Category Archives: kitchen

What’s hiding in the cupboard?

Now that the kiddos are back to school, it is time to focus on organizing something not associated with a backpack, kids clothing  or back to school lists.  Enough already, let’s move on!  What do you have lurking in the depths of your cupboard or pantry?  Is it time to do a little sort, shuffle and purge dance in your kitchen?

Here are a few ideas and tips for organizing your cupboards;

1.  As always, the first step is to clean it out and edit.  Check expiration dates and get rid of things that you can no longer use.  Also, donate unexpired items that you won’t use to a food pantry.

2.  Use glass or clear containers to store opened items such as sugar, flour or pastas.  Don’t crumble half used bags in the back of the cupboard where they can’t be seen.

3.  Use elevated shelves for the back row so that you can see what you have and items won’t get buried or lost.

4.  Use lazy-susans, pull down spice racks and handled totes to allow for easy access.

5.  Most important – don’t over buy.  Normally if a product is priced 2 for $5.00, you can purchase 1 for $2.50.

6.  Empty the shelf or cupboard completely, wipe it down and replace items with “like” things together.  Baking goods together, spices together, cereals together.  This will make it much easier to see what you need before going to the grocery.

7.  If it seems overwhelming, then take it one cupboard or shelf at a time.

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Kitchen Binder

I love three-ring binders.  They are a fantastic tool for organizing papers and maintaining easy access.  I love the portability and flexibility of a binder and they have endless possibilities for helping to organize a home or office.

Let’s take a look at how you might be able to use a binder in the kitchen.  I use my kitchen binder to collect and contain all of my take-out menus, most used and loved recipes and kitchen user/owner manuals.

First up – the take-out menus or as I like to call them, Mama’s sanity savers.  A little folder in the binder keeps them all contained in one place.  No digging in valuable drawer space or searching throughout the house.

Next, my favorite recipes.  I love to find recipes off of the Food Network.  A quick print and then they go into a protective sleeve.  I can then take them out and post them on the fridge while I cook and pop them back in the binder when I’m done.  The binder also allows me to move the recipes around so I can keep my favorites up front, or categorize them.

Last, what should you do with all of those little owners manuals that you “might” need?   Answer, pop them in a sleeve and keep them in your binder.

I’ll see you on Friday with some Perfectly Savvy Finds.  Any suggestions?

Organizing Kitchen Cupboards & Shelves

A disorganized pantry, cupboard or shelf can be frustrating at best.  One huge problem I see when working with my clients is that they make unnecessary purchases at the store because they can’t see what they have.  Using techniques to streamline and consolidate can help you see what you REALLY need before that next trip to the grocery.  Try a few of my tips below this week to see if you can bring a little order to your kitchen.

1.  Cereals or other dry goods can be moved to clear or glass containers so that you can see how much you have.  Boxes tend to pile up and look messy.  The containers will also help to keep your dry goods fresh.  I love the easy open containers from the Container Store.

2.  Put similar items together in an easy to reach container.  For example; group kids snacks such as goldfish, crackers, cookies, granola bars in one handy tote.  This way when you need to select snack or make lunches, they are all together and easy to navigate.  Below you’ll find a couple of options from Organize.com and Container Store.  Grouping snacks together in one bin will also make it easier to access what you need before the next run to the grocery.

3.  Maximize the space in your cupboards by using handy little helpers like spice racks and shelf expander.  The shelf expander can be used for canned goods or pasta sauce.  Make certain to group “like things” together so that you can quickly see what you have and what you need.

4.  Don’t stuff your shelves just because you have the space.  If an item is marked 2 for $5.00, you can usually purchase 1 for $2.50.  Do you really need two?

Try one or all of these ideas this week and let me know how it goes.

All items above can be found at the Container Store or Organize.com.

I’ll be back on Friday with your Savvy Finds.

Best,

Kristin

Perfectly Savvy Finds– Mama’s Little Kitchen Helpers

Hi all, your Perfectly Savvy Finds for this week are all simple little helpers for the kitchen.

The first is a magnetic holder from Current Magazine for the refrigerator that will hold a notepad and a pen.  I’m always in need of a pen in the kitchen and so this is a great way to keep one close by in order to make your shopping lists.  I also keep a black marker in case I need to place dates on items going in the freezer.

This next little helper is great for spaghetti, chili and other messy dishes.  The Trudeau Pot Clip fastens to the side of the pot and allows the drips from your spoon to go back into the pot instead of all over your stove.

What to do with all of those essential take-out menus??  What about a magnetic holder  from Organize-it on the side of your fridge?  This handy helper could also hold a cell phone or other essentials.

Motivation 2010 – The Refrigerator Let’s Organize Together

The next stop on our journey together, THE FRIDGE.

  • Do you have a piece of fruit in depths of your fridge that is older than your first-born child?  If so, this is the post for you. 
  • When you need to find that jar of capers, do you need to spend ½ searching?  If so, this is the post for you.
  • Have your leftovers taken on a life of their own and morphed into a science project?  If so, this is the post for you.

The first three important lessons when organizing your fridge are;

  1.  Don’t overbuy
  2. Will you really use it?
  3. Pre-plan your shopping trips and make lists

This is the area where I need the most work and I took a big step this year by not renewing my membership to BJ’s, (like Sam’s club).  There are four people in my family and I had no business shopping at a megastore.  I was actually very cautious and went infrequently, but items did go to waste and I purchased some things I didn’t need.  Lesson learned.  Planning and making lists is another area where I need some work.  I get busy and shopping becomes something I need to do on the fly.  This will be my next hurdle and something I hope to get better at this year.  

Now that you’ve reigned in your purchases, let’s look at organizing your fridge.  Create a home for everything in your fridge and don’t be afraid to use containers and other items to assist your organizing efforts.  Here are some examples;

Lazy Susans are fantastic helpers in the fridge and I urge you to give it a try.  It can more than double your space and will give you easy access to jars, condiments etc…

Check out the fantastic helpers that I found for salad dressings, yogurt and other items.  Group items in categories and use little containers to make finding things easier.  Use small Tupperware in the drawers to separate and control clutter.

There is this little space in my fridge under the “meat keeper” that went  unused because the height was impossible.  I purchased a little pull out drawer and the space became easy to access.

Create zones in your fridge door so that like items are together.

Have a space just for your leftovers so that you can easily weed through them and clean out. 

Are you motivated to start on your fridge?  Let’s go!