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My Favorite Product for Spices

By | Most Favorite Organizing Tools, Weekly Tip | No Comments

Okay, being perfectly honest I don’t know how recently this organizing product came in to existence.  I never heard about it while I was growing up (and no offense to my mother, that’s not really surprising.  Love you mom!).  I first learned about this awesome organizing helper after I started Top Shelf and researched “spice storage”.  Let me tell you, after looking on the internet and working with lots of clients in their kitchens, an overwhelmingly large number of people have horrible spice storage.  And they know it!  Sometimes they use a spice step (which, if you’ve been a reader for a while you should remember my post about why I don’t like spice steps); sometimes they use an in-cupboard shelf (click here if you don’t know what I’m referring to), but most of the time the spices are just randomly packed into a cupboard, which means finding the one spice that is needed can take a bit of time if it’s not used frequently.  Well, let me give you three little words that can erase your spice storage dilemma:

Spice.  Drawer.  Organizer.

Some of you may be thinking, “I don’t have enough drawers for that” and if that’s you and that’s true then click the link in the above paragraph to find some great solutions for your spice storage problem.  But, if you DO have enough drawer space, or can create drawer space, then this product may be for you.

Spice drawer organizers are exactly what they sound like – an organizer for spices that fits in a drawer.  Just think, no more shuffling through the random spice containers, no more knocking them over, no more wondering where the heck your ground nutmeg is… With this product you can see all of your spices in one sweep!  I’ve had several clients use this method and every single one of them loves it and says it’s wonderful.

Naturally, there are several different options to choose from:

Spice Rack Organizer
Spice Liner
Expandable Spice Tray Rack & Drawer Organizer

Another option would be to forgo the organizer entirely and simply lay your spices in a drawer, label side up, so you can see them all.  I have clients who are just as happy with this method as those with the actual organizer.  The spices do have a greater tendency to move around, since there isn’t anything holding them in place, but if you’re okay with that, then this idea would work just as well.

If you have more spices than can fit in one single drawer but you don’t have extra drawers to do this then I what I tell my clients to do is to put the spices that are used most frequently in the drawer (ideally one next to the stove) and the ones that are rarely used can go in a nearby cupboard.  Again, I have had clients do this and they are totally satisfied with it.

Spice storage is a pain and seems to be a problem for a very large number of people.  If you are one of them, this may be exactly what you need.  Look through your drawers, determine if there’s a way to free one up for your spices, and give this tip a try.  I guarantee it’ll make cooking more enjoyable and you may even use some of those special spices you’ve forgotten about in the back of the cupboard.

So what do you think of the post? Let me know in the comments below!

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Happy Labor Day

By | Weekly Tip | No Comments

“Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”*

As a small business owner I’m grateful for all the hard work that has gone in to building this nation and feel blessed to live in a country where workers are celebrated.  Enjoy today!

*www.dol.gov/general/laborday/history
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5 Simple Tips to Organize Your Child’s Closet

By | Guest Post, Weekly Tip | 2 Comments

It’s the last week of the month and that means I get to highlight another organizing blog/blogger and one I love to showcase is Morgan from Morganize with Me.  She always has great advice and simple, easy-to-follow tips that everyone can do.

This month I wanted to feature her post on keeping her kids clothes organized for all those parents who have kiddos in their home.  With the new school year starting things are probably a bit chaotic around the house right now but even if they’re not chaotic this is a great article.

If you don’t have young kids at home I’d still recommend you check out this article.  These tips could come in handy for a friend or family member, or you can apply the tips to your own closet (well, 3 of the 5 you can).

So, check out 5 Tips for Organizing Kids Clothes and today, try to apply just 1 of the tips.  I guarantee doing just 1 of them will make a difference.

Do you have small kids and love this post?  Or do you have another way to keep your kids clothes organized?  Let me know in the comments below!

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A Simple Test to See if You Have Too Many Clothes

By | Least Favorite Organizing Tools, Weekly Tip | No Comments

It’s now mid-August.  Most summer vacations are over, or are just about to end, and everyone is mentally gearing up for the fall and all that comes with it: school, colder weather, cute boots, football…  But wait, is something drawing you back to that vacation you took earlier in the summer?  It’s not the pictures on your phone, the amazing tan you got, the great souvenirs you purchased (which, by the way, did you REALLY need to buy them?) or even the wonderful memories you made… No, what’s drawing you back to that vacation is the unpacked piece of luggage that’s sitting in your closet. It’s drawing you back along with giving you a sense of guilt every time you look at it.  Maybe it’s wide open with clothes spilling out, or perhaps it’s still closed and you don’t even remember what all is in there, but there it sits… for weeks… And the more you look at it the more you think, “I really don’t want to empty you”, so you don’t.  Instead you just ignore it and wear whatever clothes are available.

So, here is this week’s tip: DON’T let your suitcase sit unpacked for more than 12 hours after returning from your trip.  If you get home and simply can’t get to it right away because of work or it’s late at night and you want to sleep I completely understand.  But if you arrive home from your trip and have time to unpack, then just do it.  The most it’ll take is 10 minutes, and that’s assuming the clothes are clean and you’re putting them away.  It will take less time than that if you just dump everything into your laundry hamper.  Once it’s done you can sit and relax without it hanging over your head.  Doesn’t that sound wonderful?  Yes!  It does!  You can’t deny it!

So the next time you get back from a trip, however long it lasted, give this tip a try just to see how quickly unpacking takes.  I promise you, you’ll reap the benefits of having all of those clothes out of the suitcase and you won’t have to suffer the guilt of looking at the unpacked luggage for weeks on end or the disappointment of throwing something away that was wrecked because it was packed away too long (hello moldy, musty smelling, stinky clothes).

Do you agree with this post?  Or do you have a very good reason for keeping your clothes trapped in your suitcase?  Let me know in the comments below!

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A Simple Item I Love to Use

By | Most Favorite Organizing Tools, Weekly Tip | No Comments

I love organizing and one of my favorite places to organize is a kitchen pantry.  For me, there’s something so wonderful about creating the different categories, all catered to what each client needs, arranging them in a way that is personalized and specific to the people who live in the house, and then being able to stand back and see the end result – an organized pantry where everything is seen.  I absolutely love taking a small, focused space and making it completely organized and “pretty”.  Since starting Top Shelf I’ve used several different organizing items in pantries but the one item I recommend more than anything else is a standard wire basket.  These can be found at stores ranging from different dollar stores all the way up to West Elm and The Container Store.

One thing I love about wire baskets is you don’t have to use a label.  I know labels are super popular right now, but not everyone has the creative bug to create and maintain labels.  There’s nothing wrong with them, they’re just not for everyone.  Wire baskets are great if you want to keep your items contained but still want to see how much you have. And the great thing about baskets is, the contents don’t have to be arranged nicely.  They’re baskets! Just throw those bags, boxes, or bars in there and walk away.

By using wire baskets, you can tell with just a glance what “category” they basket belongs in, the contents it holds, if your supply is getting low or if you can skip buying that item the next time you are at the grocery store.  I had one client who didn’t realize the amount of beans and lentils she had until I gathered them all and put them in one basket. When she saw all that she had she said, “Well, looks like I won’t be needing to buy lentils and beans for a while!” (saving money, cha-ching!)

So, could your pantry use some wire baskets?  Go check out your pantry and see if they could help you out too.

Do you love wire baskets in a pantry too?  Or do you prefer something else?  Let me know in the comments below!

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