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Who doesn't love a seasonally decorated mantle? I'm making it easy to replicate the look I put together in my home with low cost products you can order online!
While many of the products I'm recommending in this post are look alike for the ones we have in our home, these are the bats that we've been using the last couple of years. They are sturdy and make for a bold accent. We've used them on our fireplace and our walls, and have received tons of compliments the last couple of years. Once Halloween is over, we take down the bats and leave up the rest of the decorations until it is time to decorate for Christmas!
We love our farmhouse style clock; it is one of our favorite pieces! For your home (since we got our clock from a friend's small, local business), I've found a great look alike that has similar roman numerals and a weathered wooden base.
So many look-a-likes, so little space! Here are just some of the great fabric pumpkin options I was able to track down. These will keep your home looking seasonal and stylish from September to Thanksgiving!
We've had our 'Fall' sign for about 7 years now, but lucky for you, there is no shortage of look-a-likes! This one is the closest I was able to find, though you'll have no problem finding a different one should you not love this recommendation.
Who doesn't love candles? We have made them a staple of our decor for years. Check out these orange taper candles as one option. You can display them in whatever candle sticks you have, or get ones that look like ours (which were originally purchased at a small shop in the Berkshires for our wedding). The look-a-likes are shorter than ours, but will still work (and are much less expensive!). We rotate the candles we place in them based on the season; fall is red, orange, purple, or black, winter is red, green, or white, and so on.
We love our battery operated orange string lights. With no plug to worry about, they are portable, and perfect for the mantle because they don't have a wire running to the nearest outlet. These look-a-likes come in a pack of two, and cost a good bit less per piece than the ones we found in a local store!
What does your autumn mantle look like this year? Comment below to share some of your tips and tricks!
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Mask Organization Station (Plus Tips for Keeping Your Masks Clean While Traveling, Tips for Washing, And More!)
Family Mask Station
An inexpensive and convenient way to keep your family health and organized.
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With my husband back at work and my child and I leaving the house more and more (now that our area is mostly open with extensive precautions and community spread is extremely low), easy access to clean masks and a good place to drop dirty ones when getting home became a necessity. We were storing masks somewhat haphazardly, throwing dirty masks in a laundry bin in our utility/mud room along with other clothes leaving them prone to getting misplaced, and were often left low on mask stock when masks didn't get washed, or having difficulty finding masks when it came time to leave the house.
I knew we needed a better way to store our masks.
Where else would a mama to look for organizational goods during social distancing (when not really shopping much in person) but the internet? I found a great farmhouse wire shelf with hooks (click here or on the image below to learn more), and then scoured the internet for the perfect basket to pair with it (click here or on image below to learn more). I couldn't be happier with how the mask station turned out (scroll to see).
We used doggie poop bags to line the basket closest to the door for a dirty mask drop. We've found them to be the perfect size, and we have them on hand anyway because of our pups. Using bags helps ensure germs don't transfer to the basket while masks await being washed. Keeping them in the basket instead of the laundry helps avoid the issue we were having of masks getting mixed in with clothes and lost (masks are the new socks!). Of course, sometimes we do at least remember to put masks in a delicates bag when washing them. This helps them not get misplaced while washing, at least! Please note, the CDC suggests placing masks directly in the washing machine. However, if you live in a home like mine where some clothes are washed on cold and others on warm (you will want to wash your masks on the warmest setting possible, not in cold water), or if you don't have a washing machine, the plastic bag method will help ensure segregation of masks (thus hopefully avoid contamination).
A center basket holds rolls of extra bags. Clean masks hang on the far side (closest to the door into the house, so closest to the direction we'd be heading in if leaving). The spacing between clean and dirty masks ensures germs from dirty masks don't transfer to clean ones. My husband and I also have our masks separated right now (hence why some are hanging outside the basket in the image above).
The wire shelf we bought has two compartments. In the larger one we've placed an adorable carry bag I've been use for my clean masks (I also keep a ziplock bag in there to store masks if they become dirty or saturated while out, and always carry spares for myself and my child). While mine came with a skincare kit, you can use any small makeup bag to carry your masks (see some highly rated solutions below). There are also packs of sanitizing hand wipes for easy access if we don't yet have some in my purse or the diaper bag. This ensures we can quickly grab and go, rather than having to search for sanitizer. In the smaller compartment I've placed dried flowers for decoration, as well as a large jug of hand sanitizer. This ensures we can easily clean our hands the second we walk in the door (though we also keep sanitizer on our person and in our cars, and have a sink in the utility room). We also use this larger hand sanitizer jug to refill smaller containers before we leave the house. Once we are able to find more lysol spray we are planning to store that on the shelf as well, so we can regularly sanitize the space without having to grab cleaner from somewhere else in the house (other than the masks, of course; you don't want to spray those with disinfectant!) I also hung a wire and sea glass piece we got during one of our visits to Peaks Island from the shelf. Even if we can't visit Maine this year we can still find ways to remind ourselves of one of our favorite places!
Highly Rated Products You Might Like for Your Mask Organization Station
Doggie Poop Bags
Have your mask storage system set up? Be sure to check these evidence based sources for how to keep your mask clean, and other tips for staying healthy while out of the house.
Why do we not store gloves in our organizer? Per the CDC, gloves aren't recommended/necessary during everyday activities such as running errands. They should be used when cleaning or caring for someone who is ill.
Instead, simply make sure to wash your hands regularly and well. Always wash with soap and warm water, scrubbing between fingers, under finger nails, and up your arms, for at least 20 seconds.
Hand sanitizer may be used in cases where it is not possible to wash your hands, or after hand washing.
Keeping our families safe and healthy in the pandemic era can feel overwhelming. This mask storage solution has helped us feel just a bit more in control of all the extra things that need to be done before we can walk out the door.
WHAT STRATEGIES HAVE YOU FOUND HELPFUL FOR KEEPING MASKS ORGANIZED?
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May 2020 (Prior to 5/31)
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