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Strategies for Organizing Kitchen Cabinets

On the blog this week I want to give some simple tips for kitchen cabinet storage.

When you are in the hunt for a new home, you hear the phrase, “Location! Location! Location!”  This important principle applies to organizing spaces as well.   ACCESSIBILITY  is the key.  Pots & pans go where you use them – right by the stove.

 

Pyrex & casserole dishes need to be in the cabinet closest to the oven.

 

Group things together that are used together.  The middle shelf in this cabinet has what’s needed for a protein shake (minus perishables). 

 

This tiered spice rack is incredible! Spices go best where you use them – by the stove-top.

 

Don’t let any space go to waste.  Tools such as a lazy susan can help you utilize corner space.

 

Think “outside the box” with cabinet storage.  Spring-loaded curtain rods used to organize serving platters.

 

Don’t overcrowd cabinets.  Make your dinnerware accessible by only stacking like pieces together.

 

And two more tips in this last picture.  Store small appliances together in one cabinet (of course close in proximity to the surface where you will use them). Also, store infrequently used items on those high shelves.

 

Good kitchen organization saves time all the way around.  I hope this gives you some fresh inspiration for your kitchen!  Maybe you are stumped, need help trouble-shooting, or you’re just over it and would rather someone else come in reorganize your kitchen… contact me. You know I would love to help!

Melissa

Get Organized.  Simply Live.

Mother’s Day Giveaway!

As I am trying to get my thoughts together to write this blog post, my 3 year old is sitting in my lap messing with the keyboard, climbing on my legs, talking to me, wanting me to read to him.  It makes me think of this one amazing ability that God has empowered us with as mothers – our ability to do things in segments.  The strength to drop everything and answer a question, kiss a boo boo, change a diaper, break up a fight, clean up a spill, help with homework, counsel on relationships, and sometimes just take a few minutes to delight in these precious little gifts.  To cancel the afternoon schedule because playing “baby bird” is so much more important.  Not to even mention all the broken sleep.   It takes super patience and strength to live life in little fragmented pieces of time like this, but we do it.  And do it we must to communicate to that generation after us that they are loved, they are important, and they are worth much more than our agendas.  I am far from being good at this, but each day brings another opportunity to grow.

I asked for feedback on Facebook for one word to describe these beautiful creatures called mothers, and here is what I got:

Comfort            Awesome            Tired

Soother            Spectacular         Teacher

Gift                  Compassionate     Loyal

Wise                    Selfless                 Honest

Amazing           Priceless              Everything

                               WOW

Sacrifice            Mentor                  Strong

Protector        Nurturer                Radiant

Forever                             Jack-of-all-trades

Giving            Unconditional         Selfless

                             Eucharisteo

We all come from mothers.  Some of us are mothers.  And for women who don’t have biological children, chances are there will be (and currently are) people in your life you will “mother.”  Who will look to you for advice, encouragement, strength, nurture.  It is hard work.  We get TIRED as someone pointed out in our above list.  So tired.  But the vital role we play in shaping this generation after us is one no one else can.  Not the way that we can from this place of “Mommy.”

Mothers are constantly pouring themselves out.  So this Mother’s Day I am giving away something that I hope will really bless and refresh the person who wins it.  This package will cover a simple organizing project and help you get things in order before the summer so you can ENJOY time with your family. 

I am giving away a gift certificate for a consultation plus 2 hours of in-home organizing – a value of $105!!!  If you are not local I will honor this for virtual work.  All you have to do is share this blog post in your Facebook news feed asking friends to check out and “like” my fan page and I will enter your name to win.  I want make sure I see your name, so tag my page “Simple Spaces” (you have to like it first in order to tag it).   Men, please participate. You might have a Mother’s Day gift covered after this!

I will choose a winner via drawing on Thursday, May 9th at noon.

Do one more thing for me.  Take those descriptions, those attributes listed above about “Mother.”  Look in the mirror at yourself, and read them out loud.  Do it!

Enter the giveaway and have a great week!

Melissa

Get Organized.  Simply Live.

Declutter Your Drawers

This week I want to share some tips with you on how to declutter your drawers.  I’m featuring drawers from a desk and 2 different kitchens, but the principles can apply to any room, any cabinet or piece of furniture.  There are drawer organizers in stores everywhere and tons of blogs online that share creative and inexpensive ways to bring order.  Pinterest is a great place to look too!  You can browse my boards and get some ideas here.

Here’s one of the drawers in my desk where I keep pens, pencils, notepads.  I bought these trays from Old Time Pottery, and they were around $1 a piece.  Utilizing trays makes a “home” for everything in a drawer.

 

Here’s another drawer with more trays.

 

This next drawer is where we keep our keys, bills, coupons (not a huge coupon person but there are some we use).  As soon as we walk in the door this is where the keys go.  As we look through the mail we bring the few bills we still get in paper form to this drawer and put them in order of due date.

 

Onto the kitchen.  The photos I’m sharing are from a couple different kitchens.  This first one is of a junk drawer.  These trays came from the Dollar Store!

 

Here’s another one.  Notice a tray is used to group the small things together.

 

From another kitchen.  The divider tray used in this drawer of cooking utensils makes everything visible and easily accessible.

 

Group like things together, such as these towels and potholders.

 

All the pyrex dishes fit well in this deep drawer.  Do not overstuff drawers or cabinets!  Find more space or go through and get rid of what you don’t use.

 

Again, grouping like things together in this deep drawer.  Strainers, mixing bowls, salad dressing mixers, measuring cups:

 

This deep drawer is being used for plastic cups.  If you can put the children’s dishes, utensils, etc low enough for them to reach it works well too.

 

Deep drawers are also great for food storage items, including tupperware.

 

From my kitchen, bags in one:

 

And above it I can store the rolls:

 

I could go on and on but I hope you have some fresh gusto now to go and get those drawers into shape!  I have some in my house that I don’t have dividers or trays and desperately need some help.   It feels good to put things away, and it feels good to put things away into a decluttered drawer.  The key is having the right tools and a good PLAN.  Have fun!

Melissa

Get Organized.  Simply Live.

Spring 15 Special!

I am soooooo excited that Spring has finally arrived in my neck of the woods.  I’m a warm weather person who LOVES the outdoors so this time of the year gives me some extra pep.

Spring time means Spring Cleaning for most, so to help you out this season I want to offer you a killer special.  From now through the end of April:  $15 for a consultation with me!!!!  That is more than 60% off of what I charge!!!  It is hard to see past the mess; I just want to help you get a jump start!  Any living space.  Whether you just need help rearranging or are looking for a complete aesthetic overhaul, I will come to your home and do thorough planning with you.  No obligation to hire me to do the work.

Whether it be your garage:

 

A multifunctional bonus room:

 

A home office:

 

Your pantry:

 

Maybe your bookshelves just need some help, or maybe your BEDROOM?  How about both?!

 

A closet?

 

A playroom:

 

I could seriously keep going with the work I have done, and please look back through my blogs the past few months to see more pictures!  I’ve only had a good camera for a little while, so I have jobs from pre-proffessional camera that where the space transformation is phenomenal, I wish I could share.  Read what people are saying about how working with me has generated more peace and functionality in their homes here.

Don’t just spring clean this year enough to get you by, let me assist you in a transformation that will make a permanent difference in your ability to enjoy time simply living.  It would be my pleasure to help.

Melissa

Get Organized. Simply Live

Playroom Redesign

If  are a parent and have the space in your home, devoting an entire room to be the play/discovery/hang-out area for kids is great.  How it is designed and setup, however, can make or break the functionality of it.

I’m sharing with you a playroom redesign, which was actually one of my first big jobs last year!  My clients were using their bonus room as a playroom, but things weren’t working so well.  They knew they wanted some sense of flow and order, but as with any bonus room that is often hard to visualize.  Especially when you’re living in and using the space day in and day out.  That’s where I came in as an outside perspective.

The first picture I’m going to show you is what the room looked like when I opened the door.  I love it when clients don’t “tidy up” before I come over, and I actually ask them not to.   Seeing the usual state of the room helps me troubleshoot and figure out what is attributing to the problem, and then come up with a solution tailored to the space and the client.  Yes I will dig through your piles, its okay!  I don’t judge and it is very hard to shock me.  Here is where we started:

 

There were a few things that didn’t belong in the room, like the bed.  This had been used for occasional sleeping quarters for guests, but my clients really wanted this space to strictly be for their children, and opted to find another solution for guests.

Also, there was no real flow or order to the room.  We talked about creating “stations” for play and avoiding a wide open space in the middle – that’s where kids tend to dump all the toys!  We talked about relocating some of the larger toys (like the train table), and creating a nice little reading nook.  The clients also wanted to create a good art/school space and have room for storing supplies.  Lastly, the clients wanted to get rid of the neutral and light up the room with some color.  I love what they picked.

Are you ready to see some after pictures?

Note in the AFTER picture: Train table is in the center of the room.  It breaks up space and gives plenty of room for more than one child to play.  At the back left corner you will see a keyboard.  Creating a music corner was priority on the list.  The bins on the white shelves closest to the keyboard are holding instruments.

 

From another angle in the room:

A couple things to note in this AFTER picture.  The playhouse has its own spot.  To the right of it there is room for dress up and make believe play.  We were able to keep the swing in the same location and incorporate it into the space!

 

Close up of the easel and art table:

 

Looking past the train table, you can see the art table and shelves behind it.  These shelves hold educational and art supplies:

 

Up close of the “dress up” station. Makes me want to be a kid again!

 

And the reading area!  The nook wasn’t large enough for the bookshelf and comfy reading spot, but placing the bookshelf right outside of the nook worked.  This also makes me want to be a kid again!

 

This project was a lot of fun!  And it was simply a “consulting” job.  I didn’t do any of the actual design and organizing work with the clients.  We brainstormed together, came up with a plan, and they took my ideas and advice and did it themselves!  I came back when it was finished just to tie up loose ends and evaluate how the plan actually “looked” in the space.  Would you agree they did a fabulous job?  We were all really pleased!

Some people need me present when they are purging, rearranging, decorating, and putting things into place; some people prefer to work on their own.  I always begin with a consult because you can’t get anywhere without a plan.  However in both my in-home organizing and in-home redesign services, I let clients have the option of choosing me to do the work or not.   I ALWAYS customize my services to fit each individuals needs.

Not everyone can devote an entire room in the house to a playroom.  I did a multipurpose bonus room redesign a few months ago that incorporated a play area for the kids.  Go here to see how that was done.

And, don’t forget to remember me for your next redesign project!

Melissa

Get Organized.  Simply Live.