Photo courtesy of Delivery Limited

With January winding down, it’s time to reinvigorate those 2015 resolutions. Before you lose momentum, pledge to spruce up your home this year. We all feel better when our surroundings bring us a sense of peace and order — and look nice to boot.

Here are four things Delivery Limited — Dallas’ premier white-glove relocation and storage company — recommends to renew and revive your residence:

We all have a problem place, such as an overstuffed closet, a messy garage or a guestroom full of dated furniture. Sometimes an outside perspective can help you winnow the clutter and establish order where there was once chaos. Call in a professional organizer for help.

Just as clothes you no longer wear accumulate in your closet, no-longer-needed furniture can collect at home. Store it until you need it again for that larger home, vacation place or child’s first apartment.

Grandma’s china taking up too much space? Have other family heirlooms that don’t fit your lifestyle? Maybe those out-of-town relatives would appreciate it more, or eBay collectors would pay to take it off your hands. Just be sure that these often-fragile collectibles are packed perfectly and shipped reliably.

We all get into ruts where we don’t enjoy our surroundings because they seem stale. Breathe some new life into your space by rearranging your art.

“You’ll be amazed at how a painting changes when placed in a new location,” says Alex Lyle of Delivery Limited’s Fine Arts Services.

Delivery Limited and its specialty services can help with these resolutions. It has the experts and resources to transform your home from dull to dynamite.

The company picks up and stores furniture and furnishings and deliver when needed. Its Personal Spaces staff of professional organizers can whip any space into shape — and do the shopping to make it even better.

Crating and Shipping constructs custom crates for those heirlooms that someone else may love more. And Fine Arts Services can rehang your art and even help with conserving artwork that may need repair or cleaning.

Help is at hand to make those resolutions into realities.

Delivery Limited can organize your closet.

Delivery Limited closet organization
Photo courtesy of Delivery Limited
Delivery Limited can organize your closet.

16 expert tips for an awesomely organized closet

Get Organized

January is the time for resolutions. But instead of resolving to run a marathon, commit to doing something easier and a bit more practical: whip that closet into shape. You know it’s time.

To the rescue is Personal Spaces by Delivery Limited, a specialized service from Dallas’ premier relocation and storage company. Expert organizers can help transform any residential space into a model of efficiency.

“The objective of Personal Spaces is to make any space better, whether it’s a closet, kitchen, office, child’s room or even a place for pets,” says Beth Barrett, president and CEO of Delivery Limited.

The professional organizers at Personal Spaces have some tips for making that closet work harder:

  • The 20/80 rule: Most of us wear 20 percent of our clothes 80 percent of the time, so your closet should reflect this. Start by turning all the hangers backward over the rod; as you wear a garment, turn its hanger the proper way. After a couple of months, you will see what you’re wearing and what you’re ignoring.
  • Wire hangers can leave a crease and stretch the shoulders of your clothes. Invest in something better.
  • Jeans can hang or fold easily on a shelf.
  • T-shirts can be controlled by folding and rolling so you can read what’s on the shirt. This also saves room in a drawer.
  • Sweaters should be folded over on an L-shaped hanger or folded neatly on a shelf.
  • Ties can be rolled in a drawer.
  • Belts can hang on special belt hangers or rolled in a drawer.
  • Bras need to lay flat to keep their shape.
  • Boots look better with boot-shapers; rolled-up magazines stuffed inside will work.
  • Shoes should or organized by dressy and casual.
  • Purses can be stored in something clear so they can be seen but kept dust-free.
  • Color-code your clothes to find your garment faster and make your closet look fabulous.
  • Sweaters ought to be cleaned, stored and protected at the end of the season.
  • After dry cleaning, immediately take off plastic bags and let your clothes breathe.
  • Clear storage ensures you can see everything in your closet.
  • Maximize space by using walls, doors and vertical space for efficiency.

The specially trained Personal Spaces consultants act not only as space organizers, but also as personal shoppers, recommending and buying items that will make the space more useful or comfortable.

“Often clients who move to new homes want input on organizing a closet, kitchen or garage, or they need help handling the care of such things as personal items, delicate objects and the personal shopping that might accompany reorganization of certain areas,” Barrett says. “The common characteristic is that the space and contents are very special and personal to their owners.”

Delivery Limited's Personal Spaces service can help make your closet look like this.

Clothes hanging neatly in a closet
Delivery Limited's Personal Spaces service can help make your closet look like this.
Photo courtesy of Delivery Limited

Delivery Limited experts reveal tips for getting the most from your prized artwork

Fine Art Services

Let’s say you recently got back from Art Basel Miami with a shipping container filled with paintings and sculptures. Now what? Get some help, of course. Fine Arts Services from Delivery Limited to the rescue!

Delivery Limited experts can hang your art collection, install a crystal chandelier, or repair prized objects and artwork — all with the aim to make your home the best it can be. To do that, Alex Lyle from Fine Arts Services offers these tips for getting the most from your art:

If you have more art than wall space, then follow the lead of museums and rotate your collection. You may choose to do so every year, or even with the seasons. It’s a great way to rediscover what you have.

Your art will evoke memories, such as that beach scene bought on a Cape Cod honeymoon or an etching uncovered at a Paris flea market. And if you don’t have the room to store all of your things, Delivery Limited has a special climate-controlled and secured area designed specifically for fine art.

Fine art needs to be cared for, just like fine furniture does. Oil paintings show best if they are cleaned periodically by a professional. Works on paper require special care to retain their clarity; they ought to be displayed out of direct sunlight and behind ultraviolet light protective glass. Outdoor sculptures can show the effects of the climate if not cleaned and cared for properly.

Hang your art so that you can enjoy it as much as possible. That may mean putting it in the best light — art lighting always enhances a home’s interior.

Rehang your art to freshen your home’s look. Assembling a salon-style display in which multiple pieces are hung together — often with a unifying theme, medium or palette — makes a dramatic statement and highlights the collector’s passion for the work.

And if you’re moving, remember that your art requires special handling. Alex can tell you how he once used a crane and custom-made crates to move two oversized — and very valuable — contemporary paintings down the side of a high-rise office tower because they were too big to fit in the elevator. That’s dedication.

Delivery Limited professionals know how to handle artwork.

Delivery Limited fine art services
Photo courtesy of Delivery Limited
Delivery Limited professionals know how to handle artwork.
Photo courtesy of Delivery Limited

Delivery Limited's white-glove services ensure peace of mind during a move

The Best for Your Home

Whether you’re moving cross country or across the street, you don’t have to go it alone. And when it comes time to relocate, you want a company that takes great care with your most prized possessions.

Discriminating homeowners and renters turn to Delivery Limited, Dallas’ oldest white-glove relocation and storage company, to move a single valuable piece or an entire home’s worth.

In addition to its signature relocation service, Delivery Limited provides a range of specialty services to help turn anyone’s home into a castle. Its specialty services are like chic accessories for a night out: They add the sparkle.

  • Fine Arts Services can install a crystal chandelier, expertly hang your art collection, or repair prized objects and artwork.
  • Personal Spaces transforms the mundane — closets, pantries, home offices, garages — into models of efficiency and organization.
  • Crating and Shipping sees that the object — regardless of size — gets to its destination safely.

Delivery Limited also provides something that you can’t put a price on: peace of mind that your valued possessions — from period antiques to a child’s gold-star artwork — are treated as you intended.

Delivery Limited is Dallas’ oldest white-glove relocation and storage company.

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Photo courtesy of Delivery Limited
Delivery Limited is Dallas’ oldest white-glove relocation and storage company.
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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Battle is on with the brown marmorated stink bug invading my Dallas home

Insect News

It's been a buggy year in Dallas, from the invasion of the inchworm to the Crane Fly outbreak in March.

But those pale compared to the current insect scourge infesting my house: the brown marmorated stink bug.

These little creeps started showing up in late April, and at first, it didn't seem like cause for alarm. I'd seen them in prior spring seasons, along with another larger stink bug I thought I hated more called a leaf-footed bug.

If you try to kill or move a stink bug, they emit a noxious odor in defense, like the skunk of the insect world. I once watched my unwitting cat sniff one, then run in circles in agony for a few minutes after having set off the odor, which is musky and lingers in the air for quite a few minutes.

But otherwise, they don't bite and are viewed as harmless, although brown stink bugs are starting to have an impact on crops.

Brown marmolated stink bugs are an invasive species from Asia first spotted in the U.S. in the late '90s in Pennsylvania. They're shaped like a shield, about as big as a fingernail, are paper thin, and can fly. They're currently in nearly all 50 states.

In a 2012 Dallas Morning Newsstory warning of their arrival, they weren't here yet, so it's only been in the last decade, and just in Collin and Dallas counties.

I feel certain after this spring that they were all at my house. Inside my house. Somehow these things got inside my house, and it has been, how do you say, a journey.

brown marmorated stink bugTwo brown marmorated stink bugs.gdb.voanews.com

No kill
Sources say that the brown stink bug can be found in leaf litter and vegetation outdoors, and can enter structures by the hundreds or thousands. And that they congregate almost anywhere: bookcases, under sofas, in cracks under or behind baseboards, window and door trim, and in attics.

I try to do no harm, I won't use Raid, it's cruel, even to bugs I don't like, which is most bugs, I usually put bugs I find outside. But these were in my living room, dining room, kitchen, crawling along the edge of my TV, climbing the front doorway, sitting on the coffee table, poised on the side of the refrigerator. One even had the nerve to crawl on my kitchen countertop, which my cats know is a big NO.

At first, my routine was to put a plastic container — a former Trader Joe's hummus container, which I went through a kick on last fall — over the bug, scooch a cardboard on top, hurriedly toss both out the door, run back in the house, then retrieve the container and cardboard once it was safe.

But I kept getting more stinkbugs. Part of this was moderately empowering. I used to be deathly afraid of insects — in high school, I once stayed up all night because there was a spider on the ceiling and I couldn't sleep knowing it was there. Being chill about any kind of bug seemed like personal growth, and supposedly every species has its role or purpose.

But brown marmorated stink bugs haven't been here long enough to serve a purpose, besides grossing people out.

I also like to allow nature to prosper. For example, they say it's better not to rake leaves but to leave them to replenish the soil. And I mow only intermittently, unlike the neatnik neighbors on either side of me. (I wonder if they mow more often to compensate for my lack of mowing?)

But then I read that, when stink bugs find a good place to stay, they release a pheromone that attracts more stink bugs. This needed to be disrupted immediately. The pheromone going out needed to say, "This is no place for stink bugs, stay away."

So instead of ferrying the stink bugs out to my yard, I started putting the container over two stink bugs and just leaving them on my floor. At least they could die together. Soon I had a dozen upside-down TJ's hummus cups strewn around the floor, and every single time I passed one, I felt so much guilt.

I started throwing them in the toilet; I read somewhere that the final stage of drowning is euphoria. But I couldn't bring myself to pee on one while it was in there floating, so I was flushing two and three times.

Things started to take a darker turn. Maybe pesticides aren't that bad? Luckily, I was saved from that descent by the National Pesticide Information Center Oregon who said that "using pesticides inside the home to control stink bugs is often ineffective."

Remembering the part about how "stink bugs can be found in leaf litter and vegetation outdoors," it seemed like time to call Ernesto, the competent landscaping guy who does half the houses in my neighborhood. He and his crew came and efficiently macheted my fantasy Topanga Canyon to the ground.

After they left, I surveyed the flattened terrain and for a minute, it did feel pretty good to have a tidy yard. But then I saw a rustle in the grass — a shell-shocked brown wolf spider running for cover — and felt terrible about destroying her home.

The clear-cutting did not stop brown stink bugs from showing up inside my house — probably too late in the game — although the population did seem to decline. I'm down to just one or two a day now. Probably would have happened regardless.

Really, they were innocuous. They're not creepy crawly, they just sit there, dim and innocent, letting you put your cup over them, farting out their fear. If only there hadn't been so damn many. Meanwhile, I was thrilled to spot the brown wolf spider a few days later — she stuck around.

DFW's dismal ranking among best places to live leads this week's 5 most-read headlines

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. Dallas-Fort Worth no longer a top 100 place to live, declares U.S. News & World Report. Dallas-Fort Worth has fallen from grace in a closely watched annual report of the best places to live in the U.S. The Metroplex appears at a dismal No. 113 (out of 150) in U.S. News & World Report's Best Places to Live ranking for 2023-2024. Last year, DFW landed at No. 32; it was No. 37 in 2021. Here's (sort of) why it plummeted in the rankings.

2. Sliders restaurant from Detroit shimmies onto Dallas' Greenville Ave. A slider concept from the Great Lakes State is expanding to Texas, and that includes a high-profile location in Dallas: Called Savvy Sliders, it's a young fast-casual concept founded in Flint, Michigan, and it will open its first Dallas restaurant at 4818 Greenville Ave., in the space recently vacated by vegan chicken restaurant Project Pollo.

3. New lagoon-waterpark with lazy river dives into Dallas-Fort Worth. A long-awaited waterpark in Cedar Hill is debuting Memorial Day weekend with two of Texas' favorite splashy attractions: a lagoon and lazy river. The Lagoon at Virginia Weaver Park will open Saturday, May 27 after more than a year in development.

4. Happy Hippie Brewing to bring peace, love, and beer to new HQ in Richardson. A craft beer brewery is opening a splendid new facility in Richardson: Happy Hippie Brewing Company, a small brewery specializing in Belgian-style beers, is opening an an 11,000-square-foot brewery and taproom at 500 Lockwood Dr., in the Lockwood area within the city's evolving CORE District.

5. Asian restaurant Howard Wang's shutters location in Uptown Dallas. A Chinese restaurant in Uptown Dallas closed: Howard Wang's Uptown Grill, one in a family-owned chain, closed its location at 3223 Lemmon Ave. #103, with the final day of service on May 21. The restaurant had been at that location for 12 years.

21 North Texas museums offer free admission to military families this summer

Giving Back

Nearly two dozen Dallas-Fort Worth museums are honoring active duty military personnel and their families with free admission through the Blue Star Museums initiative, May 20-September 4, 2023.

Established by the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the U.S. Department of Defense, the Blue Star Museums program annually provides military families free access to 2,000 museums nationwide throughout the summer. The program begins yearly on Armed Forces Day in May and ends on Labor Day.

Free admission is extended to personnel currently serving in the U.S Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard (including those in the Reserve), and all National Guardsman. Members of the U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps and NOAA Commissioned Corps are also included in the program.

Those who qualify can use their military ID to bring up to five family members - including relatives of those currently deployed. More information about qualifications can be found here.

There is no limit on the number of participating museums that qualifying families may visit. Admission for non-active military veterans, however, is not included.

According to the National Endowment for the Arts website, the initiative was created to help "improve the quality of life for active duty military families" with a specific focus on children. The site states 2 million have had a parent deployed since 2001.

"Blue Star Museums was created to show support for military families who have faced multiple deployments and the challenges of reintegration," the organizers say. "This program offers these families a chance to visit museums this summer when many will have limited resources and limited time to be together."

In Dallas-Fort Worth, participating institutions include well-known art, science, and history museums, as well as smaller museums outside the city limits. Here's a look at all the museums in North Texas that are participating in the Blue Star Museums initiative this year.

In Dallas:

In Fort Worth:

In Garland:

In Irving:

In Mesquite:

In Cleburne:

In Krum:

In Sanger:

More information about Blue Star Museums and a full list of participants can be found on arts.gov.