Spice Up Your Kitchen Organization

Posted By on August 24, 2015

This guest post was written by Ty Schmidt of Modernize.com. Photos and captions were provided by Modernize.com.

Everyone has their own reasons for not wanting to cook. Maybe it was a long day at work and you just don’t feel like it. Or you think there’s nothing to make (in spite of the fully stocked fridge and pantry). Or, maybe you just spent $200 at the grocery store and you would rather grab take out than put any more effort into food-related things that day. Regardless of the reasons, there is one thing that can help: an organized kitchen can help make the task of tackling that recipe a little less challenging.

Here are a few tips to organize your kitchen in creative yet practical ways:

Via Then She Made

Via Then She Made

Recycle. There are ways to reuse what some may think of as garbage that can make your kitchen feel much less cluttered. Save storage space in cabinets, a pantry or a Lazy Susan by turning a used cardboard soda container into a storage vessel for soup cans.

Get tense. Tension rods are not just for bathroom showers. They can make amazing organizational tools in the kitchen in a variety of ways. Use them horizontally under the sink to create a space to hang spray bottles or towels or use them vertically in a cabinet to make a better home for cookie sheets and pizza stones.

Via A Thousand Words

Via A Thousand Words

Get a butler for your fridge. For easy access to everyday condiments, keep your fridge free of clutter by utilizing a storage option that spins.

fridge butler

Via Fridge Butler LLC

Reuse. There is no need to grapple with “that place” in the kitchen were the plastic bags from the grocery store accumulate into something resembling a smashed multi-colored snowman. If you use plastic bags and store-bought cleaning wipes, you’re in luck. Repurpose old cleaning wipe containers into an attractive space-saving masterpiece that harnesses all the power of those plastic bags into a convenient, tidy and portable bag disposal unit.

tater tots and jello

Via Tater Tots and Jello

Get handy. Those pesky lids of pots and pans do nothing but take up high-quality cabinet real estate. A simple hammer and nails can transform your pot and pan storage area into a much more user-friendly space.

country chic cottage

Via The Country Chic Cottage

Make the pantry pretty. An inexpensive trip to the dollar store is all it takes to transform a cluttered pantry into a symphony of organization and style. Investing in a variety of air-tight containers appropriate for a variety of common items stored in pantries, and taking the time to label them, can pay dividends when the time comes to get cooking.

social home

Via The Social Home

For more tips and tricks, head to Modernize.com.

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Make Decluttering A {Delightfully-Scented} Breeze By Using Essential Oils

Posted By on April 27, 2015

From The Clutter Princess: I’ve been curious about essential oils myself, and because of that, I asked Lora who sells them to write this guest post.

Ahh that pile, that closet, that room, that house! We’ve all been there dealing with the clutter monster. But, what if I told you that clearing that space could be a much more joyful, productive, and effective experience if we call on essential oils to help us.

In this post, I am going to share with you the two most common ways to use essential oils, why purity it so important, and then share my top ten essential oils for support when decluttering and organizing.

home diffuserThe two most common ways to use essential oils is via aromatically and topically. (Please always defer to the label on the bottle you are using for directions and safety precautions.) Aromatic use can be done by simply smelling the essential oil right from the bottle, but my favorite way of inhalation is to diffuse an essential oil using a cool mist diffuser. This allows the scent of the essential oil to envelope the room or space you are working in. Topical application means applying to skin. (Again, read the bottle label for directions safety precautions.)

Purity is important when it comes to essential oils. Many essential oils found on the market today — even the ones from health food stores — can be diluted, adulterated, and may contain “fragrance” oils, which are synthetic wannabes of pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils. When we are looking to use essential oils for a specific purpose, as described below, we want to ensure that they contain the true plant constituents that will provide the results and benefits we are looking for.

The essential oils recommended below come from a company called Young Living Essential Oils, which is committed to providing the highest quality essential oils in the world.

Here are my top ten recommendations to rock out your decluttering using essential oils:

Peppermint + Lemon

Peppermint essential oil has been clinically proven to improve focus and concentration. It is also an energizing scent. All of the citrus essential oils, like lemon, are uplifting and energizing. These essential oils will help keep you upbeat and positive as you tackle the clutter beast!

Lavender + Stress Away

For some, anxiety and stress can arise while decluttering. Uncomfortable feelings and conflicts may arise around letting go of things. These two essential oils can help calm us, body, mind, and spirit. Stress Away is a relaxing blend from Young Living Essential Oils that I’ve heard referred to as a “vacation in a bottle!”

Frankincense

This essential oil has a long history of providing spiritual support and creating sanctuary. It comes from the resin of the frankincense tree. All essential oils that are made from trees contain grounding properties. This essential oil will help you not only feel grounded and centered as you are decluttering and organizing, it will also help create sacred space.

Thieves + Purification + Tea Tree

These three essential oils help with cleansing and purification. They are all wonderful to diffuse as you are clearing out and decluttering. If cleaning is part of your decluttering process, you can even make your own completely nontoxic household cleaner with them. Recipes for homemade cleaning products can be found in abundance on Pinterest.

Joy

young living joyYes, there is actually an essential oil blend with this name! And for good reason! It is a blend from Young Living Essential Oils intended to calm and balance the nervous system. And let’s get real here, who couldn’t use some joy when decluttering?!?!

PanAway

This Young Living Essential Oils blend helps with the common everyday aches and soreness. The body can take a beating when it comes to decluttering and organizing! This blend, applied topically, can soothe that physical discomfort.

I have yet to find a task that is not easier and more fun when things smell good! And decluttering is no different.

The beauty of essential oils is that they can support us in so many ways, and what you have just learned about them is truly the tip of the iceberg. The essential oils described above come in Young Living’s Everyday Oils Collection. It is aptly named because all of these essential oils can support us in myriad ways, on a daily basis.

If you’d like to learn more or get some of these essential oils for yourself, head on over to EssentialOilsRock.com.

 Lora Sasiela Headshot-EssentialOilsRockLora Sasiela, founder of EssentialOilsRock.com, is a blogger, essential oils educator and network marketing professional. She is passionate about helping people adopt a nontoxic lifestyle. As leader of Team Sassy, she has helped women around the country to create successful home-based businesses sharing essential oils. Learn more about Lora here

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5 Ways to Leave Your Clutter

Posted By on April 19, 2015

Does it stay or does it go? Photo provided by HubSpot because they're cool like that.

Does it stay or does it go? Photo provided by HubSpot because they’re cool like that.

Leaving your clutter can be a difficult break up, but it can be rewarding both emotionally and financially.

Set it free. When it comes to things you don’t love, set it free, and in doing so, you free yourself. If something does not serve your life or make you feel good, let it go.

Now if you love everything, you have to be realistic without much you can keep. It’s simply physics. Your home can only hold so much before the situation becomes dangerous.

Start anew. If you’re starting a new chapter in your life, it’s a good time to move ahead with the future and separate yourself from the past weighing you down. It’s like an anchor, particularly if you’ve gone through something painful.

Once you make the decision to let an object go, you have choices. Having a “higher purpose” in getting rid of unwanted items makes it easier to let them go as well.

Plant a seed. If you have kids or nieces and nephews who are starting out, seed their new apartments and homes with items you no longer want.

Give without strings and expectations. Once they no longer need the items, they are free to pass them on and help someone else.

Help others. Have business suits you don’t wear? Donate them to Dress for Success to help women who need suits for job interviews. For men’s suits, check out CareerGear. Have old towels, bathmats, and bedding? Take them to your local dog shelter. Want to help the planet? Recycle old magazines, catalogues, jars and other recyclable items.

For the rest of the stuff you want to shed, donate it to charities if it’s in good condition, clean and unstained. For example, if you would give to a friend without being embarrassed, it can be donated. Charity shops spend lots of money and time to separate out items that are not in good condition.

Make some cash. Neighborhood trading and selling groups are popping up on Facebook, and it’s an easy way to sell things you don’t want for a little cash. Garage sales, Ebay and other online sources are still great ways to make some money and clear out the closet.

To paraphrase Paul Simon’s hit song (no relation), time to make a declutter plan, Stan.

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The Bucket List for the Year of “Lasts”

Posted By on January 19, 2015

Guest Post by Lisa Boesen

Encore Performance. Second Act. Life 2.0. I am not sure if there is a perfect term to replace the quite worn out word for leaving your primary job in mid or late life, but regardless, if this next stage of your life involves moving, the process can be quite interesting, if not overwhelming.

My husband I and are now downsizing to prep for the Boesen Migration to Colorado. We do have fears about up and leaving our physical home of 12 years and our place of residence for 35 years, but we are most ready for an adventure before it gets too late. I would hate to look back at 90 and feel we have been in the same place, neighborhood and town for all of those years and not had a re-launch, rewire, re-whatever.

Over the past several years I have written several blogs on downsizing parents “stuff” and now, we are doing the same thing. Many times over the last six months there have been pain points when selling, donating, and gifting began to strangely feel like when we were managing my parents’ estate, except we are still alive and can replace things. In addition to a pretty extensive Excel workbook of task lists and timelines, there is also a “bucket list” of things to do and people to see before we leave.

One year out, we started the “bucket list” because, well, if you are leaving in a year, it will probably be one last time for many things. There are the obvious: The Last Oktoberfest Party, The Last Thanksgiving, and the last time to see the Jack Melick Orchestra perform at Lodge 88. Then there were and are more poignant activities such as taking time to go see a holiday performance of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Employee Choir. I enjoyed directing the choir from 2002-2004 and it was one of those career memories that had absolutely nothing to do with my actual job but overall, made my job more fun. I was and am still very grateful MDACC allowed me the opportunity to share a skill that I was not able to make as a career but could eventually share in my career environment. How cool is that?

Our bucket list includes people, places, and things. Some list items connect to when my husband and I were dating such as a last visit to the Starbucks where we first met, some routine activities like going to The Hobbit Café for a brew, some new activities such as Pondicheri’s Fried Chicken Tuesday with a good friend, or revisiting the past by visiting some of my parents’ friends who are still alive but homebound. Now that we are six months out, our list includes scheduling out confirmations of lunch, dinner and cocktail appointments with friends, because you know the adage, if it isn’t on the schedule, it doesn’t get done.

I am glad we started early on the list. I hope to have no what ifs, shoulda, coulda, or wouldas when we migrate to Colorado. I have enough awareness to know when I am looking out over the Front Range west towards the Rocky Mountains, my past may very quickly seem unimportant. But, my biggest fear is getting to CO and realizing I left someone off the list.

So, if you building your own list, some thoughts. Take pause. Consider all five facets of your Personal Community – spiritual, mental, physical, emotional and social. Breathe deep. Exhale slowly through pursed lips. List.

About Lisa Boesen: Wife, stepmom, speaker and certified master coach mastering the art of household management with an apron, spreadsheets and a smile!

Lisa is a Houston based lifestyle management coach and creator of The Domestic Administrator. The title fits all those tasks and small projects she performs to manage her business and household, save money, improve efficiencies, reduce waste, navigate the healthcare system, garden, maintain a social calendar to improve longevity, nurture friends and family relationships and of course, make her home pretty.

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Organizing @ Home: Chase Away Organizing Nightmares

Posted By on August 22, 2014

I had an organizing nightmare.

In my dream, I was packing my stuff and trying to place everything in order in the giant box I was using. Once I was done, I turned around and was dismayed to find several cabinets filled with more tchotchkes.

When I woke up, it took me a moment to shake it off, and then I chuckled to myself. Yes, definitely an organizing nightmare. Downsizing your stuff doesn’t have to become a nightmare.

Do you love it? When surveying your stuff, ask yourself the big question: Do you love it? If you don’t love it, why do you have it? If looking at it gives you a bad feeling, why do you keep it?

Have you fallen out of love? It happens. We grow and change. Suddenly, the things we treasured lose their emotional luster and become annoying burdens. It’s okay to end your relationship and move on.

Do you want it? It may seem straightforward, but stuff and emotions are tied together. You may feel obligated to keep something because it was a gift or passed down to you. First, it’s okay to say “no” if you’re offered something you don’t really want. Secondly, you don’t have to keep something forever. It’s okay to let it go. Someone else will want it, love it and use it.

Was it an intention? We have those projects that we intended to do but never did. Yes, you may have intended to create scrapbooks documenting every big moment, but it never happened despite the numerous scrapbooks, paper and stickers you bought. Give yourself a huge gift by letting go of old projects. Don’t view it as a failure. If it was really important to you, you would have done it.

You can also change the scope of the intended project. Going back to the scrapbook project, numerous websites are available to create books out of your photos.

What about those books? My family never got rid of books. You keep books forever like a library. Living on my own in a one-bedroom apartment, I realized that you can’t keep everything forever, even books. As I surveyed my own book collection, I saw several books that I didn’t like sitting on my shelf, taking up valuable space. Why would I keep books that I didn’t like? Why would I keep books I knew I wouldn’t read or use again?

These days, I view books as temporary guests. They drift into my life and then find their way to others. For the books I do keep, they have to be special friends.

Can it be repurposed? I like it when I can use an object in another way. If you need ideas, just search “repurpose” on Pinterest.  A fresh coat of paint and an idea can revive an object’s usefulness in your life.

How do I get started? Tackle one room at a time to keep your organizing project less overwhelming. Set a timer and spend 15 to 30 minutes at a time. Have boxes or baskets at the ready for donation, recycling and trash.

Doing a little at a time helps you move forward.

Creating your dream space will chase away those organizing nightmares. Sleep well, my friends.

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Organizing @ Home: Make Cash from Your Clutter with Decluttr

Posted By on July 11, 2014

It’s always nice when you can make some cash from your clutter.

With Decluttr, you can sell them your CDs, DVDs and games. I recently gave it a whirl.

I heard about the Decluttr app a couple of months ago and downloaded the app. While clearing out a spare room, I made an initial sort of my vast CD collection. I pulled up the app, created an account and scanned in the CDs I wanted to get rid of.

In turn, Decluttr gave me a price for the CDs and emailed me a label. I boxed up my stuff and shipped it to them for free. The company sent me several emails, notifying me when my box arrived, when it was processed and when the check was issued. In about three weeks, I received my check in the mail. For 50 CDs, I received $30.

If you were looking to make piles of cash for your old CDs, you will need to use other venues. Most of the CDs were 50 cents, but others, such as a couple I had of classical music, drew a price closer to $3. I haven’t used it yet for DVDs, and I don’t have videogames so I don’t know how those prices run.

I had three CDs that I was unable to scan or enter the barcodes, and I wonder if those are from the old music club days since the barcode numbers were similar. Those just went into the donation box.

I’ll definitely use Decluttr again.

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