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Pantry

I Need Help!!

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Eating an Elephant Monthly Newsletter

Overwhelmed with your project(s)?

Do you have too many projects surrounding you? Last month I challenged you to start a project during the month of January. Did you do it? Did you begin a project? The bigger question is, did you finish the project? So many times people start a project but before finishing it they begin another one, and then another one, and then another one…
and eventually they get overwhelmed and just give up on everything they’ve been working on and nothing gets completed.

So here’s today’s tip:

Finish one project before moving on to the next

Pick one project, big or small, and FINISH IT!
Then ride the wave of excitement that comes with a project being done and tackle another partially completed project.
Focus on each project as you’re working on it and see each one through to completion before going on to the next.

You can do it!

 

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One Way to Overcome the Post Holiday Blues

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Eating an Elephant Monthly Newsletter

Beating the Winter Slump

Christmas is past. We’ve rung in the new year and now 2019 has begun… and for most of us, that means a few more months of dark, cold winter. If just the thought of that makes you feel depressed, here’s one tip that will help banish that gloomy mood and will keep you motivated and productive when winter feels like it will never end:

Tackle A Project

Think about it, winter is the only season when you’re mostly inside your home. It’s dark longer, it’s usually very cold (relevant to where you are) and snow days are real things, in work and school. There may be the occasional walk or play date outside, but no one is packing up their family for a picnic at the park and staying out late in January (at least not here in the US). Since you’re going to be home more anyways, find a project you’ve been meaning to tackle, and use this month to actually do it! Whether that is organizing, painting, rearranging, purging, DIYing, etc, make the most of this forced “inside-ness” and stay productive. Then, when spring finally rolls around, you can get outside more knowing your home is in good shape.

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How To End the Year the Right Way

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Eating an Elephant Monthly Newsletter

One in, One out… Or two

Christmas is 22 days away! And some of you have no idea where you’re going to put all of the new stuff (cuz let’s be honest, a lot of it is “stuff”). If you’re already in panic mode just thinking about finding space for the new loot, take this one simple piece of advice:

One in, One (or two) out

It’s a simple concept – for every new item you get, remove 1 (or if possible 2) of the same item that you already own. I know this can’t apply to everything, but it can be used more than you think – Clothes, toys, kitchen gadgets, hair utensils, tools, linens, shoes, electronics, books, jewelry… And plenty more categories!

This Christmas doesn’t have to be the tipping point for a chaotic and unorganized home. It can be the start of a MORE organize home if you deal with each item as you go. No more cramming and shoving. Take an item, give it a home and if an older version needs to go, let it go
(cue the song that now’s playing in your head

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My #1 Tip for the Holidays

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Eating an Elephant Monthly Newsletter

Let the holiday season begin!

If you’re like me, November 1st meant turning on Christmas music and beginning the countdown to December 25th!
If you’re not like me at all, you don’t appreciate my mentioning Christmas since we haven’t even had Thanksgiving yet. Well, whether you like it or not, the holiday season is approaching which means lots of food and lots of stuff.
One way to help combat this problem of “more” is to:

PURGE

Your pantry, your fridge, your closet, your kids’ closet, their toys, etc.
Go through the areas that can get overcrowded once the holidays have passed and make some room.
What’s better than Thanksgiving leftovers? Not much.
So make room for them by purging your pantry and fridge before the big day.
What’s better than a brand new Christmas sweater?
Not much, so make room in your closet by purging items you don’t want to keep.

It doesn’t have to be a lot, but I guarantee getting rid of even a few things
will make a difference in your stress level when trying to find a place for the new items.

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My First Rule of Decluttering

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Eating an Elephant Monthly Newsletter

Top Shelf’s First Rule of Decluttering

Recently I’ve gotten several clients with larger organizing projects and sometimes they are totally overwhelming, to my clients and even to me.
I typically schedule several hours at a time for jobs like these, but some of my clients have tighter time frames or budgets so longer days aren’t possible.
When that happens the first thing I choose to do once we start the job is
– a general decluttering of the area.

There are almost always items that don’t belong in the space and removing those items will make a big difference during the beginning phases of the organizing process. Keep this in mind the next time you have an overwhelming project and don’t know where to begin

– start by eliminating the items that don’t belong.

This will make what does belong easier to organize and makes the end goal attainable.

You got this!

– Jenna –

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Make Picnic Prep a Breeze With This Tip!

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Eating an Elephant Monthly Newsletter

Get ready for a picnic!

It’s July and summer is in full swing! For my family that means being outside a LOT, including meal time. If you’re like my family and you love eating outside, here’s a tip that will cut your prep time significantly – keep everything you need in one big bin or basket. Plates, napkins, cups, silverware, bowls, etc. whatever you need for outdoor dining, keep it together! This is one tip I ALWAYS give my clients when working in kitchens.
This means the next time you want to have an impromptu picnic, everything you need is in one area which means less time looking and more time with family and friends.

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Begin The New Year By Looking Back

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Eating an Elephant

January Newsletter

Christmas is over and the new year has begun! January is a great month to look back over the past year to see what items in your home didn’t get used. Whether it’s clothes, shoes, jewelry, tools, perfume/cologne, books, bathroom or kitchen items or other random items around the house, there are probably several things that need to find their way to the “donate”, “recycle” or “trash” pile. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but purging even a few items will help get your new year off to a good, and organized, start.

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One Size Does Not Fit All in Organizing

By | Least Favorite Organizing Tools, Weekly Tip | 2 Comments

I think we can all agree that Pinterest is both a blessing and a curse.  As a whole it provides amazing ideas, recipes, inspiration and laughs (I could spend all day on the humor page), but it also gives an incredble influx of information that not everyone can handle and sometimes (okay a lot of times) makes us ungrateful for what we have, jealous for what we don’t have, envious of someone else, and sometimes we spend more money than we should, just to keep up with what we see on Pinterest.  I’ve searched MANY Pinterest pages and boards looking for ideas and inspiration for my clients and if there’s one thing I’ve learned , it’s that, when it comes to organizing, you have to create your own system.  You can’t copy someone else’s work and expect it to work flawlessly for you.  Yes, you can grab ideas, find bins, labels, organizing tools and more but don’t find a picture on the internet and say, “This works for them therefore it will work for me.” It’s not going to happen.  Each space is as unique as the person/family using it and should be organized that way.

Here’s why – your space won’t have the same items the other space has, your needs and expectations are different from the other person’s needs and expectations, and your space as a whole is probably different, even if it’s just slight.  Or maybe it’s not.  Maybe it’s a cookie cutter build and you have an exact match to a space you love but guess what, you’re not that other person!  You’re you!  With your own life to live and with your own life that will fill that space differently.  No two closets I’ve worked in are ever the same.  My clients have different preferences.  There may be similarities, but never identical in the items they hold.  No two pantries are the same.  Again, there may be similarities but I have never come across an exact match for any pantry I’ve seen or worked in.

And I don’t know about you, but I love that.  I love the challenge of coming up with new ideas that will work for my clients.  I love the process of transforming their space to fit their specific needs.  I love seeing the satisfaction on their faces when it’s done and they realize what we’ve done can be maintained after I leave because it was organized with them in mind!

So yes, do your research, find ideas that will work for you, get inspired!  But when it comes down to it make sure the way you’re organizing fits you and your lifestyle.  You’re unique and your space needs to reflect that.

Have any stories to share about your own way of organizing?  If you do, share it with me! Let me know in the comments below!

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A Simple Item I Love to Use

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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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A Great Non-Traditional Organizing Tool

By | Most Favorite Organizing Tools, Weekly Tip | 2 Comments

This is a tool I really like, but it’s not one I commonly use.  And that’s just because it’s not a common item to have in the house.  So what’s the item?  A small tension rod.

The reason I like it is because it’s so easy to use and can transform spaces.  How?  Well you can use them in your pots and pans drawer for lids, in your tupperware drawer to keep lids and containers separate and organized, under your sink to hold spray bottles, as an under the counter paper towel holder, to keep cutting boards organized, and even as a spice rack!  And that’s just ideas for the kitchen!

There are SO many creative ideas out there for all areas of the home.  Type “organize tension rod” into your search engine and then click “images” to see so many different ways to use tensions rods.  Incorporating this one simple item into your home will make your life a little easier, reduce stress and keep those spaces organized… for not a lot of money!  Win win!

So head over to Google and get inspired to get organized today!

Do you love tension rods too?  Or do you think they’re more of a nuisance?  Let me know in the comments below!

 

Picture credit: CountryCurtains.com
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