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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cleaning out your closet (Really!) June 3, 2009

Filed under: Home organizing — organizedhomeinc @ 8:55 pm
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Cleaning out your closet doesn’t have to be an ominous task. Think of it as a cleansing for your spirit, while discovering a way to make some extra cash and helping someone in need.  You can’t beat that! So turn off the boob tube, grab a diet coke and crank up the music. 

 

You will need a couple items before you begin, 3 boxes of some kind, laundry baskets, Rubbermaid bins, and anything you have on hand. If you have an onslaught of wire hangers consider replacing them with plastic or sturdier hanger.  Last but not least, a clock with a 2nd hand.  (Yes, you will be required to make quick decisions)  Mark your 3 bins,

  1. Consignment – Clothing that is in good condition and classic style.
  2. Not wearable – clothing that is ripped or torn.
  3. Donate – Clothing that no longer fits you, or you have not worn in a year.

 

You are ready! Start at one end of your closet and work you way thru. Use the second had on your clock, and don’t take any longer that 5 seconds to make the decision whether to keep, consign or donate. 

 

Pull out any clothing or shoes with these 3 things in mind

  1. Is the item ripped, torn or damaged in any way?
  2. Is it out of style?
  3. It has not been worn in 1 year. (I know you’ve heard that before, but it still holds true)

Remember you are a clearing and organizing machine. Don’t answer your phone or turn on the TV or you will become distracted. Keep working throughout your entire closet.  If you are on fire at this point keep going through your dresser drawers, under the bed, night side tables and the chair in the corner with the pile of clothes on it.

 

Could it be that easy?  Yes! It is. Now that you have piles of clothing you no long need or use, your saying “Okay, Julie, now what?” I have the solution for you with these 3 steps.

  1. Locate a consignment shop in your area. They will accept clothing in season, with a return of %50 to %60 for a 90-day consignment length. You also can consider donating your wearable business wear to you local Women’s Resource Center. They assist Women, who need a second chance for a fresh start on life.
  2. The clothing that is in your donate pile bring to Good will, Salvation Army or your local place of worship.  Smile, knowing you are helping others who are in need.  The clothing that is not wearable is accepted at places such as Good will. They send it to fabric recycling places.  Check with your local Good Will, 
  3. Your closet, when arranging the clothes left in your closet arrange by color and season. If you have a simple hanging bar with a shelf above, and no sign of a closet organizing system.  Consider a less expensive fix by purchasing canvas-organizing units.  They come in great patterns and colors to spice up any closet. They hang from your hanging bar. The units have designated uses, for example there is one for shoes, sweaters and shirts.  The system will allow you to always know where and what type of clothing you are reaching for.

Congratulations!  You are done.  Nice job, you should be very proud of yourself. Its time to treat yourself to a skinny latte and relish in all your hard work.  You’ve accomplished organization, made money, helped someone in need and recycled.  Today the closet, tomorrow the kitchen!

 

Primping your purse May 28, 2009

Filed under: Home organizing — organizedhomeinc @ 12:34 pm
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Picture this, you’re standing in line at the grocery store, child in tow (who is probably asking you to buy candy). Your cell phone rings, it could be the important call you have been waiting for so, as you blindly dig in your purse with one hand and load the conveyer belt with the other, then your phone beeps and goes to voice mail.  Now, if you can just find that coupon (which is amazing you remembered you had it in the first place) and your wallet.

 

Does any of this sound familiar? We have so many choices of sizes and styles of handbags these days.  Some are easier to keep order in than others. I could go on to tell you what to search for in an organized hand bag, but the truth is sometimes the bag that screams “You’ve got to have me” is not the most practical. I can be a slave to fashion just a well as the next girl. Plus, who doesn’t feel awesome carrying a super cool bag.

 

I have assembled a fashionable and practical way (yes, those 2 words can be in the same sentence) to organize your handbag.

 

You will need-

– A wallet of your own personal choice and size.

– A small cosmetic bag, I like the clear ones.

– A long flat bag that fits into your purse.

 

 

  1. I know some of us carry more in our handbags than others. Start by dumping the contents out and get rid of the trash, old receipts and that candy bar you felt to guilty to eat.
  2. Group the contents into like item and like sizes. Let’s go from group to group and choose the best size to fit into that your “just had to get it” bag.
  3. Cosmetic bag – If you are on like me and carry several choices of lip color and glosses. (If I don’t they will be left behind and I’ll will be bare lipped) Yikes! A small cosmetic bag should do the trick. Look for a clear one, so picking the right color is a little easier.
  4. A longer case – This is for pens, feminine products, hair ties, etc. I even carry a wine opener (cause you never know) this keeps all those little pieces from floating around the bottom of your purse. Just look twice before you hand the guy next to you, your pen!
  5. Wallet – Any kind chose the one that works best for you.
  6. Notebook – You know, the notebook for writing information, numbers and websites that you come across during the day.
  7.  A case for business cards – No more dog-ears and missed opportunities.
  8. Keys – How much time do you spend a day looking for your keys? Five minutes, ten? Those elusive things. It’s kind of like the ole missing sock from the dryer, you know you put it in there and now it has disappeared. Other than safety pinning your socks together I don’t have any other answers at this time. The keys are easier to find if you have some recognizable key chain attached to them.  If there is a clip to hook it to in the inside of your bag or simply keep it in the pocket of your purse inside or out.
  9. Cell phones – Many handbags these days have outside pockets or a couple small inside pockets. The outside pocket works swimmingly for cell phone storage. Easy access when you are on the run or juggling in the grocery store line.

 

Isn’t it great that you can be productive, practical and a fashioniesta all at the same time? Heck yeah! I think its time to celebrate with a frappachino (skinny of course) and a little shopping at your fav boutique. Cheers!

 

Is your basement a Costco hell? March 5, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — organizedhomeinc @ 5:30 pm
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Do you shop at all those big box stores?  What on earth do you do with a gallon of syrup or 100 rolls of toilet paper?  Do you have a family of 10 living with you?  If you do skip this blog and check out one for scheduling or birth control.  Now before you get completely offended by my banter, hear me out.  I am all about having things on hand to feed your family in an easy and quick manor.  Plus having A FEW let me repeat A FEW of those items you go through quickly in storage.  Especially if one purchase will not make it to your next weeks shopping trip.  With all of that said, now we are left with only the items we really need right?  How do we store these items and keep them in a place where they are handy to retrieve. 

 

One option is a storage room in the basement. It is very handy to have a shelving unit or a couple shelves dedicated to holding only those extra items.  Reserving one portion for nonfood items and the other for…I’m sure you can guess, food items.  This is a good way to store those things if you can keep up with only keeping a few of these things up stairs where needed.  This is a good thing if you feel you can keep up with it.  If you have a large family and lots of cabinet space a gallon jug of syrup is fine in the kitchen cabinet.  For the rest of you consider a smaller bottle of syrup you can refill or just opt out on the gallon purchase in the first place.  A garage is also a good place for storage.  I prefer a closed cabinet to keep those unwanted critters out.  I do shop at one of the big box stores but not very often and I only purchase a few select things. My husband on the other hand goes hog wild and comes home with all sorts of crap.  One of the issues is if we have a large quaintly of something and no one likes it…what do you do with it?  One thing it’s a waste of money but it can always be donated.  You know your needs and space limitations so make a list and really ponder, “Do I need 24 cans of cream of mushroom soup?”