Organized Home

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How to organize and spring clean your home April 21, 2010

Filed under: Home organizing — organizedhomeinc @ 10:06 pm
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What are you working on? What are your spring project goals? I just sent a group message to my facebook followers with that question.  Spring seems to be the time where we start itching to clean out the garage to our closets.  What is your project? In case some of you haven’t noticed I have been MIA for a while. I have been doing a sort of “spring-cleaning” myself. I have been going through my entire house, getting rid of what I don’t want or need and keeping only what I truly need.  I have just gone through a divorce and dividing the assets really makes you think.  I know this is a loaded question, but if you had to pack up only your favorite things, could you do it? Would you even know where to begin? At first I had a long list of things I though I could not live with out, but as time progressed I almost got to the point where I just wanted to sell it all.  If you think about it, it’s just stuff. It can be replaced.

When we turn our efforts to spring cleaning (don’t worry I’m not going to tell you to get rid of it all) I want you to seriously think of these three things.

  1. Do I truly love it? Does it make me happy?
  2. Does it serve some sort of purpose that makes my life run more smoothly and efficiently?
  3. Does it have monetary value? If you don’t love it sell it. If you do treat it like what it’s worth.

I am sharing this with you out of experience with my clients and myself. Surrounding our selves with only the things we love and that make our lives easier. (No I’m not talking about men) So lets select our spring-cleaning area, make our plan and get started. We know how fast summer goes by and things get busy as usual. Spring clean away my friends. I guarantee you will feel lighter and freer. The energy that fills you will give you the confidence to tackle more projects. You can do it!

 

Organized kitchen for the baker January 5, 2010

Filed under: Home organizing — organizedhomeinc @ 5:26 pm
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I have to tell you upfront I am not a baker. I don’t even play one on TV. I have, however, organized many clients who bake. I bake by default because I have kids (it’s a necessity with kids). This article is inspired by my latest client– and my dear, if you are reading,  I am writing this because I am jealous of your lovely baking talent.

Baking ingredients are very messy. There is no doubt about it– the flour, sugar, baking soda,  all these powdery ingredients that cover our kitchen with a white cloud of dust. It is not a bad thing,  just fact. We want to make our baking ingredients easy to access,  and we want them to be free of the yucky bugs that love them. (If you have never been lucky enough to experience them that is a whole another blog).  How do we do that? For starters, I love the containers available everywhere for dry goods. Not only do they stand tall and look awesome and clean in your cabinets, they keep out critters. I also like them because of the large openings. That is a necessity when scooping out flour and sugar. I received some cool looking canisters for a wedding gift a long time ago that I registered for,  and the buggers are too narrow. I can’t fit a measuring cup in them and frankly never really used them. I wish I had known then what I know now. But I digress.

If you are an avid baker or a seasonal baker here are some hints to keep your baking items handy.

1. Arrange all your baking goods in the same area of your kitchen. When you are in the mist of a creation, you can access everything and not run all over you kitchen. Cookie cutters, cake decorating tips and accessories, sprinkles and frosting coloring should be organized with each other in separate drawers or containers.

2. A drawer with organizing trays arranged to fit in the drawer are great for measuring cups and spoons. Little things that are used, such as frosting decorating tips, toothpicks, even candles.

3. Bulk ingredients like flour and sugar work great stored in clear plastic containers. Look for ones that seal and have a large enough opening to scoop with a measuring cup and fit your hand in when half full or less. Smaller canisters are perfect for brown sugar, powdered sugar and oatmeal.

4. I like to store sprinkles in an open bin on a shelf in the cabinet. The containers they are purchased in come in all different sizes and it will make it easier for you to keep in an open bin. I also like to store candy ingredients, such as chocolate chips in open bins. It keeps them from falling all over the place and helps you get what you need.

5. Baking pans and sheets can be tricky. They come in unusual shapes and sizes and it makes it hard to stack and store them neatly. If you have a small kitchen,  creating an easy access shelf in a storage area for seasonal pans is a good way to keep them from cluttering your kitchen cabinets. Look for pull out shelves at your local hardware store. Some are equipped to hold sheets and pan horizontally. It saves space and headache when accessing.

6. Cookie cutters tend to take up a lot of space because of their odd shapes and sizes. I keep my cookie cutters in a large cookie tin on a shelf in my storage room where I keep extra cooking items I don’t use very often. Along side of that is a cookie press and all these things I use only a few times a year.

There are so many different types of baking utensils and wares I have only touched on part of them. The art of storage on organizing these things is creating the proper space for storage. Keep like items with like items and store in containers that are useful and fulfill the needs for you to have a well-run and efficient baking experience. Baking is always fun for the kids and that is what makes it worthwhile for me. After all, flour and frosting can be easily cleaned up and I have a craving for a Santa shaped cookie with orange frosting and five gumdrops piled on top.  Enjoy your season. Cheers


 

Organize a pantry in simple speedy steps November 2, 2009

Filed under: Home organizing — organizedhomeinc @ 3:45 pm
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What is for dinner…what is for dinner?  Can you decide by looking into a pantry that has no rhyme or reason?  You are standing there staring a the fry-daddy you received for a wedding gift 10 years ago and never used, the 25 cans of cream of mushroom soup that you kept buying because you couldn’t remember if you had any. Are there jars of various holiday gifts from the office and boxes of dry goods that could stock a Salvation Army food kitchen. Sound familiar?

 

If you are like me sometimes meals are planned last minute and its hard to plan when you don’t know what your looking at and can’t put your thoughts in order.  Pantry organization is key for many different reasons.

You can,

1. Plan instant meals.

2. Save time

3. Dish out a prompt to dinner party

4. Delegate meals to family members and babysitters.

5. Provide a designated “snack” spot for your kids.

6. Other family members can help put away the groceries.

 

Getting a hold of your food stock takes some thought. One of the biggest challenges is the odd shape and sizes of food packaging. This is a challenge whether you have wire or solid shelving pantry. Are you ready to organize? Are you ready to know what you have at all times? Are you ready for efficiency in your kitchen and food preparation? Grab a cup of tea and lets get going!

 

To begin your counters and kitchen table should be free of clutter. You will need this space.

  1. Pull everything out of your pantry (yes, all of it)
  2. Group all the items on your counters and table according to “like items”
  3. Assess what you have and think of containers or organizers that would help contain. For example: Snacks that are individually wrapped can be taken out of their boxes and kept in an open bin. This way they are easy to grab and take up less space. Small mix packages and pasta that is not in a box can also be stored in a bin. Shelf dividers are great for doubling your space. Think can storage.
  4. Clean the shelves and floors of your pantry
  5. Throw away any item that is just about gone or expired. An unopened package or can that you know you will not use, place in a box to donate.
  6. To place items back in remember this, snacks and cereal should be placed on a shelf that can be easily reached. Items you don’t use very often should be placed on the upper shelves. The lower shelves can be reserved for onions and potatoes, pop cans, larger storage items that are either heavy or need more space.
  7. Don’t forget about using the pantry door for storage and a free wall. Hooks can be installed for aprons, brooms and oven mitts. The options are limitless.
  8. Last but not least. If you don’t use it don’t keep it. The fry daddy you got for a wedding gift 10 years ago can go to Good Will.

 

If you are confused on what tools to use to organize your pantry, I suggest a trip to Bed Bath and beyond or Targets kitchen section to give you inspiration. It’s not that hard once you get started! To get your family on the same wave as you, label the shelves and bins to nicely remind everyone to do their part. Okay, now you can sit down and plan your grocery list because you can clearly see what you have. The best way to boast your accomplishment is to take a picture and face book it! Lets your friends pat you on the back. Congratulations, you did it. We are on to more things! Until next time, Cheers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch out for falling objects below September 29, 2009

Filed under: Home organizing,Personal organizing — organizedhomeinc @ 6:16 pm
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What is for dinner…what is for dinner?  Can the decision be made by looking into a pantry that has no rhyme or reason to it?  You are standing there staring a the fry-daddy you received for a wedding gift 10 years ago and never used, the 25 cans so cream of mushroom soup that you kept buying because you couldn’t remember if you had any, the jars of various holiday gifts from the office and boxes of dry goods that could stock a salvation army food kitchen. Sound familiar?

If you are like me sometimes meals are planned last minute and its hard to plan when you don’t know what your looking at and can’t put your thoughts in order.  Pantry organization is key for many different reasons.

You can,

plan instant meals.

Saves time

Dish out a prompt too dinner party

Delegate meals to family members and babysitters.

Provide a designated “snack” spot for your kids.

Other family members can help put away the groceries.

Getting a hold of your food stock takes some thought. One of the biggest challenges is the odd shape and sizes of food packaging. This is a challenge whether you have wire or solid shelving pantry. Are you ready to organize? Are you ready to know what you have at all times? Are you ready for efficiency in your kitchen and food preparation? Grab a cup of tea and lets get going!

To begin your counters and kitchen table should be free of clutter. You will need this space.

  1. Pull everything out of your pantry (yes, all of it)
  2. Group all the items on your counters and table according to “like items”
  3. Assess what you have and think of containers or organizers that would help contain. For example: Snacks that are individually wrapped can be taken out of their boxes and kept in an open bin. This way they are easy to grab and take up less space. Small mix packages and pasta that is not in a box can also be stored in a bin.
  4. Clean the shelves and floors of your pantry
  5. To place items back in remember this, snacks and cereal should be placed on a shelf that can be easily reached. Items you don’t use very often should be placed on the upper shelves. The lower shelves can be reserved for onions and potatoes, pop cans, larger storage items that are either heavy or need more space.
  6. Don’t forget about using the pantry door for storage and a free wall. Hooks can be installed for aprons, brooms and oven mitts. The options are limitless

If you are confused on what tools to use to organize your pantry, I suggest a trip to Bed Bath and beyond kitchen section to give you inspiration. Shelf dividers are a great addition and allow more useable storage space. It’s not that hard! To get your family on the same wave as you, label the shelves and bins to nicely remind everyone to do their part. Okay, now you can sit down and plan your grocery list because you can clearly see what you have. The best way to boast your accomplishment is take a picture and face book it! Congratulations, you did it. We are on to more things! Until next time, Cheers.

Next month I am focusing on your office!! No more lost papers. Tune into Blog Talk Radio, sign up for my newsletter and lets get your office organized!

 

Organize those bills today! September 23, 2009

The other day I tweeted on how I was cleaning up all the mess on my desk. It didn’t take me long to do because I have a system and place for everything. I received so many tweets back with comments like “I can’t remember the last time I saw my desk.” Or “ I attempted to do that a while ago and gave up.”  I think that organizing our offices and desk areas is one of the biggest issues in efficiency facing many of us today. Okay, you’re saying “Great Julie, now what?”

I’m going to go back to the desktop filing like I talked about in my video on YouTube, but lets look at it in a little different angle. Lets say that you are paying bills late and forgetting about them because you.

  1. Can’t find them
  2. Forgot about them
  3. Received an email, but it’s lost in your inbox.

These are not uncommon problems and you’d be surprised how many of us have them. That ends today! This is what you need to do.

  1. Get 4 folders and mark (better with a label maker) Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 and Week 4. Do you get it? One week for each folder.
  2. Next divide you bills into 4 groups of what week they are due.
  3. The bills that you paperless write the name of the debtor on a 3×5 index card and place in the appropriate pile of when it is due.
  4. Place the pile of bills in the folder of the week BEFORE it is due.

Every week select a day to pay your bills and simply pull out the folder for that week and your bills be we paid on time! Remember when you get the mail go through and open all the bills and place in the corresponding folder. Even when you have misc bills such as the plumber or electrician their bills can be dropped in the proper folder so you don’t forget to pay. Do you get it? Why depend on your memory when you don’t have to? Good luck!

 

My dirty little secret September 16, 2009

Filed under: Home organizing — organizedhomeinc @ 5:20 pm
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As most of you know I am a professional organizer. I have just been tweeting with @mybusybabe about closet organizing.  Darling Lisa is struggling with the deeper issues of organizing her closet, so I decided to share with you what I do. Here we go.

I live in an approx 1500 square ft ranch built in the 50’s that is not including the finished basement, which is the kid’s playroom. Right now it is strewn with American Girl dolls and various Barbies. Apparently the folks of the 50’s did not need closet space because we have none. I found that I had arranged everyone else’s clothing in my family in the closets available and mine were placed wherever they would fit. Needless to say I could never remember what I had and to get dressed found me walking all over the house and pulling things from various closets. I got very tired of that. So one day on a crazy “this sucks” tangent I went to Target and purchased 2 freestanding wardrobes. I also purchase 2 sets of curtains that were on sale. I went home and set up the wardrobes in a section of the storage room in my basement. I hung the curtains in areas to give the idea of a dressing room in the storage area. Then I proceeded to move all of my clothing into the storage room and created my own personal dressing area. Folding clothes found their way onto an extra shelving unit I already had and basic long sleeve and short sleeve t-shirts made a home in these great square-stacking baskets that I’ve owned for years.  I hung 2 canvas shoe cubbies from a pipe and there you have it, instant closet.

You might be saying “Ewww” right now. No worries my storage room is dry and not full of icky spiders or the dreaded mice. It certainly isn’t glamorous but all my things are in one place and organized. I can get dressed in a snap.  Some day I will occupy a closet on the main floor that is not next to my furnace but for now this will have to do. Now you see even an organizer has to make sacrifices now and then. I have shared with you something that I haven’t told to anyone. Do you have a wacky organizing solution in your own home? I promise I won’t tell a soul.

 

25 uses for plastic storage containers September 2, 2009

  1. Baking ingredient storage – flour, sugar (all kinds)
  2. General food s   torage – leftovers
  3. Organizing small toys
  4. Candles – tapers and votives
  5. Hair accessories
  6. Suntan lotion
  7. Crafts
  8. Markers, crayons and colored pencils
  9. Emergency kit for car and home – flash light, batteries, candles
  10. First aid kit for car and vacations
  11. Ribbon for gift wrapping
  12. Small extension cords
  13. Light bulbs – different sized
  14. Batteries
  15. In home tool kit
  16. Bottle and sippy cup tops
  17. Pet food storage
  18. Snacks – granola bars, fruit snack,
  19. Food packet storage – taco seasoning, soup mix
  20. Medicine storage – kids container and adult container
  21. Extra toiletries – tooth paste, tooth brushes
  22. Extra linens and blankets – for quests or seasonal
  23. Toys – large containers for stuffed animals, babies, barbies, trucks
  24. Extra office supplies – envelopes, pencils, copy paper
  25. Mail supplies – packing tape, sharpie, labels, stamps

The list can go on and on. Do you have more fab ideas? I want to know because I have a yet another give- a –way from Rubbermaid! Thanks to them I can send you a set with their Easy Find lids line. I own it and love it! Leave a comment or email me your great idea or just your name and I’ll draw a winner on Friday Thanks!
Rubbermaid veggie storage