Hey all! I’m currently on on break with my family but wanted to send a quick tip to get you through your BBQs, picnics and other summer meals. It’s a great little tip from The Kitchn and I think you’re going to like it
As a nation we are all in various stages of “re-emerging” after the lock down. Before life really picks up and we focus on looking ahead and doing things we haven’t been able to do for the past few months, here’s my piece of advice:
Reevaluate your systems
How have they held up during this time? Did you make any new systems that are working great and you want to keep them as they are? Or has something not been working and so it needs to be altered? If you have a system that needs to be fixed, set your mind to it now. Once life can actually happen again you’re probably not going to take the time needed to figure out a fix. And if you don’t handle it now there’s a good chance you never will.
At some point we will be out of quarantine and back to our regular lives once again. At that time we’ll have to figure out how to get back to “normal”, whatever that may be, and what’s one way we can help that happen?
When you can, starting now, please shop local or on small business websites. I know how easy it is to order from Amazon and free shipping is definitely appealing, but who is being more affected by the lockdown – Jeff Bezos or small business owners? This idea is not mine but I think it’s great – if you find an item on Amazon, go to that seller’s website and order the item(s) from there. It’s a lot better for the vendor and it’ll help boost the economy. I know it may not seem like a big step, but for those of us who run small businesses, every client is valuable ALL THE TIME, and especially right now. So do your part and shop small and shop local.
And just in time for Mother’s Day – receive 15% off all organizing services when you
buy some hours for mom/the mom-figure in your life. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get a gift card for organizing hours!
Okay, let’s get real – I know the tendency right now is to hoard all that you have. I’ve struggled with it myself (hello panic shopping at Costco when they clearly said grocery stores are going to stay open!) but, there are some things that, regardless of how long this lasts, you just don’t need to keep around. So, what is my tip for the month with quarantining, social distancing and working from home looming over all of us?
Purge what you can
I understand there may be things you want to hang on to “just in case”. But stockpiling and adding to your clutter while you’re stuck at home isn’t going to help you feel better. If anything, being stuck in a home that’s full of clutter is going to make you feel even crazier! So look through your closet, the kitchen, your pantry, garage and other spaces and see if there are things that, now that we have survived the “what if” scenario, you ended up not really needing.
Last month I wrote about Multi-purpose drawers. This month I want to talk about another drawer that can be an issue – the large utensils drawer. Large utensils can be so hard to organize. They’re big and bulky and oddly shaped and can be a complete mess in the drawer. They don’t fit very well into pre-set drawer organizers and even if they do fit in the organizer itself, sometimes the extra height added by the bottom of the organizer causes spoons and spatulas not to fit in the drawer. For these large utensil drawers I much prefer to use
Drawer dividers are similar to tension rods in that they start out long and you push the ends in to make them fit the drawer and the tension keeps them in place. You can completely customize your drawer by making the spaces in between the dividers as wide or as narrow as you want and need. And because the items are laying on the bottom, as long as they fit before, they’ll fit again but this time in a more organized space.
Junk drawers have a terrible reputation. They look junky. They’re disorganized. They’re a wasteland of lost items like rubber bands, matchbooks, pens, pencils, scissors, tape, safety pins, paper clips, batteries, twisty-ties, and much much more. But, they don’t have to be! It can be intimidating, but go to your junk drawer, pull everything out, purge, sort, categorize and when you put items back in
I am the first one to admit that, when organizing, product is not always needed. However, when it comes to junk drawers, I definitely believe it is. My favorite drawer organizer is the Practical Comfort Adjustable Drawer Organizer (pictured above) but you can use other small bins or organizers as well (pictured below). Just make sure what you use fits the drawer without giving too much “negative space” (areas outside the organizer or bin), gives enough options for all of your categories to fit separately and make sure you actually put things back WHERE THEY GO. A good drawer organizer can go to waste if it’s not used properly.
At the end of last year I started talking about the current trends I’m seeing in newer homes. One of them was deep cupbards and the other was deep drawers. This month I’m going to keep that theme with one more idea for deeper drawers. This is specifically for those drawers that aren’t deep enough for baking sheets and frying pans, but is deep enough that items could still get lost. What is it?
Label the top of your cans and store them in a deep drawer
I utilized this idea in a kitchen that had deep pantry cupboards where items frequently got lost in the mess. We used bins for the pantry items and moved the canned goods down to one of the lower drawers. This way, all that they have can be seen and nothing is getting lost in the back. AND they don’t have to dig around just to find the corn!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And the most stressful! I figured I’d be extra generous this month and give you THREE tips in this month’s newsletter. You’re welcome!
Hopefully, if you’ve been a reader for a while now, you implemented these tips when I sent them out in years past, but in case you haven’t or if you’re new to the Eating an Elephant family, here are a few tips to help you get through the holiday season. I hope they help you enjoy this amazing time of year! Merry Christmas!
Along with the deep pantry shelves (October’s newsletter theme) another trend I see quite a bit in newer kitchens is a deep drawer (or 2, or 3…). If you have a similar drawer in your kitchen, here’s one way to utilize the space without sacrificing the depth of the drawer:
Use lid dividers for pans and baking sheets
This is the ideal solution for really deep drawers. It’s almost like they were made for them!No more stacking baking sheets and nesting pans – now they can be stored upright so you can access them easily.
If you have a deep drawer in your kitchen, this is one easy and creative way to utilize every square inch.
Deep cupboards are a blessing and a curse. They can hold so much but it’s so easy to lose items in the back and forget they’re even there? (hello wasted money and a major purge of expired items in the future) This is one tip I love to use when the space is right, and my clients have loved it too:
Use 2 Lazy Susans in the cupboard
Place one turntable in front of the other, slightly off centered so you can see the turntable in the back and have easy access to the items being held on it. Make sure it can spin easily because that is the way you’re going to see what you have without having to remove or move around the items that are in front. This works for cooking oils, condiments, spices or whatever else you may have in those cupboards. It’s a great way to make use of the depth without fear of forgetting what you have in the back.