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November 23, 1996|CYNDI Y. NIGHTENGALE

In Order

It was always Nancy Mastroianni's little secret. Whenever someone would come to her house to visit, Mastroianni would close the door.

Even the housekeeper wasn't allowed in.

The rest of her house was clean, organized and neat, but the spare room, her room, was a mess.

"It just wasn't working," she says.

That was then, before she entered the "Help! I Need an Organizer" contest, sponsored by the Organizers Network of Orange County. Now Mastroianni leaves the door wide open.

As the winner of the contest, her prize was a visit from a team of professional organizers who transformed her spare room into the quilting room of her dreams.

"The arrangement is exactly what I needed," says Mastroianni, of Placentia. "Now I can easily find what I need and put it away when I'm finished. My family is still in shock."

Among the changes in the room are bins and shoe boxes for all her swatches of fabrics and threads. Shelves were put in for her quilting books and magazines. She even has room for her home computer, on which she takes care of household matters.

For the contest, Mastroianni resorted to pictures to tell her story.

"I started taking photos of the room and wrote a little note," says Mastroianni, "but I think the pictures were more descriptive, and they told the story better than anything I could possibly say."

The professional organizers who make up the network in the county can help anyone bust the clutter in a garage, storage area, home office or guest room. Call (714) 726-5095.

Well-Read Dogs

Pet lovers can help contain their favorite books with Labrador bookends. Handcast of composition stone and hand-finished, the Labs are reproduced from originals created in wood early this century.

The labs ($55 per pair) are 6 inches by 6 inches and available in yellow, black or chocolate through the In the Company of Dogs catalog. Call (800) 924-5050.

No Static

There's nothing more annoying than interference and static on a cordless phone. The little beeps and blurps that interrupt your conversation can make you think you're talking to someone on Mars, not a friend a few doors away.

Using advanced auto scanning technology, Toshiba is now offering 900-megahertz cordless phones with virtually no interference or static, even in heavily populated areas.

The phones have noise-reduction features to improve sound quality and digital transmission and reception for security and privacy.

Toshiba's new line of phones are priced from $80 for the basic model (which has static reduction) to $249. They are available at stores throughout the county. For the nearest retailer, call (800) 631-3811.

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