Hot Technology + Fresh Design = Moving Bliss
Getting Organized: Love that Labeler!
David Suggests: Brother PT-80 Personal Labeler
Label your tech equipment for easy hook-up when you unpack. These peel and stick labels adhere to almost anything and really help keep power cords, electronics and other gizmos organized.
The Brother PT-80 Personal Labeler is an affordable, handheld personal labeling system that can print a wide variety of tape colors and styles. Everyone can use a little help getting organized, and this compact, easy-to-use device makes it a breeze. It's perfect for homes, home offices, and small offices and particularly helpful for crafts, school projects, financial management, and all sorts of kid activities. You'll come up with hundreds of uses for this label maker. From tidying up your closet to making scrapbooks, the PT-80 can help keep your household — and your life — running smoothly. $33 www.brother.com
Another way to stay sane while unpacking is to designate the garage, or a room you won’t be using right away like a dining room, as a “bypass” room where you can place boxes of items if you’re not 100% sure where they will go. This allows you to get your main spaces like family room, kitchen and bedrooms unpacked completely and up and running and will keep you from feeling like you are temporarily living in a sea of cardboard boxes. She also likes to have the movers unload the moving truck so that larger items like wall units, dressers, and storage pieces get unloaded first. That way you can start putting items in them right away and get one step closer to feeling like your new house is your home.
Powering Up: Protect, Organize and Electrify Your Entertainment
David Suggests: Belkin Pivot Surge Protector (8 Outlets, 6ft Cord)
The 8-Outlet Pivot-Plug Surge Protector provides premium power protection for both home and professional workstations. In addition to protection your computer, this protector is the ideal solution for all of your sensitive electronic equipment, and it includes additional protection for your telephone lines. It's built to protect professional workstations, laser printers, home-theater systems, and everyday household electronics.
Before you start moving in furniture, plug in surge protectors and extension cords in outlets that will have large items in front of them like armoires, beds and wall units, that way you’re not moving them a second time when you have to plug in electronics.
Another thing you should do when you’re deciding which room will be your main TV hangout room is to identify where the cable outlet is and work your furniture layout around that. Keep in mind your furniture doesn’t have to always be pushed up against the wall. Sometimes positioning your sofas and chairs in a grouping in the middle of the room facing the TV wall will allow you to use your space most effectively. Don’t be afraid to try different arrangements.
Declutter: Remote Possibilities
David Suggests: Acoustic Research XSight 18-Device Universal Remote
Get rid of all your remotes and easily operate your home theater with the touch of one button. Simple setup will have you operating your home theater in minutes.
The Xsight 18-Device Universal Learning Remote Control gives you the power to control up to 18 devices from over 5,000 different brands. There's no need to fumble with multiple remote controls to turn on several pieces of home theater equipment in the correct order. The bright, 2.2-inch color LCD touchscreen interface lets you power up the necessary equipment in the right order with the touch of a single button. Customization is easy, and one-touch access to your favorite channels means there's no need to use cumbersome on-screen channel guides. Multiple user profiles allow you to set up the remote for the different needs of your family or friends, so there's no more writing out instructions for others. You won't be scrambling for new batteries every few weeks either. The XSight 18-Device Remote Control comes with a charging cradle and is powered by rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries.
The Xsight 18-Device Universal Learning Remote Control features an easy on-screen, menu-driven setup process that will have you up and running in minutes. Simply turn the remote on, pick your language, set the time, and then choose a type of device and brand. The XSight will test to see if the chosen device responds, and once successful will allow you to add more devices to control. You can control functions like "Watch TV", "Watch DVD" or "Play Music" with the touch of a single button. The XSight Remote will turn on the correct components in the right order, saving you the time and hassle of finding and using multiple remotes. $160 www.acoustic-research.com
David Suggests: XSight Universal Remote RF Wireless Extender
Keep all of your home theater equipment out of sight thanks to this device.
When combined with the XSight RF Wireless Extender, the XSight 18-Device Remote Control can even work through walls. The Wireless Extender uses RF technology to relay the control of home theater components placed out of view up to 100 feet away. This lets you hide equipment in a secure location for an ultra-clean look. $100 www.acoustic-research.com
Speaking of hiding, clients often ask how to keep a wall-mounted big screen TV from looking like a big black hole that's taking over the room. I suggest hanging framed family pictures all the way around the TV or hanging open shelves around it and accessorizing the shelves with books and favorite objects.
It’s Invisible: Wireless Made Easy
David Suggests: Cisco Valet Wireless Router
With this wireless router even the biggest technophobe can easily create a home-based wireless hotspot.
With the Cisco Valet wireless router, home wireless has never been easier. Valet gives you the power to quickly and simply make your home wireless. The included Easy Setup Key gets you connected to the Internet in minutes. Cisco Connect software, pre-loaded on the Easy Setup Key, lets you quickly link your other wireless devices and manage your home wireless with ease. Remember when going wireless required technical expertise and hours of effort? Not anymore — Valet just works.
- Create a wireless hotspot in your home and easily connect your computers, gaming consoles, smart phones, and other devices to the Internet.
- Get set up in minutes: insert the Easy Setup Key to launch Cisco Connect software, breeze through the simple screens, and you're wireless.
- Connect additional computers and other devices with easy-to-use Cisco Connect software.
- Use Cisco customizable Parental Controls to block unwanted websites or restrict Internet usage during certain hours.
- Grant guest access to visiting friends and family by providing a temporary password to guests, without having to share your own password or private information.
David Suggests: VIZIO HD Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer
A Surround Sound System that eliminates the need for speakers and wires all over your room.
Designed for home theater enthusiasts, this Sound Bar is a complete audio surround sound solution giving you a Wireless Subwoofer. This speaker system delivers cutting edge sound technologies such as SRS TruSurroundHD SRS TruVolume delivering the High Definition experience today’s consumer expects without the need to run wires all over your room. The subwoofer can be placed up to 60ft with clear line of sight of the sound bar. This system monitors and balances sound levels so you no longer have to experience volume ups and downs. $300 www.vizio.com
Technophobes worry about setting up their technology and paint-phobes worry about picking the wrong paint color. However, new home paint is such an important tool to give your rooms personality and warmth.
To make things simple, see my Perk Up Any Room with Paint tips. Painting your walls a great color can also make existing furniture items you have look brand new. A great trick is to paint just one accent wall a bold color, maybe the wall your TV is on or your fireplace wall have some fun with color on that wall and leave the other walls neutral — it’s a simple way to spice up your space and give your new home the look of a finished design.
For photos of these tricks and more, see Libby’s Tips, Before and After: The Proof Is in the Paint.
Keep It Simple: Streamlining Your Home Theatre
David Suggests: The Panasonic Blu-ray Home Theater System SC-BT228
This "home theater in a box" will cut down on the amount of money and equipment needed to create a total home theater system. It includes a receiver with a built in Blu-ray player and complete surround sound speaker system.
Panasonic has redefined what to expect from home theater. This isn't just speakers and a receiver in a box. With the SC-BT228 Blu-ray Home Theater System, you get Blu-ray technology and immersive surround sound all in one. This Blu-ray home theater system features Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II and DTS decoders for brilliant audio and the built-in Apple iPod dock allows you to listen to your favorite tunes. $380 www.panasonic.com
Everybody knows when you’re moving you have to decide what you are going to spend your money on. So if it’s not new furniture, get out your paint brushes. Paint is an easy and inexpensive way to breathe new life into old furniture. It’s also a great way to pull together a cohesive look, if you have a bunch of mismatched pieces. For example, paint your old TV entertainment unit and spend your money on a cool new entertainment system to go in it instead.