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Kitchen

No Pantry? No Problem.

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Eating an Elephant Monthly Newsletter

In the days of social media and Pinterest perfect pictures, having an organized pantry is something of a status symbol. Beautifully organized pantries with coordinated bins, clear jars full of food, labels and turntables is fun to look at and admire, but what about the kitchens that don’t have pantries? In those cases, it’s time to get creative and

Think outside the box

What I mean is, look at your kitchen as a whole unit. Just because tradition dictates where certain items typically go doesn’t mean that’s where they ALWAYS have to go. The first step is to eliminate what isn’t necessary. Set aside time to pull everything out and really consider what you need and what you don’t need. You can donate rarely used small appliances and gadgets or keep them in a storage area in the house or garage until the yearly need for them arises. If you’re limited on space, don’t let rarely used items take up valuable space. Once you know what you’re working with then you can begin to assemble the kitchen puzzle.

Some examples from my previous jobs include:
– Hanging mugs on hooks on the wall or under a cupboard

– Using a shelf riser to stack bowls above plates without having to stack them directly on top of each other

– Using bins to keep “pantry” items contained in cupboards, especially if they share space with other non-pantry kitchen items.

– Give each shelf in a cupboard a specific purpose (I.e. the bottom shelf may be glasses and above it may be powders and other smoothie ingredients, along with the items used to make your smoothie)

– 3m hooks on the inside of cabinet doors for measuring cups or other utensils

Just remember your kitchen is YOUR space and you can organize it however YOU need it to be organized. Use Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration but at the end of the day give each item a home in a space that makes sense to you.

The Best Place to Store Plastic Wrap – The Kitchn

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Eating an Elephant Monthly Newsletter

A simple tip that will blow your mind

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

Check it out here

AND, you’re welcome.
Happy Summer!

Jenna

March Newsletter

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Eating an Elephant Monthly Newsletter

Create a division

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

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.

The Dreaded Junk Drawer

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Eating an Elephant Monthly Newsletter

The Dreaded Junk Drawer

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

USE PRODUCT

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.

Another Idea for a Deep Drawer

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January Newsletter

Looking From Above

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!

What To Do With a Deep Drawer

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Deep Drawer Dilemma?

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.

A Not-So-Lazy Organizing Product to use in Deep Cupboards

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Eating an Elephant Monthly Newsletter


A Double Dose of a Lazy Susan

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.

Eating an Elephant Monthly Newsletter

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A Mid-Year’s Resolution
Well, we are now officially over halfway through the year. How’s it going so far? The end of summer and the beginning of fall is the perfect time to take a quick look back. If you’ve stuck with your resolutions/goals/new habits, great job!! Keep it up! If you’ve slacked a little bit and haven’t quite stuck to what you wanted, then I have the perfect solution:

Create a Mid-Years Resolution

Whether that means picking up again what you started at the beginning of the year or trying something completely new, it’s still the new year! You haven’t missed it and you haven’t wasted another year. Buckle down, get serious about your commitment (whatever that may be) and finish strong through the rest of this year. You only have a few months to go, and what you start today will be a habit by 2020. So take a few (or 20) minutes, evaluate your life, home, habits, etc and decide where you can make a change. Then create that end-year goal and make it happen.

1 Simple Tip to Make the Seasonal Change a Little Easier

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Fall Is Approaching…

July is here! Hopefully you’re in the midst of summer fun. But before you realize it autumn will be here, and with it school for kiddos, cooler weather, changing out the wardrobe, heavier shoes, protecting plants, switching out summer gear for winter, etc. Instead of feeling overwhelmed with the change of seasons, begin your prep now. How? Simple.

 

Make a list of all you need to accomplish

 

I’m a big fan of lists and keep an ever changing, constantly updating “to do” list on my phone.
if you tend to feel overwhelmed with all that comes with the change of seasons (which is different for every person), take advantage of this tip and get your list going now. Whether you’re a paper and pencil person or someone who keeps everything on their phone, once you’re in the midst of the craziness of fall, you’ll be glad you have the friendly little reminder that will leave you feeling productive and on top of what you need to tackle. Just make sure that list is easily accessible and not in a place where you’ll forget it!

 

 

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The Storage Container Matching Game

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Eating an Elephant Monthly Newsletter

The Match Game

Oh food storage containers… the kitchen equivalent of a pair of socks. Somehow, there’s always a missing lid or bottom and a completely flabbergasted hunter without a clue where it went or how it got lost. If you can relate (and let’s be honest, I think we all can) then keep reading and take my advice – pull out all of your containers, match them ALL up, discard the ones without a matching piece and then….

Keep the food storage lids in a separate bin

Not only is it way easier to see what you have and find the lid you need, it’s also a better use of space AND it gives those pesky, easy to lose lids a home! And when an item has a home, you’re more likely to put it back where it goes.

I’ve done this at several different jobs and in several different spaces and I know it works. This idea can be used in drawers (deep, not shallow, so the lids can stand up and be filed), cupboards with a half shelf, cupboards with a full shelf, and cupboards without a shelf. Nest the bottoms, contain the lids and watch how long you can go without losing a single one.

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