Tag Archive: home

Kitchen Organization Made Easy

Before we attempt to conquer the kitchen clutter, we should consider why we have a kitchen to begin with. The primary function of a kitchen is to have a place to prepare food. And sometimes it also provides us with a place to eat the food that has been prepared. The only reason why I mention this fact (which seems redundant), is that these days, most kitchens look more like a place to store appliances.

Now is the time to use some kitchen organization to bring it back to its original purpose, the warm inviting place in the home for the family to get together, cook and enjoy a meal.

We will begin by clearing space on the counter. Most people complain that they do not have enough kitchen counter space. For instance, two of the appliances that are used the most are the toaster and coffee maker. Although, most people keep them on top of the counter all the time, they are usually only used in the morning. They are taking up valuable space.

So my suggestion is, after they are used and cooled off, then put them away in a cabinet. You should also do this with any other appliance you use. Better yet, before you store each of the items, really think about the last time you used them and if they are actually worth keeping, If you only use the appliance once a year, then maybe you can live without it. Now may be a good time to get rid of any appliances that you really do not use.

Next, we will start to clean the kitchen cabinets.

The cabinets tend to get overloaded because we keep too many unnecessary items. For example, how many cups does a family really need? I am sure that some of the cups probably belong to a set of dishes. If you have all of the dishes in the set and use if on regular basis, then you should definitely keep the cups. But if you do not have the entire set, then maybe you really do not need all them cups.

Use this same process with all of the items in your cabinets. Most people have dishes that are seldom used because they may be cracked, chipped, or just do not match your other dishes. If you do not use these dishes – and have enough of others for your meals – then either throw them out or donate them to charity.

In addition, if you cannot remember that last time you used a particular pot, pan, or casserole dish, then you probably do not need it.

Now, let us turn our attention to the dreaded refrigerator. If your refrigerator looks anything like mine used to, then it is full of leftovers that sit there until they go bad and have to be thrown out. If you have been avoiding this task because you cannot bear the thought of facing all the rotten food, my suggestion would be to just throw it out container and all.

I would not normally recommend that you throw out a perfectly good dish, because I always wash and reuse or recycle my containers. But, just this once, it may be the only way to jump-start the cleaning process for you. Just make sure, that after that initial cleaning, you evaluate the items in the fridge every day or two, that way you can get rid of any food that it starting to spoil and avoid throwing away any other dishes.

Here is one easy way to keep the fridge in good shape is. Before you go food shopping, check the food that is already in the fridge. Open containers and check to see if leftovers are still good, check all expiration dates on any unopened foods in both the fridge and freezer, evaluate all fruits,veggies and dairy items.

Not only will this keep the fridge clean, but it will also help with your shopping list. You will easily be able to see what you may be out of and what items can be used to complete your planned meals. At this point, you can also take a look at the shelves and drawers to make sure that they are clean. So, when you get home with your shopping, you can just put the food away knowing that the fridge is in good order.

The only way to really keep the kitchen clean is to organize this space on a daily basis. Just don’t let anything get out of hand. If you use something, then try to put is back in its rightful place as soon as you are done with it. And make sure to clean any dishes right away, if they begin to accumulate then you may get overwhelmed and not want to do them.


Decluttering Life: Tips For Decluttering

When we think about decluttering our life, we first have to consider how it all got started. Our clutter begins to accumulate even before we are born — and we are not even aware of it. So it is not even our fault yet! At this point it is what others people are “doing to us.” Have you ever noticed that?

I’m referring to the continuous accumulation of material things in our life. Think about the concept of a baby shower. Even before we’re born we begin acquiring items through this ritual. Then our family discovers any number of reasons to “shower” us with even more material gifts as we grow up.

Now, gifts are great, but . . . eventually our room of gifts and toys and stuffed animals morphs itself as we get older into a house of stuff — some needed and some, well, not so necessary.

A favorite saying of people lately is “life happens.” Life, in fact, is exactly what happens while we ‘re making our plans for the future. Before we have our plans set in stone, it seems our life situation has changed — and well, so much for our plans.

This is the same thing that happens when it comes to our possessions. “Clutter happens.” Look around you. It’s hard to believe that, at one time, your home was empty – completely empty, to be redundant! What would you do, if someone told you that you had to leave it all behind, how would you react?

Could you, in fact, willfully walk away from all your material possessions right now?

It is time to find out what items are really important to you. Time to assess the items that you have and determine what is necessary and what items are just clutter.


Declutter Ideas for Your Bathroom

I going to provide some great decluttering ideas for your bathroom. If your bathroom is really cluttered, then we need to tackle it right now! The bathroom is probably almost as frightening as your closet (at least mine is) but we can have you back on track in no time flat – guaranteed.

First, let’s tackle that medicine cabinet. If you open this door will “things” fall out of it? Take a critical look at your medications – both prescription and over-the-counter. (If you wear reading glasses, I suggest you bring them along!) You’re about to toss everything out that has expired. If you have any medicine that is no longer current, you’re going to toss it. No questions asked. This is more than just a clutter issue. Not only is this just wasting space, but this could be dangerous. Taking expired medicine has untold ramifications – so be sure to go through each shelf in your house where you may be storing any type of medication (many of us keep it in the kitchen!). Toss what’s old and expired!

Got beauty products you haven’t used in at least three months? Whether they’ve officially expired or not, toss them. Once they’re opened, the oils with which they’re made can go rancid. You needed a good excuse to buy new ones anyway.

Take all those old toothbrushes. Toss them as well. Dentists recommend that you buy new toothbrushes every two months. But how many of us really do? Now is a good time to do it.

One more thing. See that toilet bowl brush sitting in the corner. You might want to trade that thing in now too. I’m certain its packing quite a bit of bacteria. You can go to your local discount store and find disposable toilet bowl cleaners. If you’re environmentally conscious, you can buy either buy a “green” cleaner or create a home-made cleaner of your own.

One bathroom decluttering hint is to use baskets for organizing items. You can place some of the smaller items in baskets. These baskets can be separated into categories of what they hold – all hair items are contained with one small basket or container. Or they can be divided by family member. Your teenage girl’s bathroom necessities can be stored alone in one (or more reasonable several) container. Once you’ve done this all you need to do is find an appropriate home for this container. Some individuals like to store them in the bathroom itself. But if your bathroom is small, then you may not have the storage space in it for these containers. You may need to consider that these “bathroom bundles” be stored in the family member’s bedroom – or even a nearby linen closet. And each member totes his own to the bathroom when he needs it.

I know, I know! For such a small room, I seem to have much to say about it. But precisely because the room is small and storage space is normally at a premium, is the reason I’m spending so much time trying to help you declutter it. Look at your walls. You may want to consider putting in either shelving or a wall-mounted cabinet to help store necessary “stuff.” You can either put towels in these areas or you can place your toiletry bottles out of sight. If you decide to store towels, consider rolling them for storage instead of just folding them only. Give it a try, especially if you’re using only shelving and the towels will be “on display” so to speak.

Got enough room in your bathroom for a “tree” coat rack? If you do, then consider buying one. Your family members can hang their pajamas and robes here as well as that change of clothes instead of using that floor (even though the floor is a nice convenient “hanger”.) And onto one of the biggest problems we have with bathrooms, especially small ones. You’ve just returned from your favorite “big box” store – whether that be Costco or Sam’s Club or whatever is available in your area. And you’ve bought an extremely large bundle of toilet paper. So large, in fact, that you’re sure you won’t have to buy toilet paper for another six months. If you can’t find any place to store the toilet paper, then you may need to re-think your cost-cutting strategy.

The linen closet isn’t quite as scary as the clothes closets. But you still need to examine this space with a critical eye. Why may I ask are you keeping those frayed and bleached out towels when you’ve just bought a new set. It’s time to get rid of them. Can’t stand to get rid of them? Then donate them to an animal shelter. Many shelters use them to help keep their dogs and cats cozy. It keeps them from sleeping on the hard floor. So how many towels does one family need? Every family should have enough towels to sustain each member for two weeks. For example, you should have two washcloths, two beach towels, two bath towels (four for those individuals who use a towel to wrap their wet hair) per family member. Additionally, you’ll want two sets of hand towels as well.


Declutter Help For Your Basement

Most people need a lot of declutter help in the basement. The basement is an area where we somehow give ourselves permission to create clutter, although we may hate clutter in every other room in our house, If you live in an older home, you basement may not be finished. I’ve lived in a couple of older homes where the floors of the basement themselves were nothing but dirt – yes, dirt. Another home actually did have a basement with a cement floor, but there was nothing “finished” about it. While I did the laundry down there, I even hesitated about storing non-perishable foods, it looked very bad and felt really damp.

Today though, if you have a basement, you’ve probably had at least a portion of it finished. You may even have a rec room or other livable space in your basement. So you need to treat it like any other area of your home. Don’t use it as a dumping ground for boxes of items you don’t know what to do with. Now, I totally understand that the basement can cover a lot of space. So while you stand there with trash bag in hand, eyes glazed over with fear, let’s lead you in the proper direction.

Take one box at a time and break down your goals. See that corner right there? Start there. The point is to pick a corner, then work sections at a time. Do you have an abundance of boxes? Check them out as quickly as possible. If you discover one box is entirely Christmas decorations, then using a permanent marker, mark it as such. You can always come back later to sort through that (and perhaps place it in a nice plastic storage bin). At least for now, you know what’s in there.

Decluttering a large space like the basement appears overwhelming unless you break the task into smaller more manageable tasks. Today’s goal may be to just discover what’s lurking in each of these boxes and toss the worst of this junk. And that’s great. Just keep in mind that once this first step is completed, you’ll still have several more steps to go. This is your initial clean up. When you find a box or bin with items you can tell you aren’t going to want to keep, then dig into it. However, for the time being – and to conserve your time and help you to stay on track – don’t try to transform the basement all at once.

When you have one corner completed, move on – clockwise – to the next area of clutter. Do the same thing here. If it’s a box with needed supplies, mark it and set it aside. If however it’s storing that 1970s outfit that you are never going to wear again then toss it. If you really believe that an item is salvageable, but you don’t want it, consider giving it to a thrift store or church sale. Otherwise, consider this all past-prime material and toss!

If you don’t own a dehumidifier and use one in the basement, or have already waterproofed your cellar, then you may be disappointed by condition of some of your “treasures.” You may discover that the damp basement has claimed some of the life of certain collectible pieces. You may even realize that some of your items are damaged beyond repair due to the damp, dank conditions of your basement. If that’s the case, it’s best to cut your losses and toss the items out. There’s no use crying over items that are already damaged.


Five Quick Bedroom Declutter Tips

Today is “declutter day” for the bedroom. Pick a bedroom, any bedroom. It can be one of your childrens or if you’re brave enough it can be yours. Every bedroom seems to be a natural magnet for clutter.

If you wonder why, just think about it. It is out of the way of guest traffic and easy enough to close the door instead of declutter or clean. A hallway with the doors to the bedrooms closed looks quite nice.

That being said, you just may be in need of the “turbocharged” decluttering system. Here is a quick way to make any bedroom look a little bit right from the very start.

Step 1: Empty the waste basket.

Yes, it’s that simple. Of course, even you can see that it is already overflowing with trash.

Step 2: Straighten up those piles of books and magazines.
If you don’t have time to put them away properly, then just pile them up neatly and place them along the wall. This will instantly make the room appear much neater. Especially if they were scattered all over the floor and the bed.

Step 3: Get a basket and use it for temporary storage.
This is especially helpful for a girls bedroom. Take all that stuff from makeup to earrings and necklaces and place it in a basket. Now you can actually see the dresser top (and you won’t step on any earrings lying around the floor). You actually haven’t solved the problem yet, but you’ve certainly tamed it some – and sometimes that’s all we can hope for.

Step 4: Make the bed.
A bed that is actually made helps a room look more organized and well, civilized. Even if you replace some of those books that your children are using back on the bed (perhaps you can arrange them a little nicer),it will still appear to be more organized.

Step 5: Run The Vacuum Cleaner
Performing this one single task can make the room look vastly more decluttered and clean. It is truly amazing. Of course, this isn’t so easy to do if there are a 100 items laying around the floor!

If unexpected company calls and you can do nothing else with a bedroom, run the vacuum quickly through the room (and by all the means, the rest of your house). Then stand back a moment before that doorbell rings and check out what a difference that one small thing made.

Organize A Closet Quickly And Easily

Do I believe there’s any chance of you learning how to declutter your closet?
Of course, there’s always hope. But the initial steps may be a bit painful for you.

The first thing you really need to do is to go through all those clothes that are stuffed on that rack. Yes, I have noticed you can barely move them back and forth you have so many. Get your box of charity bound items ready, because some of your clothes eventually are destined for this container. Don’t panic, quite yet. Items that you keep have to pass a test. For every article of clothing in your closet, ask these three questions concerning it:

1. Does it still fit?

2. Do I still wear it?

3. Do I need it? (Aha! Now that one is the clincher!)

If your answer to any one of them is “no,” place the article of clothing in the charity box. It’s gone! I’m sure that still leaves quite a few pieces, but this exercise also serves its purpose: decluttering of your closet.

Do the same for your shoes as well.

Now take a quick look around. What’s left? And how well is it organized? No, I don’t suggest you store that bowling ball on the top shelf. Bring it down on the floor here (now that you’ve eliminated a half dozen pairs of shoes or so). Are there other items that can be at least stored together in bins.

One of the beauties of the closet is that it doesn’t have to be beautiful to be a storage container. Take an old cardboard box if that’s all you have for the moment.

Got papers that you know you just can’t toss? Use a milk crate, if you must. Nobody but you and a few other family members are going to see your containers, so it really doesn’t matter what they look like.

And while you’re at it, have every member of your family go through his or her closet in the same way. You may have to supervise some of the younger members. There’s no use keeping a tee-shirt that is three sizes too small for your youngest child. Donate it to a church rummage sale or have your own yard sale.

Organize any toys or other items in the children’s room according into certain categories. Put them all in a storage bin, milk crate or even a box.

What type of box is best?

Have access to one of those great sturdy boxes that reams of paper come in? If you can, use these boxes as storage bins in your closets and your children’s. Place the lid on the bottom of the box. If you have to move – or your children switch bedrooms, you’ve got an automatic box for moving. Just place the lid on it and go!

If you’re moving from the house, just be sure to mark what’s in the box and that it goes back into a closet. When the box reaches its destination, then all you need to do is take the lid off, place it back on the bottom of the box and place the entire thing back in the closet. Moving is painful enough. Every little bit helps.


Declutter Your Attic

I am going to offer you some suggestions for the organization and declutter of the living room. For most of the people that I know, the living room is usually where everybody gets together to watch TV, play video games and hang out time together. Therefore, this room usually end up being cluttered.

Resolving this issue is not as difficult as you may think. It just takes a little bit of work and planning. Before you know it, your living room will neat and organized.

The first thing that you need to do is to determine what you would like the primary use of the room to be. Narrow your focus of what you really would like the end result of your living room to be. If you don’t have that end goal in mind when you start, you’re not going to be going anywhere.

Now that you have a good idea, in your mind, of what items you want in your living room; The next thing to do is to remove absolutely everything that doesn’t belong and find a place for it in another room. But don’t just toss it in there, either – we’re not looking to create more clutter – find an appropriate place for it.

Get rid of any items that you no longer use. Gather them together and give them away. The ultimate goal of decluttering a room is to get rid of the clutter, after all – and there’s nothing wrong with giving something to a friend, or donating it to your local Goodwill. Somebody else may be able to use it.

Many people try to fit as much furniture as possible into their living rooms. I have no idea why, or how this started, but having oversized furniture or just too much furniture in a room (that it doesn’t fit) just makes the whole room seem more cluttered.

If you have any furniture pieces that you are not using, then consider selling them on a websites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Even if you don’t end up sell everything, by getting rid of furniture pieces that are just taking up space and are not used, can make your living room seem more open and comfortable. And an extra added bonus, of course, is some extra cash in your pocket.