Brigitt Earley's Recent Articles
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The 10 Best New Organizing Hacks We Learned in 2018
This year we discovered that it’s quite possible to make something out of nothing. This knowledge comes with a lot of power: It’s helped us be less wasteful, plus keep our homes spotless. Here are some of the best—and most useful—organizing hacks we learned. If your junk drawer is a disaster (whose isn’t?!), cupcake liners make a decent home for paper clips, thumbtacks, coins, and other small items.
Dec 31, 2018
10 of the Best Decluttering Tips and Tricks from 2018
Sometimes all you need to declutter your space is a new frame of mind. Sounds easier said than done? Not so fast. Take a look at some of the best lessons we learned this year about how to live with less. You need to purge, but you might need that gigantic waffle maker at some point. Stop playing that game; you’ll never get the job done. Find out how washi tape can help: A Brilliant, Regret-Free Way You Can Use Tape to Declutter Your Kitchen. A marathon cleaning sesh only leads to fatigue.
Dec 30, 2018
Apartment Therapy’s 20 Best Cleaning Shortcuts of 2018
There are no gimmicks here—just genius hacks that'll keep your home sparkling all year long.
Dec 26, 2018
9 Things to Do (Besides Play Games) When You Have People Over
From sending invitations, to catering, to prepping and cleaning the house, a party host has a lot to think about. One thing they shouldn’t have to stress over? Whether their guests are going to have a good time. With ample food and drink, a party is always a good time. But when partygoers aren’t well-acquainted or Uncle Joe has a tendency to ruffle feathers by talking politics, it’s smart to have a few tricks in your back pocket.
Dec 22, 2018
The 9 Deadly Sins of Bad Kitchens, According to the Pros
These are the biggest faux pas you can make.
Dec 19, 2018
17 Gifts Any Clean Freak Will Flip For
Does your mom know every cleaning trick in the book? Does your brother make you take your shoes off the second you walk in his home? Or does your coworker, with the only clutter-free desk on the floor, flee to a private conference room if you so much as sniffle? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, it sounds like you know a neat freak.
Dec 12, 2018
The Big Kitchen Trends We’ll Keep Seeing in 2019
These aren't going anywhere.
Dec 10, 2018
5 Under-the-Radar Perks of the IKEA Family Card
There's a lot to love about IKEA But one perk you're probably overlooking is the store's loyalty card.
Dec 2, 2018
One (Way Too Common) Mistake You Might Be Making with Your Holiday Cards
There's one very important element you're overlooking when sending holiday cards—your grammar.
Dec 1, 2018
6 Things You Didn’t Know About IKEA’s Plant Department
What can’t you do at IKEA? You can furnish a whole house in one trip. If you don’t find something you like, you can hack any number of IKEA offerings. You can get an entire meal or stock up on specialty groceries. Hey, I even know moms who spend rainy days at the superstore, because it keeps their kids entertained for hours at a time.
Nov 12, 2018
8 Pro Tips for Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor
The right renovation can really increase the value of your home, but it’s an expensive and time-consuming process. Besides setting aside the necessary funds, the first big hurdle is deciding how you’re going to tackle the project. Although some talented folks may attempt to DIY, the vast majority is better off seeking out the help of a general contractor for big projects—bathroom updates and kitchen remodels, for example—or additions.
Nov 11, 2018
Granny Pods are Tiny Houses’ Answer to Nursing Homes
After Millie Donahue’s husband died from Alzheimer’s disease, her health began to decline. She was 80 years old and had congestive heart failure combined with failing kidneys. The doctors told family there was nothing more that could be done. They recommended Millie enter hospice care. Instead, her family took her in. “I brought her into my house for what I thought was the last three months of her life,” says daughter Meg Donahue, founder of
Nov 3, 2018
5 Bathroom Features That Are Falling Out of Favor
Take a look at any new bathroom, and you’ll notice some commonalities: sleek frameless doors rather than curtains or bulky sliding ones, bold statement mirrors in place of traditional medicine cabinets, and even a resurgence of cool colored tiles (think bright blue and emerald green!). But you know what they say: in with the new, out with the old. Just as these design elements fall into favor, others fall out of favor. So what will we see fade into distant memory?
Oct 25, 2018
The Salary You’d Need to Afford “The Father of the Bride” House
If you watched “Father of the Bride” with envy—admiring the complex relationship between George and Annie Banks, or wistfully dreaming up your own backyard wedding—the news that the Alhambra, California, home was for sale just a few years ago may have sent you running to mortgage calculators. What could a home like that—a gorgeous 4,400-square-foot center-hall colonial on a tree-lined street—possibly cost? And what would it take to afford something so grand?
Oct 21, 2018
The Frightening Reason You Shouldn’t Use Contact Paper in Your Kitchen Cabinets
An $8 roll of contact paper can do wonders for your home. You can use it to upgrade old furniture, modernize shelves, elevate countertops, or even forge a backsplash. For the budget-conscious, it’s almost too good to be true. And, as it turns out, some people say it just might be. Why? Apparently cockroaches love contact paper. “Cockroaches will eat almost anything, far beyond what we think of as food sources,” says Howard Bright, the owner of Anti-Pesto Bug Killers.
Oct 18, 2018
The $4 Seasonal Find You Need to Buy at Trader Joe’s This Year
Last year, I found a BOGO coupon for pumpkins at my local nursery. I ended up with four pumpkins valued at $88 for just $44. I felt like I hit the jackpot—my stoop looked great, but I didn’t have to shell out more than my weekly grocery bill for a handful of pumpkins that would only rot in a few week’s time. When I spotted the same coupon in a local flyer this year, I clipped it and set it aside.
Oct 11, 2018
Designers Reveal the Best Colors to Paint Your Front Door
When guests walk up to your home, the first thing they see is ususally your front door. If it’s chipped and peeling or dull and drab, trust us: Your guests (or potential buyers) are going to notice. The front door is your opportunity to make a great first impression, so it’s important not to treat it as an afterthought, or worse, forget it altogether.
Oct 5, 2018
There’s a Reason Why Tile That Looks Like Wood Is So Popular
Love the crisp, clean look of hardwood floors, but know it’s not practical for your space? Or maybe it’s simply out of budget. You could install it anyway (bad idea), you could have a pity party for yourself (no fun), or you could opt for a newly popular style of tile that’s popping up everywhere: porcelain or ceramic “wood” tiles. Why?
Sep 22, 2018
The Home Buy I Never Leave Trader Joe’s Without
Let me preface this by saying I have never been a flower person. I’ve always told romantic interests to skip the flowers—and meant it. I just don’t see the point in spending disposable income on something that’s so plentiful outdoors and dies as soon as you bring it indoors. Then there’s the whole bit about changing the water and cleaning up rotten stems. For me, you can file flowers under “waste of money.
Sep 7, 2018
What Everyone Gets Wrong About Cricut Cutting Machines
When you’re an occasional crafter (i.e. not quite ready to star on a show like “Making It“), a cutting machine is a big investment—the newest Cricut retails for $399! But the allure of these machines is real. With a cutting machine like the Cricut or the Silhouette Cameo, you can precisely cut through most materials (even leather and thin wood!), tackle simple sewing projects, draw intricate designs, make complex stencils, and create elaborate logos for apparel.
Aug 22, 2018
NBC’s Craft Show Making It is What We All Need in 2018
Making It, hosted by Ron Swanson and Leslie Knope… I mean Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler, has received a lot of comparisons to the Great British Baking Show. And I totally get it: The hosts and judges are there for support and comic relief, not to critique contestants and bicker with one another. Making It is exactly what 2018 needs. Like Poehler says in the intro, “life is stressful enough—let’s make a show that makes you feel good.
Aug 2, 2018
What Do We Mean When We Talk About Trends? (And Should You Care?)
So tan leather sofas are taking over Instagram and the Beni Ourain rug is in every living room you’ve walked into this summer. So what? Should you care about these trends? For starters, it’s helpful to know the difference between a trend and a fad, says Sarah Fishburne, director of trends and design at The Home Depot: “People sometimes confuse trends and fads. Fads are fast. But trends are typically something that have a lot more longevity.
Jul 15, 2018
What HGTV Doesn’t Tell You About Flipping Houses
So you want to make a cool $100,000? Popular HGTV shows lead you to believe the secret to getting rich quick is to start flipping houses. From Chip and Joanna Gaines, to Tarek and Christina El Moussa, there are plenty of everyday people making a name for themselves this way. So a few years ago, after I got married, my husband and I said to ourselves: We could totally do this. He works in construction.
Jul 11, 2018
9 Etsy Buys to Completely Transform Your IKEA Furniture
It’s no secret we love IKEA. Maybe not quite as much as this clever bride, but we’re well-versed in IKEA hacks. A little spray paint, yarn, contact paper, or new knobs can turn a standard piece of decor into an eye-catching statement that looks way more expensive than it is. And, lucky for us, tons of Etsy sellers are jumping on the IKEA bandwagon, selling small products that turn IKEA finds into beautiful home decor. Here, some of our favorites.
Jun 30, 2018
4 Amazon Private Labels You Need to Know About (Plus Top-Rated Picks)
You live and die by Amazon. You’ve been a Prime member for years, you know all about that secret $2 section, you head to Amazon Handmade whenever you need a unique gift, and you even give preference to hotels with rooms equipped with Alexa. But did you know Amazon has a whole host of private labels? Amazon launched its first private label in 2009; five years later they slowly launched 11 more; today Amazon has approximately 76 private labels.
Jun 29, 2018
Anthropologie Finally Got Decorative Measuring Spoons Right
If there’s one thing Anthropologie is known for, its beautiful boho-chic housewares. The store is filled with gorgeous ceramic bowls, gilded pitchers and candlesticks, carved wooden bowls, and hand-painted measuring spoons. I love it all. It’s my go-to locale for housewarming and birthday gifts, but one thing I could never bring myself to take home were those decorative floral measuring spoons—they just aren’t practical.
Jun 28, 2018
The 10 Most Popular Items on Amazon Wedding Registries
You already know you can get just about anything on Amazon, but you might not have realized that many couples are turning to the online giant to create their wedding registries. The benefit of registering on a site like Amazon is obvious: Rather than craft two or three separate registries, you can create one centralized wish-list. You can even add items from other retailers using the site’s universal registry functionality.
Jun 27, 2018
Pros Weigh In: These Are The Best Paint Colors For Your Kitchen
Years ago most kitchens were dark and full of autumn tones, like red, gold, and even orange. More recently, those bolder shades have given way to all-white kitchens. Why? Homeowners are building and renovating kitchens to be open to the rest of the floorplan, rather than segmented. “Kitchens have basically become invisible to blend with the rest of the home.
Jun 21, 2018
Much-Hyped Interior Trends That Are Vanishing Without a Whisper
Whether about polka-dot blouses or gold hardware, you know what they say: Trends come and go. You may hate that Pepto-Bismol pink bathroom in your fixer-upper, but we can all but guarantee the original owners installed it because it was in fashion, and not the cheapest tile in the store. So why do tastes change so much over the years? Aqua blue was everywhere—cars, refrigerators, toys, stoves, bathroom tile—in the years following World War II, explains Claire E.
Jun 16, 2018
Here’s What Happens When Your Mom Is Also Your Business Partner
Imagine for a moment that you scored your dream job. Somehow you landed a gig you’re passionate about and excel at. Now imagine your business partner is your mom. That may be a dream come true for some; others may take pause. In honor of Mother’s Day, we’re highlighting three seriously talented mother-daughter duos across real estate, design, and DIY who believe working together is like hitting the career jackpot.
May 13, 2018
7 Hidden Costs and Complications of Tiny Houses
Sometimes living small means paying up.
May 11, 2018
What “House Hunters” Didn’t Tell Me About Buying My First Home
“House Hunters” first premiered in 1999 when I was 12 years old. I devoured episode after episode. And since they don’t teach you these practical things in school, I thought I had learned everything there is to know about home buying from the popular HGTV show. But fast forward 18 years: I got married, then pregnant. Suddenly I was eager to trade the nearly-windowless rental basement my husband and I considered home for one we could call our own.
May 4, 2018
20 Mother’s Day Gifts You’ll Want to Keep for Yourself
You'll find a little bit of everything with our picks.
May 1, 2018