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    How to save money by getting organized.

    January 18, 2021 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Monday, January 18, 2021

    Organization saves you money | Schlage

    Organizing your home has many advantages, including boosting your finances. Get our tips for home organization and start saving more money.

     

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    Did you set the New Year’s resolution to get more organized this year? Or maybe it was your partner who gently suggested the family work harder to keep a tidy house. No matter who set the goal, organizing your home has many advantages. A big one is boosting your finances. To help you keep your motivation, remember these ways that organizing your home can save you money. Then learn how to stick to your resolution with the organized shopping tips at the end.
    Family sitting together at table looking at computer.

    How can organizing my home save me money?

    Maintaining our financial wellness plays a huge role in our overall health, not the least of which is helping us reduce stress, improve focus and give a greater sense of control over our lives. Sounds a lot like some of the benefits of getting organized, doesn’t it? Here are some of the top ways staying organized can save you money.

    • Stop buying things you don’t need. A study in 2017 found that Americans spend $2.7 billion dollars a year purchasing duplicates of things they’ve misplaced. We all know the frustration of buying something we thought we’d lost or forgot we already owned, only to find it a few days later. You also won’t buy food you don’t need. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that Americans throw away 30 percent of their food supply, or about one pound per person every day. A well-organized kitchen helps us reduce waste because we know what ingredients we already have, and we can use them before they spoil.
    • Pay your bills on time. If there’s a stack of mail by the door, another on the coffee table, one of the kitchen counter and another on your desk, it’s hard to know what needs your attention. Get your mail organized so that you pay bills on time and avoid late fees and dings to your credit score.
    • Save time. We all know that time is money, right? That 2017 study reported that more than 60 percent of survey respondents were late to work or school in the previous year because they were searching for lost items such as keys, phones, shoes and wallets.
    • Don’t waste money on storage. If your solution to household clutter is to stash it somewhere else, you’re probably losing money. Instead of renting a storage unit for items you don’t use, donate, sell or trash them. This process usually means making some tough decisions, but remember the satisfaction and benefits of an organized life. Even if you don’t rent a storage unit, purchasing bins and other storage “solutions” for unnecessary items can add up, too.
    • Be more financially savvy. Instead of tossing receipts into the bottom of your bag, never to be seen again, file or scan them so you can find them when you need them. You’ll be glad you did if it means getting your money back for an item you need to return or get reimbursed for. An organized system – either physical or digital – for bank statements and other financial records can also help you take control of your money and spend more wisely.

    How can getting organized make shopping easier?

    Many people have reported that when they’re more organized, they shop less. We also know, though, that no amount of organization will keep you out of stores forever. So when you do need to make a purchase, try these tips to keep you on track both with your organization and money-saving goals.

    • Plan your menus. When you know what you’re going to eat for the week, you’ll be able to make a better grocery list. And when you make a better grocery list, you’ll be less likely to overspend on food you don’t need. Take an inventory of your kitchen when you’re making your menu, too. You don’t want to buy chicken if you already have some in the freezer. Having an organized refrigerator and pantry can help with that process.

      Finally, be smart about your menu. If a meal requires special ingredients you don’t normally have on hand, find multiple recipes using that same item so you don’t throw extra away. You can also try what we call cooking in bulk. In other words, figure out how you can use that broccoli as a healthy side, in an Italian pasta bake and in soup. You’ll waste less without feeling like all you did was eat broccoli all week.
    • Make lots of lists. The grocery list is obvious and we’ve already talked about that with your menus. But there are other types of lists that can help you stay organized and on budget, too. Keep a list of your bills so you don’t accidentally miss one and incur late fees. Maintain a gift list year-round. If you always know what loved ones want for their birthday or a holiday, you’ll be able to keep an eye out for deals and purchase items when they’re at their best price. If you’re doing a DIY project, make a list of all the materials and tools you need. Include quantities on your list, too. For example, if your goal is to update your doors and you know you want new levers, start a count. How many doors do you have? Of those, how many require passage levers? How many privacy levers? How many non-turning levers? A good DIY list means fewer return trips to the home improvement store, quicker completion times and less frustration.
    • Keep an inventory of non-perishable essentials. Think toilet paper, sandwich bags and cleaning supplies. Stock them in an organized pantry and then only buy more when they’re on sale. Yes, you might spend a bigger chunk of change in one trip, but you’ll save money in the long run if you only restock when those goods are at their lowest price. If you keep your pantry organized and have a solid inventory, you’ll also know when you don’t need to buy more, even when they’re on sale. And that saves you money, too.
    • Create a budget and write it down. Some people think they only need to create a budget if there’s an unusual expense on the horizon – an upcoming vacation, a major home improvement project, holiday shopping. We think it’s a good idea to have a regular budget to track everyday expenses. You can then check it regularly. If you see you’re overspending on groceries or have been splurging on entertainment, you’ll know how to reel in your behavior and get back on track. It’s hard to make those financial adjustments if you don’t have a written or digital record of where your money is going, though.

    The key to getting and staying organized is creating a routine and healthy habits. To help you with that, we created a list of quick organization tasks you can do each day to keep the clutter under control. Find that guide and more at the Schlage blog.

     

    Say it and celebrate it with a DIY letter board.

    January 15, 2021 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, January 15, 2021

    DIY letter board | Schlage

    Keep reading for some DIY letter board tips and some of our favorite quotes for every time of year.

     

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    Do you love those customizable message boards? They make it so easy to show your personality with a quirky saying or welcome guests at holiday time. If you’re feeling crafty or need some message inspiration, Schlage has you covered. Keep reading for some DIY letter board tips and some of our favorite quotes for every time of year.

    4 ways to make a DIY message board

    Always Rooney used a frame, dowels and wood glue to build a simple message board. The Scrabble-style letters are made with some flat birch wood and stick-on letters.

    A felt letter board gives you all kinds of options beyond just the message. Choose your favorite colors or swap them out by season. Smart Fun DIY shares their hacks for making this one work.
    Another option is a magnetic board. 4 Men 1 Lady installed this one in their kitchen as a message center. We think it would make an excellent start for a holiday board as well. You can use magnetic letters or, because this one also doubles as a dry erase board, to share your favorite quotes.
    A framed chalkboard is another fantastic alternative for a message board and the perfect chance to show off your artistic abilities. DIY Network shows how they turned a thrift store frame into a new, and useful, piece of art.

    Message board ideas

    But what to put on your new message board? Here’s a selection of some of our favorite letter board quotes for holidays, every day and special events.

    New Year’s

    1. 365 new days. 365 new chances.

    2. May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s Resolutions.

    3. Have a cup of cheer.

    4. Dear 2020, Bye Felicia.

    5. Do something today that your future self will thank you for.

    Valentine’s Day

    1. Love is in the air. Nope, that’s bacon.

    2. You’re the exclamation mark in the happiest sentence that I could ever write.

    3. All my better days are the ones spent with you.

    4. A house is made of walls and beams. A home is built with love and dreams.

    5. You’re the cheese to my macaroni.

    St. Patrick’s Day

    1. Shake your shamrock.

    2. The leprechauns made me do it.

    3. Luck is believing you’re lucky.

    4. A good friend is like a four-leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have.

    5. Wishing you a pot o’ gold and all the joy your heart can hold.

    Spring

    1. It’s almost spring. I’m so excited, I wet my plants.

    2. The earth laughs in flowers.

    3. Alexa, skip to spring break.

    4. Some bunny loves you.

    5. How do I like my eggs? Cadbury.

    Mother’s Day

    1. Mom was right about everything.

    2. The beauty you see in me is a reflection of you.

    3. May your coffee be stronger than your toddler.

    4. When I don’t know how to do something, I A. Google it or B. Call my mom.

    5. Mom: A title just above queen.

    Father’s Day

    1. Raising kids is a walk in the park … Jurassic Park.

    2. A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.

    3. Without dads, we wouldn’t have dad jokes.

    4. When my father didn’t have my hand, he had my back.

    5. There’s nothing that dad and duct tape can’t fix.

    Summer

    1. Summer should get a speeding ticket.

    2. Boat waves, sun rays and lake days.

    3. Summer as an adult: You get to do the same old things but sweatier.

    4. Bold stripes, bright stars, brave hearts.

    5. Party like it’s 1776.

    Back to School

    1. The future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow.

    2. Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.

    3. Keep calm and study like Granger.

    4. Dear Tea, No disrespect but this is a job for coffee. – Finals

    5. Education is our passport to the future.

    Fall

    1. At this point, my blood type is PSL.

    2. Thanks, fall. My muffin top is now a pumpkin roll.

    3. You’re never too old to jump into a pile of leaves.

    4. Fall is that beautiful moment between sweat and hypothermia.

    5. Oh my gourd, I love fall.

    Halloween

    1. I put a spell on you and now you're wine.

    2. If zombies are chasing us, I'm tripping you. Nothing personal.

    3. If one door closes and another opens, your house is probably haunted.

    4. Creep it real.

    5. Trick or treat yo’ self.

    Thanksgiving

    1. Grateful for the big things, small things and everything in between.

    2. Gratitude changes everything.

    3. May your turkey be moist … and may no one use that word to describe it.

    4. Thanksgiving: Not a good day to be my pants.

    5. I’m only a morning person on Black Friday.

    Winter

    1. Sweaters, hot chocolate, cozy blankets, baking cookies.

    2. January is like Monday … but longer.

    3. To Do: Make snow angels. Go ice skating. Eat a whole roll of cookie dough. Snuggle.

    4. Hey Elsa? The cold actually bothers the rest of us.

    5. It’s like winter is really mad and keeps storming out of the room and then coming back yelling, “And another thing!”

    Christmas

    1. Just gonna go lay under the tree to remind my family that I am a gift.

    2. Deck the halls with shiplap and freshly cut pine garland, fa la la la la la la la laaaa

    3. Leave me alone. I’m watching Hallmark movies.

    4. Free reindeer poop.

    5. This Christmas instead of gifts, I’m giving everyone my opinion. Get excited.

    New Baby

    1. I’m growing a human. What did you do today?

    2. You don’t realize how many people you dislike until you have to name a baby.

    3. Pink or blue, we love you.

    4. Don’t tell a mom she looks tired. She knows that. Tell her she’s doing a great job. She may not know that.

    5. Nothing in this bag belongs to me. #MomLife

    Home

    1. I’m “I just used the hashtag #garagegoals” years old.

    2. Throw pillows are the stuff animals of grown women.

    3. Sorry about the mess but we live here.

    4. You call it empty nest. I call it new craft room.

    5. I’m at the “admires subway tile” phase of adulthood.

    Just Because

    1. If speaking kindly to plants helps them grow, imagine what speaking kindly to humans can do.

    2. May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.

    3. Less is more. Unless it’s kindness. Or sleep. Or toilet paper.

    4. Do more things that make you forget to check your phone.

    5. Be a fountain, not a drain.

    Home décor, holiday decorations, stylish details and simple how-tos. You can find all this and more at the Schlage blog. We’d love to see your best message boards, too. Share them with us on Instagram.

     

    Cozy up to these electronics for your most comfortable home.

    January 13, 2021 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, January 13, 2021

    Cozy electronics | Schlage

    Here are Schlage’s top picks for appliances, electronics and robots that can make your home feel like a snugger, more inviting place.

     

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    Appliances – those utilitarian contraptions – can make your home cozy. You read that right. If your first thoughts of technology go to convenience and utility, you’re not alone. You’re not totally wrong, either, but we’d like to expand your minds a bit. Here are Schlage’s top picks for appliances, electronics and robots that can make your home feel like a snugger, more inviting place.
    Woman in loungewear sitting on couch looking at phone.

    For the bedroom

    Cordless electric blanket

    If you’re looking for a big electric comforter, this isn’t it. We like this smaller battery-operated heated blanket because there’s no cord to get tangled in and when you get up in the morning, you can fight off that last chill by taking it with you. And because you don’t have to be plugged into an outlet, it can even go with you outside.

    Humidifier

    If you suffer from dry skin, irritated eyes or respiratory symptoms – all things that keep you from feeling comfy and cozy – you might benefit from a humidifier. Even a small model like this one from Pore can provide relief on a budget.

    ROGNAN robotic furniture

    Designed for small spaces, this robotic furniture from IKEA can help add usable square footage to a room. With the push of a button, your bed slides underneath a “walk-in” closet, giving you more than 80 more square feet when it’s retracted. Think of all the ways you could use that extra space. You might have to wait a bit longer before it’s in U.S. markets, but it’s worth keeping an eye on.

    Cozy bathroom

    For the bathroom

    Towel warmer

    One of the most common tips for creating a spa-like bathroom is to get plush towels. Go one step farther in the cozy department by warming them up, either with a heated towel rack or warmer cabinet.

    Bidet

    They’ve never been very popular in America, although there was increased interest during The Great TP Shortage of 2020. In terms of comfort and coziness, high-end bidets come with “nice warm air,” according to one NPR interview. You can go for luxury or an easy-to-install attachment bidet for less money.

    Heated floor mat:

    We picked this for the bathroom because cold tiles on bare feet is the exact opposite of cozy. You can find rubberized, non-slip options, which would make it extra safe for damp bathrooms, but we also like this one that’s designed to go under rugs. It’ll keep your bathroom – or living room, bedroom or playroom – looking stylish and feeling pleasantly toasty.

    Cozy living room.

    For the living room

    Anti-fatigue LED strip lights

    It seems like we’re all suffering from eye strain due to screen time. If you want to wind down with your favorite show, try LED strip lights you stick on the back of your television. It’ll set a dramatic mood and help those eyes at the same time.

    Samsung Frame TV

    If the mere sight of electronics leaves you feeling cold, devices like The Frame that hide their true function might be for you. It’s a television when you want it and a piece of art when you don’t, adding that touch of beauty you’ve been missing.

    White kitchen with herringbone backsplash tile.

    For the kitchen

    Drink maker

    Whether it’s coffee or tea, whether you’re drinking it now or simply enjoying the smell, a high-end brewer can change your mood quickly. Don’t deprive yourself just because you aren’t going to the coffeeshop every day. Reviewed.com shares its list of best coffee makers and grinders.

    Touchless trash can

    If touching germy surfaces leaves you feeling anything but cozy and stinky kitchen trash makes you queasy, you’ll appreciate a touchless trash can. This trash/recycling bin combo from NINESTARS is a favorite on Amazon.

    Cozy backyard patio.

    For outside

    Outdoor heater

    We predict outdoor heaters will be flying off the shelves in the wake of the coronavirus, so if this intrigues you, don’t wait too long. When cabin fever sets in or you’re looking for a safer way to visit with friends outside, an outdoor space heater would make all the difference between a pleasant evening out and a frozen social misstep.

    Smart lock

    Sometimes what makes your home cozy is the knowledge that everything is as it should be. With a smart lock, you’ll find the peace of mind that helps you relax and enjoy the haven that is your home.

    Portable ethanol fueled fireplace on living room coffee table.

    For anywhere in the home

    Portable fireplace

    No chimney or gas hookup? No problem. A ventless bio-ethanol fireplace from Anywhere Fireplaces can be used anywhere indoors, and you don’t have to worry about installing inserts or dealing with smoke. They have tabletop and wall-mounted models to help make any space cozier.

    Companion robot

    There are so many robots available right now that promise to provide companionship and social interaction. Unlike Alexa or a Google Assistant, some can initiate conversations and ask how your day went as well as provide requested information. Some might even be soft and cuddly. Artificial intelligence isn’t something to fear, so check out the right home robots that will make life more comfortable, convenient and perhaps even cuddly.

    Litter box

    If the only thing standing between you and a cozy home is smelly kitty litter, we’ve got the scoop for you. An automatic cat litter box can make life more pleasant when you have to scoop less and smell less odor. Your finicky feline friend might appreciate it, too.

    Find more ways to make your home the comforting oasis you want it to be at the Schlage blog.

     

    6 easy steps for keeping your home clean with pets.

    January 12, 2021 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, January 12, 2021

    Clean home with pets | Schlage

    Check out these six tips for a stylish and clean house, even when you have pets. And because your Schlage writers and editors are huge animal lovers, we also share real-life insider hints to make your life easier.

     

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    They’re cute and cuddly and man’s best friend and we love them. They’re also messy. Whether you’re a long-time pet owner or adopted your first rescue during quarantine, we could all use a little help keeping our homes clean with four-legged friends. Check out these six tips for a stylish and clean house, even when you have pets. And because your Schlage writers and editors are huge animal lovers, we also share real-life insider hints to make your life easier.
    Cat in cat house in living room.

    Corral pet supplies

    To keep your home from feeling cluttered and dirty, invest in some storage for all your pet’s gear. You can camouflage it by having it blend in with the rest of your décor, maybe by matching the dog’s basket to the others holding hats and umbrellas in the coat closet. This might be a perfect opportunity to have some extra fun with your storage solutions, though. Choose dog tail hooks for holding leashes or a cat-shaped storage basket that’s almost too cute to pass up. This nautical storage would be gorgeous and effective for stashing fish food and supplies.

    It’s not just about storage, though. Think about having a single location for all the supplies, even those your pet uses every day. For example, their food bowls, litter box and carrier might be corralled in the same room. Just like most people don’t like to see their kids’ toys strewn all over the house because it looks messy, you’ll want to keep Fluffy’s belongings collected.

     

    Editor’s Pick: Instead of having a giant tub of pet food sitting out all the time, I put smaller quantities in a ceramic jar near their bowl. It blended in with the rest of the kitchen and was handy for easy feedings. I picked the jar up at a thrift store, too, making it budget-friendly.

    Groom pets regularly

    When you groom your pets regularly, either by bathing or simply brushing, you’ll limit the hairy trail they leave behind. Extra-fluffy pets and doggos that like to roll in the leaves also collect plenty of debris in their fur. Brushing and checking for bugs regularly will keep them from tracking it throughout the house and bringing pests indoors.

    Dog getting groomed with brush.
    Editor’s Pick: I love this grooming glove for cats and dogs. We hear it even works on rabbits. Tripawd Gus sheds a ton for shorthair tabby and it helps keep the tumbleweeds under control. He loves the feel of it, too.

    Gus the cat taking a nap

    Here’s a second tip we learned too late. Plan to vacuum after brushing instead of the other way around. That way, any hair that escapes the glove or brush will get picked up right away and you only have to sweep once. And if you brush them before you get dressed for the day, you won’t have to lint roll your clothes, either.

    Create a dog washing station

    Part of keeping your home clean is keeping the worst of the dirt out in the first place. If you have an indoor/outdoor pet, create a cleaning station to wipe muddy paws before they hit the carpet. It might be fancy like this one by Oliver Designs or more simply made with things you already have around the house. A basket with old towels, paw cleaner and, of course, a few treats by the entryway is basic but can make a big impact on your overall cleaning routine.

    Editor’s Pick: Consider adding shake-friendly flooring and wall materials in your entryway. We didn’t have a true dog-washing station or a covered porch, which meant our Labrador, Vader, shook all the rain off right inside the door. The ceramic tile was easy to clean and saved the living room carpet, but I still wish we’d invested in wall tile or a similar covering that was easier to maintain.

    Design with pets in mind

    When you keep furry and feathered friends in mind when decorating your home, you’ll help keep them safe. You’ll also protect your home from the wear and tear that comes with pet ownership. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

    Dog laying in bed with toilet paper.
    • Toilet paper covers: If your pet unfurled or shredded the roll during the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020, you know the struggle is real. A toilet paper holder that hides the roll could work for you. Other pet owner suggestions include a vertical dispenser, which can be harder for some pets to unravel, or placing the dispenser higher and out of paw’s reach. This last one is controversial, but we’ll say it anyway. Place the roll so it dispenses from underneath. It won’t work for all pets, but it’s worth a shot.

    • Patterned fabrics: Dark rugs and fabrics don’t always hide dirt as well as we think they will, and if you have a white cat, you’ll see every last hair all the time. Patterned fabrics will do a better job of hiding everyday messes while also adding style to your décor.

    • Easy-to-clean paint: When painting your walls, choose a satin or semi-gloss finish. These are easier to clean than most flat paints. They’re also relatively easy to touch up if claws and swinging tails cause damage.

    • Metal over wood: If you have a chewer on your hands – here’s looking at you puppy owners – consider furniture with metal legs instead of wood. They’ll be less likely to gnaw on them and even if they do, the damage will be less.

    • Indoor/outdoor rugs: They might not be as lush as a Persian rug, but most indoor/outdoor rugs now come in a range of colors and styles to fit the look of nearly any room. They’re also more durable and easier to clean, making it a good fit for nearly any pet.
    Editor’s Pick: When I found the super-mischievous Gus sitting in my crockpot – he knows how to open cabinet doors – I invested in these childproof locks. Now I don’t find cat hair in my pots and pans, and he’s safer being kept away from the cleaning supplies I store under the sink. Plus, they locks are the same color as my cabinets, so it still looks great.

    Gus the cat next to a pumpkin

    Choose your scoop wisely

    No one likes to scoop the litter box, but if you want to keep the odor down, you’ll have to do it often. How often depends on your cat’s biology and how many you have. If tracking is an issue, investigate different kinds of litter. We know cats can be picky about what touches those precious toe beans, but it might be worth some trial and error if it means you can sweep less and play more. Finally, get a small trash can with a lid. The lid controls odor and the small size means you’re forced to empty it regularly before the smell builds up too much.

    Cat toe beans
    Editor’s Pick: I’ve tried recycled newspaper pellets and more traditional clumping litter. There was less tracking with the pellets, although it didn’t eliminate the mess completely. My cats weren’t picky about using either one, but I ultimately opted for the traditional litter because it scooped better. Then I commissioned knitted reusable Swiffer pads from a friend for easy and environmentally friendly cleaning.

    Invest in a pet-friendly vacuum and use it frequently

    Vacuums that do more than just say they’re tough on pet hair will probably cost a bit more, but you’ll be glad you spent the extra money when it does the job right. Pick a model that works best with your home and type of pet. That means that if you have carpeted stairs and a Great Pyrenees dog, get a vacuum that’s lightweight or with a good attachment for collecting all that floof. If you have a bird, look for a vacuum that does a good job of collecting heavier material like seed and nuts. Maybe you want a vacuum that’s extra quiet so your skittish kitty doesn’t run for the hills every time you turn it on. Whatever you choose, use that vacuum on rugs, curtains, lamps shades and in your car, not just floors and couch cushions.

    Red chow chow dog on blue couch.

    Family Handyman recommends vacuuming daily when you have pets. To be honest, that sounds like a lot if you have a life, so maybe try to vacuum those high-traffic areas – your pet’s favorite rug or spot on the couch – daily and save the rest for later.

     

    Editor’s Pick: I use this small handheld vacuum for tight spaces and in between full vacuuming. It’s been great for picking up kitty litter that escapes the box and for quick spot cleans on the couch. Plus, as much as I love my hand-me-down Dyson, it’s heavy. This hand vac has been invaluable for cleaning the 18 stairs in my home. Yes, I’ve counted.

     

    Pet ownership is a lot of work, but we wouldn’t trade it for the world. Know how to go the extra mile for your fur babies. Visit the Schlage blog for tips on moving with pets, keeping them safe during holidays and even designing the perfect dog-friendly porch. Know a new pet owner? Congratulate them with something from our gift guide.

     

    Beat electronic clutter with these 5 digital organization steps.

    January 11, 2021 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Monday, January 11, 2021

    Digital organization | Schlage

    You won’t regret making your smart devices easier to use, your technology more convenient and your online presence more secure. Here are our top five ways to organize your digital footprint.

     

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    Decluttering and organizing can do wonders for your state of mind, your wallet and the health of your home. While some organizational tasks are obvious, others are less top-of-mind. Don’t forget to organize your digital life. You won’t regret making your smart devices easier to use, your technology more convenient and your online presence more secure. Here are our top five ways to organize your digital footprint.
    Woman using MacBook surrounded by paper charts and cat.

    Cell phone

    Contacts

    Delete contacts you no longer need. It’s not mean. But who needs the number of an ex or a former colleague you haven’t talked to in five years and didn’t really like in the first place? For the remaining contacts, make the appropriate updates. This includes new phone numbers, physical mailing addresses or email addresses as well as changes in names if they have a new marital status. If you collect business cards for work, add that info to your phone and pitch the physical card.

    Apps

    Delete the apps you no longer use. Maybe it’s a game you’ve gotten tired of or a recipe bank you abandoned because it didn’t actually help you stay organized. You might like to group the remaining apps into folders. For example, apps for restaurants, grocery stores and social media each go into their own folder. Your screen will look cleaner and you’ll be able to get to TikTok that much faster.

    Photos

    Pictures add up quickly on our phones. Sort through them and delete any that are real gems. If you took a picture of something for record keeping – recipes, things you want to buy later, the IKEA tag so you knew where to find it in the warehouse – either store that information somewhere more secure and easier to find or trash it. For those pictures you love, back them up for more secure storage, have them printed for framing or a photo album, or both.

    Email

    Newsletters and blogs

    Our interests change over time and what was useful or fun to read before might not be anymore. Unsubscribe from any mailings you delete without opening. If you don’t want to unsubscribe completely, see if there’s a frequency option. Some companies give you the option to receive their newsletter daily, weekly or monthly.

    Old emails

    We all keep old emails thinking we’ll reference them again later. Some, like a note from a loved one, are nice to keep for nostalgia. Others can be sent to trash, though. These tracking codes for packages you’ve already received, instructions for a DIY project you’ve completed (or won’t attempt … be honest) or anything random you simply forgot to delete.

    Folders

    Did you create folders in your inbox to help you stay organized? Chances are that the only thing that really accomplished was hiding your email clutter. Go through those folders and delete old, unnecessary emails like you did for your inbox. Be honest with yourself and if that folder isn’t being as helpful as you thought it would, delete the entire thing.

    Contacts

    Just like you did with your phone, remove contacts you no longer need. You might also be able to combine duplicate listings or remove ones with outdated email addresses.

    Computer

    Documents and records

    We tend to store unnecessary files longer than necessary, perhaps even more than paper records since we don’t see them physically. Organizing isn’t just about deleting, though. You also want to add appropriate updates. If you have a new home inventory, save an updated file somewhere secure on your computer. Go through all the files you have on your computer, even those in the folders you forgot you created.

    Downloads

    Chances are that you have lots of downloads you used once and promptly forgot about. Delete those takeout menus, apps and pictures you’ll never use again or that are outdated.

    Desktop files and folders

    We often save something to our desktop to find it easily later. Either delete it or move it to the appropriate folder (Hint: that doesn’t mean just throw it in a “Miscellaneous” desktop folder). Take care of those random folders, too. Everyone who has a “New folder” and a “New folder (2)” knows what we’re talking about. Just like you want to keep your physical desktop free of clutter, a clean computer desktop makes it easier to find the necessary files and can improve security.

    Backups

    Back up important files – medical records, home inventory, insurance information – on the cloud or somewhere secure other than on your computer. This will help make sure you still have access to key documents in the event that your computer is stolen or damaged in a natural disaster.

    Bookmarks

    Purge your internet browser bookmarks. Personally, that usually means deleting links to recipes I tried and won’t ever make again. Some of those links might be broken anyway. This might be a good time to clear your browser’s search history, too.

    Social Media

    Unfollow

    Just like you unsubscribed from e-newsletters you’re no longer interested in, unfollow pages that don’t catch your attention anymore. Or if there’s an account that upsets you more than tickles your fancy – a news outlet that just brings you down – unfollow them, too. If you don’t want to walk away completely, some social media will let you “snooze” an account for 30 days. If you find you didn’t miss not seeing them, that’s usually a good sign you can unlike them for good.

    Unfriend

    Friends who aren’t really friends don’t need to clutter your wall. It’s ok to remove them from your feed. They probably won’t even notice.

    Settings

    Double-check your privacy settings. Platforms change their policies and options over time. Make sure you’re still getting the security you want.

    Streaming services

    Old shows

    Delete shows from your list that you’ve already watched. Do the same with those you abandoned partway through because you didn’t like them and those you added to the list a year ago but are still unwatched. If you haven’t watched them yet, even when you were quarantining, you probably never will. Stop letting them clutter up your queue.

    New shows

    If you’ve mentally stored show recommendations from friends or have that list of “100 classic movies to see before you die,” add those to your list now. It might solve the endless scrolling trying to decide what to watch later.

    Settings

    If you share an account with friends or family, decide now if you’re still ok with that setup. Remove anyone from the account that doesn’t need to be on it. Change passwords as necessary. Some services also allow for child settings. Tighten or loosen those restrictions as needed, too.

    Unsubscribe

    If you just never watch Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime/whatever anymore, cancel your subscription and save yourself some money.

    Once you’ve tackled organizing your technology, you’re in prime position to get the rest of your home in order. Try these jobs you can do in just a few minutes to get – and stay – organized year-round.

     

    Small ways to avoid a big mess: 9 quick steps to getting organized.

    January 8, 2021 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, January 8, 2021

    Quick organization routines | Schlage

    Instead of getting bogged down by the magnitude of the job, trying breaking your organizational goals into bite-sized tasks.

     

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    Declaring that this is the year you finally get organized can suddenly feel overwhelming. The intention is good, but now you have to make it happen. Instead of getting bogged down by the magnitude of the job, trying breaking your organizational goals into bite-sized tasks. Tackle smaller messes in just a few minutes every day to avoid more time-consuming deep cleaning sessions. These nine quick steps to organization can get you started.
    Dog watching man put clothes in drawer.

    Create a daily to-do list

    At the end of each day, make a checklist of what you need to accomplish tomorrow. This will help you remember those small jobs, plus keep your mind decluttered while you’re balancing all the other responsibilities. If it’s a larger task, list the smaller steps you need to take to be successful. Not only will the project seem less daunting, but you’ll also feel better about the progress you make along the way and be more likely to actually complete it.

    Find a home for everything – and put it there

    If you don’t want to be surrounded by clutter, you need a designated spot for your belongings. And then you need to actually put them there. Bills won’t get misplaced, your keys won’t go missing and kids’ homework will (maybe) get turned in on time when they’re stored in the right place.

     

    Your home will also look cleaner when everything is in its designated place. Throw blankets and pillows should go in a basket or back on the appropriate chair or couch. Coats should go in the closet or on a hook. Shoes should go in the boot tray or rack in the closet. Small kitchen appliances can be stored after use to keep counters clear. Each of these tasks can be completed in a few minutes, but the result will look like you put in a lot more effort.

     

    If you aren’t sure where something’s “home” is, think about grouping like items together where you use them most often. This might mean toiletries in a bin for the bathroom linen closet, or you might give each person in the family their own basket for hats, gloves, sunglasses or umbrellas in the entryway.

     

    There are plenty of simple DIY organization solutions if you don’t already have what you. Try creating a landing strip for items you need to get out of the house quickly in the mornings, install a command center or repurpose items from around the house to work better with your new, cleaner lifestyle.

    Clear off surfaces

    One surefire way to feel like you’re constantly surrounded by clutter is to always see things on tables, countertops and desks. When you get up in the morning, remove anything that’s not immediately needed from your nightstand. Especially if you work from home, tidy up your desktop when you call it quits for the day. It’s hard to unwind and disconnect from work if you can still see those files when you should be relaxing. And of course, there’s the coffee table. Magazines that are more than a month or two old, dishes, the kids’ craft projects should all be cleared off regularly to keep your home looking and feeling sharp.

    Organize one drawer at a time

    Our gut reaction when it comes to getting organized is often one of being overwhelmed. Try not to fall into the trap of thinking you have to KonMari every closet in one night. Organize one drawer at a time. You might start with one dresser drawer. Once you’re through those, tackle each kitchen drawer individually, then each desk drawer and each file cabinet drawer. In most cases, you’ll finish the one-drawer job within a few minutes, maybe even while you’re waiting for the kids to finish brushing their teeth.

    Clean one bag

    Just like you’re going to tackle one drawer at a time, do the same with your bags. It could be a purse, backpack, computer bag or gym bag. Take out items you don’t need, restock things you use regularly like breath mints, wipe out any crumbs or lint, and deodorize as needed. Because we said gym bags.

    Take notes

    It’s a good idea to carry a small notebook or use a note-taking app on your phone. Use it to track your to-do and shopping lists, errands you need to run, people you need to call or email, and random ideas you get throughout the day. Most of us can’t remember all that information reliably and we feel less cluttered mentally when we have a backup.

     

    Just as importantly, keep these notes stored in one place. If you rely on scribbles on the back of a receipt or post-its throughout the house, you’re likely to feel disorganized as you endlessly search for that one note … I swear it was right here!

    Manage your calendar

    The benefits here are twofold. First, when you learn to budget your time better and can see what’s coming down the pike, you’ll be more likely to schedule and stick to your new organization routines. Second, you’ll be better able to spend time where it matters most.

     

    Use your calendar to RSVP to invites as soon as possible. That doesn’t mean always saying yes, though. Knowing when to turn down an opportunity can free you for more time with the family or recharge for your own health.

    Clean out your wallet

    If you keep receipts, ticket stubs or other scraps of paper your kids hand you throughout the day, you’ll want to declutter your wallet before it gets too unwieldly. File your receipts or scan them if you need them for future reference or reimbursements. If you still carry cash, make sure you didn’t spend the last of it and remove the heavy collection of coins. You might also clean and disinfect the wallet itself occasionally, too. We’re guessing it doesn’t happen often enough.

    Pick one thing and put it away

    If it’s all getting to be just too much, go for the easy win. Pick one thing and put it away. It could be tossing out that one piece of junk mail or putting the dirty bowl in the dishwasher instead of leaving it on the counter. Low-hanging fruit still tastes sweet.

     

    When you’re looking for more tips for getting – and staying – organized, the Schlage blog has you covered. We share not only how to keep your home clean and healthy, but also DIY projects to help make your organizational goals a success. Find us at Schlage.com/blog or on Pinterest and Instagram.

     

    Keep your home healthy with these 10 quick cleaning routines.

    January 7, 2021 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Thursday, January 7, 2021

    Quick cleaning routines | Schlage

    Don’t wait for April to do your spring cleaning. Build these 10 habits into your regular cleaning routine now.

     

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    Every year, countless Americans set the same New Year’s resolution: To clean and organize their home. One of the best ways to keep that resolution is to break it down into manageable, bite-sized jobs. Tackle small messes before they become big and overwhelming. Adopt the mindset that you don’t have to make everything perfect right now and chip away at your to-do list a little bit each day. With that in mind, don’t wait for April to do your spring cleaning, either. Build these 10 habits into your regular cleaning routine now.
    Little girl sweeping the floor.

    Clean and sanitize high-touch surfaces

    Disinfecting is top-of-mind for many of us these days and for good reason. Pay special attention to the items you touch frequently – there are probably more than you realize – and clean them regularly. Think remote controls, computer keyboards, light switches, door and cabinet handles, knobs and buttons on kitchen appliances and the nozzles on soap dispensers. Before using chemicals on anything, check the manufacturer’s instructions. Some cleaning solutions can damage finishes or cause electronics to malfunction. Here are Schlage’s suggestions for how to clean and disinfect door hardware.

    Make the bed

    It’s a quick job that starts your day on the right foot. If you get nothing else done all day, at least you can cross this one off your list. You’ll also feel better coming home to relax when you see a fresh, nicely made-up bad each night instead of a rumpled reminder of one more unfinished chore.

    Take off shoes and put them where they belong

    We step in a lot of questionable things throughout the day. If you don’t take your shoes off when you get home, you’re just tracking all that dirt and grime into your home. Get a stylish door mat for your porch or garage entry and remove your shoes when you come in. Go the extra … ahem … step and put them away immediately, whether that’s on a boot tray inside the door or in your bedroom closet. Your home will feel less cluttered and, therefore, cleaner.

    Clean as you go

    We said before not to let messes accumulate. The smaller ones are easier to tackle, so we recommend cleaning as you go about your day. When making dinner, wipe the counters and stovetop before food splatter has a chance to get baked on. When you’ve finished your morning bathroom routine, wipe down those counters, the sink and even the inside of the shower to minimize the appearance of water droplets and mildew.

     

    This rule applies to special projects, too. Whether gardening or working on a DIY project, clean your tools as soon as you’re done. It will help keep them in good working condition and your garage will look tidier. If it’s a craft project like scrapbooking or sewing, put your supplies back in their designated spot to stay organized.

    Avoid pileups

    Do you fall victim to these three common home maintenance jams? Piles of laundry, stacked dishes and heaps of mail can make your home feel messy, not to mention leave you frazzled. Instead of leaving all your laundry for a weekend marathon, commit to doing a load twice a week. Also commit to putting away clean clothes as soon as they’re dry. You’ll feel better about not stringing the chore out for days.

     

    Lots of experts recommend running the dishwasher every day. Depending on the size of your family, that might not be realistic. Personally, we don’t have enough dirty dishes at the end of the day to make it worth the water. Still, making sure there are no dirty dishes on the counter or in the sink can go a long way toward keeping your kitchen spotless and inviting.

     

    Because we all have things we need or want to do when we get home at the end of the day – start dinner, play with the kids, put our feet up with a glass of wine for a few minutes – we don’t think it’s necessary to open every piece of mail immediately. However, it does help to do a cursory sort sooner rather than later. An editor at The Spruce put a shredder near her door to eliminate the eye sore of junk mail piles. A basket at your entryway’s landing strip is also helpful for containing the mail that still needs attention.

    Get rid of junk drawers

    Junk drawers are great for collecting miscellaneous items. However, they can also hurt our organization goals when they cause us to keep things we don’t need. According to Apartment Therapy, one of the reasons Scandinavian-style homes often look so clean is because they don’t have a ton of storage space. That forces them to dispense with the clutter and only keep what’s necessary. Try ditching the junk drawer and find a legitimate home for your items. If you can’t figure out where to store something, re-evaluate how much you actually need it in your life.

    Get an upstairs/downstairs basket

    If you’re tired of making hundreds of trips up and down the steps every day just to put things away, place a basket at either end of your stairs. As you find another toy that needs to go down to the play room or a book that belongs up in the office, toss it in. When the basket gets full, make one trip and put each item where it belongs. That’s fewer steps for you and less clutter accumulating on the floor or ledge by the stairs.

    Start at the top

    When cleaning, it’s usually a good idea to start at the top and work your way down. That could mean cleaning the ceilings, then touching up any scuffs on the wall, then the baseboards and finally the floor. Maybe it’s dusting the top bookshelves and working your way down, letting the dust settle before you vacuum the floors. Yours truly always wipes down the kitchen counters before vacuuming so that any crumbs that fall still get picked up.

     

    Use the same concept if you’re cleaning a house with pets . Groom your furry friends first, then vacuum to catch any hair or clippings that might have escaped.

    Limit hard-to-clean textiles

    With so many textures, colors and patterns, fabrics are a great way to add style and comfort to your home. We’ve recommended upholstered headboards more than once, especially if you’re into Art Deco style. Unfortunately, they can also collect a lot of dust and be difficult to clean. Make it easier to maintain your home’s cleanliness by choosing textiles strategically. Opt for area rugs where you need cozy toes instead of wall-to-wall carpet. Choose an accent wall or large artwork instead of a headboard or bed canopy.

    Shine mirrors regularly

    A dull mirror is a surefire way to make the rest of your home also look dull. Whether it’s just a buildup of dust and everyday dirt on a foyer mirror or toothpaste splatter in the bathroom, take time to buff your mirrors regularly. Use a microfiber cloth, coffee filter or old T-shirt instead of a regular rag, which can leave lint behind and ruin your hard work.

     

    Need help keeping your DIY New Year’s resolutions? We can help. Also watch the Schlage blog for a new home improvement checklist each month. These small steps spread out over time will help you stay organized and keep your home looking great now and for years to come.

     

    Home improvement projects to complete in January.

    January 6, 2021 6:15 AM by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, January 6, 2021

    January home improvement checklist | Schlage

    Use this checklist of DIY and home improvement projects to keep everything working efficiently, looking stylish and protecting your family.

     

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    A new year brings new opportunities, even for your home. Use this checklist of DIY and home improvement projects to keep everything working efficiently, looking stylish and protecting your family. We also have some ideas to help you plan for the future, impact your community and make smarter purchases on the things you need for your home.
    Modern farmhouse winter front porch.

    Indoor home checklist

    Check these items off your to-do list when heading outside just doesn’t sound fun.

    Modern farmhouse living room.

    checkbox Check safety devices and replace batteries.

    This includes smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as well as fire extinguishers, radon detectors and smart locks. Make sure they’re still working and install new ones as necessary.

     

    checkbox Protect pipes from freezing.

    Frozen pipes can burst, which can then lead to leaks, flooding and headaches. Insulate your pipes and keep your thermostat consistent and no lower than 55 degrees, even if you’re away. Keeping your garage door closed can help, too.

     

    checkbox Improve lighting.

    Long winter nights can feel less dreary with better indoor lighting. Change your bulbs or install new lighting in a dark corner. Clean your lampshades or switch to ones that let more light through. The extra illumination will not only improve your mood but can improve your security, too. Place your lights on an automatic timer to make your home look lived in.

     

    checkbox Refresh play spaces.

    Organize board games, clear out toys the kids don’t use or were replaced with recent gifts and raise the coziness of your home theater. There’s still a lot of winter left, so now’s a great time to give these spaces a lift.

     

    checkbox Organize closets.

    Declutter to start the new year with a fresh outlook. Your bedroom closet is the obvious place to tackle, but don’t forget linen and storage closets, entryway and coat closets, and even that weird little one in the basement that looks like the entrance to a troll house.

     

    checkbox Create a healthy kitchen.

    If this is the year you eat healthier, set your kitchen up to help you succeed. Beyond clearing the junk food out of the pantry, look at your floorplan. Do you have enough workspace so you can prep healthy meals? If not, find ways to clear the countertops. Purge unused appliances and solve your storage dilemmas for all those serving utensils, Tupperware lids and baking sheets. Improve cabinets with pull-out shelving and lazy susans to help you find things more easily so it’s less of a hassle to cook.

     

    checkbox Maintain hardware.

    Clean your door hardware to start and use it as an opportunity to inspect it really well. If it doesn’t latch correctly, the knob tends to come off in your hand or there are dings and scratches in the finish, consider replacing it. It’s a quick and simple job, perfect for the post-holiday bustle.

     

    checkbox Conquer hidden dirt.

    All those places that rarely see a rag – under the toaster oven, behind the fridge, beneath the couch cushions, behind the toilet? Now’s the time to give them a good scrub, vacuum and shine.

     

    checkbox Update or create a home inventory.

    A home inventory can be extremely useful for insurance purposes. After the holidays is a great time to update it and make sure new items are recorded.

     

    checkbox Organize paperwork.

    Focusing on two areas here. First, cull through warranties and instruction manuals. Toss those that are no longer valid or that go with items you don’t own anymore. Second, collect financial records and anything else you’ll need to do your taxes. Remember your digital records as well as paper copies.

    Outdoor home checklist

    With colder weather, it’s good to keep your outdoor to-do list short. Even in winter, though, here are four things you’ll want to take care of to keep your home safe.

    Modern farmhouse exterior during winter.

    checkbox Maintain trees and bushes.

    Although we don’t think of landscaping in January, you’ll want to inspect trees and bushes for winter storm damage. Knock heavy snow from branches. If there are weak spots in the branches or trunk, trim them or call in a pro to remove them before they fall and cause damage to your home, car or someone visiting.

     

    checkbox Inspect for storm damage.

    Especially if you had harsh December weather, check the exterior of your home for damage caused by ice, snow and wind. Keep an eye out for missing shingles, damage to brickwork and siding, and leaks.

     

    checkbox Start planting

    Yes, you can grow flowers and vegetables in January. What you grow depends on your zone. For the really cold regions, focus on indoor herbs. Warmer locales can start seeds for tomatoes, peppers and onions indoors and have them ready to transplant when the temps rise.

     

    checkbox Remove holiday decorations.

    When you’re ready to call an end to the festivities, pack everything up and take this chance to get rid of décor that doesn’t bring you joy. If you didn’t display it this year, donate it. For the items you do keep, label boxes clearly, wind light strings neatly and organize everything as much as possible to make next year’s holiday even easier.

    For the future

    Some projects require a bit of extra planning. Start thinking about these tasks for upcoming months.

    Cozy decor with wooden blocks spelling home.

    checkbox Plan major remodeling and decorating projects.

    Start with a dream list, then whittle it down based on your plans for the new year and what you can handle. Do you plan to sell your home in the next 12 months? Will your family grow or will kids move out? Is retirement and downsizing on the horizon? Are you going to adopt a puppy and need better fencing? You might also want to create a budget and a strategy for saving up for those bigger jobs.

     

    checkbox Set fun New Year’s resolutions.

    Skip the “lose 10 pounds” goals and try something like “learn how to refinish an old side table” or “grow a vegetable garden.” Then check out this step-by-step guide to keeping your DIY resolutions.

    For the greater good

    Lend a helping hand to someone in need or just to make them smile.

    Person shoveling snow.

    checkbox Shovel a neighbor’s driveway.

    Whether it’s an elderly neighbor worried about slipping on ice or someone who just hates to be in the cold, clearing their drive is an incredibly nice gesture. Make them happy, keep them safe, maybe get a plate of thank-you cookies for your effort.

     

    checkbox Make time for yourself.

    In the holiday chaos, you might have forgotten what it’s like to just relax. Carve out some time and a calming spot at home to do something just for you.

    In case you missed it

    We get it. Some things just don’t get done when you want them to. Here are a few home DIY projects you probably wish you’d taken care of earlier this winter.

    Modern farmhouse exterior with snow on roof.

    checkbox Update your emergency kit

    Restock your first aid kit and make sure you have plenty of back-up supplies in the event of extended power outages from winter storms. At a minimum, you’ll want a flashlight with extra batteries, portable cell phone charger, non-perishable food and water, and spare blankets.

     

    checkbox Prevent ice damming.

    An ice dam traps the snow and can cause leaks around your roof line. Use a roof or snow rake to remove the snow and ice after each storm.

    Time to buy

    Looking for a great deal on home goods, electronics or tools? Some items are best purchased at specific times of the year. Here are some of the items Consumer Reports says are great buys in January.

    New kitchen stove.

    checkbox Appliances: Wall ovens, humidifiers

     

    checkbox Electronics: Televisions, sound bars

     

    checkbox Fitness equipment: Elliptical machines, treadmills

     

    checkbox Home goods: Bedsheets, scales

     

    We know there’s a lot on this list and you might not have much experience with some of the tasks. Find advice and how-to guides for a variety of DIY projects at the Schlage blog.

     

    15 robots you’ll want to bring home in 2021.

    January 5, 2021 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, January 5, 2021

    Home robots | Schlage

    You'll want to keep an eye on these 15 robots in 2021 that will make your home cleaner, healthier and better for families.

     

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    In 2021, it will be impossible to talk about technology without mentioning robots for the smart home, especially those that make our homes cleaner, healthier and better for our families. That’s exactly where most robotic companies see the industry headed, shifting from machines for efficiency to devices for safety. After the year we’ve had, we’re pretty excited to see both with these 15 robots to check out in the new year.
    Roomba in living room.

    Robots “maid” for you

    In a recent poll, more than 70 percent of people said their homes would be cleaner if they had robots to do their chores. Luckily, we already have access to robots that will help with some of those dirty jobs. Here are a few of our favorites.

    ROKUBOT

    Devices that sterilize your home were in high demand in 2020 for all the obvious reasons. ROCKUBOT stepped in with a robot it claims kills 99.9 percent of bacteria, germs and mites. Perhaps its most common use is cleaning the bed – on and under the sheets, pillows, mattresses. But it also has a handheld mode to help sanitize electronics. Unexpectedly, this cleaning robot comes with a Bluetooth speaker so it can stream your favorite music while doing its thing.

    iRobot Bravva jet 240

    Vacuuming can be a never-ending task, especially if you have pets. Robotic vacuums have been making the chore easier for several years now. For those ready to take it to the next level, you’ll see more mopping robots to help tackle more floor – and dirt – types. You’ll definitely want one for those hard-to-reach spaces like around toilets.

    Gladwell Gecko Robot Window Cleaner

    This robot will do the dirty work whether you have expanses of windows or very tall ones like those that span multiple stories in an entryway. No more hauling in a ladder and perching on it perilously or paying someone to clean your windows for you. Suction keeps it attached to the window, while AI helps determine where the windows’ edges are and makes sure all of the glass gets a good scrubbing. Don’t forget to try it on stubborn glass shower doors, too.

    Grillbot

    We cooked at home a lot in the last year. We’ve also spent a lot more time outdoors. Often, we did both at the same time. That’s why the Grillbot comes in so handy. This automatic grill cleaning robot scrubs and scrapes with its wire brushes so you don’t have to.

    Worx Landroid robotic mower

    Using much the same technology as robotic vacuums, this robotic lawnmower trims your grass while you stay cool inside or focus on other activities like playing with the kids. The Worx Landroid also has rain sensors that will send it back to the docking station when the weather turns, as well as security features like a pin number to start operation and alerts if it strays from your yard.

    Smart robots for smarter kids

    When remote learning became widespread during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, schools and families had to get creative quickly. One of the biggest challenges was finding engaging ways to connect with children and keep their minds growing. These robots are helping us do that not only today, but likely well into the future.

    LEGO Education

    LEGO sees learning through play as a vital part of building kids’ social-emotional needs, increasingly important as we navigate the challenges of classroom, virtual and hybrid learning in 2021. If your kids have already made The Child, they might love taking it a step farther with LEGO Education SPIKE Prime and other make-your-own robots that teach coding, problem solving and creative design. They’ll think they’re playing, but you’ll know they’re learning essential skills in science, technology and innovation.

    Miko 2

    This adorable little robot can hear, speak and relate to your child using a variety of speakers, algorithms and cues from your child. Miko 2 is also programmed to help them learn, providing knowledge and skills that are right for their age and that you can control. As more research finds that robots can get kids excited about reading, devices like this one will become increasingly popular.

    Owl

    You might not actually see this robot in your own home, but your child could have experience with it through e-learning. Owl and other similar telepresence robots are giving teachers the ability to better re-create a classroom experience even when their students are remote. Owl can swivel and move to follow a teacher around a room, making it a smarter video conference camera.

    Wigl

    Rarely do we see the combination of music education with STEM training. Wigl was created to inspire kids at a young age to get into robotics and engineering. The little bug-looking robot dances based on the musical notes it hears. Your kids will learn the connection between their actions and the robot’s when they can make it “wigl” as they play a song or sing to it.

    Artificial intelligence, true companionship

    Yes, many people have a fear of robots. While they’re always trying to take over the world in movies, robots can actually bring us all closer together in real life. We already ask Alexa to tell us jokes. We say, “Hey Google, text Mom.” Experts expect 29 percent growth in the market for “social robots” annually over the next few years, so it’s not a far leap to think that some of these companionable robots will soon take up residence in our homes.

    aibo

    Everyone tries to create a robot dog, but aibo seems like one that offers the most fun. With artificial intelligence, he can learn his environment and your habits to fit in with your home and family. You can feed him with the app – shake your phone to bring him running at the sound of treats – send him on “Puppy Patrol” to find someone on your People of Interest registry and have him do tricks. As Sony, the maker of aibo, says, his “happiness is spending quality time with you.”

    BOCCO emo

    More popular today in Japan, BOCCO is a communication robot that helps send text and voice messages, even if someone is too young for, or otherwise unable to use, a smartphone. Kids can talk to the robot, which will then send you a text with their message, or you can send a message from your phone for BOCCO to deliver to the kids. It’s continuously being developed, so compatibility with other devices in the Internet of Things is on the rise, making it a robot to keep an eye on. Also, he’s super cute.

    Walabot HOME

    Falls are a concern for many, but this robot can help remove some of the worries. Walabot HOME uses radio frequency to tell if someone in the room has fallen. Then, even if they’re unconscious, the device will contact a caregiver. It works anywhere in the home but is especially popular in bathrooms both because falls so often happen in that space and because Walabot HOME does not use cameras. There are also no wearables or buttons that need to be pressed to send an alert.

    Robots on the rise … we hope

    Maybe they aren’t real yet and maybe no one knows what exactly they’re capable of, but it’s fun to dream about how some of these space-age robots could improve our daily lives.

    PR2

    The assistive robot is still in the research and development stages, but if it becomes more viable, not to mention affordable, the benefits are priceless. The goal is to give individuals with disabilities more independence. In trial studies, it has worked with those who are paralyzed to help them complete tasks as common as scratching an itch. If this robot succeeds in assisting in other ways – eating, dressing, cleaning – countless people will be able to live more “normal” lives.

    XR-1 Cloud Robot

    Described as a “coffee-serving humanoid machine,” this robot uses 5G connectivity. It’s still under development, but that 5G is what CloudMinds, the company that makes XR-1, says is going to make it revolutionary. Because of the faster connection, the robot will be able to respond to our commands with almost no lag time. Eventually, it could help with household chores and more.

    SpotMini

    This robotic dog is a spinoff of Boston Dynamics’ original Spot. While Spot is better suited for construction and public safety uses, they anticipate SpotMini to be of greater use in homes. It already has figured out how to help with dishes and open doors. What sets SpotMini apart from other household chore robots is that it operates on four legs rather than wheels. That opens possibilities for assisting on uneven ground and stairways.

    Whether for yourself or loved ones, technology can have a lasting and positive impact on lives. Find technology-related gift ideas on our gift giving guide, or learn more about Schlage smart locks work with the technology you already have on our blog.

     

    7 amazing remodels that came out of 2020.

    December 30, 2020 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, December 30, 2020

    2020 remodels| Schlage

    Here are some home renovation projects from 2020 you’ll want to remember.

     

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    Who really wants to look back at 2020? What are the highlights for those typical year-end top-10 lists? While things have been difficult to say the least, some of us were able to make lemonade out of some pretty sour lemons. We used our extra stay-at-home time to learn new DIY skills and finally tackle some of the projects on our list. The best part, we transformed our homes to make them work for us better than ever. Here are some home renovation projects from 2020 you’ll actually want to remember.

    Better kitchens for more homemade meals

    When restaurant dining areas closed, homecooked meals became the norm rather than the exception. We took to the kitchen like never before, but unfortunately, many homeowners came to realize that their kitchens just didn’t work for them. The layout was bad, they didn’t have the right tools or the space was just plain uninspiring. That’s why kitchen remodels top our list of favorite 2020 upgrades.

    Pretty Handy Girl

    Brittany of Pretty Handy Girl had her work cut out for her with this tiny, closed-off 1950s kitchen, but we love how she brought the best of Mid-Century Modern style to this space. One of the biggest tasks was knocking out some walls, which made the newly remodeled kitchen feel larger and brighter with more natural light. Brittany then relied on light fixtures, graphic wall décor and cabinets to capture that popular mid-century vibe.

    After she knocked out that wall, there was only one door to contend with and Brittany installed a Schlage Latitude lever with Century trim on it. The straight lines of the hardware fit right in with the overall style, and the Matte Black finish was the perfect complement to the dark finishes of the open shelving and granite countertop. If ever there was a transformation that was both modern and classic, this is it.

    I Spy DIY

    Jenni’s original kitchen was one tone – ugh. The gorgeous remodel, on the other hand, hit all the right notes. It’s a beautiful mix between soft and bright with dark and bold. The porcelain tile backsplash over the stove and natural wood complement the black cabinets better than you might expect. Even Jenni said the black cabinetry was a bit of leap of faith for her. To make them look even more high-end, she added brass cabinet pulls.

    Which brings us to another highlight. Mixing metals was done to perfection here. Those brass pulls play well with the brass in the light fixture over the butcher block and the undertones in the natural wood. Meanwhile, the stainless steel faucet complements the appliances and grays in the flooring. And finally, black. We already mentioned the black cabinets, so it makes perfect sense to pull that in again with the lighting over the door, pot racks and a Matte Black Schlage Custom™ Dempsey lever with Rosewood trim.

    Reworked space for business and pleasure

    Like kitchens, home offices were in high demand this year. In many homes, that meant carving out workspace where there wasn’t one before. Working from home and e-learning required dedicated areas for focus and productivity instead of open floor plans and new levels of privacy. To find those, we renovated creatively.

    Homemade by Carmona

    Ursula of Homemade by Carmona took a deep closet that wasn’t being used to its fullest potential and turned it into the perfect nook office. There’s so much to love about this remodel. The shelves were handmade, and the desk drawers are actually repurposed cabinet bases. On top of it all, it’s the fine details that make this look like an intentional space, not just somewhere you randomly stuck a table. The brass on the lighting fixture, chair legs and door knob trim help tie it all together.

    If you’re wondering about those doors, Ursula used bifold doors, which are great for spaces where you don’t have much swing clearance. She then added non-turning Schlage Custom™ Hobson glass knobs with a Satin Brass Collins trim. Learn more about non-turning door knobs with this guide.

    Anthony Carrino

    We so often choose older homes for their character. Anthony Carrino did exactly that with this 100-year-old firehouse and then ramped up the character with his own flair. Your eye is probably drawn to the eclectic décor, especially the antlers and gold-print wallpaper, that has a more modern feel. But a closer look reveals he’s kept many vintage touches. An original firepole remains in the corner, the brass bar cart is definitely a nod to the 1920s and that door hardware? The Schlage Custom™ Alexandria knob with Collins trim is almost as classic as they come.

    Before

    With such a collection of styles in one room, what’s to keep it from looking chaotic? For starters, all those warm finishes tie it together. The gold of the fireman’s pole is mirrored in the wallpaper, bar cart and door hardware. And those tones play nicely with the warm browns in Anthony’s comfy chairs.

     

    That this is an office space is almost lost, although that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We’ve all grown used to making a home office out of nothing or, now that we’re spending more time there, personalizing our office to be more comfortable and enjoyable. Quite simply, we love this example of a home office that captures the homeowner’s personality and style.

    DIY doors for a new welcoming statement

    Many of us found ways to make small projects pay off big this year. For some it was a garden project or upcycling old coffee tables, but for others, it was updating doors. We often forget about doors during interior remodels, but we bet you’ll remember these before-and-after transformations.

    Yellow Brick Home

    It’s hard to believe that this hallway started out as part of a dark, dank basement. Kim and Scott of Yellow Brick Home took this den area from an unfinished space with cinder block walls to a complete rental apartment with two bedrooms, a bathroom, laundry and kitchenette.

     

    To save money, they needed a way to hide their utilities instead of relocating them, too. All of those changes meant doors, doors and more doors. To brighten up the basement space, they chose these beautiful five-panel doors in an airy white. Dark door hardware adds a bit of drama and style without making the hall feel gloomy again.

     

    The transitional-style Schlage Custom™ Hobson knobs with Matte Black Century trims are the perfect complement to their 100-year-old house. They stay true to the home’s architecture without feeling outdated. In the end, it’s hard to even remember what this basement looked like before.

    Jenna Sue Design Co.

    When Jenna bought a 1940s fixer upper, the house came with what we’ll generously call a diverse mix of doors. In the course of updating the home, this DIYer recognized the importance of doors for overall sophistication and found new ones that not only created a more cohesive style but matched the era of the home as well. The finishing touch of this makeover is the glass Schlage Hobson knob with Century trim. Just like we saw in the Yellow Brick Home above, it’s a classic look that’s hard not to love.

    In areas where multiple doors can be seen, like in this hallway, Jenna chose matching hardware and door paint colors. But this home remodel also shows where you can branch out with your style. With each room designed uniquely, Jenna chose different looks for inside the rooms. Case in point: this Schlage Georgian knob with Brookshire trim on a dark door. Between the hardware style and Antique Brass finish, it’s the perfect fit for traditional homes.
    If you read Jenna’s blog to the end, you’ll even see how she updated an interior door with one of our smart locks, the Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt. Because she plans to rent the house on Airbnb, the extra security is perfect for a supply closet where she can stash anything she doesn’t want guests to have access to. The keyless entry on this door will simplify their cleaning and turnover process, making the rental property easier to manage.

    Seeking Alexi

    Changing a closet door can’t really do that much, can it? DIYer Alexi shows it’s absolutely possible. The first before picture shows a dark, outdated hollow core door. We’ve all seen them and none of us loves them. Then she painted it a lighter color to match the walls and added the Schlage Latitude lever with Century trim.

     

    But Alexi wasn’t done yet. The final product is a sophisticated gray that works beautifully with other décor in the entryway. She also added some trim on the door, giving it architectural interest. It’s an ideal way to make hollow core doors look expensive even when you’re on a budget.

    After & Before

    With a whole new year ahead us, it’s time to stock up on inspiration. Get more ideas and how-to tips at the Schlage blog or follow us on Pinterest and Instagram. You can also check out our guide to accomplishing your DIY resolutions to make 2021 your best year yet.

     

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