dressers, and even on the bed, serving trays add a designer-inspired look to any surface in the home. Here’s some inspiration for styling trays.

  1. Add a serving tray to your coffee table to corral remote controls, display magazines, and hold decorative objects. You can even add scented candles to create an enjoyable ambiance.
  2. Use serving trays in the bathroom to organize your everyday essential products. Add one to the back of the toilet if you’re lacking in cabinet space, or use one under the sink to hold lotion and soap bottles upright.
  3. Place a serving tray next to the front door to create a drop-off place for your keys, cell phone, and other items that would normally amount to clutter.
  4. Center a kitchen island by adding a decorative tray for displaying flower vases and plants. You may also want to add your favorite cookbooks to keep them within reach.
  5. While serving trays are originally used for serving food and beverages, they’re just as great for serving breakfast in bed—or even a midnight snack. If you enjoy relaxing with a good book and glass of wine at night, use a serving tray to avoid spills.

7 Ways to Decorate With Trays [Home Goods]
10 Creative Ways to Decorate with a Serving Tray [Kirklands]
See Why Trays Are the Ultimate Decorator’s Trick [One Kings Lane]

Learn How to Manage Clutter — Not Hide It!

If you find yourself tucking away all of that extra clutter every time you clean your home, you may wonder how you can get rid of it for good. Instead of managing the clutter in your home, these smart, space-saving tips will show you how to control your clutter by getting rid of it completely.

  • Take an assessment of your clutter. Where do you notice clutter the most in your home? Is it in the junk drawers in your kitchen, the entryway area or your bedroom closet? Make note of those places where clutter always seems to accumulate so that you can focus the majority of your energy there.
  • Invest in storage systems. If the current storage systems in those areas just aren't working, it's time to reevaluate them. If clothes are always tumbling off of the shelves in your bedroom closet, add some affordable plastic drawers from your local home goods store; if you're always tripping over shoes in the doorway, add a stylish shoe rack.
  • Get rid of clutter-prone areas. Those junk drawers that are always overflowing? Get rid of them! If you don't have that go-to spot for disposing of those unused items, you'll be forced to really think about where they go — or if you need them at all.
  • Make it a part of your routine. If you don't usually think about where to put certain items, you might want to start. A big part of keeping a clean home is developing clean habits, so before you toss those shoes or that extra junk mail aside, take pause and deal with it right on the spot.

How to Keep Fruit Fresher Longer

Are you guilty of buying fresh produce only to have it spoil a few days later? You're not alone: Studies have found that Americans throw away a fourth of all the produce they buy! Here are some tips to help keep your fruits fresh as long as possible.

  • Fruits such as avocados, tomatoes, mangoes, melons, apples, and pears will ripen quicker if they’re left sitting out on your countertop.
  • Keep your other fruits away from bananas. They emit gases that will speed the ripening of any fruits that are nearby.
  • Fruits such as grapes, citrus, and berries should always be refrigerated.
  • Refrain from washing berries until you are ready to eat them. You want to store them in a dry and covered container.
  • To extend the freshness of lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit, store them in your crisper drawer or in a mesh bag in your refrigerator.
  • Once fruits are fully ripe, you can refrigerate them to help them last a little longer. However, for the best flavor, you want to return them to room temperature.
  • One of the worst things you could do for a fruit is to store it in an airtight bag. The lack of air flow speeds up decay.

The Kitchn's Guide to Storing Fruits and Vegetables [The Kitchn]
Keep Fruits & Vegetables Fresher Longer [American Heart Association]
Spoiled Rotten – How to Store Fruits and Vegetables [Vegetarian Times]

It’s Time to Clear the Air: 5 Smart Tips for Banishing Foul Food Odors

So you accidentally burned some garlic to a pan – it happens to the best of us! Unfortunately, getting rid of those hard-to-banish cooking odors is not particularly easy. The next time you cook something with a smell that you just can't seem to get rid of, use these smart tips for clearing the air.

  • Close any doors. Take some precautionary steps before cooking things like curries or bacon and close all possible doors. That way, those odors can't waft out of the kitchen and into other areas of your home.
  • Clean up splatters immediately. They may seem minimal, but those tiny little splatters over your stove or in your oven just might be the cause of your stinky kitchen. Make sure to clean up any rogue sauce or grease splatters immediately after cooking your strong-smelling dish.
  • Leave a bowl of coffee grounds on the counter. Once the damage is done, place a scoop of coffee grounds in a bowl on the counter to absorb the unpleasant scent. Leave them out overnight and you'll wake up to a much fresher-smelling kitchen.
  • Work with ventilation. If you have a hood or vent above your stove, don't forget to use it the entire time you cook. Likewise, open all windows in the kitchen and even the rooms surrounding it.
  • Simmer natural spices. Make your own concoction of cloves, cinnamon, and citrus peels and let it simmer on the stove after cooking. While unnatural air fresheners just mask the smell, these slow-moving scents might just chase the others away.

5 Tips for Getting Rid of Cooking Smells [The Kitchn]

Follow These Tutorials to a Cool and Kitschy Macrame Plant Hanger

Macramé may have originally gained popularity back in the 1970s, but the kitschy weaving craft is coming back in a big way. If you love plants and you’re always looking for fun new ways to display them, you may even want to try making a macramé plant hanger of your own. Here are a few tutorials to help you get started!

Colorful Polyester Rope Hanger []
With this tutorial, you’ll learn how to make a macramé hanger using only a few colors of polyester rope, a carabiner, and a screw hook. The actual plant hanger itself is fairly simple, but wrapping the multicolored string around the top adds a fun pop of color.

Sturdy Macramé Plant Hanger []
If you’re looking for something that’s a bit sturdier to hang a particularly heavy plant, this is a great tutorial. It uses clothesline instead of the usual yarn or polyester rope, as well as 18-gauge steel wire and a chain ring for added reinforcement.

Mini String Planters []
For something quicker and easier, this cute tutorial from the Free People blog uses standard yarn that you might already have stashed away at home. This is a fun tutorial to do while you relax in front of the TV, and the finished product is a great way to hang small air plants or succulents in miniature pots.

Spruce Up Your Windows With These Creative, Affordable Window Treatment Ideas

If you’re looking for an alternative to the usual heavy drapes or vertical blinds for your apartment at Jefferson Marketplace, these unique and affordable ideas just may be the answer.

Stick-On Window Coverings
If you’re looking for a truly creative window treatment alterative that still blocks out glaring sunlight, try frosted window stickers. This fun and modern DIY project shows you how to create your own choice of pattern, and best of all, it comes right off when it’s time to move out.

Coffee Sack Curtains
If your style is more rustic and antique-inspired, create your own affordable curtains using recycled coffee sacks. Because the sacks are supposed to have a bit of a rough edge, there’s absolutely no sewing required for this simple project.

Flower Chain Curtains
For fans of all things bohemian, this simple DIY project is the perfect choice. Simply string faux flowers to clear fishing thread, and then tie a row of 10 or so across a slender curtain rod. This one is ideal for anyone looking to create a bit of privacy without blocking out too much sunlight.

How to Style and Organize a Bookcase

Sure, bookcases are meant to hold your book collection, but that doesn’t mean that yours should look like a jumbled mess. Turn your overstuffed bookcase into a focal point in your home with these simple, designer-worthy decorating tips.

  1. Organize all of your books in an attractive way. Whether you organize them by color to create a rainbow effect or by height for a unique pattern, you should consider book placement before anything else—it is a bookshelf, after all!
  2. Add knickknacks. While knickknacks may make you think of a cluttered grandmother’s house, modern versions will add an artistic flair to your shelves. Hunt for vintage brass or ceramic objects at local thrift stores, pick up small sculptures on your travels, or simply place green plants throughout.
  3. Fill it with frames. For a personal touch, frame photos of your friends or family and place them upright on the shelves. Or, if you want to create a more unique effect, attach the frame with a small nail to the front of the bookshelf where a corner meets.
  4. Step back and admire your work. To ensure that your bookshelf looks as good from afar as it does up close, frequently back up and reconsider the placement of each item.

How to Decorate a Bookshelf [Decoist]
How-to Beautify Your Bookcase [Coastal Living]
22 Ways to Arrange Your Shelves [Real Simple]
Flip for Decorating: The Bookcase [House Beautiful]

10 Ways to Embrace the Warm Weather

Spring is at our doorstep with temperatures reaching the 70s this week, so it’s time to break your cabin fever. Wondering where to go to soak in the warmth? Here are 10 things you can do to enjoy this week’s weather.

Click here for details.

Your Obligatory Metro Weekend Track Work Post: March 4-6

At this point, it comes as no surprise that track work will take place on all six lines this weekend. Riders can expect wait times as long as 24 minutes. The most drastic change is that the Anacostia station will be closed on Saturday after midnight through closing on Sunday. During this time, passengers can catch free shuttle buses between Navy Yard and Congress Heights. Metro says this will add about 12-15 minutes of extra time for each station during your commute.
Also, don't forget that beginning on Sunday, Metrorail faregates will stop accepting paper fare cards—SmarTrip cards only.

For details and train schedule click here:

Happy Tuesday!

Happy Tuesday Jefferson Marketplace! Enjoy your day with a smile! 🙂

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