Wait, We Need to Clean Our Rugs *How* Often?

My least-favorite chores are the ones that only need to be done a few times a year, because, frankly, I always forget to do them. I’m talking about things like washing curtains, dusting the fridge coils, and yes, deep-cleaning your carpets.

Can’t reme…

My least-favorite chores are the ones that only need to be done a few times a year, because, frankly, I always forget to do them. I’m talking about things like washing curtains, dusting the fridge coils, and yes, deep-cleaning your carpets.

Can’t remember the last time you called in the pros to shampoo your rugs? You’re certainly not alone, but basically any cleaning expert will tell you that simply vacuuming your rugs isn’t enough. As the months go by, grime and bacteria inevitably accumulates deep in rugs, and even the most powerful vacuum cleaner can’t get it all out.

Read More >>

12 Handy Organization Ideas for Small Kitchens

My first apartment in San Francisco was a well-lit 1920s studio on California Street that had a kitchen with capacity for roughly three-fourths of one person at a time. The storage space was virtually nonexistent: I had a single, tiny wall of cabinets …

My first apartment in San Francisco was a well-lit 1920s studio on California Street that had a kitchen with capacity for roughly three-fourths of one person at a time. The storage space was virtually nonexistent: I had a single, tiny wall of cabinets abutting the stove (rendering one section of shelf inaccessible), and just one cabinet next to the kitchen sink.

But a decade later, comprising a stint at Williams-Sonoma HQ, a wedding, and two increasingly larger apartments, I’d officially amassed enough kitchen gear to stock a boutique.

Read More >>

The Surprising Oven-Cleaning Hack That’s Hiding in Your Laundry Room

I confess: the one thing I have never, ever cleaned successfully is my oven rack. Has anyone? No matter what I cook, and no matter how careful I am to put pans underneath bubbling pies and roasting vegetables, the racks somehow get covered in a layer o…

I confess: the one thing I have never, ever cleaned successfully is my oven rack. Has anyone? No matter what I cook, and no matter how careful I am to put pans underneath bubbling pies and roasting vegetables, the racks somehow get covered in a layer of greasy gunk and are now permanently reddish-brown. I’ve tried scrubbing them with dish soap and baking soda, but long ago gave up hope that they’d ever be silver and shiny again. Besides, I had more visible cleaning problems to tackle.

Then a friend told me about a surprising cleaning tool for oven racks and stovetop grates: dryer sheets. I don’t typically stock dryer sheets, since they’ve got lots of chemicals, which I try to avoid adding to my laundry. But, sources confirmed (when I Googled it later), that dryer sheets are excellent at tackling stubborn oven buildup—and I had half a box left behind by a former roommate that I didn’t want to waste. Could dryer sheets have an unintended, actually useful purpose?

Read More >>

A ‘Why Didn’t I Think of That?’ Way to Put on a Duvet Cover

My boyfriend and I almost break up every time we wash our duvet cover.

It’s an unavoidable chore—and one we probably complete more frequently than the average home-dweller, thanks to my habit of drinking coffee in bed. Read More >>

My boyfriend and I almost break up every time we wash our duvet cover.

It's an unavoidable chore—and one we probably complete more frequently than the average home-dweller, thanks to my habit of drinking coffee in bed.

Read More >>

This Is IKEA’s Most Versatile Item. No, It’s Not the Billy Bookcase.

It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me that I’m obsessed with cleaning and organizing. Show me a home product that ticks both boxes at the same time, and I can barely keep it together with excitement. So, it’s no wonder that I’m about to gush a little…

It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me that I’m obsessed with cleaning and organizing. Show me a home product that ticks both boxes at the same time, and I can barely keep it together with excitement. So, it’s no wonder that I’m about to gush a little about my new favorite household helper: the IKEA Råskog utility cart.

I know what you’re thinking: a rolling cart is a rolling cart is a…, but no, even as first glances go, this one’s a looker. (Those curves. That gray-green!) I use mine to hold all my cleaning supplies (of which I have many) that used to previously overflow under the kitchen sink. The bottom shelves offer additional storage, so I can organize them according to priority. My most regularly used cleaners are up top; the second shelf is for gloves, cloths and brushes; and the third I keep for specialized cleaners (Brasso, Magic Erasers, you get it). It makes me feel very efficient to roll it around with me on cleaning day, and when I'm done, I just tuck it neatly into my entryway closet.

Read More >>

The One Spot in Your Home You’re Definitely Forgetting to Clean

Growing up, I absolutely loathed how clean and tidy our house was at all times. OK, I didn’t hate that it was clean, but the fact that my mom always insisted that dishes were cleaned the second they hit the sink, and bedsheets and pillows tucked and fl…

Growing up, I absolutely loathed how clean and tidy our house was at all times. OK, I didn't hate that it was clean, but the fact that my mom always insisted that dishes were cleaned the second they hit the sink, and bedsheets and pillows tucked and fluffed before the day even got going.

I found it endlessly annoying as a kid to live in what one person close to me once described as a "model home"—sparkling kitchen counters and all. But now, as a result, I can't imagine living anywhere even remotely disorganized (have you met my kitchen storage MVP yet?) or messy (my BFF is a purple vacuum).

Read More >>

The IKEA Product That Sells Every 5 Seconds

By the time you read this sentence, IKEA has probably sold another one of these to someone, somewhere in the world. And by the time you’ve read this one, they’ve probably sold another.

No, it’s not their ingenious lamp with a built-in speaker or their…

By the time you read this sentence, IKEA has probably sold another one of these to someone, somewhere in the world. And by the time you’ve read this one, they’ve probably sold another.

No, it’s not their ingenious lamp with a built-in speaker or their surprisingly amazing meatballs (though probably those, too). It’s the Billy bookcase, an IKEA design classic. With adjustable shelves and the ability to stack (when properly and safely anchored to the wall), the various bookshelves in the Billy collection have become must-have staples, flying off those super high IKEA shelves since the first version launched in 1979.

Read More >>

5 Expert Tips for Plant-ifying Your Kitchen

In their latest book Plant Tribe, Igor Josifovic-Kemper and Judith de Graaff whisk readers off to 17 attractive, plant-filled homes across the US, Europe and Brazil. What makes this book so valuable is not just their adept styling of the rooms, but how…

In their latest book Plant Tribe, Igor Josifovic-Kemper and Judith de Graaff whisk readers off to 17 attractive, plant-filled homes across the US, Europe and Brazil. What makes this book so valuable is not just their adept styling of the rooms, but how the capable hands of Igor and Judith transform the spaces into teaching tools. In one part of the book, for instance, the pair uses them to illustrate how plants have the power to affect our well-being. In another, the homes are accompanied by the authors’ insights into the business side of plants.

One particular section of note, the book’s “Room-by-Room Guide,” shows readers how they can keep plants thriving throughout their houses, including in the unusually-tricky kitchen. This spot presents a unique challenge because of its daily changes in temperature and moisture levels, sometimes shoddy natural light and its abundance of appliances (which can affect air flow and quality). Lucky for you, Igor and Judith have put together a quick guide to kitchen plant care that takes all of this into account. If you don’t have a green thumb (yet), do not fear. These tips are aimed at beginners, so follow along below, and you, too, can have a kitchen filled with happy plants.

Read More >>

It’s Time to Clean Your Yoga Mat. Here’s How.

My yoga mat has gone from sitting in the back of my closet collecting dust, to being my quarantine MVP. As someone who’s more a group fitness gal and less solitary yogi, when studios suddenly closed in mid-March, I grew slightly anxious. Knowing that e…

My yoga mat has gone from sitting in the back of my closet collecting dust, to being my quarantine MVP. As someone who’s more a group fitness gal and less solitary yogi, when studios suddenly closed in mid-March, I grew slightly anxious. Knowing that exercise was inextricably linked to my mental health, I decided to pull out my yoga mat from its dusty home and explore remote ways to sweat it out. (Luckily, I quickly found a slew of talented instructors hosting Instagram Live workouts.) Today, I still don’t do much yoga, but I do use the mat for everything from high-intensity interval training to pilates. My mat has turned into my happy place and I’m thankful for that fleeting moment when I was convinced I was zen enough to purchase one.

Of course, now that my yoga mat is my best friend, it gets sweaty on the regular. As a pre-pandemic germaphobe, my instinct was to give it the occasional once-over with a sanitizing wipe. Now that I'm hyper-aware of all the germs, bacteria, and viruses that threaten our well-being, I know it needs more. I decided to dig deeper to find the right way to clean a yoga mat; here's what I learned.

Read More >>

A Simple French Tradition for Ditching Paper Napkins

Wave hello to the brand-new Five Two Everyday Napkins!

Five Two director Kristina Wasserman was struck by inspiration for these cotton beauties in none other than…you guessed it, France. While in the French town of Cholet—historically, a center for …

Wave hello to the brand-new Five Two Everyday Napkins!

Five Two director Kristina Wasserman was struck by inspiration for these cotton beauties in none other than...you guessed it, France. While in the French town of Cholet—historically, a center for textiles, dish towels, and napkins—she came upon an interesting dining tradition. "Members of a family each had their own cloth napkin assigned to them for meals through the day, or even across a few days," she says. Well, she brought the idea home, and soon began developing, along with our community, the latest in Five Two's line of eco-friendly home goods.

Read More >>