Archive for the ‘Live Simply’ Category
Saturday, April 13th, 2013
At Way Basics, we are all about helping you personalize and organize your home. But what do you do if you are moving from one home to the next? Guest blogger, Grace has some tips about how to make the move as smooth as possible!
When you have a move ahead, you might think its an easy task that may easily be done in a weekend or two. Well you should stop for a minute and think ahead before you allow things to progress that far. There are plenty of tasks that need to be completed long before the arrival of the moving vehicle. Planning ahead ensures you won’t suffer from last minute changes and trouble. Check out the following tips so you can be prepared well ahead of time:
You will most likely need professional movers to handle heavy lifting and the sheer volume of possessions you need to move when the time arrives. If you put off hiring them for a long time however, you risk not being able to do proper research of the moving companies available in your area. Make sure you begin checking out and calling companies at least a month ahead of time so you’ll be able to figure out the best deals, prices and chances to work with them. Calling up and checking as many of them as you can will allow you to even let companies know of better deals offered by their rivals, allowing you to maybe get a better deal yourself.
Once you have done this, you need to ensure you understand the agreement you are signing before the contract is finalized. Ask a number of questions that give the best information all around. Know whether the company will charge you by the hour or by weight of the items, whether they will do the packing for you, what type of insurance they offer and so on. Ensure there are no surprise fees or hidden charges and make sure everything you are promised is promised on paper as part of the contract.
Before you begin the packing process you will of course need boxes. You can buy them off a retail store, office supply store or even the moving company itself if they offer such services. The main thing is that you will need a lot of boxes to get the job done. Make sure you pick a wide range of boxes from varying sizes so you’ll have no trouble fitting everything you need safely. They have to be strong and possibly reusable. In some cases you can even find boxes for free from a number of sources, such as retail stores, liquor stores and more.
You should focus on rarely used items first, packing them at least a month or two in advance. Most of us keep a staggering amount of personal possessions that accumulate around our homes as the years go by. Begin packing those who are out of season at the moment, starting with clothes, blankets and more, slowly working your way toward the final day. Ensuring that is done early will allow you to deal with the stress of last minute moving troubles.
Moving is the perfect moment to downsize your belongings to a more manageable size. Any items you don’t consider vital or that you have not used for a long time should simply go, opening the way for something new or more useful. Although this may seem a bit drastic at first, you should consider the prices involved in moving everything you own. The more you move, the more expensive the final result will be, so making sure you are only moving what you care about is vital to keeping your expenses low and at the same time ensuring a stress-free move.
- Organize a yard sale or donate unwanted items
Doing so will either help someone else obtain what they want or you could lessen your moving expenses further by using unwanted items as fuel, so to speak. Put up fliers or even a listing on a classifieds website such as Craigslist to spread the word. Donate your unwanted books to your local library to enrich the community and so on. There is much you can benefit from, both financially and as a philanthropist.
Grace is an expert in the field of real estates and relocation, working on a behalf of SM6 moving firm.
Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
Did You Know?
How did the name Way Basics come about?
Paper as we know it today was invented in the ancient Far East, and the character for recycle in Mandarin Chinese is “hui” (pronounced huey). Hui sounds a bit like ‘way’ and thus we get our first word. The second word, basics, represents our fundamental goal in bringing things back to the basics. Our name depicts how we as a company are doing things in a different way, and our products are built for our customers lifestyles… their way. Best of all, we keep everything simple and way basic.
What does the square logo represent?
To understand our logo, we need to look again at the “hui” or “recycle” character. Take a look at the the “hui” character in Mandarin Chinese:
Notice how the outside square is slightly tilted in our logo. That’s because we are a unique company, as can be seen through our products and the way we do business. We like to do things our way no matter how ‘tilted’ it sounds. If it makes sense, we’ll go for it. You’ll notice that part of the logo is brown which symbolizes nature, strength, and the sustainability of our furniture. Finally, the green inner square represents our heartfelt commitment to doing business the right way. To be proactively conscious in protecting the environment through the way we work and our products.
Our tagline: “building possibilities” describes all aspects of our business. From helping you “build” your career, to helping a customer “build” a furniture solution, we are always building possibilities. With one look at our products, customers instantly see the possibilities of building Way Basics into their lives. The Cube may be a storage unit to a college student, a stool for a toddler, or a footrest to a musician. This is why we do not categorize our furniture as “children”, “office”, “college” or any kind of furniture. A Cube becomes your cube. Use it how you see fit… build your possibilities.
Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
Rachel Sarnoff is the brilliant mind behind both Eco Stiletto and Mommy Greenest. Both blogs focus on maintaining a happy and sustainable lifestyle and we are such huge fans of her work. We were overjoyed when she agreed to write a little something about how she stays happy even when the mess gets too much! What do you do to maintain your sanity when the mess becomes overwhelming?
“Quote: “”I am an obsessive organizer. I keep a calendar synced to my phone, and a daily paper list as well. But sometimes I feel like my focus on being organized stops me from being truly happy. Yes, I like opening drawers and seeing things neat and tidy. But should it ruin my day if they’re not? My husband and kids help me see the big picture. They’re totally comfortable with dishes in the sink and towels on the floor, and with the occasional tardy slip. When I get obsessed with something, sometimes I just need to take a deep breath and step back for a moment. The dishes will get done. The towels will just get used again tomorrow. And taking time to talk with my daughter as we walk to school is far more valuable than rushing her through the door in order to get to kindergarten on time.
–Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, www.MommyGreenest.com”"
Monday, February 25th, 2013
Intrigued yet? What’s an X-term you may be asking? X-terms two week experiential learning intensives which take place in January and in May/June. The program in May/June is student led and students must raise the funds, plan the curriculum, and design the entire program. X-terms are based on Maria Montessori’s views, and they provide a unique learning experience that cannot be matched. Every year the students choose something different that is sure to change their lives for the better. Two years ago, they ventured out to New York City, and spent a week immersed in the startup culture. They worked with Union Square Ventures, Stack Overflow, Stack Exchange, and Coco Foods International. Cool, huh?
We love supporting our future generation, especially brilliant go-getters like these kids, so we were thrilled when they contacted us to be apart of their fundraising for this years X-terms! They have some pretty cool prizes including a Nook, Jambox, and Way Basics Cubby Organizer! Be sure to check it out and help them reach their $10,000 goal! After all, all students deserve to be supported and helped to reach their dreams!
Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
Our home is our sanctuary. It is where we return to again and again for comfort, solace, rest, nourishment, etc. Whether you have children or not, your home should be a healthy place. You may not spend the majority of your woken hours there, but toxins, even while you sleep, contribute to both physical and mental health problems.
If you are building a new home, it is pretty simple to go green. Many alternatives now exist. From safer paints to wool carpeting, you don’t have to rely on synthetic, toxic materials. Although it may cost more to go the eco-friendly route, it is worth it in the long run for both your health and the planet’s
Remodeling an existing home can be a bit trickier than new construction, as extra precaution should be used when removing toxic building materials like asbestos tiles and fiberglass insulation. Most of us are not going to go to this extent and you don’t have to tear apart your home or install an alternative energy system to build a safer home for your family. Start with small, simple steps. Eventually you will get to the bigger stuff.
My own home is a mixture of eco-friendly and more traditional elements. We did build our home from salvage timber. We did use only eco-friendly paints on the interior walls. Some of our insulation is made from recycled cotton. We do live off-the-grid
. What I think matters more than these green architectural features is how you fill your home.
One of the most basic places to start building a safer home for your family are your cleaning supplies. When my house is clean, I feel good. Unfortunately, most products used to clean our homes are highly toxic, perhaps the most dangerous chemicals in your house. That pine fresh scent isn’t a good thing!
It’s pretty simple to make your own cleaning supplies. Healthy Child Healthy World
has great recipes making your own cleaners. All you really need is vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice, although I find plain water works great too. If you feel you need some soap, Dr. Bronner’s is a safe, good multi-purpose cleaner. If you feel you need specific products, like for cleaning toilets or windows, there are a lot of eco-friendly products available now at health food stores and many mainstream grocery stores from brands such as Seventh Generation. Of course, don’t forget the laundry. Choosing an eco-friendly, natural laundry detergent is also essential in keeping your home safe.
Beyond the products you use to clean your home, the interior of your home is another place to consider. Only use paint that is non-toxic and low in VOCs
Typical household paint may contain upwards of 300 known toxic chemicals.
Consider purchasing eco-friendly furniture, especially mattresses. Think of how much time you spend in your bed, then consider that each mattress has at least five pounds of chemicals! The Wool Bed Company
These nasty chemicals you’ll find in your traditional, mass produced mattress include Boric Acid (also known as roach killer), Antimony (similar to arsenic), and Decabromodiphenyl Oxide, or DBDPO. These chemicals have been known to cause reproductive and developmental issues, heart, lung, and kidney damage, and even cancer. Inhaling these chemicals on a regular basis is extremely toxic to our bodies and will cause health issues until we resolve the problem.
In my home, all of our mattresses are eco-friendly, but our couches are not. I don’t advise families throw out all of their furniture. That would not be very eco-friendly. I do advise that when you are purchasing new furniture, you use chemical-free as a criteria. New carpeting and couches are notorious for making people ill. Anything with a “new” smell should be avoided.
Finally, you cannot build a safer, eco-friendly home for your family without considering the kitchen. Non-stick cookware
should be tossed out immediately. A majority of the food in your cupboards and refrigerator should be organically grown. Less chemicals means a greener home and a healthier family.
It can feel overwhelming at times when you start to look around your home at all of the toxins. There are simple steps you can take immediately, such as using houseplants to improve indoor air quality and switching to green cleaning products
. You don’t need to take out a second mortgage and completely gut your home to create a safer environment, just seek out greener products when replacing your old ones. Step by step this will lead you to a healthier home.
This guest post was written by the founder & editor of ecochildsplay, Jennifer Lance. Thanks for your amazing advice Jennifer!
Friday, February 15th, 2013
We saw this amazing shelf makeover DIY on Design Sponge and we thought it would be the perfect way to introduce our NEW floating shelves (and all the amazing things you can do with them!
NEW Espresso zBoard floating shelves
Don’t have enough room in your kitchen for full shelves but want more organizational space?
Way Basic’s new floating shelves are the perfect way to give you that extra space without all the hassle. If you want to mix it up and decorate them DIY style, follow the tutorial below (tutorial from here).
here’s what you’ll need:
-Way Basics zBoard floating shelves (any size!)
-woven grass cloth (you can also use paper, fabric, vinyl, etc.)
-polycrylic clear sealant
-wood stain in color of your choosing
Shelf Complete! (Image source: http://www.designsponge.com/2008/03/diy-wednesdays-shelf-makeover.html)
1. prime or spray paint shelves
2. lay shelf on top of a piece of grass cloth. wrap cloth around shelf until it overlaps 1/2″ and trim to size. staple cloth to back edge of shelf.
3. wrap short ends like a present and staple, tucking in all raw edges.
4. mix 3 parts polycrylic to 1 part stain and brush over cloth covered shelf. wearing your gloves, rub stain into cloth fibers with your hands.
5. let dry and finish with a coat of clear polycrylic.
6. hang shelves (tip: you can camouflage the hanging hardware and screws with acrylic paint.)
Thanks for the amazing inspiration Design Sponge!
Monday, October 29th, 2012
Way Basics is overjoyed to bring you this Tip Tuesday by Aby Garvey. She is a creative organizing expert and the founder and co-owner of www.simplify101.com. Simplify 101’s mission is to make getting organized simple and fun! Get a taste of simplify 101—and the organized life—with their FREE, simple-to-follow guide How to Create a Command Central Binder . If you’d like to learn more about simplify 101’s online workshops, check out their free workshop How to Change Your Life in 10 Simple Steps.
It’s hard to believe that November is almost here. And you know what that means: the holidays are right around the corner! Whether this thought fills you with excitement or dread, there are some simple things you can do to get organized for the holidays and make the season a joyful and stress-free time of year. Here’s how to get started.
1. Start with the end in mind. For just a minute, think about how you felt on December 26th last year. Were you relaxed and satisfied, or were you exhausted and relieved that the holiday rush was? If the latter, think about how you’d like to feel this year, not only on the 26th, but throughout November and December. Then, distill this vision into a simple statement. My statement is “the joy is in the journey,” and it helps me stay focused on what really matters throughout the holiday season. What do you want this holiday season?
2. Make a to-do list and assign time slots. Once you have your vision for the season in place, make a simple to-do list of all the things you typically do this time of year including shopping for gifts, wrapping gifts, sending cards, baking, entertaining, and so on. Then, do a sanity check, with yourself and your family. Which items on this list support your vision for the season? Which tasks get in the way of creating the type of holiday you really want? Give yourself permission to simplify your list and edit out those tasks that don’t help you create the kind of holiday season you want. Then, pull out a calendar and schedule the tasks you will do.
3. Start early. The best way to ensure you create the kind of holiday season you envisioned in step 1 is to start early. Take action on steps 1 and 2 this week—and then make a little bit of progress on your to-do list each day. By working on your holiday to-dos a little bit at a time throughout the season, you’ll alleviate stress and create space for the people and activities that matter most to you.
By following these three steps, you can create a holiday season that is centered on what is most important to you and your family.
P.S. If you’d like a complete system to organize every aspect of the holiday season, my Get Organized for the Holidays online workshop is for you. This workshop gives you tools to simplify your holiday to-do list, including printable forms to organize everything from shopping, to entertaining, to gift wrapping, to scheduling activities and to-dos. Class begins Thursday, November 1st and runs through December 20th. During this time, you’ll have access to a private message board where you can ask me questions. I’ll answer them within one business day (often even faster) so it’s like having a professional organizer “on-call” throughout the holiday season. You’re invited to join the fun. And you’re invited to create a stress-free, joy-filled holiday season this year and for years to come. Get all the details and sign up here!
Wednesday, October 17th, 2012
We have had lots of fun in the past with messy room contests, and we have decided to run one again this month with a Halloween theme!
Prize for WINNER: $150 to waybasics.com. (Prize for us: making your room mess-free!)
Please see the instructions below:
1. Submit your messiest room (because mess = scary) by emailing us a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org (by Oct 26th)
2. We will pick the messiest rooms, post on Facebook and then YOU bribe, cajole, plead with your friends and family to vote for you! (by liking/ commenting on your picture)
3. WINNER with most likes/comments will be selected Oct 31st!
Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012
We are proud to announce our partnership with the amazing Vine.com. Vine is an online destination for natural, organic and sustainably-made products. Of course we were overjoyed to help them stock their online shelves with our zBoard products.
Described directly from their PR team, “Featuring everything from paraben-free skincare and gluten-free snacks to reclaimed wood furnishings and solar-powered electronics, Vine.com makes life easier for consumers who want to access to green products and shop for them in one place. Customers receive free 1-2 day delivery on orders of $49 or more.” Best of all, all items are backed by Vine.com’s 365-day guarantee return policy.
We are so excited to partner with them and join the ranks of other amazing brands such as Seventh Generation, Inhabit, Method, Happy Baby and more! Be sure to check them out and let us know what amazing new eco-friendly products you find (comment below!).
Sunday, September 9th, 2012
For some of us, vinyls will never go out of fashion. That amazing sound, the colorful album jackets, CDs and MP3s just can’t replace them! This is why we (Way Basics) created our Super Storage Cubes. We knew that vinyls deserved all the organizational love as other media, but it is often tough to find shelving units that will fit your record collection.
Our Super Storage Cubes were made for you to lovingly organize, and re-organize your collection. After all, that is what Way Basics is all about, “Building Possibilities.” See, it IS possible to find the perfect storage unit that will compliment and coordinate with any room in your house or office! Give those vinyls the respect they deserve and use our recycled, Eco-friendly, Super Storage Cubes!
Customer Photo: Dyland Dekay- Bemis Vinyl Storage