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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Kitchen Organization: Drawer Chaos

This past weekend I tackled one of the cabinet drawers.

This drawer is located under the microwave, so it is where I keep the microwave supplies as well as baggies, tin foil etc...

(The cabinet underneath is where I keep the bulk paper goods, ie. paper plates, napkins, cups etc... I will tackle that some other time.)

Since I forgot to take a before photo, I decided to explain my basic organization process. This is my standard way to organize pretty much everything.

  • First, I start by emptying whatever it is I am working on. Whether it is a drawer, cabinet, closet, or my desk, I find it helps me to empty it out. Kind of like cleansing the soul.
  • After everything is out in the open, I sort everything into three piles. Keep, Donate, Trash.
  • Once I have decided what I am keeping, I sort it further into categories. The categories depends on what I am sorting. I ask myself what is the purpose? What should be in here? In this case, I sorted into microwave, bag ties, storage wraps, and elastic caps. I usually end up with some odds and ends that belong some where else.
  • When the sorting is done, I decide how am I going to store the item I am keeping. I have tons of baskets and bins that I have hoarded collected over the years, so I look at these before I head to the store to buy anything new.
  • Before I put everything back into wherever it came from, I do a deep cleaning. I like to use Lysol or Clorox products, but I am currently trying to find green ideas on cleaning. (I'll keep you posted as soon I figure it out )
  • Then I call everyone over to take a look at master piece, and explain what I have done so that they can help to keep it organized :)


Here is the drawer now:


I have everything I need for the microwave and storage "stuff" in one spot. It's great to have everything in one place.

That's my way of organizing my drawer chaos.












Thursday, October 11, 2012

Combat Kitchen Chaos One Cabinet At A Time

This past week my son was sick which meant that we were out of commission for the weakened. What to do ? What to do? Clean out the kitchen cabinet of course.
It all started as just a routine disinfecting the house of the sick germs and ended in a full blown kitchen cabinet clean out.

Before
Before

I have been meaning to reorganize this cabinet for some time. This is the cabinet were I keep prep bowls and serving dishes. It was hard to get to many of the bowls because of my nesting method. If I wanted to use something from the bottom of the pile I had to take everything off the top. It was difficult to say the least.


 I started out by emptying and sorting the contents of the cabinet.
 These are my prep bowls. 



These are my serving bowls.


One trip to Bed,Bath and Beyond to get shelves.
(I purchased 2 shelves for $6.99 each and I used a coupon :)


Here is the cabinet now.
Now it it is much easier to get to everything.

Thanks for looking.



After thought: I found some cute fall serving bowls I had forgotten I had.
Here is my fall table-scape


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Under the Sink Make Over

This weekend I cleaned out and reorganized under the kitchen sink.

Before
It is pretty gross under there.  There is some irony that the home of the cleaning supplies is SO very dark and not clean. 

Cleaning under the sink has been something that I have wanted to do for awhile, but of course there are a thousand other things to do before I get to this.  After all who looks under the sink besides me :)

So finally this weekend the laundry was caught up, the house was dusted and vacuumed, there were no all day family events and I had "nothing" to do.  Perfect, now is the moment!  It's now or never!

Off I went to find supplies.  I need baskets and cabinet liner.  That should do it, I mean, I already have the cleaning supplies :)

I took everything out of the cabinet and cleaned the cabinet with bleach.  When it was dry I put down some black and white contact paper.


My black and white contact paper was $2 and the baskets were $2.50 at Big Lots


 Before I put everything back in the cabinet I created baskets of cleaning supplies and other stuff.
I have a basket for floor cleaners, sponges/wash clothes, bug sprays, deep cleaning and my around the house caddy.


This is my around the house caddy.  I'll show what's inside in another post :)

After my make over.  It is all nice and clean !!!!!

Here is my cabinet!!!! I am happy to say even my husband noticed it was different :)  
Now my cleaning products have a spot worthy of there titles :)  Now the chaos under the sink is organized.

 I think I need labels but I'll do that some other time :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lunch Time!!

One of the most chaotic times in our house can be packing for lunch.  It can become a long stream of "Where is the this? " "I can't find that."  I have a few tricks I have developed over the years of making and packing lunches.  I can get my 2 school age children( grades 4 and 2) and myself out the door in 30 minutes. Yes, 30 minutes from wake up to out the door.  Yes, they eat breakfast :) Yes, they pack their own lunch.

It's all about organizing the chaos :)

First, we have stations.  This is one of the most important parts of our house.  Here is where I corral the morning and afternoon chaos. Most importantly, this is where they keep their lunch boxes.  No more of the   "I can't find my lunch box", which, yes, happened in this house.

Each chair is labeled.  They would fight over which chair belonged to whom.  I found these magnet letters at Target for $1.  Those $2 are worth a million, let me tell you :)
After school they are responsible for cleaning out their lunch box.  If there is anything they didn't have time to eat, they put it away to use at another time. (unless it is something that shouldn't be out all day, for example, cheese sticks)

A little planning goes a long way to making lunch time packing easier.  We usually grocery shop Saturday or Sunday and I let the kids pick a fruit and veggie that they want to take to school for snack. I buy 5 of what every they pick so they have enough for the week.  Anything that comes in big bags is portion out when I get home, for example, baby carrots.  If it has to be cut, I cut it up and portion it out too, for example, celery. I  have a bin in the fridge where I put it all.

Here is the bin when I am finished:

This week the options were baby carrots, plums, apricots, grape tomatoes, and cheese sticks.

Another bin I have in the fridge is the sandwich bin.

I am looking for mayo packets to add to this bin.  The mayo jar doesn't fit :(

Here I keep everything the kids, my husband and I will need to make a sandwich. Here is where I put the cold cuts, cheese, wraps, etc... It is great to just take out the bin and have everything at our finger tips. 


I also portion out "dry food" like gold fish, cookies, crackers, cheerios, etc...  and we purchase some pre-packaged snacks as well.



I keep these bins in a cabinet away from the pantry.  This keeps my hungry monsters from eating their school snacks at home :)

The ritz packs are mine, I LOVE them :)




We do have leftovers whenever possible.  So we have a station for that too :)


That is my lunch box on the right.  I don't have a chair :(


This basket has everything you need to pack your leftovers.  We have thermoses for hot food and containers for cold food.





Here is where I keep the color coded containers.  We each have a color and it is easy to tell who did not bring their container back.  I also keep the water bottles in here.  Keeping the bottles in one place is more for around the house use.  They were to high before and the kids couldn't reach them.


I hope this inspires you to organize your lunch time chaos.  I am going to go eat lunch now :)



Friday, September 14, 2012

Jewlery Storage

I have a lot of beautiful necklaces that I have purchased, and even  more that my talented sister-in law has made.  I was tired of them getting tangled in a big blob of chains and beads, so imagine how excited I was when I found these belt hangers.

This was the perfect hanging solution for my necklaces and I found them at the dollar store. Cha-ching!!!!  They are actually belt hangers, I guess if you have a lot of belts this is the solution.  I do not have a lot of belts but this was perfect for my necklaces.



I found these cup hooks at the local big box store for a couple of bucks.  I liked them because they screw right into the wall, no drilling!

It's like I am shopping at a display.  I love it!!!!
This is behind my bedroom door, so when the door is open you don't even know it's there.

Thanks for looking :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Laundry, my arch-nemesis

Nothing drives me crazier than laundry.  My usual routine was to do laundry on Sundays.  Well, THAT does not work.  All that does is leave a HUGE pile of laundry that makes you want to throw every piece of clothing out and start fresh. This, of course, is not a practical solution.

This summer while on vacation, my  mother in law started talking about laundry.  (She knows I have a problem)  She told me that she makes sure she does a load everyday.  She has a daily schedule that she has followed since the kids were kids. (Thes "kids" are my husband, brother -in- laws, and sister-in- law; they are all married now with babies)  So of course the road to a happy marrige is to get along with your MIL, I said "Really? How does it work?"  I wrote it down and vowed to try and follow it when we got home from vacation.

Well we have been home from vacation for about 3 weeks and I must say so far so good.

This is what laundry looked  like on a good day.

Before: believe it or not I had already brought some clothes down to the laundry room.


 This what it looks like since I started the weekly schedule.  Hopefully I'll be able to maintain it.


After;  the kids are happy they can put clothes IN the hamper and out side of it :)
Here is the magic, or at least to me it is magic, list:






It really does help to see it and it is pretty so it makes me smile :)

Now go do some laundry !!!!