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More IIHS Facts about Fatalities

About 20 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths result from a vehicle leaving the roadway and hitting a fixed object such as a tree or utility pole alongside the road. Alcohol is a frequent contributing factor in these crashes. Motorists also run off the road because of excessive speed, falling asleep, or inattention.

More men than women die each year in motor vehicle crashes. Men typically drive more miles than women and more often engage in risky driving practices including not using seat belts, driving while impaired by alcohol, and speeding. Crashes involving male drivers often are more severe than those involving female drivers. However, in crashes of equal severity, females are more likely than males to be killed or injured.

Less than two percent of motor vehicle crash deaths are bicyclists. The most serious injuries among a majority of those killed are to the head, highlighting the importance of wearing a bicycle helmet. Helmet use has been estimated to reduce head injury risk by 85 percent.1 Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have helmet laws applying to young bicyclists; none of these laws applies to all riders.

Motor vehicle crashes account for less than 1 percent of fatalities among people 70 and older; heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death. People ages 70 and older are less likely to be licensed to drive compared with younger people, and drivers 70 and older also drive fewer miles. However, older drivers are keeping their licenses longer and driving more miles than in the past. A total of 4,598 people ages 70 and older died in motor vehicle crashes in 2007. This is 22 percent fewer than in 1997 when deaths peaked, but a 22 percent increase since 1975. The rate of fatalities per capita among older people has decreased 35 percent since 1975 and is now at its lowest level.



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FTC-Who’s Calling? Recognize & Report Phone Fraud


Recognize Phone Fraud

Every sales call you get by phone is an opportunity for a gut check: Ask yourself these questions — and if the answers give you some doubt about the caller’s intentions or methods, end the call.

Who’s calling — and why? Telemarketers must tell you it’s a sales call, the name of the seller and what they’re selling before they make their pitch. If they don’t, say “no thanks,” and get off the phone.

What’s their hurry? Fast talkers who use high pressure tactics could be hiding something. Take your time. Most legitimate businesses will give you time and written information about an offer before asking you to commit to a purchase.

If it’s free, why are they asking me to pay? Question charges you need to pay to redeem a prize or gift. Free is free. If you have to pay, it's a purchase - not a prize or a gift.

Why am I “confirming” my account information — or giving it out at all? Some callers have your billing information before they call you. They’re trying to get you to say “okay” so they can claim you approved a charge.

What time is it? The law allows telemarketers to call only between 8 am and 9 pm. A seller calling earlier or later is flouting the law.

Do I want more calls like this one? If you don’t want a business to call you again, say so. If they call back, they’re breaking the law.

Report Phone Fraud

Recognizing fraudulent callers is important; reporting them to the appropriate law enforcement authorities is critical, too. When you report, you can help stop telephone scammers. Report telephone hucksters to the FTC and your state Attorney General so they can prosecute fraudulent telemarketers who try to steal your money.

If your number is on the National Do Not Call Registry, you should get calls only from those companies with which you do business — or those that have your permission to call. If you get calls from a company you don’t have a relationship with — or from a company you have told not to call you — report it. Jot down the name and number of the caller, and the date and time of the call.

To report phone fraud, visit FTC.gov or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.

To report violations of the National Do Not Call Registry, visit DoNotCall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222.

Your complaint is entered into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a database that is used by law enforcement agencies across the country and around the world. It can help them track down scam artists, detect patterns in their calls, find other victims, and ultimately, stop the fraud.

Register Your Number

You can limit the number of telemarketing calls you receive by placing your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. Once your number is registered, feel free to hang up if you get a cold call from a company with which you don't already do business — or report it!

You can register your phone number at DoNotCall.gov, or by calling 1-888-382-1222 (TTY: 1-866-290-4236) from the number you wish to register. If you register online, you must click on the confirmation email you receive to complete your free registration.

Your registration will not expire. Your number is on the list until you take it off, or your number is disconnected and re-assigned to someone else.

Placing your number on the Registry stops most telemarketing calls, but not all. Once your number has been on the Registry for 31 days, you still may get calls from, or on behalf of:

  • Political organizations, charities, and pollsters
  • Companies with whom you have an existing business relationship
  • Companies you’ve given permission to call

Companies that you do business with may call for 18 months. If you ask a company for information, it may call for three months.

The Registry accepts personal cell phone and home phone numbers. Federal Communications Commission regulations prohibit the use of automated dialers to call cell phone numbers, so most telemarketers won’t cold-call consumers on their cell phones – despite urban myths and emails to the contrary.

Telemarketing fraud is a crime.

Professional criminals posing as legitimate telemarketers try to worm their way into your wallet. They are very good at what they do: their “pitch” is perfect, their tone is friendly and sincere, and their answers to your questions seem to make sense. It’s no wonder that consumers, regardless of their age, education or experience, can fall for telemarketing frauds.

By learning how to recognize and report telephone fraud, you can help stop some scams – and if you put your phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry, you can reduce the number of unwanted telemarketing calls you get.

Check ftc.gov/phonefraud for information about:

  • Buying Club Memberships
  • Charities and Fundraising
  • Credit & Loan Offers
  • Government Grant Scams
  • Identity Theft & Telemarketing
  • Medical Discounts Plans
  • Reloading Scams
  • Sweepstakes & Lotteries
  • Travel Scams
  • Work-at-Home & Business Opportunities

To learn more about how to recognize and report phone fraud, and how to place your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry, go to ftc.gov/phonefraud.

The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters consumer complaints into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database and investigative tool used by hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.





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Alcohol and Car Crashes

41,059 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2007. The Institute publishes statistical facts about the motor vehicle safety picture in 2007, the most recent year for which fatality data are available. Fatality Facts are updated once a year, when the US Department of Transportation releases data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).

The probability of a fatal crash rises significantly after 0.05 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and even more rapidly after 0.08 percent . Drivers with very high BACs (at or above 0.15 percent) have a very high risk of dying in a crash or getting severely injured.

All states have enacted a law defining impairment as driving with a BAC at or above 0.08 percent.

Drivers younger than 21 are more vulnerable than older drivers to the impairing effects of alcohol. At the same BAC, young drivers are far more likely to get into a fatal or nonfatal crash. In recent years, drivers younger than 21 killed in crashes are about half as likely as fatally injured drivers ages 21-30 to have a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher.

The information in this fact sheet is based on data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia with imputations for missing BACs provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation's multiple imputation model.4

The following facts are based on analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).


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How to wear a seat belt

Booster seats can improve the fit of adult belts for children who have outgrown child restraints, but not all boosters provide the recommended belt fit. It's important to ensure that the lap belt fits low across the upper thigh, not across the child's soft abdomen. The shoulder belt should cross snuggly over the center of the shoulder.

Booster seats: poor fit vs. good fit

Booster seats: poor fit vs. good fit

Adult belts

When older children start using the vehicle belts, the shoulder belt should rest across the chest, away from the neck, and the lap belt should fit low and snug across the upper thigh. Your child needs to sit straight up with knees bent at the edge of the seat.

Adult belts: poor fit vs. good fit


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Suspended for "Passing Gas"

In Florida, an eighth-grader was suspended from riding the school bus for three days after being accused of passing gas.

The bus driver says that a 15-year-old teen passing gas on the bus to make the other children laugh, creating a stench so bad that it was difficult to breathe.
School officials said there's no rule against flatulence, but there are rules against causing a disturbance on the bus.

According to the boy, "It wasn't even me, "It was a kid who sits in front of me."

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A 13-year-old student at a Stuart, Fl. school was arrested in November after authorities said he broke wind in class.

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IC3- Protect yourself from fraud

Auction Fraud



* Before you bid, contact the seller with any questions you have.
* Review the seller's feedback.
* Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.
* Ensure you understand refund, return, and warranty policies.
* Determine the shipping charges before you buy.
* Be wary if the seller only accepts wire transfers or cash.
* If an escrow service is used, ensure it is legitimate.
* Consider insuring your item.
* Be cautious of unsolicited offers.

Counterfeit Cashier's Check



* Inspect the cashier's check.
* Ensure the amount of the check matches in figures and words.
* Check to see that the account number is not shiny in appearance.
* Be watchful that the drawer's signature is not traced.
* Official checks are generally perforated on at least one side.
* Inspect the check for additions, deletions, or other alterations.
* Contact the financial institution on which the check was drawn to ensure legitimacy.
* Obtain the bank's telephone number from a reliable source, not from the check itself.
* Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.


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Credit Card Fraud



* Ensure a site is secure and reputable before providing your credit card number online.
* Don't trust a site just because it claims to be secure.
* If purchasing merchandise, ensure it is from a reputable source.
* Promptly reconcile credit card statements to avoid unauthorized charges.
* Do your research to ensure legitimacy of the individual or company.
* Beware of providing credit card information when requested through unsolicited emails.


Debt Elimination



* Know who you are doing business with — do your research.
* Obtain the name, address, and telephone number of the individual or company.
* Research the individual or company to ensure they are authentic.
* Contact the Better Business Bureau to determine the legitimacy of the company.
* Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.
* Ensure you understand all terms and conditions of any agreement.
* Be wary of businesses that operate from P.O. boxes or maildrops.
* Ask for names of other customers of the individual or company and contact them.
* If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


Employment/Business Opportunities



* Be wary of inflated claims of product effectiveness.
* Be cautious of exaggerated claims of possible earnings or profits.
* Beware when money is required up front for instructions or products.
* Be leery when the job posting claims "no experience necessary".
* Do not give your social security number when first interacting with your prospective
employer.
* Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.
* Be wary when replying to unsolicited emails for work-at-home employment.
* Research the company to ensure they are authentic.
* Contact the Better Business Bureau to determine the legitimacy of the company.


Identity Theft



* Ensure websites are secure prior to submitting your credit card number.
* Do your homework to ensure the business or website is legitimate.
* Attempt to obtain a physical address, rather than a P.O. box or maildrop.
* Never throw away credit card or bank statements in usable form.
* Be aware of missed bills which could indicate your account has been taken over.
* Be cautious of scams requiring you to provide your personal information.
* Never give your credit card number over the phone unless you make the call.
* Monitor your credit statements monthly for any fraudulent activity.
* Report unauthorized transactions to your bank or credit card company as soon as
possible.
* Review a copy of your credit report at least once a year.




Internet Extortion



* Security needs to be multi-layered so that numerous obstacles will be in the way
of the intruder.
* Ensure security is installed at every possible entry point.
* Identify all machines connected to the Internet and assess the defense that's engaged.
* Identify whether your servers are utilizing any ports that have been known to represent
insecurities.
* Ensure you are utilizing the most up-to-date patches for your software.
Lotteries



* If the lottery winnings appear too good to be true, they probably are.
* Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.
* Be leery if you do not remember entering a lottery or contest.
* Be cautious if you receive a telephone call stating you are the winner in a lottery.
* Beware of lotteries that charge a fee prior to delivery of your prize.
* Be wary of demands to send additional money to be eligible for future winnings.
* It is a violation of federal law to play a foreign lottery via mail or phone.


Phishing/Spoofing



* Be suspicious of any unsolicited email requesting personal information.
* Avoid filling out forms in email messages that ask for personal information.
* Always compare the link in the email to the link that you are actually directed
to.
* Log on to the official website, instead of "linking" to it from an unsolicited email.
* Contact the actual business that supposedly sent the email to verify if the email
is genuine.


Ponzi/Pyramid



* If the "opportunity" appears too good to be true, it probably is.
* Beware of promises to make fast profits.
* Exercise diligence in selecting investments.
* Be vigilant in researching with whom you choose to invest.
* Make sure you fully understand the investment prior to investing.
* Be wary when you are required to bring in subsequent investors.
* Independently verify the legitimacy of any investment.
* Beware of references given by the promoter.





Reshipping



* Be cautious if you are asked to ship packages to an "overseas home office."
* Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.
* Be leery if the individual states that his country will not allow direct business
shipments from the United States.
* Be wary if the "ship to" address is yours but the name on the package is not.
* Never provide your personal information to strangers in a chatroom.
* Don't accept packages that you didn't order.
* If you receive packages that you didn't order, either refuse them upon delivery
or contact the company where the package is from.



Spam



* Don't open spam. Delete it unread.
* Never respond to spam as this will confirm to the sender that it is a "live" email
address.
* Have a primary and secondary email address - one for people you know and one for
all other purposes.
* Avoid giving out your email address unless you know how it will be used.
* Never purchase anything advertised through an unsolicited email.


Third Party Receiver of Funds



* Do not agree to accept and wire payments for auctions that you did not post.
* Be leery if the individual states that his country makes receiving these type of
funds difficult.
* Be cautious when the job posting claims "no experience necessary".
* Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own


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SBA Tips on Starting your own Business

Do You Have What It Takes?

Learn the characteristics and habits of creative, successful entrepreneurs.

Many successful entrepreneurs have similar traits and characteristics. Learn what these are and what you can do to improve on your own.

FICTION: To be an entrepreneur, you must be born that way.

FACT: Anyone can learn to operate like an entrepreneur.

What are the similarities of successful entrepreneurs?

* Persistence
* Desire for immediate feedback
* Inquisitiveness
* Strong drive to achieve
* High energy level
* Goal-oriented behavior
* Independent
* Demanding
* Self-confident
* Calculated risk taker
* Creative
* Innovative
* Vision
* Commitment
* Problem solving skills
* Tolerance for ambiguity
* Strong integrity
* Highly reliable
* Personal initiative
* Ability to consolidate resources
* Strong management and organizational skills
* Competitive
* Change agent
* Tolerance for failure
* Desire to work hard
* Luck

Many entrepreneurs also had a role model to influence them early on and parents who were entrepreneurs Two traits necessary for successful entrepreneurs are creativity and innovation.

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What is Creativity?

Creativity is being able to create new ideas and ways to solve problems that provide cool opportunities.

Characteristics of Creative People

* Bright
* Adaptable
* High self esteem
* Challenge-oriented
* Idea-oriented
* Inquisitive
* Curious

Can you improve your creativity? YES! How?

Gather as much information as you can (read, talk with experts, etc.); brainstorm over time. Just think about the problem or issue until an idea comes to you.

Is the solution reasonable? If so, try it. If not, keep thinking. Did it work? If so, great. If not, begin the process over again. Don't put barriers on your mind. Put these steps to use.

Left Brain

Analytical
Rational

Right Brain

Intuitive
Artistic

You need both sides of your brain when being creative, as they compliment each other.

What is an Innovation?

Something that is invented (ex. CDs), or
Something that is created from an existing idea or product (ex. Super Wal-Mart).

Where do innovative ideas come from?

Unsatisfied customers
Demographic changes in society
Luck
Imagination
Vision
Problem-solving

Remember:

Look for new ideas
Keep it simple
Start small
Try, try, try again

You have the drive and ambition. You have the support and family and friends. You now need to do some research, develop an initial business plan, and financial resources to get your business off the ground. A good place to start for information and assistance is the SBA, which works in partnership with various organizations. Among the services available are low-cost loans, counseling and technical assistance sources, special programs for veterans and women, and more. Please note that Congress has not set aside any monies for grants to start and/or expand a small business.

SBA’s education and assistance partners include the Small Business Development Centers and a national Clearinghouse that provides small businesses with management and technical assistance. There are more than 1,000 centers located around the country. In addition, nearly 100 Women’s Business Centers form a national network designed to assist women start and grow small businesses. The centers’ mission is to level the playing field for women entrepreneurs, who still face unique obstacles in the world of business. The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth and success of small businesses nationwide. There are more than 10,500 SCORE volunteers in 374 chapters operating in more than 800 locations. SCORE offers personal and online business counseling and training.



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How to Use a Tanning Bed

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Don't kid yourself. Using a tanning bed will increase your chances of getting skin cancer, and you really shouldn't make it a habit to break your DNA with UV rays so that you can get a "healthy" glow. But if you insist on going to a tanning salon once in a while, maybe to even out your tan lines (farmer's tan, anyone?), or to relieve a bout of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or to establish a base tan so that you don't look like Casper the Friendly Ghost when you wear your speedo or bikini (that you made from an old t-shirt)--the least you can do is know your stuff. Tanning is one of those things that's surrounded by cosmetic mythology. Read these steps so that you don't get burned.

Steps


  1. Go to your local tanning salon and ask about the programs they have. Most salons have a variety of beds available:
    • Low pressure. This is the traditional tanning bed. UV rays are emitted in a spectrum that is similar to natural sunlight. The lamps produce fast color (instant gratification) but the risk of sunburn is highest in this kind of bed.[1] If you burn easily, it's not recommended that you use this bed.
    • High pressure. These beds emit a higher proportion of UVA rays (versus UVB rays). UVB rays are the ones that cause sunburn.[2] In this kind of bed you'll get a deeper, longer-lasting tan, but it will be slow to build.[1] Usually this bed is more expensive.
    • Booth. This is basically a vertical tanning bed. Instead of laying down, you stand up. Parts of the skin that would normally be hidden in creases while laying down will be exposed, making for a more even tan. It's also more hygienic because your skin doesn't come in contact with surfaces that other people's skin has touched (and sweat on, perhaps naked). Plus, it's the best option for claustrophobes.
    • Whole body spray. Your body gets sprayed by a substance that darkens your skin through a chemical reaction. UV rays are left out of the equation, so this is the least cancerous way to go. Keep in mind that this tan might fade away in a blotchy, unappealing way if you don't keep coming back for more.

  2. Take a tour. Visit a few salons and ask to see the beds. Is everything clean? Look closely at the beds. If you see any dirty buildup, like where the glass meets the edge of the bed, leave and never return. Otherwise, ask what kind of cleaner they use on the beds (glass cleaner won't wipe away bacterial infections, you know). Shop around, compare salons, and choose the one you like most.
  3. Fill out a skin analysis form. Any decent salon will make you do it. The form is used to determine your skin type (so they don't accidentally fry your skin by putting you in a bed for too long). It should only take a minute or so.
    • One important thing to be open about is what kind of prescription medication you're using. Some can affect the way your skin reacts to tanning beds...in a very bad way.

  4. Get goggles. Again, any decent salon will make sure you have goggles. If they don't insist, then they don't care about your safety (and they might be just as nonchalant about cleaning the beds in between uses). Don't worry, these funny-looking goggles won't give you raccoon eyes. They just make sure you won't go blind.
  5. Don't get tyrosine-based tanning accelerators, lotion, or pills. Don't listen to any mumbo jumbo about tyrosine. Yes, tyrosine is an amino acid that your body uses to produce melanin, which is the stuff that makes your skin look darker. That part is true. But there's no evidence (none!) that tyrosine is absorbed by your skin (or through your gut, just in case you're tempted to buy the pill form) and finds its way to the melanin factory.[3][4] Learn How to Resist a Sales Pitch if they get pushy, or just leave.
  6. Go to your room. Strip down as low as you want to go. You can keep your underwear/bra on, or you can wear a swimsuit, or you can go nude. Use the same precautions you would take in a public shower. Remember that even though the surface of the bed should be cleaned between uses, the rest of the room probably isn't, so don't sit on the chair naked unless you're 100% sure the person before you didn't have crabs. Keep your socks on unless you're 100% sure the person before you didn't have foot warts. You know, things like that.
    • If you're really paranoid, and you don't mind the staff looking at you like you have ten heads, ask for a bottle of the cleaner so you can wipe things down yourself. Don't bring your own cleaner, though, because some cleaners (e.g. ammonia-based ones) can damage the finish on the glass in the beds, or irritate your skin in surprisingly unpleasant ways when you expose it to UV rays right after sitting on a chair that you wiped down in bleach.
    • Ask a staff member to give you a tanning bed crash course. Find out what all the buttons do. How do you shut the whole thing off? How do you control the fan? If there are separate bulbs for the face, how do you turn those on and off?

  7. Put on your safety goggles. This is a must. Don't even think about getting into that bed unless you have goggles or some kind of approved eye protection (sunglasses don't do the trick, no matter how stylish they are). Who cares how goofy you look?
  8. Go to bed. Get inside the coffin--err, bed--and shut the lid. Press the button to flip the lights. There should be a timer, and the staff person should have assigned you a small time (like 10 minutes), no matter how much you argued that you don't burn, or that you want to get the most bang for your buck. A good tanning salon employee will know better and will start you off with a "low dosage" and increase it gradually (depending on your skin responded) every time you return. As you're laying there, pray that your DNA will prove resilient. Beg the tanning gods to spare you a sunburn. Visualize your cells producing melanin and lots of it. Or take a power nap (unless you're in a booth; napping while standing is not recommended).
  9. Get out of bed. If you're all sweaty and slick, wipe yourself down with a towel (which should have been provided). Put your clothes back on and swagger out of the salon.
  10. Maintain your tan. Instead of going back into the salon to replenish a fading tan, try to maintain your existing tan for as long as you can. Since the melanin that gives you color is located in the outer layer of your skin, you'll keep it longer by slowing down the rate at which your skin peels or sheds. Apply moisturizer generously twice a day[5] and do not exfoliate your skin. Supplement your tan with bronzers (they stain your skin and come off with soap and water) and sunless tanners (the color wears off in a few days). Or, better yet, avoid UV rays altogether and just use bronzers and sunless tanners!


Tips


  • For a tan that "sticks" even longer, exfoliate right before visiting the salon. This will expose a fresh layer of skin that won't shed for a while, although it may also increase your chances of sunburn.
  • Don't shower directly after, let the melanin in your skin absorb the tan, it's a good idea to shower before and then bathe the next day if you can wait that long.
  • It is usually expected that after you finish with the machine, you wipe up any remaining sweat you might have left in the bed with the small towel. This reduces the time they have to take when they clean the bed before someone else uses it. It also saves you from some embarrassment.
  • Check for skin cancer regularly. Do a breast self examination while you're at it.
  • Tanning won't be as efficient if you're very hairy. Consider shaving or waxing first.


Warnings


  • Wear sunblock (when not tanning in a tanning bed). A base tan doesn't make you invincible.
  • Going into the tanning bed without special goggles is a good way to let go of superficiality, because you won't be able to see how pale you are if you're blind.
  • Exposing yourself to UV rays increases your chances of skin cancer, no matter how you slice it.
  • If any of the staff members are burnt and peeling, they might not be your best guides to the tanning process.
  • Tanning can actually be addictive. Beware of tanorexia.


Related wikiHows




Sources and Citations


  1. 1.0 1.1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunbed

  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunburn#Cause

  3. http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/cos-tan3.html

  4. American Cancer Society

  5. http://www.askmen.com/fashion/how_to/41b_how_to.html



Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Use a Tanning Bed. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.





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www.healthreform.gov.

www.healthreform.gov.

In December 2008, President-elect Obama invited Americans to host and participate in HealthCare Community Discussions to talk about how to reform health care in America.

Over 9,000 Americans in all 50 states and the District of Columbia signed up to host Health Care Community Discussions. Thousands more participated. Friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers, representing the views of both health care patients and providers, came together in homes and offices, coffee shops and fire houses, universities and community centers, all with a common purpose: to discuss reforming the health care system.

The 3,276 group reports were systematically analyzed and the information generated by the Health Care Community Discussions captured in the report, Americans Speak on Health Reform: Report on Health Care Community Discussions.

The Web site,www.healthreform.gov. , will allow Americans to view today’s White House Health Forum, share their thoughts about health reform with the Obama Administration and sign a statement in support of President Obama’s commitment to enacting comprehensive health reform this year.

“This new Web site, www.healthreform.gov and report ensure that when we discuss health reform, the American people will have an equal stake in the health reform efforts,” said HHS Spokeswoman Jenny Backus. “Sky-rocketing health care costs are creating enormous pressure on families, on businesses and our fiscal future. The Obama Administration is committed to taking action this year on health reform and is calling on government, business, health care stakeholders and everyday Americans to come together to make it happen.”

The cost of health care services and health insurance was the top concern about the health care system for 55 percent of discussion participants. Participants also cited lack of emphasis on prevention, pre-existing conditions limiting insurance access, and the quality of care as key concerns. A qualitative analysis found that the Health Care Community Discussions focused on concerns about a “broken” health system, access to health insurance and services, rising premiums and drug costs, medical mistakes and the system not being “for them.”

A copy of Americans Speak on Health Reform: Report on Health Care Community Discussions, group reports filed by participants and hundreds of submitted photos are available at www.HealthReform.gov.

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Woman finds Cat in $27 Couch

When Vickie Mendenhall bought her used couch, Callie came free. 

(Full-size photo)
According to the Spokesman-Review,  a woman  bought a used couch for $27. The couch came with a weird noise. After days of searching for the source of the noise, she found a very hungry calico cat living in her sofa.


 
She contacted the store where she purchased the couch to tell them about it , but the store had no information on who donated it. So she took the cat to SpokAnimal CARE, the animal shelter where she works, so it could recover, and contacted media outlets in hopes of finding the owner. 

The owner was found. He had appearently  donated the couch   and his 9-year-old cat Callie disappeared about the same time. 

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Recession hits even billionaires

According to Forbes.com, the number of billionaires has dropped from  1,125  to 793.

  
Why the decline?
 355 from declining fortunes and 18  died. 
There are 38 newcomers, plus three moguls who returned to the list after regaining their 10-figure fortunes.  

The world's richest are also a lot poorer. Their collective net worth is $2.4 trillion, down $2 trillion from a year ago. Their average net worth fell 23% to $3 billion. The last time the average was that low was in 2003.

  Warren Buffett, last year's No. 1, saw his fortune decline $25 billion as shares of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) fell nearly 50% in 12 months, but he still managed to slip just one spot to No. 2. Mexican telecom titan Carlos Slim HelĂș also lost $25 billion and dropped one spot to No. 3.

 
The biggest loser in the world this year, by dollars, was last year's biggest gainer. India's Anil Ambani lost $32 billion--76% of his fortune--as shares of his Reliance Communications, Reliance Power and Reliance Capital all collapsed.

 China has 28, 27 in Moscow and there are 55 in New York.

After slipping in recent years, the U.S. is regaining its dominance as a repository of wealth. Americans account for 44% of the money and 45% of the list's slots, up seven and three percentage points from last year, respectively. Still, it has 110 fewer billionaires than a year ago. 
Last year there were 39 American billionaire hedge fund managers; this year there are 28.  
Worldwide, 80 of the 355 drop-offs from last year's list had fortunes derived from finance or investments.

  Number one billionaire on the list? Bill Gates, Net Worth: $40 billion

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Time Asks: Can Marijuana Help Rescue California's Economy?

Could marijuana be the answer to the economic misery facing California? 
That's what they are talking about over at TIME.

According to TIME, marijuana is  California's biggest cash crop, responsible for $14 billion a year in sales. The  state's second largest agricultural commodity:  milk and cream which brings in $7.3 billion a year, according to the most recent USDA statistics.

So what if the state of Cal. taxed marijuana?
 The state's tax collectors estimate the bill would bring in about $1.3 billion a year in much needed revenue, offsetting some of the billions of dollars in service cuts and spending reductions outlined in the recently approved state budget.


State assemblyman Tom Ammiano   introduced legislation last month that would legalize pot and allow the state to regulate and tax its sale - a move that could mean billions of dollars for the cash-strapped state. 

 
 U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that states should be able to make their own rules for medical marijuana and that federal raids on pot dispensaries in California would cease. 

In 1996 California became one of the first states in the nation to legalize medical marijuana. Currently, $200 million in medical-marijuana sales are subject to sales tax. If passed, the Marijuana Control, Regulation and Education Act (AB 390) would give California control of pot in a manner similar to that of alcohol while prohibiting its purchase by citizens under age 21.  

Retired Orange County Superior Court Judge James Gray, a longtime proponent of legalization, estimates that legalizing pot and thus ceasing to arrest, prosecute and imprison nonviolent offenders could save the state $1 billion a year. 

How to Stop Being a Workaholic



from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

It is dangerous to be a workaholic. Although you may finish a lot of work, you may endanger your marriage, ruin your relationships with your children, get burnt out, and end up in an early grave. If you want time to live a more enjoyable, meaningful life, the following steps will point the way..

Steps


  1. Change your values so that work is no longer the most important thing in your life. Unless you are truly convinced in your heart that there are some other things more valuable than work, it is unlikely the other steps will be effective. You won't be able to say “No” to overtime unless you are sincerely saying “Yes” to something you truly desire. Ask yourself if you value any of the following enough to give them higher priority than your work:
    • Your family. Is your work so important that you would rather risk a divorce and wreck your relationship with your children rather than cut back on your work?
    • Your health. Are you willing to get a stress-related disease and possibly die before retirement because your work is so important?
    • Enjoyment and peace of mind. Workaholics often claim they work so much because they enjoy their work. But if you focus on only one type of enjoyment, you are likely to miss out on the happiness and peace of mind that come with a more balanced lifestyle, with time to nurture meaningful relationships and savor simple pleasures.
    • Pleasing God. Some people work very hard because they feel God has called them to this work and it is of eternal significance. If that describes you, meditate on these words from the Bible: “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” This suggests that if you are working too hard, it is not because that is what God wants for you. Rather you are probably doing it because of the expectations of other people or your own desires.
    • Money. What's the point of having so much wealth if you don't have time to enjoy it? If you are doing it for the sake of those you love, remember that the gift of time is worth more than the gift of money.
    • Once you have a firm determination to tackle your work addiction, the following steps can help:

  2. Evaluate the impact of the various types of work you do. Cut back on work which gives relatively little benefit for the time invested. For any item of work you take on, ask yourself: “How many people will get a significant benefit from this? How many people are eagerly waiting for me to finish this?” If the answer is, “Hardly anyone” think twice or three times about whether you should really do it, or continue with it.
  3. Limit the number of work assignments you accept. Finish one item of work before starting another one. Don't feel that you have to finish every item of work that you have started. Just because you've already wasted a lot of time on a piece of work, it doesn't mean you have to waste more. Don't throw good time after bad.

  4. Limit the amount of time you spend working. Set aside one day of the week, such as Sunday, as a day of rest. Be strict with yourself in not working on that day. If the computer is your main work tool, try not to use the computer at all on your rest day. Set office hours for yourself, outside of which you don't allow yourself to work. For example, no work before 8 a.m. or after 7 p.m.
  5. Be flexible about when you aim to finish a piece of work. If other people set deadlines for you, so be it. But try not to set deadlines for yourself. Don't do today what you can reasonably put off until tomorrow.
  6. When appropriate, limit the quality of work you aim to achieve. Don't always aim for super high quality work when it isn't necessary to achieve the purpose of the work. As Chesterton said, “If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.” Especially if that frees up time to do something else even more worthwhile. See How to Control Perfectionism.
  7. Be efficient in the work you do. If you can be highly productive in a relatively short time, you can use your achievement to calm your workaholic conscience and allow yourself to relax outside your set work time. If you stop being a workaholic, it doesn't mean you can't work hard, work efficiently, and aim for excellent quality. But you set sensible limits on your work so that it doesn't eat up the rest of your life. See How to Work Smart, Not Hard.
  8. Meditate on this: How many people say on their deathbed, “I wish I'd spent more time in the office.” Make it a habit to periodically ask yourself, throughout the day, "If I died in my sleep tonight, would I be happy with the way I spent my day?" As somber as it may sound, looking at your life from the perspective of your deathbed can jolt your priorities into place.


Video


In this video you'll learn a few insights on how to overcome "Workaholic" tendencies.

Tips


  • If you wake up too early in the morning, don't get up and do something useful. Just lie quietly resting on your bed. After an hour, you may go back to sleep again. If not, you have still allowed your body to get needed rest.
  • Pay serious attention to your spouse/partner/parent/child/close friend when they urge you not to work so hard.
  • Train yourself to respond positively to interruptions. If the purpose of work is to benefit other people, then each time someone comes and interrupts, you can regard it as a golden opportunity to fulfill that purpose there and then.


Warnings


  • Beware of time management gurus. Although they give helpful advice about working efficiently, their techniques often encourage the tendency to cram in as much useful work into a day as possible. Whereas as a recovering workaholic, your aim is to reduce your work, not increase it.


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Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Stop Being a Workaholic. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.



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St. Patrick’s Day (March 17)

Irish-American Heritage Month (March)
and St. Patrick’s Day (March 17): 2009

Originally a religious holiday to honor St. Patrick, who introduced Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century, St. Patrick’s Day has evolved into a celebration for all things Irish. The world’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade occurred on March 17, 1762, in New York City, featuring Irish soldiers serving in the English military. President Truman attended the parade in 1948. Congress proclaimed March as Irish-American Heritage Month in 1995, and the president issues a proclamation each year.

Population Distribution

36.5 million
Number of U.S. residents who claimed Irish ancestry in 2007. This number was more than eight times the population of Ireland itself (more than 4 million). Irish was the nation’s second most frequently reported ancestry, trailing only German.
Sources: 2007 American Community Survey and Ireland Central Statistical Office
<http://www.cso.ie/px/pxeirestat/database/eirestat/Population%20Estimates/Population%20Estimates.asp>
<http://factfinder.census.gov>

24%
Percent of Massachusetts residents who were of Irish ancestry in 2007. This compares with a rate of 12 percent for the nation as a whole.
Source: 2007 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

Irish-Americans Today

32%
Percentage of people of Irish ancestry, 25 or older, who had a bachelor’s degree or more education. In addition, 92 percent of Irish-Americans in this age group had at least a high school diploma. For the nation as a whole, the corresponding rates were 28 percent and 85 percent.
Source: 2007 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

$56,966
Median income for households headed by an Irish-American, higher than the $50,740 for all households. In addition, 8 percent of people of Irish ancestry were in poverty, lower than the rate of 13 percent for all Americans.
Source: 2007 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

39%
Percentage of employed civilian Irish-Americans 16 or older who worked in management, professional and related occupations. Additionally, 27 percent worked in sales and office occupations; 15 percent in service occupations; 10 percent in production, transportation and material moving occupations; and 9 percent in construction, extraction, maintenance and repair occupations.
Source: 2007 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

72%
Percentage of householders of Irish ancestry who owned the home in which they live, with the remainder renting. For the nation as a whole, the homeownership rate was 67 percent.
Source: 2007 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

Trade With the “Old Sod”

$26.2 billion
The value of U.S. imports from Ireland for January to October 2008. Meanwhile, the United States exported $7.4 billion worth of goods to Ireland.
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics <http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/>

Places to Spend the Day

4
Number of places in the United States named Shamrock, the floral emblem of Ireland. Mount Gay-Shamrock, W.Va., and Shamrock, Texas, were the most populous, with 2,623 and 1,830 residents, respectively. Shamrock Lakes, Ind., had 154 residents and Shamrock, Okla., 123. (Statistic for Mount Gay-Shamrock is from Census 2000; the other statistics are 2007 estimates.)
Sources: American FactFinder <http://factfinder.census.gov> and
population estimates <http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population/012242.html>

9
Number of places in the United States that share the name of Ireland’s capital, Dublin. Since Census 2000, Dublin, Calif., has surpassed Dublin, Ohio, as the most populous of these places (43,960 compared with 37,954, respectively, as of July 1, 2007).

If you’re still not into the spirit of St. Paddy’s Day, then you might consider paying a visit to Emerald Isle, N.C., with 3,651 residents. Other appropriate places in which to spend the day: the township of Irishtown, Ill., several places or townships named “Clover” (in South Carolina, Illinois, Minnesota and Pennsylvania) and the township of Cloverleaf, Minn.
Sources: American FactFinder <http://factfinder.census.gov> and
population estimates <http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population/012242.html>

The Celebration

41.5 billion and 2.6 billion
U.S. beef and cabbage production, respectively, in pounds, in 2007. Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional St. Patrick’s Day dish. The corned beef that celebrants dine on may very well have originated in Texas, which produced 6.8 billion pounds worth of beef, while the cabbage most likely came from California, which produced 581 million pounds, or New York, which produced 580 million pounds.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service <http://www.nass.usda.gov/index.asp>

$40 million
Value of potted florist chrysanthemum sales at wholesale in 2007 for operations with $100,000 or more sales. Lime green chrysanthemums are often requested for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service <http://www.nass.usda.gov/index.asp>

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Are You Getting Telemarketing Calls You Don’t Want?

Here's How to Stop Them

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched the National Do Not Call Registry to give Americans a choice about getting telemarketing calls at home. According to a recent Harris Interactive poll,92 percent of people who reported placing a number on the registry said they are receiving fewer calls; a total of 78 percent said they’re getting “far fewer calls” or none at all.

If you think you put your number on the National Do Not Call Registry, and you’re still getting telemarketing sales calls, the Federal Trade Commission recommends that you:

  • Check to see that your number is on the registry. You can verify that your number is on the registry two ways: online at DONOTCALL.GOV (click on “Verify A Registration”), or by calling 1-888-382-1222 (TTY 1-866-290-4236) from the phone number you wish to verify. Follow the prompts.
    You also can add your number to the registry using the same Web site or phone number (call from the number you want to register). If you register online, you will receive an email from donotcall.gov as part of the confirmation process. You will need to click on the link in this email within 72 hours after you receive it. If you don’t click on the link in the email, the number you tried to register will not be added to the registry, and telemarketers may continue to call.
  • Understand that some calls are not covered. Once your number has been on the registry for 31 days, most telemarketing calls will stop. However, you still may get:
    • calls from — or on behalf of — political organizations, charities, and telephone surveyors;
    • calls from companies with whom you have an existing business relationship. A company may call you for 18 months after you make a purchase or three months after you submit an inquiry or application;
    • calls from companies you’ve given permission to call.
  • File a complaint. If your number has been on the registry for at least 31 days, and a telemarketer calls, complain to the FTC. Visit DONOTCALL.GOV or call 1-888-382-1222 (TTY1-866-290-4236). You’ll need to provide the date of the call and the phone number or name of the company that called you.

The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters consumer complaints into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database and investigative tool used by hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

The National Do Not Call Registry is open for business, putting consumers in charge of the telemarketing calls they get at home. The Federal government created the national registry to make it easier and more efficient for you to stop getting telemarketing calls you don’t want. You can register online at WWW.DONOTCALL.GOV or call toll-free, 1-888-382-1222 (TTY 1-866-290-4236), from the number you wish to register. Registration is free.

The Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and the states are enforcing the National Do Not Call Registry. Placing your number on the registry will stop most, but not all, telemarketing calls.

This site has information for you – whether you’re a consumer interested in signing up for the National Do Not Call Registry, or a telemarketer or seller interested in learning more about your responsibilities related to the Telemarketing Sales Rule.



Your registration will not expire.
Telephone numbers placed on the National Do Not Call Registry will remain on it permanently due to the Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007, which became law in February 2008. Read more about it at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2008/04/dncfyi.shtm.

Click Here to Register Now



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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT
THE NATIONAL DO NOT CALL REGISTRY

The National Do Not Call Registry gives you a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home. Most telemarketers should not call your number once it has been on the registry for 31 days. If they do, you can file a complaint at this Website. You can register your home or mobile phone for free.

Attention sellers and telemarketers: Go to https://telemarketing.donotcall.gov to subscribe to the National Do Not Call Registry.

If you are an exempt organization, and you wish to scrub your call lists, you may subscribe, but are not required to do so.

To register a mobile or home phone, click here.


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Spring Clean Your Closet


How to Install Closet Organizers


from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Did you ever see one of those ads with immaculate closets and wish yours could be a bit tidier? You may never need to store exactly five identical shirts on a closet rod, but a closet organizer can help you make the most of the space you have and keep your stuff in order.
Many companies now offer modular closet systems you can install for yourself at moderate cost. If you do the job yourself, you can create a closet that's truly customized to your belongings and lifestyle. Here's how.

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Steps


  1. Notice how you use the closet and the room. Is it a bedroom where you will store mostly clothes, or does the room have some other purpose, like a craft room, play room, or computer room?
    • Notice which side of the closet you naturally approach or open first, especially if it has two doors. Your preference may be because of the room layout or your tendency to be right- or left-handed. Plan to put the most frequently-used items where they're easiest to reach.
    • Notice anything that ends up in piles or hanging on doorknobs in or around the closet.
    • If you just moved in, try using the room and the closet as-is for awhile. It's not that much trouble to empty a closet when the time comes to work on it, and you'll learn about your usage patterns.

  2. Measure your closet and determine how much space you have to work with. Measure height and depth in addition to width.
    • Check where the studs are because this will also help determine your plan. The mounting screws must go into studs and not just drywall.
    • Also, measure how much the frame of the closet and how much it overhangs the space inside.

  3. Look around at available closet systems, to get ideas and to have in mind the elements that are available to you. Give some consideration to the choice of materials.
    • Compare materials. Metal wire shelves are inexpensive and reasonably strong, but they may not have the aesthetics of finished melamine. Melamine and manufactured wood products can be finished to resemble wood, but they are generally costlier and heavier than wire.
    • Decide whether appearance is important. It may be important for a large, walk-in closet in a master bedroom or for any exposed storage that is acting as a closet. In a broom closet, on the other hand, it may not matter.
    • Compare costs of different systems and stores. Home improvement and hardware stores often carry closet organization systems. So do container and organization stores, not to mention IKEA. Shop around.
    • Note what parts are in stock at your local store(s) and what other pieces can be ordered.
    • Pick up a brochure or catalog showing what parts are available, so that you can decide which parts will fit your closet. While you're in the store, get a price list or write down prices of the parts you think you will use.
    • Understand what's involved in assembling the different systems and make sure you're up to the task. Most of them are fairly straightforward, aimed at do-it-yourselfers.
    • Ask which pieces (shelves, rods, and even support rails) can easily be cut to a custom length if the standard length doesn't quite fit your closet. Many of the stores selling closet systems can even cut the pieces for you, so ask if cutting is available and how much it costs.

  4. Plan your closet, making sketches, and eventually scale drawings, as you go.
    • For your final plan, draw to scale. In general, you will draw an elevation of the closet, the view you will have when you open both doors, but you should also check the depth to make sure that hanging items and shelves fit.

  5. Determine how much hanging space you will need. In a clothing closet, hanging storage will probably occupy most of the space and cost relatively little, so plan it first and give it an ample share of the space.
    • Measure your existing rods and how much clothing you have, in rod length occupied by hangers, adding enough space to slide hangers apart for easy hanging and selection.
    • Arrange hanging storage so that it hangs well back from the door. Remember that rods for hanging clothing need clearance both in front of and behind them.
    • Plan in terms of upper and lower rods, with rods for longer hanging items like dresses and bathrobes. Many closet systems will allow double hanging for shorter items such as pants and shirts. Measure how long your longest garments hang.
    • If this is a shared closet, consider how you can use the closet system to divide the space, giving each user their own rods, shelves, and so on. Try to divide the space equitably, but consider who will store more belongings there.

  6. Decide whether to include drawers or sliding baskets in your closet. This depends on whether you will be storing clothing or other small objects in the closet. Drawers and baskets are among the more costly items you can install in most closet systems.
    • If you have a dresser, captain's bed, or other storage elsewhere, you may not need drawers in the closet.
    • Placing bins or baskets on shelving may be a cheaper, more flexible option for storing and organizing small objects in a closet. Choose drawers if you need frequent access; shelving if you don't mind a bin-and-basket approach, or if you need flexibility.

  7. Figure out how much shelving you can include and what will go on it. Measure the height of the tallest objects that will go on shelves to help determine the spacing.
  8. Plan storage for larger items. Do you keep a clothes hamper in the closet? Do you want it to be built in or loose?
  9. Plan any special-purpose storage. Will you make space for sports equipment? Will you put your DVD player out of sight, in the closet?
  10. Plan any work areas that will go in the closet. Will this closet house a sewing machine or computer? Be sure to leave space for the user of these items to access them comfortably.
  11. Check the space above the rod. If this space is also near the top of the door to the closet, make sure that the shelf up there is shallow enough that objects can pass through the space between the door and the shelf.
  12. Plan shoe storage for clothing closets.
  13. Decide which parts you will need of the system you have chosen.
    • Incorporate starter kits, if they are available, with a few basic accessories. Often, buying several items as a kit costs less than buying them individually, so compare prices. For a larger closet, you may be able to combine multiple kits with a few connecting pieces.
    • Shelves can usually be shortened if the standard lengths don't quite fit. Often, the store selling the shelving can help you to cut it down, particularly for metal wire shelving.
    • Consider the height of the user. Kids may not be able to reach upper shelves and rods until they grow. Shorter people and people in wheelchairs may want certain rods and shelves lower, too.

  14. Make a list of the parts and kits that you will need, based on the sketch. Include any hardware (screws, etc.) that is not in the kits. Take this list to the store.
  15. Purchase your closet parts. Take a vehicle large enough for the widest and longest parts.
  16. Empty the closet and clear the area around it for working. You'll also need some floor space away from the project to assemble things like drawers if you're using them.
    • Now is the time to paint the closet, if you want to.
    • Lift sliding doors off their tracks for better access.

  17. Locate the studs in the wall and mark them. It is very important that your mounting screws go into studs and not just drywall.
  18. Locate the support rails. Depending on the closet system you choose, these will generally be horizontal or vertical metal rails. In any case, make sure that the holes where you will put the screws line up with studs.
  19. Use a level and a tape measure to get the support rails vertical or horizontal (whichever yours require) and aligned with one another.
  20. When you have the supports where they should be, mark the hole locations on the wall with a pencil. You may be able to mark right through the mounting holes. Mark the bracket edge location, if you want.
    • Mark holes so that you can find both the horizontal and vertical location after you remove the bracket.

  21. Drill pilot holes in the wall where you have marked. Make them about the same size or a little smaller than the minor diameter (smaller diameter) of the screw thread.
  22. Install the support rails. Line them up again and drive long screws through the brackets and into the walls.
  23. Assemble drawers, modular shelves, cabinets, and any other pieces that require assembly before they are hung up. Most closet systems will come with instructions specific to the design.
  24. Attach the closet pieces to the support rails. Read the manufacturer's instructions for specific details.
  25. Secure the shelves, rods, etc. to the support rails or to the walls as required. Here again, secure into the wall studs or, if necessary, use bolts designed for use in drywall.
  26. Add any finishing touches, such as drawer pulls, hooks, etc.
  27. Arrange adjustable shelves. For laminate shelves on adjustable pegs, make sure each shelf has four pegs and that all four are pushed in all the way and have the flat side up, supporting the shelf. Screw them in if the peg design requires it.
  28. Wipe or vacuum up dust and debris from the project.
  29. Line shelves or drawers, if desired. Shelf liners can keep wooden and laminate shelves looking nicer longer, block moisture and spills, keep things from sliding around or, in the case of metal shelves, take up the space between wires so that smaller objects don't fall through.
  30. Move into your new closet.
    • This would be a great time to organize the contents of your closet or storage space and throw out what you don't need.



Video


This video focuses specifically on installing a laminate closet organizer.

Tips


  • The detail of your planning should correspond to the complexity of your project. If all you need is a couple rods and some shelves, a quick sketch should do it.
  • Keep your budget in mind throughout the planning process. When you have a basic plan, total up the costs before you head for the store. This is especially important for larger closets: all those little pieces can add up fast!
  • Have another person nearby to hold things while you adjust, mark, and screw things in, and to help with long and heavy items.
  • Some closets have access hatches for attics, crawl spaces, or pipes. There's no reason you can't put loose objects in front of these (hanging garments, laundry hampers, or shoe racks), but plan permanent fixtures, like built-in shelves, around these openings.
  • Not all closet systems need to go in closets. They can also help to create laundry areas, garage, and pantry storage, and they can be combined with cabinets or other enclosed storage.


Warnings


  • Always work safely with tools.
  • Make sure that closet systems are designed to take the load and make sure that the support brackets are securely installed into a stud with the recommended number of fasteners and spacing. Then, make sure that shelves and other units are correctly installed on the supports.
  • A closet organizer can only do so much. If you have way too much stuff, you'll need to sort through it and remove items to get the most of your organization system.


Things You'll Need


  • Stud finder
  • Screwdriver
  • Pencil
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Tape measure
  • Level, plumb bob, square
  • Safety glasses
  • Closet organizer system brackets or rails
  • Shelves, rods, and other closet organizer components
  • Handles, hooks, and door or drawer pulls, as necessary
  • Bins, shelf liners, hangers, etc. (optional)
  • A hacksaw (for cutting rods and metal shelving) and circular saw (for cutting wood or laminate shelves), if you need to cut any pieces yourself.
  • Mounting screws, if they are not included with your closet system. Choose long wood screws if you are mounting the closet system into studs and drywall screws with anchors if there are places you cannot screw into studs.


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Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Install Closet Organizers. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

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