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Organize the junk in your junk drawer November 8, 2009

Filed under: Home organizing — organizedhomeinc @ 2:00 am
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How junkie is your junk drawer? I really don’t like the term “junk drawer” It should be called “odds and ends” drawer or “things I need “ drawer.

 

What do we keep in the drawers? They are usually things we find around the house that really don’t have a home or we don’t have time to subcategorize them. All those little pieces we find throughout our home.  What does a professional organizer keep in her junk drawer?

Hmmmm lets see. I have a couple buttons. Some chalk.  I have a couple marbles (you never know when you need more) rubber bands, paperclips, barrettes (for my daughter who is growing out her bangs). Really all kinds of crap.

Sometimes I encounter a client who has several “odds and ends” drawers.  Everything just ends up being thrown in them because we are to busy or…say it with me…they don’t have a true home!

Here are a couple things that you need to have available…but not in the odds and ends drawer.  A handy little toolbox.  This is perfect for changing those pesky batteries that toys seem to burn through; hanging a picture; or putting together some great find from Ikea.  What ever it is have a tool kit and keep in on the shelf in your coat closet or back hall.  It will be easy to access and put away.

Another thing you need is a separate container for batteries, especially if you have children.  Lord knows we go through the batteries with all the flashing and noisy toys.  A plastic shoebox size container will contain all kinds of batteries and protect your things incase one decides to leak. Plus I don’t know if you have ever noticed, they smell. Those are 2 things that should not end up in your odds and ends drawer.

Okay so what is left?  Some rubber bands; paperclips; a flashlight? (That could go in an emergency kit) loose change; all those little things you pickup through out the house and know they belong to something but are not quite sure.

The key is you need to go through that drawer once in a while.  Set a doable schedule like every six months and if you have time or the energy possible every 3 or 4 months.   If you have a junk drawer rethink what it could be called.  An odds and ends drawer sounds much better.  We have to have a place where we keep those items.  If one particular category keeps ending up in the drawer create a new category for it and store it somewhere else. A closet, a shelf in the garage, somewhere easy to access. Remember to label the containers

If you create the plan and give your family the right tools they will follow your lead.

 

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!

 

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

 

Rubbermaid and the fuzz in the fridge May 6, 2009

Filed under: Home organizing — organizedhomeinc @ 5:00 pm
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A while ago I tweeted a Fast Five for everyone to take five minutes and throw out anything in their fridge that was green and not supposed to be. It was great, I had so many replies telling me now their fridge was empty and others were afraid to look in the various plastic containers that had put up camp inside the cold box of mystery. I want to see a raise of hands of who has just thrown away the entire plastic container in repulsion just thinking about the experiment brewing with in. You can’t see me, but I’m raising both hands.
Another issue we all frequently have is storage of plastic containers and the battle of the lids? I was helping a client with her container issue and she had so any lids  she kept them in a Rubbermaid bin in the pantry. We sorted through the sea of plastic and were left with 5 containers for her to keep in a cabinet and used the Rubbermaid bin for other storage.
tomatos

tomatos

I’ve had the pleasure of trying out Rubbermaid’s new line of “easy find lids”. The lids stack together and the bottom of the container snaps onto the lid. It all makes a very neat stack. And for those of you who know me, I love neat stacks? The containers themselves are clear and made of hard plastic. Have you ever used a storage product made specifically for fruits and veggies? The “produce saver” did just that, it saved my produce from getting dried out or moldy. It is so much easier to find a quick snack or meal or see which left over has been staying at the Inn too long. When the storage containers are similar shapes and stack neatly in the fridge. A very efficient use of space and storage. Just how I like it. All the containers were medium to small good for small leftovers and food storage. A great way to prevent the growth of unwanted fuzz.

 

Organize your kitchen drawers in an afternoon! March 19, 2009

Filed under: Home organizing — organizedhomeinc @ 9:27 pm
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Do you have difficulty opening or shutting your kitchen drawers?  How about finding what you need in those drawers?  Are there batteries and paperclips next to the measuring cups and skewers?  This simple project tackles one area in our kitchen that tend to be a dumping zone.  So, turn on some music, grab a cup of Joe and lace up those running shoes. Its time to get to work.

To get started you will need;
1.    Three boxes or bins, marked KEEP, DONATE, TOSS. If you have a lot of kitchen drawers, I suggest using something sturdy and large, such as Rubbermaid bins or large laundry baskets.
2.    A slew of plastic interlocking drawer organizers. They are available at stores such as Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, and The Container Store.  There are many different kinds available, choose the ones you like the most and that fit into your budget. I always suggest buying way more than what you will think you need. This way you will not have to stop in the middle of your organizing frenzy to buy more product and lose you momentum.
I know organizing kitchens can be overwhelming and tend to hold storage more that we realize.  That is why we are starting with the drawers only.

Begin at one end of your kitchen, open the first drawer and begin placing the contents in one of the 3 bins.  An exception is your silverware and sharp knives. You will be keeping those and for safety sake place them on you kitchen counter or table.

Questions to ask yourself – If you have several of one item or items you never use.
*     How often do I use this?
*    Can I live with just one?

Once you have gone through all your kitchen drawers;
•    Wipe them out
•    Categorize the items in the bins, by placing them in piles on you countertop or table.  For example, baking tools with baking tools, cooking utensils with like utensils, odd items together such as skewers, shellfish crackers and corn on the cob holders.
•    Locate the best drawer for each category, use this guide
The Junk drawer is located by the phone.
Silverware is stored by plates and the dishwasher.
Baking utensil by counter uses mostly for food preparation.
Cooking utensils by cook top.
•    Select the correct size of interlocking drawer organizer to fit in each drawer and it chosen purpose.  Don’t feel you need to fill the tire drawer with the organizing trays.  The extra space can be used for odd items such as cheese graters and rolling pins.
•    Place the categories in the assigned drawers and you might want to label so your family gets used to where everything goes.

A note on those tricky junk drawers, keep the items in them to a minimum, such as,
Extra change
Batteries
Paper clips
Scrape paper/pens
I you find you have an excess of one item; think about finding another spot for it.  Batteries tend to accumulate, store in a larger container and place on a shelf in an entry way closet.

Congratulations!  You are done with the task that wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be!!! Right?  Place the items to donate in your car right now and drive to the nearest donation center.  The items to toss, throw what you can in your recycle bin.  Small appliances are accepted for recycling in many areas. Call your local waste management company and ask.  Now its time to switch from coffee to a large glass of water. (We need to keep hydrated!) Sit down and call a friend to tell her about your grand accomplishment.  You deserve it!