Posts Tagged ‘Scott Roewer’

Top 10 Garage Organizing Tips – Just in Time For Spring

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

As the temperatures are finally creeping up, it’s time to take our Spring cleaning and organizing campaign outside… to the garage. Make the most of this underappreciated space in your home and get it ready for smart storage and for working on your favorite projects. Even if you just want to just make room to finally move your car inside, remember these top tips for your best organizing results:

1. Designate separate spaces or zones in which to group like items together, such as sports gear, gardening tools, automotive supplies, house repair, etc. It makes finding things easy, clean up is simple, and overall a more functional workspace.

2. When it comes to storing off-season or occasional items in the garage, nothing beats stackable, clear plastic bins. Make sure they have tight sealing lids like the Rubbermaid Roughneck line, to protect your belongings from moisture and critters. Not everything needs to be in a bin with a lid, especially if you’re accessing the items frequently.

3. Pegboards are terrific for vertical storage and they come in a variety of sizes and materials. Useful for hanging everything from gardening tools or hand tools, pegboards are also versatile, so you can adjust them as your needs change. Choose a system that is sturdy enough to carry the weight you need. For a dressed-up look, check out this pegboard system.

4. Give yourself some room. If lack of space is keeping you from your list of DIY projects, make your garage more functional by adding the right workbench. Wall mounted versions like this fold-down model give you the surface you need without taking up any floor space. Add casters to any table to make your workstation mobile, and when you’re done, tuck it neatly out of the way again. Gladiator Garage works makes a handy, adjustable leg workbench I plan to have in my next garage.

5. Whenever possible, use open shelving instead of cabinets. Not only are they easier to install and less expensive, they also take up less room because you don’t need to allow for swinging doors. They also let you see everything you’ve got, increasing the space’s functionality. One exception would be a cabinet with doors that can be locked to store hazardous chemicals if you have small children, especially if the chemicals cannot be stored high out of reach.

6. The only way to keep organized is to keep an eye on what you have. One idea is to store the tiny tidbits on your tool shelves in clear spice jars, so you won’t have to hunt them down when you need them, or mount the jars under a shelf. I use a parts organizer like this for my spare hardware. If you have drawers, try painting them with chalkboard paint, so you can clearly label – and re-label – what’s inside.

7. Not everything is appropriate to store in your garage. If you think you’re saving money buying paper goods in bulk, you’ll be throwing that money away if you leave them out to become insect bait. Paint should also be moved inside, as it will be ruined by extreme weather if your garage isn’t climate controlled.

8. It may be easy to just lean a ladder up against the wall when not in use, but that can be an accident waiting to happen. Avoid having it tip over onto your car – or worse, on a person – by laying it down horizontally and pushing it against the wall. If possible, keep it off the floor entirely by storing your ladder on hooks.

9.  Repurpose wire closet shelving by screwing them into the ceiling joists in your garage. It creates a huge amount of storage for things you don’t need to get to regularly, and you can always see what’s overhead.

10. Once your garage is organized, for an even more streamlined look, install moisture resistant curtains to hide your storage and work spaces. You can also use it as an opportunity to add a pop of color to the typically stark surfaces of a garage. You could even consider laminating posters or your kids’ artwork to create some visual interest in the garage.

Share with us your dreams for your garage in the comments below. What would you use the space for if you could do anything with it, and more importantly… what’s stopping you?

Closet Changeover Magic – How To Make It Easier

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Think you’ve got nothing to wear? Before you rush out and spend a bundle on new clothes, try getting your closet organized for Spring. I bet you’ll uncover the wardrobe that you already have… it’s probably hiding from you in plain sight!

Cleaning out your overstuffed armoire or cramped closet isn’t really something to dread. It’s not as difficult as you think, and the rewards are huge and immediate. Carve out a few hours this weekend, crank your favorite tunes to keep your energy up, and follow these simple steps to get your closet organized in no time:

Move it out! As with any organizational project, you have to start with a clean slate, so begin by emptying everything out of your closet. Gather it into categories as you remove it all: shoes; sweaters; jeans; dresses and skirts; bags, belts and hats; etc. Then wipe down all the surfaces and sweep or vacuum thoroughly.

Thin it out. Move as quickly as you can through each pile and decisively remove any items you no longer wear. Designate what is to be donated, tossed, repurposed, or even sold on eBay, and bag it up and remove it from the staging area. Remember, anything that you didn’t wear this year, you are even less likely to wear next year, so don’t give up precious space storing them. Let it go sooner not later.

Pack it up and put it away. Prepare your clothes for storage by washing or dry cleaning everything. Then pack them in the appropriate totes to protect them from moisture and bugs. I prefer something with a natural fiber so the clothing is able to breath. If your containers aren’t sufficiently transparent, list what you’re putting into each of them, and tape the list to the outside for easy retrieval throughout the year.  Also, store your beachwear or resort clothes separately, so you’re always ready to pack for an impromptu weekend getaway.

Ideally, you could store things as you use them and hanging items would remain hung, but if your storage space doesn’t allow for that, then try to lay your hanging items flat, rather than folding them, to eliminate the need for excessive pressing when they come out of storage. Delicate items should be folded, not hung, to avoid stretching, sagging and pulling of knits. If you don’t have any extra closet space, ask your dry cleaner about storage options – many will hold onto your off-season clothes free of charge, after you’ve paid for their dry cleaning services.

Put it back. Do not start returning your Spring and Summer items to your closet without a plan! Think about your dressing habits and organize accordingly: separate workday from weekend, or if your work clothes are less corporate, try distinguishing dressy from casual. Go a step further, and make sub-arrangements by length and color.

Listen to Mommy Dearest and get rid of the wire hangers. Invest in hangers that will help preserve your wardrobe: sturdy wooden hangers for heavier coats, padded hanger for your delicates, and non-slip hangers for those silky tops. Once you’ve taken stock of how many you need, you can find a great selection of hangers online or at your favorite home store.

A well organized closet is a beautiful sight, and it not only saves you money by reminding you what you already own, it makes getting dressed a whole lot easier! Please comment below and let us know what you LOVE about your closet, and one way you plan to make it even better this Spring.

Organizing Your Car – The Essential Spring Cleaning Guide

Friday, March 21st, 2014

So many of us feel like we “live in our cars,” yet we don’t pay nearly as much attention to maintaining them as we do our homes. Now that spring is finally in sight, it’s time to wash all signs of winter off our vehicles. You can get your car organized, too, with these tips for bringing the fresh start of spring-cleaning outside to your ride.

If you’re a person who enjoys getting in some outdoor physical activity and saving a few bucks at the same time, then you may be familiar with the DIY carwash routine. Whether you do it yourself or bring your car to the pros, once you’ve got the outside washed and the paintjob shining, follow these easy steps to get an organized interior to match:

Gather a few baskets or bins for inside your car, and a few more for the trunk; small individual containers with lids work best. And you’ll need a visor-clipped CD holder (if that’s how you roll). Next, remove everything from the interior or the car that isn’t tied down and throw away all garbage. Go through whatever is left, and determine what needs to be kept in your car, and what should be stored elsewhere. Use the bins to carry those items inside your home or office, returning them back to their original storage location.

Sort and group everything that is to be returned to your car into the following suggested categories:

  • Emergency roadside supplies: first-aid kit, jumper cables, flashlight, etc.
  • Sports gear for your regular gym visits or scheduled games
  • CDs, kids’ toys
  • Occasional items: a blanket, umbrella, reusable grocery bags
  • Essential items: pens, paper, tissues, hand sanitizer, vital records (registration, insurance)

Start by organizing the prime real estate that is your glove compartment. This space should be reserved for your most important items, and kept clear of clutter, so you never have to dig for the following items when you need them:

  • Proof of insurance and car registration
  • Car’s owners manual
  • Garage door opener
  • Mobile phone charger
  • Small flashlight
  • Pen and paper

If you have a center console, you can use it to stash personal items such as tissues, hand sanitizer, gum, and a coin purse with loose change. Use one of the lidded container or a zipped pouch to organize smaller items, so they don’t migrate into cracks and crevices.

There’s a fine line between having what you need on hand and getting overrun by STUFF! Keep clutter at bay by setting boundaries: allow your kids two items (OK, maybe three) each and store them in a designated tote, seat back or door pocket, where they can be easily accessed. Similarly, set limits on your non-essential items, and put a cap on the number of CDs you carry in the car at any given time. Better yet, just use your mobile phone to play music and ditch the CDs all together.

Items that can be stowed neatly in a bin or basket that will be returned to the interior of your car include occasional items like an extra baseball hat or umbrella, and a collection of reusable grocery bags for any impromptu shopping trips. Use the remaining bins to keep your trunk in order, separating roadside assistance and emergency items like jumper cables and flares from gym bags and sports gear.

As with any area of your home that you wish to keep organized, the best way to maintain a newly organized space is a little at a time. Each time you stop for gas, take a few minutes while the pump is on to gather any collected trash and toss it! Then make it a habit to spend five minutes at the end of the week to remove any items that don’t belong in your car and put them away in their proper place. Make sure whatever remains has a designated bin or bag it belongs in.

Extending your spring organizing efforts to your vehicle will help you get jump on the season. If you have any tips for keeping your car clutter under control, please share them in the comments below.

Sleeping More Is Key To Better Productivity & Health

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Everyone knows that sleep is critical to good health, but did you know that skipping sleep to pack in an extra hour or two of work done is actually counterproductive? If you want to get more done during the day, you can start by getting more shut-eye at night.

Poor sleep habits can reduce your productivity in many ways. It robs the brain of the time it needs to do its most crucial restorative work, which translates to poorer memory function, concentration, and diminished learning capacity, all of which reduce your productivity.

But how much sleep is enough? If you’re thinking the six hours you snagged last night was sufficient, think again. The National Institutes of Health reports that although sleep requirements do vary for everyone, the average adult needs 7.5 to 9 hours to bring their A-game during the day, so chances are you’re used to operating at less than full throttle.

You may not recognize the subtle signs of chronic sleep deprivation, but if you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, then you’re probably not getting enough sack-time:

  • Do you fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow?
  • Is it impossible for you to wake up without an alarm?
  • Do you hit your snooze button every morning?
  • Do you feel sleepy during your afternoon activities?
  • Do you feel the need to nap after meals?
  • Do you get sleepy when you’re driving?
  • Do you look forward to the weekends so you can “catch up” on sleep?
  • Do you fall asleep in front of the television or at the movies?

You may experience any number of symptoms if you’re suffering from chronic sleep deprivation, such as fatigue, irritability, reduced creativity, inability to cope with stress, weight gain, indecisiveness and increased susceptibility to colds or infections. All of these will reduce your productivity as well as your quality of life.

If you have trouble sleeping, it is advised that you keep a sleep journal to track your patterns and habits. They can be very helpful in determining which behaviors are the most disruptive, and how you can adjust them to ensure better sleep and increased productivity. Of course, now there are plenty of online tools to help you track your sleep. Check out this comparison of apps to find one that works for you.

As you begin to take control of your sleeping habits, you can start to reduce the effects of too little sleep by scheduling afternoon power naps… the longer, the better! Sleep researchers at the University of California determined that napping for an hour to an hour and a half improved memory function as much as a full eight hours of sleep. Even grabbing a 20-minute catnap in the afternoon is more of a boost than staying in bed for an extra 20 minutes in the morning. Skip the snooze button and put naptime on your calendar instead, preferably about 8 hours after you wake up, when most people experience a significant dip in energy.

Recognizing, understanding and reversing your chronic sleep deprivation will boost your mood and help you get more done in less time, because you’ll be functioning at maximum efficiency both mentally and physically. Leave a comment below and tell us what do you find to be the greatest obstacle to a good night’s sleep, and how you plan to overcome it.

Spring Decorating: Accents to Push The Season

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Most of us were done with winter by January, but apparently Mother Nature didn’t get the memo. With a few more weeks before spring finally arrives, regardless of what’s happening outside, a few quick decorating tricks can push the season inside your home and bring on a serious case of spring fever!

Color is key in setting the mood in a room, so changing or adding color is the easiest way to transform it. If you don’t want to repaint, you can change the feel of a room by introducing spring colors into your rugs and fabrics. This is a great way to make a big impact, without committing to a complete makeover. Think about the colors you already have in your décor when choosing what colors to add. Use lighter shades of the existing color palette, or find the most complimentary spring shades to accent them. Balance the new colors across your space by repeating them at least three times. This gives a feeling of continuity instead of randomness.

Opt for lighter fabrics, by replacing velvet slipcovers with cotton twills, and heavy drapery with sheer panels. Carefully store the off-season fabrics to protect them from dust and moisture. Toss a couple of throw rugs in sunny citrus hues… or if you’re feeling crafty, you can crochet your own patch of grass to bring some of the green of spring indoors!

White accents around your room, in groupings of picture frames or a freshly painted pair of side tables instantly elevate the mood and infuse an airier quality to your décor. If you prefer a more dressed up space, display objects in symmetrical patterns; leave them slightly askew for a less formal vibe. If you have a collection of frames or an old piece of furniture that you’d like to give a seasonal facelift, follow these tips from Martha for the best whitewashing results.

Like a garden ripe for picking, abundant fruit bowls and fresh flowers bring life to your kitchen and living spaces. Spread some around to add color and vibrancy to darker spaces. In the bathroom, treat yourself and your space to a few fresh towels. Relegate any dingy hand towels to the B-list or donate to your local animal shelter, and choose fluffy, new towels in bright white for an instant update to the bath… and your mood!

Add spring topiaries and a room spray that infuses the sweet smell of fresh linen to help the final few weeks of winter pass painlessly. No matter how cold it is today, we can be (relatively) certain that spring IS coming, so tell us about your favorite room accents or accessories that bring a little spring into your home.

Prepare Your Garden & Yard Tools for Spring

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

If you’ve been counting the days until your snowy white yard melts into the gorgeous greens of spring then this article is for you, because I’ve got some ideas for getting your hands dirty now. It may be too early to get to your garden’s soil, but there’s plenty of prep work to be done if you want to make the most of your lawn and garden this year.

Get your greenhouse in order! Or your shed or the corner of your garage that is dedicated to your gardening… whatever space you have, getting organized before you take on any project will make everything run smoothly. After you’ve swept up your entire workspace and all the surfaces, eradicate any winter creepers that may have taken up residence with an appropriate product. Make sure to ventilate the space thoroughly afterwards.

Start with a clean slate. Clear out drainage ditches, fix your fences and trellises, and mend any containing walls that may have collapsed under heavy snows. Clean your tools and take your blades in to the local home center for a professional sharpening to make sure they’re ready to work.

Stock your gardening tote. You want to have what you need to get started, but don’t go crazy and over-shop when you see all the new supplies at the store, promising you that spring is just around the corner. Remember, you’re not stocking a nursery, but you will need a few essentials on hand:

  • Tending to your plantings can be back breaking work, and a trusty wheelbarrow is a gardener’s best friend. Make sure yours weathered the winter well, oil up the wheel and clean any critters out of the nooks and crannies. If space is a concern, look for a collapsible wheelbarrow so storage during the off season is easier
  • If the glove fits, wear it! With gardening gloves, proper fit is key to your comfort. If they aren’t comfortable, you aren’t likely to wear them. Try on a variety and collect the best ones for heavy-duty jobs like shoveling and moving rocks, and also for more delicate garden work like transplanting.
  • Trowels are multi-purposed which may be why they’re the most commonly used handheld tools for gardening, so you’ll want to have a few different sizes on hand. For tools with more reach, a selection of rakes and shovels will come in most handy.
  • Hand Pruners should be purchased specifically for right- or left-handed gardeners. More substantial pruners called loppers, should be used on branches larger than ¼” in diameter to prevent damaging your pruners and preserve the life of your tools. It’s worth it to pay a few extra bucks for a well-designed tool that fits comfortably in your hand. Pruning saws and hedge trimmers are only necessary if you’re taming with larger trees or shrubbery.

Taking the time to prepare your gardening workspace is an important step to maximize your plantings’ potential throughout the year. How are you getting your garden ready for spring? Please share your ideas in the comments below.

Planning Your Spring Break Road Trip

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

When you’re thinking about getting away this spring but the idea of air travel is less than enticing, remember that there is no better way to see this beautiful country than by taking to its almost 47,000 miles of highway. You may prefer to getaway on your own; just you, alone, on the open road, or perhaps your ideal road trip involves a convertible overflowing with friends, or a mini-van with just you, your spouse and kids. Whomever you choose to travel with, there are a few things to consider if you want to ensure that a good time is had by all.

Get together with your travel buddies to discuss the timing of your trip. Once you have mutually agreeable dates, determine how far you can travel in the allotted time by rolling out a map and perusing it together. Pinpoint all your potential destinations based on the criteria that matter most to you: budget, desirable driving distance per day, people or places you may want to visit, or attractions you’d like to see.

With countless places worth visiting in the US, deciding where you want to go will help you determine the best way to get there. There are plenty of sites like Expedia, Booking, Hotels, and so on, that will help you book your rental car and accommodations, while offering insights into each location and the best places to eat, visit, and shop there. For a road trip, however, there are a few sites that can take your planning to the next level. When you’re choosing your destination, RoadtripUSA is a great place to start, offering a detailed view of eleven classic US driving routes, from coast to coast, and from Canada to Mexico.

When considering your budget, lodging and meals are the categories with the most flexibility. Decide whether you want to camp out, crash with friends, “rough it” in bargain basement motels, book on AirBnB, or experience a different luxury hotel in each city you pass through. Mark off your intended accommodations for each night and adjust your budget accordingly. And if you want to avoid subsisting on fast food and gas stations snacks, checkout TVFoodMaps for the Food Network’s guide to great eats nationwide.

Unless budget is of no concern, it’s a good idea to consider every possible expense, starting with the big three: gas, food and lodging. TravelMath is a website that will help you assess the cost versus time for each route option for you, while FuelMyRoute will help you find the cheapest places along your chosen route to fill up your tank.

Once you’re on the road, having a GPS is a great and comforting resource, but it should not replace your paper maps. In fact, it’s best to print out everything before you go – directions, reservation information, rental car info, etc. – so you don’t have to rely on available cell signals or WiFi to find what you need. Create a binder with all your travel details and put the pages in order of your journey. Also, make sure to sign up for AAA or an equivalent nationwide roadside assistance program.

Lastly, be sure to add these essential items to your packing list, both for road safety, as well as for the pleasure and comfort of your passengers:

  • MP3 and DVD players, along with headphones or ear buds
  • A blanket, football, Frisbee, etc., so you’re prepared for an impromptu picnic lunch
  • A cooler and freezer packs to keep snacks and beverages handy
  • Bathroom tissue, garbage bags, and Wet Wipes to make it a bit more comfortable when nature calls and you’re in the middle of nowhere
  • A first aid kit with all the basics for minor injuries, headaches and car sickness
  • Small pillows and a blanket or two for anyone who needs to catch some shuteye
  • A couple of flashlights and extra batteries
  • Jumper cables
  • A spare tire and jack
  • A second set of car keys

Once you have your companions, budget, route, destination and supplies sorted out, the best thing about a road trip is the feeling of freedom it conjures, because with the planning taken care of, there’s nothing to worry about but having a good time.

Have you ever taken a truly fantastic road trip? How about the one you wish you’d never taken? Please share your experiences in the comments below, and let us know your best tips for planning an epic, awesome road trip this spring. And, next time you see me, ask about my moving myself from Kansas City to Washington, DC. #Nightmare

Best Of The WEB: Spring Cleaning Check Lists

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Many of us are still wrapped in fleece and trudging through snow piles, making it difficult to imagine the budding trees and warm breezes of spring. But it is coming… and soon (Daylight Savings is March 9th!).

To spark your spring fever, nothing works better than throwing open your windows and letting the fresh air blow away the winter doldrums you’ve been collecting. I’ve compiled some of the best Spring Cleaning Checklists out there for you. Granted, the “spring” part of these lists may be more interesting than the “cleaning” part, but I promise you that preparing your home for the change of seasons is a great way to kick start your personal transition into spring, the season of rebirth.

The links below will take you to comprehensive, room-by-room guides, which I admit, may be a bit daunting if you try to take them on all at once. Instead, assess which are your home’s biggest trouble areas (like that closet that is so full its door is starting to bend, or the living room that has evolved into a makeshift mudroom during the relentless snowstorms this winter), then break down the list in order of priority. Schedule time to attack one, two or three rooms at a time, until every room is cleared and ready for spring.

The Best Spring Cleaning Checklists from Around the Web:

Martha Stewart offers her incomparably thorough checklist that includes three pages of detailed instructions for cleaning just about anything and everything in your home. If your windows or screens are too dirty to let the spring sunshine in, then Martha’s window cleaning guide is perfect for you!

An in-depth approach to the spring cleaning checklist is available here, and includes convenient lists of all the supplies and tools you’ll need, as well as ideas about how to get your family involved, and how to maintain your freshly cleaned space after spring has come and gone.

Thank heavens for Oprah! Her checklist is for those of you who want to get it all done in no more than eight hours. She’s even taken care of your scheduling for you, blocking out the appropriate amount of time to accomplish the specified tasks for each room on her list.

The Imperfect Homemaking blog offers a pretty perfect checklist from a self-proclaimed spring cleaning enthusiast.

Organized Home takes a unique approach, prompting you to seek out nooks and corners inside and outside of your home where the cobwebs of winter may be hiding.

With an eye toward frugality, Living Well and Spending Less helps you approach spring cleaning in sections: over your head, eye level, waist height, and floor level. Sometimes looking at things from a different angle is the best way to see what you’ve been overlooking all along.

Whatever approach you favor, whether you take it all on in one day, or spread it out over a couple of weeks, spring cleaning is a great way to open your home – and yourself – to the fresh opportunities that arise with spring. If you have any ideas for maximizing your spring cleaning efforts, or any challenges that aren’t addressed in the checklists above, please share your questions and comments below.

Time Management For Couples

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

The idea of “finding time” is a silly one, don’t you think? There are only 24 hours in a day and no matter where you look you won’t find any more, so if something is a priority then you have to make the time for it, by clearing your schedule of other less essential obligations.

But making time for each other is increasingly difficult for modern couples. Our over-filled calendars and mounting responsibilities have us feeling that any time we’re not working, if we’re under the same roof as our loved one, then we’re “spending time together”… right? Wrong. It takes a little more effort than that. So, whether or not you’re a fan of Valentine’s Day, you can use it as a reminder to carve out some quality time with your main squeeze. Here’s how:

1. Love always… but do it on schedule. It may not seem romantic, but carving out time for one another is actually a very loving gesture. Planning ahead will mean you’re less likely to miss out on couple time because work ran late or the other obligations that did make it on to your calendar ended up taking precedence. Block out some time – and book it! – not just for Valentine’s day, but every week or two thereafter. Seeing that date on your calendar will not only give you something fun to look forward to, the anticipation will help you feel more connected.

2. Get in line. Aligning your schedules at home isn’t always possible, but the intimacy it cultivates is worth the effort. Making an effort to go to bed at the same time so you have the chance for some pillow talk (or something… ), or creating a daily ritual like having your morning coffee together will help bond you to your partner. Take a look at your schedules and see where you can make them line up every day.

3. Find something you both like doing and commit to it… together. Shared activities are a great way to keep things exciting between you and your honey, so make a commitment to something you both enjoy. Whether it’s just for fun, like a playing or watching sports together, or it gives back to your community, like a volunteering at a local charity, doing something positive together on a regular basis requires planning. Remember, in any relationship, compromise is key, but don’t agree to an activity that makes you miserable, as this will only lead to tension and resentment. Find something you both enjoy and get it on your calendar.

Keep the lines of communication – and all your possibilities – open, by apprising your partner of any changes to your schedule. If you know what the other person is up to, not only does it makes it easier to manage your time together, it also makes it possible to be spontaneous. Make your relationship a priority and give it the space on your calendar it deserves.

Help our readers have a happy Valentine’s Day by sharing one ritual that you and your love make time for together.

Tips For Throwing a Winning Super Bowl Party

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

A Super Bowl party may be pretty hard to screw up. All it takes is a TV, some snacks and beer, and your guests are guaranteed a great time, right? Maybe, but still… just a little attention to the details and you can elevate your party to the stuff of legends.

Get pumped up pre-game. Even if your guest list is already set, a pre-party email will get everyone excited. Send the message out today or tomorrow. Be sure to include relevant details (where, when, what to bring) as well as your enthusiasm, and set the tone for the day ahead. Don’t just encourage guests to dress in team colors from head to toe, make it mandatory!

Prep the field for play. Obviously, the room should be focused on the game, so make sure you have enough seats in front of the TV for everyone to get comfortable. If you don’t have enough folding chairs, ask friends to bring some, and don’t be afraid to bring your lawn chairs inside – they’re perfect for the tailgating crowd! – but leave yourself time to wipe down anything that’s been collecting dust in the garage. Floor pillows also work well for younger football fans.

Put some heart into it! Football diehards may balk at the idea of decorations, but wrapping the room in team pride can make for an epic showdown. Of course, if you’re in Colorado or Washington your décor will be appropriately biased, but if you’re hosting a mixed crowd of Seahawks and Broncos fans, be sure to represent everyone’s colors on the buffet as well as on the furniture. Football themed rugs, banners, and blankets are inexpensive and easy to come by, so be bold and don’t hold back! You can also look for décor items in team colors that are not covered in football team logos. This will allow the items to be more versatile for future purposes. This reduction in décor clutter is key if storage is at a premium. Hang a couple of team jerseys on the wall, and they can double as prizes for your party games.

Extend your decorations into a nearby space for anyone who is looking for a respite from the crowd’s excitement. Deck out any space where guests are welcome to hang (don’t forget the snacks), so guests will know it’s okay to relax in there, too. Don’t forget to turn on and tune in every TV throughout the house. Your guests will be grateful that they didn’t miss any of the action during their bathroom break!

Feed them… well. Next to football, the food will naturally be the star attraction at your party. It’s a long game day – at least three to four hours – so expect people to be snacking and grazing the whole time. Think of appetizers and snacks that can be easily replenished and will stay yummy despite standing out for a while. The key is to have enough food and supplies on hand to keep guests feeling full and festive.

A buffet of finger foods are most appealing for their portability, so think “grab-and-go.” A big batch of stick-to-your-ribs chili (or your signature cold weather dish) is also easy to serve and satisfying fare. Just be sure to have plenty of extra napkins on hand, because spills are inevitable on Super Bowl Sunday.

Make sure everyone can reach snacks no matter where they’re seated. No one should have to miss any action just to grab some more chips! Likewise, place a few coolers or small tubs of beer and soda at various vantage points around the room, each with a stack of cups and an extra bottle opener. It’s another prime spot for team-themed decorations, plus your guests will appreciate the convenience… and the plentiful refreshments.

Beer is the football fans’ beverage of choice, so stock up on a variety or bottles and cans or even mini-keg to help keep the suds flowing. Have an ample supply of non-alcoholic options on hand for the designated driver, and an extra bag or two of ice, as well.

Make sure you won’t run out of snacks or spirit and you’ve got the right recipe for great game day. Even if you couldn’t care less about football, these tips will serve as your guide to throwing a Super Bowl party for the record books. If you have other ideas for a winning Super Bowl party, please share them in the comments below. Go team!