9 Smart Charging-Station Solutions for Decluttering Your Cables

by Yanic Simard

It seems like every year a new type of high-tech device becomes an essential part of our lives. But we could all do without seeing the countless cables it takes to keep these devices charged and ready to go. To help keep your devices powered up, and your surfaces free of busy cables, here are some of my favorite solutions for integrating charging stations into your kitchen and elsewhere in your home.
Transitional Kitchen by Studio Dearborn
Traditional Kitchen by LGB Interiors
Traditional Kitchen by Hammer Design Build Remodel
Transitional Kitchen by Arbor Mills
Transitional Kitchen by Arbor Mills
Traditional Kitchen by Ogawa Fisher Architects
Traditional Home Office by Herrick Design Group
Midcentury Entry by Jennifer Weiss Architecture
Kitchen by behold design
Traditional Kitchen by Kim Kendall Interiors
Transitional Kitchen by Thomas Buckborough & Associates
Traditional Laundry Room by Closet Organizing Systems
Transitional  by Design Harmony

How to Keep Your Kitchen’s Stainless Steel Spotless

by Leslie Reichert

1. Remove knobs for a complete clean. When cleaning your stainless steel range and oven, remember to remove the control knobs to reach hidden dirt and grime. Just cleaning around knobs can cause a buildup that’s unsanitary and hard to remove.

2. Stainless steel handles need extra attention. Since the handles on your stainless steel appliances are used the most, they should be wiped down weekly with a damp microfiber cloth. Fine-woven microfiber cloths, such as the ones used for cleaning eyeglasses, can be found at retail chains and grocery stores. They work great to remove dust and don’t leave any streaks or smears. There’s no need for harsh chemicals to clean your stainless steel appliances and surfaces.

3. Fight oxidization. Stainless steel oxidizes over time. To remove this film, you can use pumice powder mixed with water. Pumice powder can be found online and at most hardware stores. Apply this paste following the “grain” of the stainless steel then rinse with warm water. You will be surprised to see how black the cloth is when you finish.

4. Clean those countertops. Stainless steel countertops are the choice of professional kitchens because they are designed to hold up to constant abuse. To keep them looking clean and shiny, you want to avoid using an abrasive cleanser. Instead, try using just a drop of a gentle dish soap and warm water. This mixture will keep your counters clean and scratch free.

5. Give your hood a helping hand. Stainless steel stove hoods need to be cleaned weekly to prevent a buildup of grease and dust. Cooking grease mixes with dust in the air and lands on the stove hood, making it thick and hard to remove. A simple cleaning remedy is to spray a cloth with rubbing alcohol and wipe it over the top of the hood. Make sure not to use the rubbing alcohol near an open flame.

6. Banish burn marks. If you have some burn marks that just won’t come off your stainless steel stove, try this simple DIY recipe:

1 cup baking soda
¼ cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons Borax
Club soda (for rinsing)

Combine the first three ingredients to make a cleaning paste. Apply this paste to the entire stained area with a soft cloth. Scrub in the same direction as the grain of the stainless steel. Rinse with club soda and wipe dry with a microfiber cloth.

Get Your Home Organized With a Back-to-School Checklist

by Laura Gaskill

Seeing old friends, meeting new teachers and saying goodbye to summer (waah!): The beginning of the school year is a flurry of activity and mixed emotions. Make this transition as smooth as possible for kids and yourself by spending some time during the last few weeks of summer vacation putting smart systems in place around the house. From gathering lunch-making supplies and keepsake boxes to organizing wardrobes, hanging backpack hooks and more, here are 13 tasks to check off your list for a home that’s ready for the first day (and beyond).