Category Archives: Tip of the Week

Tip of the Week – Recycle Those Old Bows


Image by hawaii via Flickr

After every holiday, we must throw away dozens of those gift bows. It always seems like such a waste.  You pull them off of your present, stick them on your head for a bit, and that’s it.  I love the idea of being able to reuse them as something else.

This tip just presented itself today.  I was rushing around trying to pack for a quick weekend trip upstate, and remembered we needed to pack our belated Father’s Day present for my Father-in-Law.  Of course, it wasn’t wrapped and I didn’t really have time to drop everything and wrap it. So I was looking for a quick solution for making it look like a gift, while also getting it packed in less than 2 minutes.

I happened to have some tissue paper easily accessible so I pulled that down.  Since I was wrapping a round object (a lovely piece of sand art in a baseball shaped bottle that my son made), the tissue paper  worked well to cover it. But, I needed something to hold it closed. Tape; rubber band; string – all readily accessible, but not visually appealing.  Then I remembered my son has been playing with an old bow from his birthday and it was kicking around the room some where.  It no longer had any adhesive properties and it was falling apart. I realized this bow was made from 1 long string of ribbon that was just folded over and stapled.  So I pulled it apart and used the ribbon.  Perfect.

You can re-use the ribbon in those bows for so many practical things:  keeping cords/cables organized by tying them together so they don’t get tangled; tie your yoga mat closed so you can carry it easily; tie up plants to a stake or up a trellis.

Here are some fun uses for the ribbons: Tie it around a plain jar to create a quick and fun vase, tie around a napkin for a quick informal napkin ring, cut it up into pieces and create confetti.

Can you think of any other ways of re-using these old bows?



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Tip of the Week – Organizing Gadget Cords

Cords in a gift box

My cords in the gift box on the shelf.

It seems that almost every electronic device that I own comes with its own cord for charging, synching, or whatever it is that the device does. This wireless world seems to have produced more cables than ever.  The need to chase my son around from room to room while working, has pushed me away from a home office and into a completely wireless mobile laptop situation.  I’m sure many of you can relate to that.

So what do you do with all those cords that get left behind – the iPod USB cord; the camera cord; the cords for children’s eReading devices?  You can’t drag them around with you, and you don’t want to look at them all over the house. But, they need to be readily available for when you need them.

First, figure out where you spend most of your time working with your laptop.  For me that is the living room/dining room area.  Not the best place to have cords hanging around.  So, how do you keep them hidden, but available?  I use a round hat box-type of gift box with the lid, and keep it on the bookshelf.  When it is closed up you would never know that there were cords in there and it fits right in with the decor.  And, if you really do need to take them with you out to the porch or upstairs to your desk, they are completely portable and all together. This solution could work well for any non-office type of room. I even keep my back-up hard drive and a few manuals for the eReaders in this box as well.  It’s very handy.

If you have trouble keeping the cords from getting tangled in the box, you can put each one into a cardboard toilet paper roll to keep them separate, or clip them with a binder clip.  Speaking of binder clips…

If your room of choice is an office with a desk and you don’t have room in the drawers or on your shelf for these cords, you can use binder clips to organize the cords.  Clip binder clips to the lip of the desk (preferably the side or back that is out of view) and thread the cord through the silver wire portion of the binder clip so that the larger end of the cord is caught above the binder clip and the wire part of the cord dangles down towards the floor.  You can clip as many cords to the side of your desk that you have room for and they are always accessible and out of the way.  This is also a handy solution for keeping power cords for laptops organized.

Do you have a solution for keeping your wires and cords organized?  I’d love to hear about it.

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