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Ready, Set, Summer!

Summertime is all about soaking up the sun by the beach or pool and strutting your stuff in a cute bikini. But we know getting to the beach isn’t as easy as it sounds. You’re probably thinking: What do I pack? What bag even fits all my stuff? How do I entertain the kids? What kind of swimsuit do I wear? Well don’t worry, we’ve got the answers to make your summer beach days as relaxing as can be!

PACKING FOR THE BEACH 

We’ve all been there. You think you’ve packed everything you need for a fun day in the sun, only to arrive at the beach and realize you’ve forgotten towels (or even your swimsuit). Read through our list of essential beach items to make sure you don’t forget a thing this time!

1. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. Pack some for your face and body. 

2. A hat. The more protection for your face, the better.

3. Sunglasses. Believe it or not, your eyes can sunburn, too. Trust us, it hurts.

4. Towels and blankets. Either can be spread on the sand, but towels are a must if you plan on taking a dip in the ocean. If you prefer, bring an umbrella chair that folds up easily, blocks the sun and keeps your beach area stylish!

Beach Chair with Umbrella

5. Water. We can almost guarantee you’ll be dehydrated after a day in the sun, so drink up! Also pack light snacks that don’t need to be refrigerated, or take a cooler if you prefer something cold.

6. Change of clothes. There’s nothing worse than driving back home in a sopping wet bathing suit filled with sand.

7. Beach toys. Take frisbees and footballs to occupy the young ones on your trip, and take a book for yourself.

8. Camera. Documentation of your perfect beach day is required.

Now, what bag is beach worthy and can fit all your items? Large mesh totes are great for the beach and can withstand the harsh sand.

Mesh Beach Tote

With these bags, you’ll be sure to leave the sand and water behind, and won’t have a problem fitting everything you need.

CARING FOR YOUR SWIMSUIT

You’ve got a new, super cute bikini for the beach, but how do you keep it looking good as new all summer long? Michelle Koch from V i X Swimwear (check out their amazingly beautiful bikinis http://www.vixswimwear.com/) gave us some great tips that we promise to abide by from now on.

Michelle says that before wearing your suit to the beach, “to prevent fading, bleeding, and to keep colors vibrant longer, soak new swimsuit for 30 minutes in a mixture of water and white vinegar (1 tbsp vinegar per 1 quart water).” After your day in the sun, she tells us to “rinse your swimsuit in cool water immediately following swimming in salt or chlorinated water” and then “hand wash your suit with a mild soap– do not wash in the washing machine.”

But we had more questions for Michelle. What if your bikini has delicate embellishments? Michelle says that for V i X suits in particular, “all embellishments (gold, leather, beads, etc) can be worn in salt and chlorinated water.” However, she warns that “sun, tanning/bronzing lotions, tinted moisturizers, oils, harsh chemicals and minerals, salt water, chlorine, and extreme heat naturally put wear on any swimsuit and can turn it yellow. To prevent wear as much as possible, be careful to follow the care instructions.” We can’t wait to keep our suits sparking this season!

WHAT SWIMSUIT TO WEAR WHEN

Let’s face it, most of us have numerous swimsuits we like alternating and mismatching, and it’s often difficult to choose which to wear. However, our decision may be easier once we know what suit is best for every beachy occasion. We’ve asked Michelle Koch from V i X Swimwear to help us out once again.

For lounging on the beach/soaking up the sun, Michelle suggests to “glam things up and pick a suit with more details, like leather, studs or embroidery.”

For swimming, Michelle says to “make sure that you have a suit that fits well. A natural quality of lycra is to expand slightly when wet, so make sure your suit fits well to begin with. Avoid Bandeau tops as they are prone to slipping off in the waves!”

And finally, for surfing and other water sports, Michelle recommends to “avoid a suit with any sort of embellishment.”

So next time you’re planning a beach trip, remember our tips and tricks– we guarantee you’ll have the perfect summer day!

For more information about products and ordering, visit www.greatusefulstuff.com. 

Home Cooked Holidays

Thanksgiving is here, so it is about that time to start preparing! Our food guru, Bobby (from blogchef.net) has provided GreatUsefulStuff.com with some great tips on a home cooked holiday.

HOLIDAY RECIPE

Bobby was kind enough to share his “favorite recipe for Thanksgiving,” which is “the classic green bean casserole.” According to Bobby, “the end result is amazing and everyone in [his] family loves it.” He recommends “using fresh green beans and fresh mushrooms” as well as ” two different types of cheese; parmesan and cheddar.”

Ingredients:
¼ cup butter
3 garlic cloves (minced)
2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
6 cups fresh green beans (ends removed and cut in half)
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 (10 ¾ ounce) cans low-sodium condensed cream of mushrooms soup
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 (2 7/8 ounce) cans French fried onion rings
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1: Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet melt butter and add mushrooms and garlic. Cook while stirring until mushrooms loose their moisture. Set aside.
Step 2: Add green beans to a large sauce pan and pour chicken broth over them. Bring to a boil and cook for 8-10 minutes or until green beans become fork tender. Drain green beans (but do not  rinse).

Step 3: In a large bowl combine cream of mushroom soup, cooked mushrooms, parmesan cheese, pepper and onions rings, mix well. Gently fold in green beans. Pour into a greased 3 quart casserole dish. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle cheddar cheese over the top return to oven and bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
(Makes 6 Servings)

COOKING FOR LARGE GROUPS

GUS has some tips for those of you who are cooking for the masses this season. Bobby says “If you are cooking large quantities of food, I would say the most important thing is trying to serve everything as fresh as possible. Since it is unlikely that everything can be done at exactly the same time, it is always a good idea to have methods of keeping your already cooked foods warm. A slow cooker is a great way to do this. A lot of slow cookers have a warm setting. You can also use the oven if you do not have anything baking in it at the moment.” Also, it is very important to remember to plan ahead when cooking for a large group. Make sure to make shopping lists and guest lists so nothing is forgotten. It also takes the stress off of being a host if you ask your guests to each bring a dinner item. Additionally, it is important to get all of your shopping and cleaning done ahead of time so you can designate the days before Thanksgiving for cooking.

PROTECTING YOUR RECIPES

Bobby gives GUS some final advice about Thanksgiving. He recommends keeping “Thanksgiving pretty traditional with roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberries, pumpkin pie, etc.” Save your recipes from previous years and don’t worry about repeating the popular dishes. Also Bobby reminds our readers that they “shouldn’t be afraid to think outside the box. Trying new things is always great, and it’s a learning experience.” However, with all of the chaos that

iPad Recipe Holder

will be occurring in your kitchens, make sure your recipes are protected! All it takes is a little gravy to ruin your favorite recipe! To avoid this issue, Bobby recommends buying “lamination kits or get them done professionally for a fair price. This should be a good method of protecting your recipes from cooking splatter.” GUS has another solution to this problem! Our iPad Recipe Holder protects and stores recipes, and also is able to fit your iPad while viewing online recipes. Its a great item that will organize your kitchen and ease much of the stress for hosting the holidays.

Happy Thanksgiving from GUS!

For more information about products and ordering, visit http://www.greatusefulstuff.com.

Putting an End to Your Tangled Chains

ORGANIZING YOUR JEWELRY

1. Minimize: The first step towards organizing your jewelry is the same as organizing any other part of your life: get rid of what you don’t need! Go through your collection of bracelets, necklaces, rings, and earrings and pick out the items you no longer wear. It is useless to have unworn items sitting around, taking up space, and getting tangled. Make the decision to either give away, donate, or sell your old jewelry.

2. Organize: There are many different organizing tools to help ease the process of storing your jewelry. Our expert for the week, stylist from Stella & Dot, Sandy Sloan (check out her website: http://www.stelladot.com/sandysloan or Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Style.With.Sandy) gave GreatUsefulStuff.com some helpful tips on organizing and storing earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. For earrings,

Vintage Iron Jewelry Holder via PBteen

Sandy says “A separate earring tree of sorts is something that really helps a woman identify her different pairs and not have them hooked together. What a pain when we’re in a rush!” Sandy recommends this Vintage Iron Jewelry Holder for earrings and it is great because it “has room for studs and even rings!” For bracelets, Sandy some great suggestions. She says,

Wood Bangle Stand via NILE

“Bracelets can stand to be stacked together in a drawer of a jewelry box if the bracelets are made of leather or if they are bangles and cuffs, but a bracelet bar just makes it so easy for a woman to identify what she has, especially if she has delicates she doesn’t want to get tangled.  This also allows a quick view of your possible arm party options.”

As for necklaces, Sandy “definitely recommends storing” them “on hooks.” This keeps necklaces separated and helps avoid chains from get tangled.

At GUS, we have some of our own Great Useful Solutions to assist your jewelry troubles. While Sandy’s recommendations are all great, sometimes space is limited, particularly in dorm rooms and apartments. If you are living in a smaller area or if you just want to keep your jewelry out of a shared living space, our Hang-Hers Jewelry Organizer is an excellent option! The Jewelry Organizer comes with 6 top-access mesh pouches to store all of your jewelry and it can easily be hung in your closet. Also, the Hang-Hers Organizer keeps your jewelry secure and out of site!

Hang-Hers Jewelry Organizer

Also, for something new and creative, our Jewelry Tray organizes your jewelry by occasion rather than by type. The Jewelry Tray is made of woven grass cloth and is separated by jewelry for the day, night, and special occasions. Not only does the tray save time in trying to find the right theme of jewelry, but each compartment is also separated to fit necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and more.

Jewelry Tray

3. Protect: What’s the point in organizing your jewelry if it won’t last? That is why protecting your jewelry is just as important as organizing it. Our expert, Sandy, advises our readers to store jewelry in enclosed items because “it protects the jewelry inside from the effects of humidity” She continues, saying “oxidation is what colors the jewelry whether it’s sterling silver or costume jewelry, so keeping jewelry away from the shower or other forms of humidity is important.” Also, Sandy adds that “as a general practice, [she] stores fine jewelry in a tarnish-resistant fabric-lined jewelry box. [She] separates gold from silver so that the metals don’t affect each other.

TRAVEL

Glam Jewelry Travel Case

Traveling with jewelry can be tricky; but, as a rule of thumb, always keep it with you in a purse or carry-on if you are going on a plane. Also, GUS has a helpful solution for traveling with jewelry. Our Glam Jewelry Travel Case is both portable and stylish. No more lost, tangled, or broken jewelry! The Jewelry Case has several pockets to protect and organize your valuable items and can easily fit right into a purse or bag.

For more information about products and ordering, visit http://www.greatusefulstuff.com.

Managing a Messy Car

PREPARATION

Tackling a messy car can be a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be! Begin with making three piles – one with things to throw away, one for things you want to keep in your car, and the last pile is for things you want to keep at home. Our expert for the week, Laura (blogger from http://www.orgjunkie.com/blog) advises to pile anything you want to remove from the car but keep at home “into a laundry basket so you can take it into the house and put it away where it belongs when you are done.” Make sure to empty everything, including the glove compartment, trunk, cup holders, and side compartments. Now, either vacuum and wash the car yourself, or bring it to a carwash!

UTILIZE YOUR SPACE

Glove Compartment: This space should be used for the essentials only! The car manual, insurance information, and registration should all be kept here. In case you ever need any of these, you do not want to waste time hassling through a mess of useless items.

Center Console: Our recommendation is that the center console should be dedicated for storing the items belonging to the driver and the person in the passenger seat. Examples of items that may be kept there include sunglasses, cell

Purse Essentials

phones, makeup, and more. Don’t let the name of this product mislead you, our Purse Essentials from GreatUsefulStuff.com are an excellent way to organize the center console. Instead of fumbling around to try to find your sunglasses while driving with the blinding sun in your eyes, the Purse Essentials make it easy to find everything you are looking for. Also, with a neat and organized center console, this will encourage you to stop throwing receipts, wrappers, and trash into this compartment.

Side Pockets: Side pockets on the doors of the car are a great place to store car chargers and other electronics. However, cords tend to get tangled and this makes for a messy automobile. GUS has solutions to neatly store your chargers and electronics! Our 2-sided Cord Pouch is great because it holds up to ten chargers in separate compartments of an easy-viewing labeled pouch. You no longer will have to worry about tangled and disorganized chargers, cords, and wires!

2-sided Cord Pouch

Another Great Useful Solution from GreatUsefulStuff.com is our Personal Media Pouch. This can be easily stored in the side pockets of your car doors, along with the Cord Pouch. The Personal Media Pouch effortlessly stores and organizes phones, cameras, iPods, cords, chargers, headphones and other electronics. This will definitely easy your worries of losing or misplacing electronics during long car rides.

Personal Media Pouch

 

 

Other tips: Laura writes on her blog about the necessity of garbage bags in automobiles. She writes “I’m making it my personal mission to see to it that garbage bags are added to vehicles everywhere.  I’ve seen one too many vehicles with food wrappers and other garbage on the floor.  We wouldn’t do this in our homes, so why then is it okay in our vehicles?” We recommend always keeping a plastic bag in the car, whether it be in the seat pockets, tied around the neck of the seat, or even in the trunk of the car. This will save tons of time having to constantly clean and empty your automobile.

Example of Garbage Bag Storage via orgjunkie.com

Laura also gives a list of the supplies she keeps in her car to be “prepared for everything from emergencies, to traffic, to play including a beach stop on an unexpected sunny day.”

  1. First aid kit
  2. Flashlight
  3. CD’s/DVD’s
  4. Gum
  5. Book (for when you are waiting around)
  6. Sunblock
  7. Hand lotion
  8. Snacks (granola bars work well)
  9. Water
  10. Notebook/Pen
  11. Extra garbage bags
  12. Hairspray (you never know when you might need a little squirt…priorities people!)
  13. Picnic blanket
  14. Reusable grocery bags
  15. Shovels/pails
  16. Lawn chairs (soccer chairs in our case)
  17. Change of clothes for younger kids (including extra diapers if needed)
  18. Toy basket
  19. Kleenex
  20. Antibacterial wipes
  21. Baby wipes
  22. Umbrella
  23. Sunglasses
  24. Paper towels
  25. Receiving blanket (great for spills)
  26. Sunflower seeds (awesome for keeping me awake while driving!)
  27. Tylenol (locked in glove box)
  28. Toilet seat covers (love these!)
  29. Lip balm/gloss
  30. Bug spray
  31. Maps

Organizing Tote

“Now that you have a rough idea of what you need, we need to figure out a way to store it.” At GUS, we have an awesome solution for this! Our Organizing Totes can be kept neatly in the trunk of your car. Many people recommend laundry baskets or milk crates for the trunk, however the separated compartments of our Organizing Tote will not only keep your trunk organized, but it will also keep the items themselves from getting out of hand. Not only that but, items that you tend to not use in a crate will find a way to sit on the bottom, forgotten and taking up space. With the Organizing Tote, you can simply remove these items from their compartments and throw them out or place them elsewhere!

How to Organize Your Kitchen

RECIPES

Recipe Binder via barnesandnoble.com

People tend to expand their recipe collection, rarely getting rid of any, therefore this tends get fairly disorganized. There are several approaches you can take to organizing your recipes. The first is the binder method. Our expert of the week, Elizabeth Larkin (writer at http://personalorganizing.about.com), uses this technique to keep her recipes neat. She “keeps recipes in clear plastic sleeves in a binder organized by main ingredient.” The plastic sleeves are a must in order to

keep pages from ripping out! Another recipe organizing strategy is to use a filing

Recipe Box via mostazaseed.blogspot.com

box. Sections can be separated by dividers, labeled by categories such as “sandwiches” or “soups.” This approach may be better suited for those who have many recipes that no longer fit in one binder!

However, a common issue when organizing recipes is that to use a specific recipe, it had to be removed from the binder or box. After people are done using the recipe, they often forget to put it back in its correct place, and recipes either get misplaced or out of order. Additionally, recipes are occasionally ruined by the splatter of cooking! To solve the latter issue, Elizabeth “tapes the clear plastic sleeve, with the recipe in it, to the bottom of a cabinet so it’s easy to read while [she is] cooking.” At GreatUsefulStuff.com, we have a handy solution to fix all of these problems! Our Recipe Organizer has many functions, starting as a replacement for your recipe binder or filing box. Separated labeled compartments organize recipes for your main dishes, salads, sides and desserts. The Recipe Organizer has a front sleeve and a hanging hook so you can protect and view the recipe you need to cook your meal. Plus, the front sleeve is the perfect size to fit your iPad! Now you can utilize an online recipe without wasting the paper to print it out or having to worry about damaging your iPad!

Recipe Organizer

UNDER THE KITCHEN SINK

Quick and easy, GUS has a simple solution for your under the sink mess. Step 1: Completely empty the area under your sink. Step 2: Clean this space until it is spotless! Step 3: Throw away anything that is unnecessary and that you do not need. Step 4: Organize all of your under sink items in our Undercounter Bottle Organizer. Many sites recommend baskets for under your sink, however when your bottles are not separated it is easy to let the mess build up. Also, the handles on our Bottle Organizer make it easy to grab for cleaning other areas of the house. With our Undercounter Bottle Organizer, you will never have to organize again!

Undercounter Bottle Organizer

APPLIANCES

Storing large and small appliances can get tricky because they tend to take up a lot of space. Elizabeth prefers to “use roll out storage, and [she] especially likes the design of this Lynk Roll Out.” While roll out storage is great, cupboard space is limited, and GUS has an stylish solution. Our Appliance Covers are terrific for storing anything from blenders to mixers. Your appliances now can be stored anywhere without having to worry about them getting dirty, dusty, or damaged! Also, the Appliance Cover have cord openings to avoid messy tangled wires, pockets to store accessories, and extra padding.

Appliance Covers

For more information about products and ordering, visit http://www.greatusefulstuff.com.

Storing Your Summer Wardrobe

The brisk mornings and cloudy afternoons are indicators that it is time to store away your summer wardrobe and make room for your fall clothing.  GreatUsefulStuff.com has great tips on storage for all of your summer items.

PREPARATION

The first step in preparation is to wash and dry all of the clothes you plan to prepare. Writer for About.com and an expert on the matter, Mary Marlowe Leverette (check out her posts at http://laundry.about.com), reminds our readers to “make sure that everything is spotlessly clean and completely dry. Never store soiled items or damp items that will lead to mildew, attract insects and give stains time to set-in permanently.” Another tip is to make any adjustments or repairs on your summer wardrobe before you store it away. Extra button will get lost and ripped hems will be forgotten if you wait until next summer to take care of these issues. Readers are also cautioned to fold their summer clothing along the seam lines to prevent wrinkles. Mary also advises that “to prevent wrinkles, your clothing must have plenty of space or be folded with acid-free tissue paper cushioning every fold. Your best items should be stored in cloth fabric hanging bags to prevent dust from settling on the shoulders.”

STORAGE

There are many options for storage of your summer wardrobe.

The first choice is vacuum-sealed bags. Brands, such as Space Bag, can be found at home stores. Mary recommends vacuum-sealed bags because “they are lightweight; easy to use; easy to open and reseal; and waterproof.”

The next option is under-bed storage. At GUS, our Underbed Storage Zips are a great solution! The Storage Zips include separated compartments that will aid in organization. Furthermore, under-bed storage is perfect because it keeps the items out of site and creates tons of space in your closet.

Joey & Jane Underbed Storage Zips

A quick tip when using under-bed storage is to place a cedar block in with your clothing. This will absorb moisture and prevent moths and other insects from ruining your clothes.

Collapsible Open Shelf Storage Box

There are also those items that are designed for summer, however you know you will be needing them from time-to-time on warm days over the fall. Instead of digging through your vacuum-sealed bags or under-bed storage box, we encourage you to keep an accessible storage box somewhere conveniently located. A perfect storage solution for these items is our Collapsible Open Shelf Storage Box. This way, you will quickly be able to grab the article of clothing you are looking for without the fuss of searching through all of your storage.

Mary reminds our readers that “bathing suits should be stored together for ease in finding them next summer.” Along with this, some recommendations on storing bathing suits for the season are: “swimsuits with padded or shaped bra cups, should be stuffed with acid-free tissue paper to help them hold their shape” and “swimsuits with metal or ‘jewel’ decoration should be wrapped in acid-free tissue paper to prevent scratching.” Additionally, Mary gives a great tip to our readers in saying “I store my suits in my beach tote which is usually empty!” If you need a beach tote to store your bathing suits that you can use on vacations and for summers to come, our Mesh Beach Tote is a great solution.

Mesh Beach Tote

As a final note, our Travel Shoe Bags are a great way to store flip flops and sandals until next summer! Not only will you be able to keep your summer shoes out of sight, you will also be able to keep them organized and clean.

Travel Shoe Bag

For more information about products and ordering, visit http://www.greatusefulstuff.com.

How to Take Care of Your New Fall Shoes

Time to put away the sandals and pull out the boots because fall is officially here! GreatUsefulStuff.com has all you need to know about fall shoe trends, proper shoe care, and shoe storage.

FALL SHOE STYLES

The shoe scene this fall is filled with new and exciting styles. We caught up with shoe designer, Kelley Lehner (www.KlubNico.com), who gave GUS the latest on shoe trends gracing the fashion scene this fall. Apparently, it’s all about the “tailored menswear” this fall. Kelley tells us some of the shoes within this category include “oxfords, loafers, and lace up ankle boots.” The best thing about this trend is all of these tomboy inspired shoes can be both dressed up or dressed down.

Women's Blair Oxford Bootie via Klub Nico

Kelley also told GUS that “boots and Peep Toe booties with lug soles; and fur accents across all types of silhouettes” are cool new trends this fall. We just love the Bria Booties!

Kelley also says to keep an eye out for a splash of color “besides your basic neutrals [you will see] navy, moss green and pinots.” Incorporate these trends into your shoe selection and you will be sure to “make for a chic, updated look for Fall.”

Lace Up Ankle Boots via Zappos.com

SHOE CARE

Stylish shoes and boots can be an expensive habit, therefore proper shoe care is essential if you want to maintain them. Since weather and rain are often unexpected, it is beneficial to pick up a waterproofing spray for your boots as a preemptive measure. That way, at least your shoes will be protected no matter what mother nature what mother nature brings your way. Kelley says that a shoe care rule that she lives by is to “always spray my suede and/or nobuck shoes with a leather protecting product such as Scotch Guard because this definitely prolongs the longevity of the shoe.” Kelley also points out (that most probably forget to do) is to make sure your “shoes are clean and dry before putting them away. It’s as simple as wiping them down with a clean cloth.” All of these steps will help ensure that your fall shoes will last for years to come.

STORAGE FOR FALL SHOES

Kelley gave GUS some very useful tips on storing fall shoes. She said “it is always good to store large boots in their original boxes or in a large thin bins with a lid so they can lay down flat.” Thankfully, at GUS we have a great option for this! Our Collapsible Shoe Box Storage fits Kelley’s description exactly. The boxes can easily be stored in your closet, and the clear vinyl window makes it simple to spot the shoes you are looking for.

Collapsible Shoe Box Storage

Also, Kelley adds that storage boxes “will protect [shoes] from getting damaged from ‘fighting’ with other shoes in your closet and collecting dust, etc.” As an additional idea, Kelley said  “it is also a good idea to store them with a desiccant pouch (silica gel used to maintain a state of dryness, usually marked with “Do Not Eat” warning) to protect them from mold and humidity.  Storing your boots this way will also maximize your closet space which can be very challenging.”

As a final tip to our readers, Kelley tells GUS some questions she asks herself before beginning her fall shoe shopping: “1) Is this a style I don’t currently have, is it new and special? 2) How will this style and color combination fit into my wardrobe?  3) What is my estimated cost per use?  Nowadays I prefer to buy more expensive items that I know will wear for many years to come as opposed to a less expensive item that I will only wear a few times and then throw away.  4) Do I love the style enough to buy it in more than one color?” Be sure to go through and answer these helpful questions before making your purchases!

For more information about products and ordering, visit http://www.greatusefulstuff.com.

Fall Weather Brings out the Sweaters – Storage Solutions

FALL 2011 TRENDS

Oversize V-Neck Sweaters

Oversized V-Neck Sweaters are perfect and comfortable for the upcoming brisk fall days, and will continue to be useful well into the winter. The sweaters complete the “borrowed-from-my-boyfriend” look and can be matched with several other fashion essentials. Try the sweater out over a simple shirt, with a pair of leggings and some jewelry. The oversized sweaters are perfect for the days when you just want to throw on a hoodie, but know you should dress it up a bit.

Plaid

The lumberjack look is in for this fall for both men and women! Plaid can be stylized in many different ways, but here are a couple of options: A classic plaid shirt, straight leg jeans, and a pair of boots or a plaid dress, solid pumps, and a blazer. Other cute items found in plaid include: jackets, scarves, rainboots, purses, and more! However, a quick fashion tip is to beware that you are not channeling the school uniform look too much!

Camouflage Print

For all of you college students, camo print is a unique trend for the Fall 2011 fashion scene. The trick is to find articles of clothing that don’t resemble tacky costume pieces. As a rule, stick to only one camouflaged piece per outfit, but there are a variety of items you can choose from. Whether it is a jacket or dress, the camouflage look is very “in” for this fall.

Wide Leg Pants

Return of the 70′s! Wide leg pants and bellbottoms are making a comeback this fall. There are several different types, however two prominent styles are wide leg jeans and palazzo pants. Be sure to purchase wide leg jeans with tighter hips to avoid a shapeless look. Palazzo pants should be paired with a firm fitting top, and tend to look best with heels.

Carolina Engman, Kate Bosworth, Rachel Bilson, and Mary-Kate Olsen via: http://keepcalmgoshopping.onsugar.com/70S-WIDE-LEG-PANTS-17952558

Fashion blogger, Jenny Heller (check out her articles  at www.lauriebstyle.comand www.spoiledlittlelagirls.com), told us about some other trends she is looking forward to this fall. Some of her “favorites include winter capes, fisherman sweaters, print pants, midi length skirts and peplum silhouettes.” Jenny also tells us that “shopping for fall trends couldn’t be easier these days, as lots of chain stores interpret the runway trends at inexpensive prices.”  In  her opinion, “two of the best are Zara (who, to [her] delight, recently launched online commerce) and H&M.”

STORAGE

Once you put together an outfit with a great new look for Fall, the question becomes what to do with it when you’re not wearing it! Sweaters can be bulky and adding new pieces to your already crammed closet is never fun. However, no need to compromise your style for a lack of space. At GreatUsefulStuff.com, we have numerous solutions for storage for all of your clothes. Jenny Heller says that “it’s best to store sweaters folded on shelves, as they can get easily stretched out on hangers, however, that can get a bit messy.” She adds on that “sweater bins are a great solution to this problem.” Our Sweater Bins are the perfect place to keep all of the items you plan to purchase this fall. Instead of trying to find room in a drawer to cram in all of your sweaters, pants, and other articles of clothing, give these bins a try. The front tab even folds down, for easy access to your clothes.

Sweater Bins

Another solution is our Collapsible Open Shelf Storage Box. Not only do the boxes create space and organization for your fall clothing, they also come in a variety of stylish colors.

Collapsible Open Shelf Storage Box

As a final tip for shopping this fall, Jenny Heller advises “taking inventory of your closet before hitting the stores and buying pieces that will seamlessly mix and match with items you already own.  Not only will you be more likely to wear them this way, but you’ll be guaranteed multiple ways to wear them.”

For more information about products and ordering, visit www.greatusefulstuff.com.

Shopping Secrets – Keeping your Spending in Check

Back-to-school shopping season is underway, however sales are limited and new wardrobes are expensive! Here at GUS, we have come up with a few tips on how to save on shopping.

COUPONING

With television shows on air like Extreme Couponing, and tons of blogs such as Couponing 101, couponing has become a fad in today’s society. Whether it be extreme or not, couponing can save lots of money on everything ranging from food to clothing. We know that there is that shirt or pair of shoes that you just need for the upcoming fall, and coupons can help you save money on all of your upcoming purchases. Money saving blogger Brianna Carter (check out her blog at http://bargainbriana.com/) teaches “others to save money while shopping by utilizing effective coupon methods.” Brianna tells GUS that you can find coupons in magazines or online, however “you have to act quickly before the printable coupons are gone.” For thousands of bargains and coupons, go to Brianna’s Coupon Database here: http://bargainbriana.com/coupon-database. Another easy and obvious way to save on shopping is to use the gift cards you received for the holidays or on your birthday. However, we know how hard it is to keep track of these. Who has ever lost a gift card or forgotten about it until it’s expired? Don’t worry; you are not alone. At GUS, our Shopping Organizer for Receipts, Gift Cards and Coupons is great solution for this. Now you will have a place to store and organize all of these items that are commonly misplaced or forgotten about.

Shopping Organizer for Receipts, Gift Cards and Coupons

Also, our Keepsake Keeper is another great product to help you organize your receipts. This item will make tax season much easier and a whole lot less stressful!

STORES TO SAVE

When trying to save on back-to-school shopping, make sure to explore all of your options before making your purchases. Primarily, try discount stores or websites such as http://www.pricegrabber.com/ to discover the best priced items you can possibly find. Additionally, there are more options available to college students. Did you know that as a college student there are stores with discounts designed exclusively for you? For example, at any of the Madewell or J.Crew stores, there is a 15% discount available off of all of your purchases! However, don’t forget to bring your Student ID with you! All you need to do is present your Student ID at checkout and you will receive this discount. With all of the new clothes and accessories you will now be able to afford, you will definitely need somewhere to store them. Our Complete Closet System can hang right on the rod in your closet

Complete Closet System

and will give you plenty of space to organize your new fall wardrobe. If you share a closet with your roommate, or need other organizational tools to store your new purchases, check out any of the items in our Closet storage section.

Here is another quick and easy way to save: 25% off ALL Kangaroom Storage products just by simply “liking” GUS  on Facebook! Visit us here to become a fan: http://www.facebook.com/greatusefulstuff

For more information about products and ordering, visit www.greatusefulstuff.com.

Things You Forgot to Bring to College

After all of the craze of moving into college, everyone is finally settling in. However, living on your own is an adjustment and there are several things everyone overlooks. GUS has great items to solve some of these issues college students are facing. Furthermore, students won’t need to leave their dorms or dig deep into their pockets; solutions are just a click away and these very reasonably priced items can be shipped directly to your school.

LAUNDRY TROUBLES

Making time to do your laundry is difficult enough with all of the work and social events that come along with the college experience. However, even more challenging is trying to sort your darks from lights without laundry baskets or space to create piles. Thomas Frank is a blogger from College Info Geek and an expert on college living (check out his blog at http://collegeinfogeek.com). His solution to this problem is to put all of his clothes into a “hamper, drag it all to the laundry room, and separate [his] whites and colors by throwing them into different machines.” This is a great resolution as long as there are plenty of empty machines. GUS has a great product to help avoid this issue completely!

Mesh Laundry Tote

Our Mesh Laundry Tote has various interior sections intended to ease your laundry troubles. This washable mesh tote has separate compartments for lights and darks, along with two useful pockets for delicates, soap, dryer sheets and more. With the Mesh Laundry Tote, you can eliminate the time and fuss surrounding laundry.

DORM ORGANIZATION

Everyone remembers to bring a backpack or shoulder bag to lug books to and from class. However, what many people forget is that these books need a place to stay within your dorm room. Piling books on your desk can get very disorganized and messy, but not to worry, GUS has an easy fix.

School Wally

The School Wally is a hanging organizer that can easily be hung on the back of a door or the side of a bunk bed and will provide space and organization for books, papers, projects, and more! Now you can keep your work separated by subjects, along with extra storage for writing utensils, pencil sharpeners, electronics, and more. The School Wally comes with sturdy hooks that simply slip over a door or rod, and is a super useful item that will create organization and extra space in your dorm room.

BATHROOM BLUES

Sharing a bathroom in college with lots of people is usually a brand new experience for most Freshman. While most kids probably remembered to pick up a shower caddy before they left for school, a lot of students will find that many models are inconveniently large, hard to navigate, and they trap way too much water which quickly results in mold and mildew. At GUS, our Mesh Bath Tote  is the perfect size for all of your shower and bathroom products and with the mesh material, water does not get trapped at the bottom of the tote. Additionally, in most college communal living, long shower lines mean much shorter showers than everyone is used to. Another tip from Thomas is that the “showers are pretty crowded from around 7:30am to 9:30am,” so try to avoid the bathrooms at these times. Our Mesh Shower Tote can help you get in and out of the shower in a snap with its large pockets to hold all your products and its flexible handle that fits over most showerheads.

Mesh Bath Tote

College life can be stressful enough, so hopefully these products from GUS will make your daily lives just a little bit easier! For more helpful products, check out our back to school collection.

For more information about products and ordering, visit www.greatusefulstuff.com.