Friday, July 6, 2012

So, I was having a problem storing my glass Pyrex baking pans.  We have just stacked them up and when I want my biggest pan, I had to unstack the who pile.  That was just an accident waiting to happen.  So I pondered how I could store them neatly, easily, and safely.  I came up with this.  Vinyl covered shelf dividers.  I use them in my closet to keep my purses and sweaters orderly.  Why not my pans.  So I slipped them on the shelf and started loading in my pans.  It works wonderfully.  So easy to install, they really just slip on, and adjusting the width is just as simple.  Love it, and no more complaining from other family members when they are fetching a pan or putting it back after clean-up.  Everyone's happy!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Tidy Fridge Facade

Yikes!  Fridge Side Before
When I come into my kitchen, one of the first things I see is the side of my refrigerator.  It is, as in most homes, plastered with photos, calendars, notices, phone numbers, little bags with box tops or coupons, and who knows what else.  There is such visual clutter there, that I can hardly enjoy my nicely organized refrigerator interior.  So I decided to do something about it.

Fridge Side After

I've been using a weekly menu planner notepad and used the last sheet of paper last week.  I was looking online and there are a lot of cute weekly planners out there, but I didn't want to have to print one out each week.  So, to save a tree and some toner, I chose one, printed it and laminated it.  I simply use an expo marker to write out my meals each week and then wipe it off when it's time to plan the next week's menus.  I took the magnet off the back of old menu notepad and used double sided tape to attach it to the back of my reusable planner.  It lighter and less bulky.

Inside Cupboard Door
The next thing I did was to simply fold the picture down on my calendar.  It cut the calendar in half and now all I see it the important information instead of a bear with a poor dying fish in it's mouth!  I had a bunch of little pieces of papers with appointments on them that I transferred to the calendar.  Imagine that, actually using the calendar to track appointments.  Genius!

So what to do with all those phone numbers, kitchen magnets, pictures, box tops and coupons?  I found this magnetic message board on close-out at Wal-Mart for $3.00.  I mounted it inside the cupboard door closest to the fridge and right by the phone,  All our favorite take-out numbers are there along with all the other important information I want at a moment's notice.  And the little bit of chaos closes up nicely and it out of sight.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pantry Pride Plus

Baking Shelf Before
So after my major reorganization of my pantry, I was still having trouble getting to all my baking supplies.  I am gluten free, so I have a lot of extra ingredients when baking.  A simple cornbread might take 5-6 ingredients normally, but a gluten free recipe takes 11-12.  I hate the bags the flours come in so I transfer them to plastic containers.  My containers are all different shapes and sizes.  Some are plastic and some are glass.

BH&G Flip-Tite Food Container

While at Wal-Mart the other day I ran across these square, plastic "Flip-Tite" canisters from Better Homes & Gardens.  I practically cleaned them out!  I got 3 tall, 3 medium, 3 small, and 4 petite.  I have never had all my baking supplies in uniform containers before.  And these containers have nice wide mouths so my big 1 cup measuring scoop will fit in easily.  I was so excited to do this project today.

So I took out my old containers and bags of supplies and  began transferring everything into the Flip-Tites.  I  labeled each so that it can be seen when all are lined up in a graduated pattern.  My little Dymo got a workout today!  It's so easy to find and retrieve what I need.  I've been waiting 13 years to do something like this.  I'm a happy baker!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pantry Pride

I am blessed with a nice pantry in my kitchen.  I wanted to make the most of it so I bought an over-the-door shelving unit for some of the little things that get lost amongst the numerous boxes, cans, and bottles that occupy a typical pantry. But I didn't really like it because it was heavy and banged on the inside of the door every time you opened it.  It was beginning to make marks on the door.

I was brainstorming what I could do when I saw a video by Alejandra Costello, Certified Professional Organizer.  The video is about her favorite over the door organizers and how she uses them.  She uses them for everything but shoes.  Genius!  I used them in my bathroom like she did and it is great.  

I thought I'd use one in my pantry and it has worked out brilliantly.  I used a clear door pocket I got at Fred Meyer.  I like the clear because all I see is the content and no other design or distraction.  Now all those little bits and bobs that get lost are right at your fingertips.  Vitamins, drink packets, spice packets, gelatin, etc., are clearly visible and easy to grab.  On the floor of my pantry are three crates on wheels.  They are great for chips, potatoes, or any of those things you'd rather throw in a bin.  They roll out easily for access and for cleaning the floor.  This has made my morning routine so much easier.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spring Fling (It)

I have really gotten on an organizing kick.  I saw a new show called "Clean Freaks" on HGTV and it inspired me to no end.  Having been a professional organizer, you'd think I would run a tight ship at home.  But when you are close to an issue, it's hard to be objective.
Fridge Before
So with my new found zeal for order, I took everything out of my refrigerator (including a few items that resembled science experiments), cleaned all the shelves and replaced them in a new configuration.  One that served the contents better.  I then "zoned" the inside of the refrigerator and labeled the zones.  I now have a "leftover" zone and my favorite dinner (leftovers) won't get lost in the sea of frigid food.  I even have a "grab and go" drawer for those things you might put in a lunch or want to grab for a snack.  It's so freeing!
Fridge After

By changing the configuration of the shelves, items we use the most are now in the easiest to reach spot.  I can fit more food in my fridge.  Instead of plastic bags of food slip-sliding around and getting crushed, I now have a large plastic bin on the bottom shelf for "unstackable foods".  I put my special bread and anything else that won't stack nicely on the shelves in there, and they stay perfectly fine.  It's great!  I've done a few more projects that I'll post soon.  I hope this inspires you to bring a little serenity to your life through organizing.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

She Ain’t Heavy, She’s My Temple

Many of us homeowners are well acquainted with spackle and paint. I even do a spackle and paint job on my face every morning!! Those cosmetic repairs won’t help if your home has an electrical problem or plumbing problem. If you are going to fix them, you need expert advice. The same goes for the various systems of your body. You can’t fix high blood pressure with a new hairdo. You can’t fix those achy joints with a new shade of lipstick. These cosmetic treatments won’t fix what is really wrong. I know, I’ve tried.

I was reviewing this bible verse today, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20. Now there’s some expert advice. When we realize that our bodies are not our own and how we treat it not only affects us but those around us, we have to conclude that we must take better care of this temple. That is one reason I decided to start eating right and exercising. That started a whole self improvement lifestyle that included discipline in other parts of my life. I watch a lot less television and hardly play video games now. I read more, pray more, love more, smile more, exercise more, and eat less but what I do eat is much better for me. I’ve found, of course, my energy is up and my weight and blood pressure are down. I think the two main activities that have lowered my blood pressure are the weight loss and praying. My burden is lightened two-fold: less physical burden to carry around and less spiritual burden to contend with. No wonder I’m smiling all the time.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Place the Oxygen Mask on Yourself First, Then Help Others

Although the holidays are always fun with the people and presents, it was a challenging one for me because I injured myself over Thanksgiving and spent December and January in a brace.  Don't worry, it only hurt when I breathed!!!  Not being able to exercise was quite a blow.  I did gain seven pounds during that time, but as soon as I could, I got back on the treadmill and pulled out the exercise bands and hit it.  I've now lost 50 pounds!!!  That's a small child or a good sized dog!  Those dark days of inactivity really made me appreciate my health and abilities.

Since I've embarked on this self-improvement journey of mine, I sometimes stop and wonder if it's just too much about me, me, me!  Each day I concentrate on what I (and my family) eat, what I drink, how I exercise, what I read, what I see, what I listen to, if I'm getting enough sleep, what I wear, and if I'm responding positively instead of negatively to a situation.  My Calvinist upbringing tells me all this emphasis on self is a sin.  But then I got to thinking, how can we bring joy into the lives of others if we, ourselves, are sick, tired, spreading gloom and doom of our own?  As the flight attendants say, we need to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first, and then help those around us. 

We need to be our best selves so we have the tools and resources to help others and impact the lives of those around us.  So many times, friends have come up to me and told me they can't believe how happy I am.  It's like I'm glowing with joy!  What a compliment.  I want to be the one that brings only positive things to the table, figuratively and literally.  There are so many negative things going on in the world today (same story, different era) and there always will be.  I just don't want to add to the huge stinking pot of smoldering poo in the world.  My actions here in little Jerome, Idaho, may not make a difference in the Middle East or North Africa, but it makes a difference in the lives of the people with whom I interact.  Feeling healthy and confident in myself gives me the incentive to say yes to helping those around me.  So, I may only be making a small difference globally, but in my own little part of the world, I think I am making a big difference.