Tag

Pantry

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.

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.

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!

 

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.

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

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.

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 –

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.

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.

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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