Food Fun and Facts Spring Cleaning Tips and Household Hints

Title: "Spring Cleaning Help Is Out There!"

It's the second day of spring and even the most
domestically lax of us are starting to feel the urge to
start spring cleaning.

Why not start small, making a pledge to clear the
clutter from our closets (if only to make room for
the sandals and summer clothes we know we're about
to accumulate in the coming months.)

For some people, this job might take a couple of
hours at the most, but for those of us who have
neglected our closets since the fall -- or longer --
the job could be daunting.

Luckily, there are plenty of organized people vying
to share the tricks of the trade on-line.

This site for moms, but good for anyone who wants to
get organized, is full of great articles -- including this
one on the five-step approach to closet organization.
In this method, each item is removed from the closet to
be repaired, sold, given away, cleaned or returned to
its original owner.

The chronically disorganized might want to visit: This site
is home to the Get Organized Club, an on-line community
dedicated to putting the lives of its members in some
kind of order, despite such obstacles as messy spouses
or personal lack of organizational aptitude.

You'll find a straightforward article on cleaning the
closet by scrolling down the home page -- and you can
visit the message boards or chat room at any point
before, during or after the job, to procrastinate from
the task at hand, of course, is frowned upon.

Freshen Your Look and Home This Spring

(Family Features) - With the cold lifting and new spring collections hitting the shelves, it's the perfect time to change up your home and wardrobe with fresh new styles that reflect the joyful mood and bright colors of spring. Glade has partnered with style expert Giuliana Rancic to help women transform their look and surroundings for the new season. Together they are sharing what's in this season and introducing two new limited edition home fragrances - Bring on the Blossoms and Sparkle of Spring.

As an entertainment journalist and co-host of E!'s "Fashion Police," Rancic is an expert in today's fashion and aims to inspire women to celebrate the season by updating their look this spring. From home d├ęcor to wardrobe, Rancic shares firsthand how surroundings, especially in the home, can affect mood.

"Spring is my favorite time of year because it's a new awakening in the fashion world. I love exploring all the new trends and updating my surroundings with bright, happy colors that lift my mood," says Rancic. "With a few new accessories and the limited-edition fragrances from Glade, your home will look as fresh as it smells."

In order to help other women rejuvenate their look and surroundings, Rancic shares her top five tips to stay on-trend and feel fresh and exhilarated in time for spring:

Reinforce Ruffles. Spring is all about feeling pretty and feminine, and designers are pumping up the volume with ruffles. Whether on a throw pillow, journal or jacket, this season we'll be seeing gorgeous fabrics and textures draped and ruffled into fabulous creations.

Revitalize Home Fragrance. Glade Limited Edition Spring Collection fragrances refresh the home and wipe away the doldrums left behind when winter fades. The Glade Sparkle of Spring Premium Room Spray looks as good as it smells, and the hints of citrus help you create an energized vibe during the day.

Bright Colors, Fresh Look. What's more perfect for spring than bright, cheerful colors? Take advantage of the season's uplifting hues and make lips pop with orangey pink lipstick.

Wake Up Happy. Start the day with colors that awaken your senses. Make your bedroom environment happy with a bright, cheerful new duvet or throw.

Go for Geometric Jewels. Cool, geometric shapes are everywhere this spring. Clean, straight lines and bold color accents make a perfect pair. Added perk? You don't have to spend a lot to achieve this look - Giuliana recently discovered a pair of bold emerald green earrings for just $8!

For more information on the Glade Limited Edition Spring Collection, visit

Giuliana Rancic and the two accessories she can't live without

Giuliana Rancic is an entertainment journalist, television personality, producer and author. As the co-host of E! News alongside Ryan Seacrest and E!'s "Fashion Police" alongside Joan Rivers, Giuliana is always at the forefront of fashion and pop culture.

Born in Naples, Italy, Giuliana and her family moved to the United States when she was a little girl. Her love affair with television journalism began before she could even speak English - she learned the language by watching TV. She attended the University of Maryland, where she received a B.A. in Journalism and earned her Master's degree in Journalism from American University in Washington, D.C.

Giuliana splits her time between Los Angeles and Chicago. She resides in both cities with her husband, entrepreneur and talk show host, Bill Rancic. 

A true style aficionado, the accessories she can't live without this spring are a long printed scarf and Glade Sparkle of Spring Premium Room Spray.


Seeds of Knowledge - Spring Cleaning in the Garden -Get ideas on what gardening chores to do in the spring from a master gardener. Start with pruning everything and working the soil. By Susan Rutter -Susan Rutter: author, publisher, nutritionist, instructor Assists patients and the public make healthy choices and changes in their lives.
Written by: Susan Rutter

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Put the Fun in Function

Making the most of kitchen storage

(Family Features) - If cooking is a hassle for you, it may be time to do some reorganizing. Curtis Stone, star of the reality cooking show "Take Home Chef," thinks that a beautiful, well-organized kitchen can make a world of difference to home cooks. 

"When I was doing 'Take Home Chef' and cooking in all these different houses," says Stone, "I was thinking, why is it so difficult to cook in people's homes? It was so easy in a professional kitchen. Well, one of the main differences between a professional kitchen and residential kitchen is organization. But with the right organizational features, cooking can be fun and relaxing."

Get in the Zone

According to Paul Radoy, manager of design services for Merillat, the best way to approach kitchen organization and storage is to look at the room in sections. "All kitchens have a cooking zone and a cleanup zone," he says. "And some kitchens may have an island or pantry. Each of these areas lends themselves to various storage opportunities."

The Cooking Zone

Food preparation and cooking are the primary functions of a kitchen, which is why keeping cooking items organized and within easy reach is key.

The National Association of Professional Organizers recommends observing the flow of activity in your kitchen and organizing around it. Stone agrees, saying, "I believe the kitchen should be designed for the way you live."

Whether you're installing new cabinets or working with your existing units, try to optimize your space by creating specified storage areas.

  • Group objects by purpose and dedicate specific storage areas for them. Having all the bakeware together or all the pots and pans together lets you get to what you need quickly and efficiently.

  • Store pots and pans as close to the stove as possible.

  • Keep utensils where you can reach them easily while cooking. A utensil hanging system on the backsplash, or a pull-down knife rack under the wall cabinet next to the cooktop keeps you from digging through drawers.

"Now I know almost everyone has a pots and pans cabinet, and most of them are a mess," says Stone. "Well, Merillat has come up with an ingenious solution. Peg dividers for drawers can be customized to neatly fit all your pots and pans as you like them. It's not one-size-fits-all, so it can be nicely organized."

Awkward items can be stored on a Lazy Susan or a swing-out base cabinet, both of which take advantage of a tricky blind corner situation. The swing-out base cabinet allows full access to the entire cabinet with its two adjustable roll-out trays.

The Pantry Zone

If you're tired of hunting through a dozen canned goods to find the one you really need, or if you end up buying items you didn't know you already had, then it's time to reorganize the pantry.

Group similar food items together, the way you see them on grocery store shelves. Keep canned goods on one shelf, breakfast foods on another, baking ingredients on another. If you don't have a lot of built-in storage space, look for ways to maximize what you do have.

  • Individual turntables are great for organizing and storing spices and smaller pantry items. They can be put inside cabinets or on your counter to give you easy access.

  • Stacking platforms can go in taller shelf spaces to eliminate wasted space.

  • Pullout shelves or baskets can utilize even more space in a cupboard.

The Cleanup Zone

Stone says that organizing the cleanup zone can minimize clutter and make cleanup easier. From the location of the sink and dishwasher to various organizational accessories, any cleanup zone can shine.

Things like a tilt-out sink tray, which keeps soaps and sponges out of sight, an under sink tote and a base waste basket help keep things well organized. Also, a cutting board kit close to the sink makes for easy cleanup during food prep.

"From a chef's perspective, and from a home cook's perspective," says Stone, "when you're working in a kitchen that makes sense, it makes the whole cooking experience much easier - and more fun."

For more on the latest kitchen storage solutions, visit

More Organizing Tips

Get rid of what you don't use. If you haven't used the waffle maker or Panini press in recent memory, it's time to let them go. If they're in working order, give them to someone who will use them, or donate them to a thrift store.

Store seasonal items. Make room for your everyday items by storing those holiday plates and the oversized soup tureen outside the kitchen. Label the boxes or storage containers so you can find them when you need them.

Don't forget about the freezer. Use dividers or baskets to help you create designated sections in the freezer. That way, you don't have to dig around for what you need.

Look for unused or underused spaces. Look at all areas, including above and below appliances and behind doors. Unused floor space could be maximized with a kitchen island that adds additional storage.