Tag Archive 'tips'

Dec 18 2012

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Holiday Storage Tips: 8 Ways to Store Christmas Decorations – The Garage Plan Shop

Christmas OrnamentsAfter the winter holidays have passed you’ll face the enormous task of packing and storing all of your holiday decorations for next year. Below are eight tips that will make the task go more smoothly than before and make it easier to decorate your home next Christmas.

  1. Christmas lights – At the end of the holiday season take inventory of your holiday lights. Throw away or recycle and strands that no longer work properly. Then, roll each good light strand in a ball and place each ball in a separate plastic bag. Place all of the bags of lights in a plastic storage container preventing moisture damage.
  2. Artificial Christmas tree – The original box your artificial tree came in seems like the most logical storage box. However trying to squeeze the tree back into the box will seem like an impossible task. You’ll have to smash and bend all the branches in order to squeeze the tree back into the box. Also, the cardboard box can deteriorate if subjected to moisture and could also be prone to insect infestation. Instead of using the Christmas tree box, consider purchasing a Christmas tree bag or a commercially available Christmas tree storage box.
  3. Christmas wreaths – Most department and home stores sell holiday wreath storage boxes of various sizes. Make sure you buy the right size storage box because you’ll damage the wreath if you try to squeeze it in a box that’s too small. Also, consider boot boxes. They often work well for medium-sized and smaller Christmas wreaths. Just remember, whatever you use to store your wreaths must be able to maintain the shape of the wreath until next year.
  4. Ornaments – Many holiday ornaments come in individual boxes. It often works best to just repack these ornaments in their original boxes and store together in a large container. Try using other small boxes for homemade ornaments or wrap them in tissue paper and store together in a larger box. For small ornaments, use an egg carton.
  5. Holiday linens – Store each Christmas linen in an individual Zip Lock bag if possible (or tightly wrap larger items in lager plastic bags or trash bags). Place all of your plastic-wrapped linens in a large plastic storage container to prevent moisture damage. Another option to consider is dedicating the top shelf of your storage or linen closet to holiday linens, towels, blankets, pillows etc. Place a few dryer sheets in between your items to keep them smelling fresh until next year.
  6. Decorations that you’ll have to reassemble next year – Before taking down Christmas decorations that you had to assemble in order to display, take pictures of them the way you set them up so you can remember how to do it next year. Then take everything down and or disassemble in the reverse order of the way you set it all up.
  7. Christmas candles – Wrap each candle in an old stocking, sock, tissue paper or a plastic shopping bag to prevent scratching. Store together in a box or storage container. Be sure to store away from heat sources such as an attic where heat could melt the candles.
  8. Label the storage boxes – Tape a detailed list of what is inside each box to the outside of the box so you can quickly determine what is inside when it is time to decorate next year. Clearly number the boxes so you know how many you have (for example, Box 2 of 9). Use the number order to identify which boxes should be unpacked first next winter. Box 1 should be prominently labeled and contain all the things you’ll need at the beginning of the holiday season like your advent calendar and the holiday greeting cards that you’ll be sending to family and friends if you bought them on clearance this year.

With these holiday storage tips and a little planning and effort, you can organize and store your holiday decorations in an efficient manner that will make them easy to find and display next year.

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Dec 28 2011

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Holiday Storage Tips: How to Store Holiday Lights – The Garage Plan Shop

How to Store Christmas LightsThe holidays have passed for another year. Now it is time to pack up your holiday décor and store it in your garage until next year. One task is to store all those holiday lights from front yard light displays, the Christmas tree and other areas of the home. Below are a few ideas to help you pack up your Christmas lights so you don’t find a tangled mess of light strands in box next year.

 

  • Plastic bags – Wrap each strand of lights in a ball and place each ball in an individual plastic bag (any type will do.) Then store all the bags together in a box in the designated space in your garage.
  • Empty Wrapping Paper Tube – Begin by cutting a slit in both ends of a wrapping paper tube. Secure one end of the strand of lights by threading it through the slit. Then, wrap the lights along the tube. Thread the other end of the lights through the slit at the opposite end of the tube.
  • Cardboard Square – Cut a square or rectangle out of heavy duty cardboard. Cut a slit in one side of the square. Then, secure the end of a light strand by threading it through the slit. Wrap the strand of lights around the cardboard and thread the other end of the strand back through the slit. Store all cardboard square together in a clearly labeled box.

 

For more holiday ideas, check out The Garage Plan Shop’s entire collection of holiday blogs.

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Jan 26 2011

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Tips for Choosing the Right Carport Plan – The Garage Plan Shop

Filed under Carport Plans

051G-0027 Carport PlanWhile a carport my seem like a very basic shelter when comparing its function and structure to that of a garage plan designed for the same purpose, protecting automobiles from the elements, it is important to note there is still much to consider before choosing a carport plan. The Garage Plan Shop has provided a list of tips to consider before selecting a carport design to add to your property.

 

1.    Determine if you want the carport connected to the home or situated right beside it. Do you prefer it to be a free-standing shelter positioned some other place in your backyard or on your property? Some carport plans provide an option to connect the sheltered parking area to the home via a convenient breezeway.

2.    Consider the available space you have to work with on your property and what size carport you can accommodate.

3.    Think about how many vehicles you wish to park under the carport or what other items you might wish to shelter such as a boat and trailer, firewood, etc.

4.    Take some time to measure the vehicles you want to park under the carport or items you wish to store. Add extra space on all sides to allow for opening of car doors, hoods, trunks, tailgates, etc. Also allow room for walking between vehicles if you plan to park more than one under the carport.

5.    Do you have additional needs? Should your carport plan offer a storage space? Should it be a drive-thru carport? How many sides of the shelter must remain open? Determine ahead of time all the ways you plan to use the carport. Some designs offer storage closets, four open sides, two open sides, etc. It is important what extra elements you need or must have with your new carport.

6.    Browse carport plans online to find a design that will accommodate your needs. While you may be focused on finding a design that matches the style of your home, concentrate your attention on quality construction, stability and durability.

 

Planning ahead will help you choose the right carport plan for your property.

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Nov 18 2010

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Thanksgiving Food Safety Tips from The Garage Plan Shop

Thanksgiving is fast approaching. If you are preparing the turkey, stuffing and all the fixing for friends and family next week, The Garage Plan Shop wants to share these food safety tips with you, courtesy of Schnucks Supermarkets.

 

  • If you plan to cook a frozen turkey, thaw your turkey in the refrigerator. Allow 24 hours of thawing time for every 4-5 pounds of turkey.
  • Cook your turkey thoroughly. The internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast and the innermost part of the thigh should reach at least 165 degrees F. (If you do not have a meat thermometer, you can purchase one at most grocery stores and department stores.)
  • If you plan to cook your stuffing inside the turkey, follow these guidelines:

                        1. Prepare the stuffing separately, prior to filling the turkey.

                        2. Loosely fill the turkey cavity with stuffing.

                        3. Allow the temperature of the stuffing to reach at least 165 degrees F.

  • Store leftovers in the airtight containers and place them in the refrigerator immediately. Use leftover turkey within four days. Reheat it to 165 degrees F.

 

Following these food safety tips will ensure your family and friends enjoy the delicious holiday meal you serve this Thanksgiving.

 

For more information about food safety, please visit Schnucks’ food safety information page.

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Dec 02 2009

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Tips: Decorating your New Garage with Christmas Lights

Christmas LightsPeople everywhere are starting to get into the holiday spirit. One of the most common ways is by decorating with Christmas lights. An exterior display of Christmas lights can range from a simple strand of white lights framing the garage door to an elaborate display of multi-color lights outlining the entire detached garage and surrounding landscaping. No matter how you plan to decorate the outside of your new garage with holiday lights, these tips will help you hang them with less hassle.

 

1.    You will need a ladder, holiday lights, extension cords, measuring tapes, light clips or hooks, and a hammer. An assistant will come in handy, too.

2.    Start by sketching the outside of your garage and determine what you want to decorate – the gables and eaves, the garage and entry doors, windows, landscaping, etc. Indicate locations of available outlets on your sketch. Measure the width and depth of the garage. Have your assistant record the measurements. Measure the height of bushes and trees you plan to decorate.

3.    Determine how many lights you will need for the project. Most lights come in lengths of 25-200 lights. Decide on a color scheme for your lights and whether you prefer, blinking, chasing lights or solid lights.

4.    Purchase and test lights. Most department stores and home centers carry holiday lights. Buy those rated for outdoor use. They are more weather resistant and usually larger and bolder making them stand out against your garage and landscaping. Test each strand of holiday lights before you hang them. You don’t want to hang all of them only to find some don’t work when you flip the switch.

5.    Hang the lights according to your plan. Securely position light clips or hooks at regular intervals under the eaves of your garage so the lights do not sag. Hang them one strand at a time making sure the strands are tightly connected to one another. You may want to wrap/seal them with electrical tape to help keep rain and snow out. This step will require help from your assistant – holding the ladder, holding strings of lights, etc.

6.    Light the landscaping. Wrap tree trunks and branches with lights. Wind or zigzag lights through each bush. Wrap lights around hardscape features such as gates, trellises and arbors.

7.    Tape down any extension cords so residents and guest do not trip over them.

 

Other Safety Tips

 

1.    Hang lights on a dry day when it is light outside. It reduces the chance of electrical shock and slipping on the ladder.

2.    Make sure your lights rated for exterior use. Interior lights are night designed to withstand the elements such as snow and rain.

3.    Check wires for damage to insulation. Throw away any that are damaged. It is not worth risking a house fire just because you tried to save a couple bucks on cheaply manufactured lights. 

4.    Use plastic light clips or hooks. They are safer for the wires than a staple gun or nails, and  they are easier to remove.

5.    Use multiple outlets to reduce the load on a single outlet.

 

Think Green

 

1.    Considering buying LED lights. They consume 80-90% less energy than traditional incandescent lights and some can last up to 20,000 hours. Also, LEDs are cool to the touch.

2.    Use a timer for your holiday lights. This way you won’t forget to turn them off before bed, and you will save energy by not keeping them lit all night.

 

With these helpful tips, you are on your way to decorating your garage with Christmas lights safely, spreading holiday cheer and doing your part for the environment.

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