When you first moved into your home, you loved your kitchen. Its wide spaces and numerous storage options were a big selling point, along with the natural light. As time progressed, you gathered quite a few appliances and other implements that gradually started to cover your abundant counter space. Other items, such as dishes and pans began to take over your cabinet space. Now, you’re hardly able to use your dream kitchen for its main purpose: to prepare your family meals. Consider using these kitchen organizing tips:
Spice organizer. If you’re like most people, your cooking spices have probably taken up residence in a cabinet in your kitchen that you could use for something else. Or you store them on the counter, where you’d rather lay out your dinner while you cook. If you purchase the perfect spice organizer, you have somewhere central to store your spices and when you need them, they’re all in one place.
Labels. MarthaStewart.com suggests innovative labels for your canisters, which can be removed. Sometimes the flour canister becomes the sugar container and you clean them appropriately, but don’t know how to alert the rest of the household of the change. Labels make this easier.
Dish shelf. RealSimple.com displays a creative tiered shelf for your dishes, which takes up less space than the standard dish storage options that do not allow for stacking. Keep dishes safe and easily accessible with a shelving system.
Once you give some thought to how you can arrange your kitchen to make better use of the space you have, you’ll likely determine exactly what kitchen organizing implements you’ll need. Nothing will make you feel better than being able to still get to all the things you need in your kitchen while also being able to actually use the space in your kitchen.
Guest Blogger: Darla DeMorrow, Certified Professional Organizer ®.
Do you think of yourself as an organized person? There are at least 5 ways you can build your confidence as an organized person…even if you think you aren’t.
There is no one who knows your life better than you do.
Do you live in a house, drive a car (or have some public transit pass or a working bike), and generally make it to school or work every day? You are ahead of the game already. These are not trivial accomplishments. Give yourself a pat on the back. You figured out how to get to this point in your life, and you will continue to improve your life every day!
Just do it.
Did you have your keys in hand when you walked out the door today? If not, did you know where to find your backup set of keys? Good. You have some sort of system for keeping track of your keys. SYSTEMS are important, because they let us go on autopilot for the little things, so our brains can do the heavy-duty decision making. You might have more complex systems in place (like making sure there are Epi-pens in every purse and backpack you own if you need them, or having a way that you like to process incoming mail, or how you check the back door every night before bed to make sure it is locked), but these are all systems, and YOU designed them, so you can design more to help you every day. Don’t wait to organize until you find the perfect system. Start where you are. Keep systems that work, and change up ones that don’t. Just do it.
Create hospitality for someone else.
Organizing isn’t about being neat, or clean, or perfect like you see in magazines. No, it’s really about being able to find what you need when you need it. It’s about being comfortable opening the front door when a neighbor rings the bell. It’s about being able to find your passport quickly when a chance to visit a foreign country comes up. It’s about being able to enjoy your time with other human beings instead of being tired, ashamed, or guilty. Once you feel that you can be there for your friends, say to yourself, “I am organized,” and go do something else with my blessing (even if there are dust bunnies under the dresser).
Take a class or workshop and learn from someone else.
You know how it is. Sometimes your kids can hear you say something a hundred times, but when their friend says it, all of the sudden it clicks. Sometimes an expert can solve the problem for you in a few minutes. Sometimes you just need to see how another seeker has solved her problem in an simplified, seat of the pants, “why didn’t I think of that?” way. Where better to find these people than in a class or group?
Keep other people on track. You probably are the one who calls for household repair appointments, made the kids lunch this morning (or made sure that their lunch is paid for), checked the calendar to see which family member has to be where later today, checked the fridge and pantry for inventory, and have some vague or clear idea of what’s for dinner tonight. Those are very complex decision making processes. You might also be holding down your own business or a side-gig. And chances are you are simultaneously making plans for summer camp, or whatever the next break from school is. Think back to when you were 21. You probably had to get yourself to school and maybe to work, and that was about it. You’ve grown over the years, and you are really good at keeping a lot of things humming. Just because something doesn’t get done every now and then doesn’t make you bad at organizing…it just means you have a full plate.
In our busy lives, it is often easier to focus on what we aren’t doing, what we feel stressed about, or what isn’t perfect in our day. But if you take time to really think about these five areas of your life, you might realize that you are, in fact, very organized. Take a virtual pat on the back from me, and start your day more confident tomorrow.
Guest Blogger: Darla DeMorrow, Certified Professional Organizer ®.
Organizing isn’t really about organizing. It’s about finding the time and energy to do the things you really love, like connecting with friends.
If you are like me, when you hear about a friend going through tough times, you might send a quick email, maybe let them know you are keeping them in your prayers. But then you are on to the rest of your life, and weeks might go by until thoughts of that person come back to you.
Wouldn’t it be great to really stay in touch, to encourage that person regularly, and be organized enough to really remember to pray for them throughout their trial?
One way to do this is to send them mail, but I don’t mean just one card. Buy a pack of cards, maybe two, and pre-address them all at the same time. No reason you need to dig up their address more than once. Then you’ll have this stack of cards, ready to go for weekly-ish mailing. Keep them where you keep your bills or near your stamps, and you’ll see them regularly and be prompted to send one.
For extra credit, put a note on your calendar, or set a recurring appointment each week to send that note to your friend.
Admit it. You love getting physical mail that isn’t a bill. Your friend will, too. Sometimes you might write a whole note. Some days it might just be a scribbled, “I’m praying for you right now.” Sometimes you can tuck in an article you know she would read, or a small gift card for a little liquid pampering. (Starbucks is on my list of indulgences.) Your friend will start to get excited as she gets used to seeing your envelope in her mailbox.
With this strategy, you’ll look like an organizing rock star, even if you are not. But remember, it doesn’t matter whether you are or not, because organizing is really about finding the time to connect with people you love.