Archive for Organizing Tips

Get your life reorganized

Remember to donate items to charity and not to put them in the garbage.

Being organized is not about being perfect. 

Anyone can learn to be more organized.  It is a set of skills that can be taught.  Organization creates efficiency and effectiveness, making your life and surroundings perform optimally for you.  When you start organizing remember these tips:

  • Accept your limitations on time, space, energy and money
  • Be consistent,  do a little at a time on an on-going basis
  • Acknowledge your successes.  Success breeds success motivating you to do more.
  • Take it one day at a time

How do I decide where to start?

I tell my clients:

  • to start with the space that is bothering them the most.
  • sometimes you may need to start in an area of your home that you  are going to use for storage.  Organizing that space first will give you more places to store items that need to be removed from other rooms.

How do I start?

Get some boxes and bags for :

  • garbage
  • recycling
  • things to go to other rooms – put them in a container and take them after you are done working in the space your are organizing.  If you leave the room you might never return
  • things to be returned to other people – put them in a container and return them to the correct owner after you organizing time is over.
  • don’t buy organizing products – wait until you know what you are storing, where you are storing it, and how much you have to store.  Then you can the best container to hold the items.

How to I get the room looking nice?

There are 5 steps to follow:

Step 1 Sort 

Sort everything in the room into categories.  The categories depend on what is in the room.  You might have:

  • electronics
  • books
  • tools
  • computer items
  • dishes
  • food categories
  • cosmetics
  • paper supplies

Figure out the categories of things you have in your room  and sort the things you can see and then work in the drawers and cupboards

Step 2 Part with items

Part with items you no longer need  and donate them to charity

Step 3 Assign a home

Find the best place to store the  item , close to where you use them and so you access them easily. Things you don’t use very often can be stored further away and in less accessible places.

Step 4 Containers

Now is the time to get the right container to store the items.  Anything can be a container:

  • boxes
  • wine boxes cut in half
  • magazine holders
  • jars
  • tins
  • plastic bins
  • bags

 Step 5 Evaluate

Use your system and then see:

How do I remember all this?

Easy it spells SPACE

S – sort

P– Part with items

A – Assign a home

C – Containerize

E – Evaluate

If you need some help with your organizing book a 50 minute break through organizing session .  Click on the link to book your complimentary appointment, and speak with me to get helpful tips to get you unstuck. Organizing Break Through session 

POC Gold LeafJulie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

Is Marie Kondo’s question, “does it spark joy”, the right question for you?

Most of us keep more than we will ever need.  This costs valuable storage space, makes retrieval of the items we actually need more difficult and adds to the stress of daily living.  The famous Japanese organizer Marie Kondo tells you to ask if the object sparks joy for you.  If it does keep it, if not donate it.  Sometimes that question doesn’t solve the dilemma if you should keep something or donate it.  The following questions might be more helpful when you ‘re making those decisions.

For Paper:

  • Are there any tax or legal reasons for keeping this?
  • Can I easily get a copy elsewhere?
  • Does someone else have this information?
    .
  • Can I identify a situation in which I would ever refer to this information?
  • Is it still relevant to my life?
  • What are the implications if I didn’t have this?
  • Shred papers that contain personal information.

For belongings:

  • Is it out of style, the wrong size or colour or mismatched?
  • Does it still work?  Do I have all the parts?
  • When was the last time I used this item and when would I need to  use it in the foreseeable future?
  • If  it is something I use rarely, could I borrow one from someone else?
  • Do I use it often enough to make it worth  the cost to store it?
  • Do I have more than one? Do I need more than one?
  • Has the collection outgrown the space or the container originally allocated to storing it?  Has the collector outgrown the collection?
  • Is it the best of the best?

Swedish Death Cleaning

A third way to decide what to keep and what to donate is conveyed in the Swedish Death Cleaning method.  Ask yourself:

Give yourself permission to let go of things. Don’t let the fear of making a mistake cause you to keep things you don’t need, love or use.

Tell us how you decide what to keep and what to let go

POC Gold Leaf MemberJulie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

10 Tips to help you get organized

10 Quick Tips to you get organized

Remember to donate items to charity and not to put them in the garbage.

1. Set aside a specific time and stick to your plan.  Schedule blocks of time  from 15 minutes to two hours until the project is done.

2. Set the mood to keep your spirits up.

3. Take care of your body by eating well and drinking and drinking lots of water.

4. Start small, one area at a time, “inch by inch things are a cinch”

5. Put items in their proper place, like with like.

6. Stay focused, work in one area at a times and don’t leave the room.

7. Open mail daily.

8. File papers weekly.

9. Put new things away the day you receive them.

10. Purchase things only if you know what you will use it for and where you are going to put it.

Schedule blocks of time from 15 minutes to two hours until your organizing project is done. Click To Tweet

 

Need some more tips download the booklet Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms ( top right corner)and join my newsletter list. 

POC Gold LeafJulie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

Sick of your old home? 5 Ways to fall in love all over again

Photo Credit: Bruce Mars on Pexels

My guest blogger is Haley Kieser of Zog Digital.  She always shares an inspiring fresh approach  to solving problems in your home.

Our homes are supposed to be the place we go and feel relaxed and inspired. Unfortunately, there are times where it feels very cluttered and closed in. After so much time, we can end up feeling sick of it. It’s time to get you to fall in love with your house again! You deserve an inspirational sanctuary that takes your stress away. Here are 5 ways to get there.

Decluttering

One of the biggest reasons why we feel that we’re getting sick and tired of our place is because we get buried in the clutter. Our home can be a representation of our minds. Therefore, we must professionally take care of both! We can start with professional organizing. The first step is assessing your clutter and really considering what you can let go of. This can be trash or receipts that are unnecessary. Once you identify the trash and trouble spots, you can move onto creating a functional environment that will work with you. Take note on how you feel once you take care of the decluttering. It’s like a brand-new home to obsess with, followed by a brand new you!

[Need help? Let us lend a hand. Read more about our organizing services.]

Painting

Photo Credit: Rawpixel on Pexels

After you’ve decluttered your home, you might be inspired to take things further. What better thing to pursue next than repainting your interior? Assess what colors give you the feeling that you desire and find the complementary interior colors as well. If you’re having a hard time trying to find the right colors on your walls, use your smartphone to visualize what different colors can do for your home. It might not be perfect, but you can get a sense of what it may look like after its painted.

Refurnish

Sometimes the furniture can be old and can drag you down. This can be a sign that it’s time to reassess some of your furniture. A new couch or table can reignite the passion for your home and have you looking forward to inviting guests or going home every day! Maybe try sprucing up your media center while you are at it. After all, the living room is where most households spend the majority of their time.

Kitchen

Photo Credit: Sarah Jane on Pexels

One way to get back into the groove of your home is by making it a place where you are excited to invite company. This can begin with the kitchen! The kitchen tends to be a place where most guests start their evening in your home. Whether it’s eating or sharing a glass of wine, you want conversations to be able to flow here. Creating an open environment with an island you can sit at with guests is where most would start. You can even start by changing up the cabinets entirely. The cabinets breathe a lot of life into a home.Small changes in your home, decluttering, painting or updating furniture can give you and your home a new vibrant feeling. Click To Tweet

Smart home

The times are flying by – maybe it’s time to try to keep up! Getting a smart home is easier than you think and can be less expensive than renovation. Just start by picking up a smart assistant and placing it in your home. You can then ask the assistant questions and get instant answers. If you find yourself liking it, you can then dive deeper by getting smart lights, smart thermostats, and smart tv’s. All of which will be commanded by your voice! Imagine turning on your television to your favorite Netflix show without having to grab the remote across the room. Pretty awesome, right?

There is a whole assortment of ways to tackle the stale image one has on their home. The most important thing is just trying. In no time the love for your home will be reignited!

Share one way you make a change in your home to it feels fresh and new again. 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Twitter –  Facebook  Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

4 Organizing tips for getting rid of piles of paper

A lovely colleague sent me this first tip.  Marie Mushing runs a networking group called People in Connection

1.Make the area a showcase

See what working with a professional organizer can do for you? Professional Organizers rub out junk. Where there was once chaos and huge piles of paper, is now a showcase. Thank you Julie! Replace the junk pile with something pretty as I did, then you won’t want to pile junk on that again. Great motivation to keep the filing done!
Keep your filing cabinets free of paper?

2.Prevent drop zones from forming

If you have an empty flat surface it sometimes  calls to people, “to fill me with stuff.” To prevent that area from becoming cluttered put a large object or two in that spot.  It will make the area feel full and then you won’t drop things there.  With only 2 larger objects, it is easy to pick them up and dust and clean.  If you use a number of smaller items it may make the area harder to clean.

3.Designate a paper collection spot

Assign a place to put papers that need to be read, filed, signed etc.  Place  a tray, lovely baskets, eye catching red container etc in a convenient location. Why red?  Red is a high energy colour, it increases your heartrate, your eye is drawn to red items.  Buy using a red basket it can help to  make dealing with paperwork a high priority activity.  Keeping paperwork consolidated in one spot makes it easier to find and work with.  When paper is all over the office or house it becomes visual clutter, causing anxiety, the release of cortisol and you feel stress.  Cut the visual clutter, collect the paper in one spot, and complete the tasks.

4.Avoid the L word – later

Piles of paper will continue to build up if you leave them for later.  Later will never come.  Schedule time to deal with paperwork: schedule time to read, file, and reply to paperwork that generates more work.  Schedule these activities according to your level of energy at different times of the day.  Scheduling reading after lunch at a low energy time of the day may not be productive but scheduling file after lunch maybe perfect because it gets you up and activity. Scheduling time at the beginning of each day to concentrate on work generated by email, letters, documents might work well when you are able to focus on single tasks.  Remember not to multi-task.

Schedule time for paperwork

If you’re interested in learning how colour can affect your productivity, this guide is free and you can find it here .

What tricks do you use to help you complete paperwork?

Related articles The truth about multitasking 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces distracting clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook – Join my Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

Organize your life with a desk calendar

Don’t ditch your desk calendar: The benefits of handwriting events and tasks

My guest blogger this week is Jessica Pyykkonen.

Even with hundreds of available apps to help organize your life, a paper desk calendar may be just what you need to stay on top of your work schedule. Despite dire predictions, desk calendars are thriving in the digital age. Furthermore, desk calendars may even be gaining some ground. Between 2014 and 2016, the sales of calendars jumped 8 percent and the sales of planners grew 10 percent.

Why are people sticking with or rediscovering paper? As organizational guru David Allen says, “There’s still no tool better than a paper planner.” Scheduling with pen and paper even offers some advantages over digital calendars. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of analog scheduling and discover tips to improve your desk calendar.

The brain-hand connection

Typing and handwriting may seem similar, but our brains handle the two activities differently. Because handwriting requires you to make sequential strokes to form each letter, it activates large regions of the brain involved in thinking, language, and working memory. The same is not true for typing a letter on a keyboard.

In one study, pre-literate children were split into groups and taught how to draw letters by hand, trace letters, or type letters on a keyboard. Later they looked at the same letters while their brains were scanned in a functional MRI machine. Networks of the brain known to support successful reading activated in the students who’d written the letters, but not in the students who’d typed or traced.

The benefits of handwriting are also evident later in life. Older students comprehend lectures better when taking notes by hand rather than on a laptop. Moreover, adults are better able to learn a new alphabet when they practice letters by hand rather than on a computer.

What does this research on the brain-hand connection mean for your work calendar? You may remember your appointments better if you write them down on paper rather than typing them.

You could even think of jotting down tasks and appointments as exercise for your brain. “One of the advantages of moving away from the keyboard and doing something that requires greater flexibility in how we use our hands is that it also requires greater flexibility in how we use our brains,” writes Nancy Darling, a psychology professor at Oberlin College.

A desk calendar also provides a place to doodle. Scribbling idly may seem like a waste of time, but it’s a powerful way to improve concentration during boring tasks. In one study, people who were randomly assigned to doodle during an intentionally dull phone call remembered 29 percent more of the information transmitted on the call afterward. Doodling also quickly calms the mind, and most people find it enjoyable.

Dash digital fatigue

Of course, using a paper planner or calendar offers a way to step away from screens during your busy work day. If you feel like you spend too much time on mobile devices and are drowning in notifications and alerts, you’re not alone.

Devices are designed to be addictive. Our brains secrete the feel-good chemical dopamine when we hear a notification, and we experience real symptoms of anxiety if we can’t respond. American adults spend nearly 11 hours per day staring at screens, and iPhone users unlock their phones up to 80 times a day.

You may be suffering from spending too much time on technology without realizing it. The more time teens spend online, the more likely they are to say they’re unhappy. Adults randomly assigned to give up Facebook for a week ended up happier, less lonely, and less depressed at the end of the week than those who used Facebook.

Former tech employees are even raising an alarm about the negative impacts of the technology they helped create. A group of them started an organization called Center for Humane Technology; they feel too much technology erodes mental health and social relationships. Stepping away from your laptop and phone to schedule on paper is one way to decrease your time on digital devices at work.

Plan and personalize

Using a desk calendar may help with big-picture planning and organization because it’s easy to see all your appointments at a glance. Many people prefer the tangible feeling of paper. For instance, 92 percent of college students prefer to read print books versus reading on a digital device.

Furthermore, whether you love minimalist, elegant, or cute desk calendars, your calendar becomes as unique as you are once you put pen to paper. Personalize it exactly how you want and don’t be afraid to transform it into an efficient, artistic extension of your brain. Once you have your calendar, stock up on different highlighterssticky notes, and colorful pens.

Don’t ditch your desk calendar: The benefits of handwriting events and tasksInfographic by Quill

Long live the desk calendar

Digital devices aren’t going anywhere. Chances are you use some sort of online calendar, and you may want to continue doing so. But don’t ditch your desk calendar just yet. Many people use both a paper planning system and an online calendar because each offers different benefits. Writing down appointments helps you remember them better, gives you an opportunity to step away from screens, lends itself to big-picture planning and organizing, and offers a myriad of personalization options. Moreover, putting pen to paper may help you stay calmer and more focused.

Do agree with this article? Paper or electronic what works best for you?

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Twitter  FacebookFacebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

Organizing your medication for your health and safety – medicine cabinet 101

Medicine Cabinet 101

How to Store Pharmaceuticals

My guest blogger is Laura Schwecherl who is writing for  Health Perch a digital magazine from the USA.  Many of the tips in this article apply no matter where you live. BY

Cholesterol-lowering pills and allergy eye drops may reside on the bed stand. The medicine cabinet probably holds a cluster of medications (antacids, asthma inhalers, antibiotics) and a few stray ibuprofen may even float around the bottom of your handbag. More than one third of American adults regularly use over-the-counter medications and 65 percent of all adults in the U.S. (roughly 131 million people) use prescription drugs. But not all of us know how to store and dispose of medication safely.

We’ve got your medicine cabinet covered with a comprehensive guide on storing and disposing prescription and OTC drugs. Read on to learn how to stay out of harm’s way.

The Best Way to Store Your Meds

Store it right: How and where to keep your medications

Up to 50 percent of chronic disease patients (for instance people with arthritis, asthma, cancer, COPD, diabetes) fail to follow directions and take their medicine as prescribed. A simple misstep can lead to higher health risks and medical bills.

One way to avoid this problem is to stay organized. While some households store meds in a number of locations, it’s easier to keep track when they’re all in one place. Try to make medicine taking a part of your daily routine (whether it’s right after breakfast, before dinner, or before bed—whatever your doctor suggests based on the requirements of each medication) and stick to a schedule. Pill organizers are another great way to prevent confusion if you or a family member takes multiple pills a day. It’s also a great idea to take an inventory of your prescriptions at least once every six months.

When choosing a place to keep prescriptions, seek a spot that stays cool and dry, such as a kitchen drawer away from appliances (heat and moisturecan damage pills). For this reason, a medicine cabinet in the bathroom may not live up to its name, unless the bathroom is well ventilated with fans or windows.

Travel poses its own obstacles. If you’re traveling in the car, don’t keep medicine in the glove compartment, which can get very hot. If you’re jet setting, pack prescriptions in a carry-on bag in case your luggage is lost or temporarily delayed. Pack medicine in the original bottle and take a copy of your prescription to avoid any trouble with security.

The Best Way to Dispose of Meds

How to properly dispose of medications

This isn’t a simple toss in the trash situation. Discarding pills is a matter of safety: Many medicines are unsafe if taken by the wrong person. Medications that have passed the expiration date can also be dangerous.

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) provides specific guidelines to dispose prescriptions safely.

Take old, unused, or expired prescriptions out of the bottle and throw them away. It’s best to mix them with icky garbage such as coffee grounds, cat litter, or compost. This helps prevent others from getting into those pills. (Every year, more than 60,000 kids go to the emergency room because they took medicine that wasn’t theirs.)

Experts have mixed feelings about flushing prescriptions down the toilet. Some question it due to trace amounts of drug residues found in surface water. Groups including the FDA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have closely monitored this issue and so far have not reported any apparent safety or environmental issues.

The simple rule of thumb? Only flush medications if the label or your doctor says it’s safe. (Here’s a list of meds that can take a trip down the toilet.)

To ensure safety on all fronts, head to a designated drop off site. There are also many community take-back programs for old medicines. Head to theDEA website to see what’s available near you.

Check with your local pharmacy.  If you are a customer, they will take your expired medication and get rid of it for you.

Safety First!

Rx safety tips for effective prescription use

Popping pills isn’t a one-and-done endeavor. There are some easy guidelines to make sure you take prescriptions the intended way. Additionally, you can pledge to store medications safely and learn more about pharmaceutical safety at Up and Away.

So without further adieu, here are 14 tips to make sure you store and take medications safely.

Always ask. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They’re the experts when it comes to the proper way to take, store, and get rid of them.

Check the expiration date. Always check the expiration date on the bottle. Expired medicines may not only be ineffective, they could be harmful too.

Look for warning signs. Check for pills that look discolored or dried out. If anything looks funky, take a picture and call your doctor to make sure it’s still safe to consume.

Never reuse and recycle. Still have that prescription cough medicine that expired in 2012? Always discard leftover medicine even if you think you may use it again. It’s always best to have a doctor prescribe new medicine despite any similar symptoms.

Keep it in the same container. The bottle’s tint helps protect pills from light and lists important information including the name of the prescription, when to take it, and your pharmacy’s number for when it’s time for a refill.

Don’t mix meds. Many pills look similar, and it’s easier than one might think to accidentally pop the wrong one.

Remove the cotton. Some pill bottles come with cotton inside to help protect pills that are shipped from online pharmacies. Remove the cotton as soon as you open the bottle. The cotton attracts moisture, which could decrease the medication’s strength.

Separate from your spouse. Keep your medicines separate from your spouse or other family members to lower the chances of mixing.

Open in a safety zone. Open meds on a countertop so you can rest the bottle on a flat surface. There’s always a chance of a pill slipping out of the bottle, and you don’t want to lose it on the floor or down a drain.

Keep the lights on. Don’t take pills in the dark or in bad lighting. Good light helps ensure you take the right pill and correct dose.

Lock ‘em out. It’s crucial to lock your prescriptions in a drawer if you have small kids.

Close it tight. Use that arm strength to close the lid tight. This also helps childproof the bottles.

Be prepared in case of an emergency. Call your poison control center immediately if you think a child may have taken one of your prescriptions. Save the number in your phone so you can dial right away.

Conclusion

By now, you should be an expert on pill safety—from storage and use to proper disposal. Stick to these guidelines (and some common sense) and you’ll be on the fast track to health.

Share how you organize your medications in the comments.  My 91 year old dad made an excel spreadsheet to track the timing of his eye drops after he had cataract surgery.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Twitter  Facebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

Click here if you want to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer? 

 

4 Tips to help you start organizing your living room

Living rooms can have many purposes. 

1. Decide what your living room will be used for and create areas for each activity – watching TV, listening to music, reading, entertaining, office/desk work, or relaxing.

Determine what activities you will use the room for and then plan your space.

Determine what activities you will use the room for and then plan your space.

Lighting

2.Use task lighting as needed for each activity.  Floor lamps, table lamps, wall-mounted or ceiling lights help to make the room perfect for any task.

Make sure your lighting suits the task you want to do.

Make sure your lighting suits the task you want to do.

Choose furniture that has more than one purpose

3. Additional hidden storage can be added to the room, such as an ottoman or footstool with storage, a chest, or a coffee table with shelves or drawers.  The space behind a couch is great for storing flat items such as pictures or dining room table leaves.  Bookcases or floor-to-ceiling shelves can be used to decorate a wall and store items.

Foot stool ottoman pouffe over isolated white background

Pictures

4. Too many pictures?  Instead of trying to hang them all, rotate them each season.  It will give your walls a face lift.  Storing you pictures behind your couch is a great way to keep them handy but out of sight.

Pictures hanging on a wall

How do you store your CDs and DVDs?

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie will coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Twitter – Facebook – Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

Learn more about what Professional Organizers do

 

Organizing a small kitchen

Thanks to Brooke Faulkner for returning to guest blog this month.

Making the most of a small kitchen

Whether you have chosen to move into a tiny home, you pay an exorbitant amount to have a closet-sized apartment in New York City, or it just so happens that your dream home has a small kitchen, you are going to have to get creative with how you use it. The kitchen has always been a place where clutter seems to gather and where storage is always an issue, no matter how big or small the space. Making some custom changes to your kitchen to adapt to your personal wants and needs will help you see your kitchen as more of a place of zen than a messy clutter den.

Hideaways

As you start to really investigate your kitchen, you may start to recognize negative space that could be used for additional storage and further organization. Start with looking at your sink area. What is that small drawer in front of the sink that doesn’t open? What a cruel design! By removing the front of the drawer, installing a narrow pocket behind it and hinges on either side, you can make a sponge and nail brush holder that tucks right into that before unused spot. This allows you to hide the unsightly sponges and remove clutter from around the water tap and gain more organizational space!

Another typically overlooked area is the space between the oven and the cabinet next to it. Usually, there is just enough space to install a spice cabinet that slides into the depth of the cabinet and when pulled out can visually display every spice you could ever want to cook with. Spices and condiments take up a silly amount of space. Another option for storage to free up counter or wall space is to install a spice rack, an absolute kitchen essential, on the inside of a cabinet or pantry door. A pantry door, if your small kitchen is lucky enough to have one, is ideal because the depth of the spice rack fits perfectly inside the door frame, not taking up any additional space once the door is closed.

Cut the Clutter

Utilizing the space available to you and recognizing when there just isn’t any left will be your best approach to removing the clutter from your kitchen. Small bits and pieces tend to collect on the surfaces of counters above anything else, making your kitchen feel even smaller. For the smaller recurring items, like notes to the family, mail, or hairpins, take advantage of the inside of the cabinet doors. With a simple strong adhesive, you can create small catch-all containers that are out of view and not taking up any additional space. You can label the small containers so that other household members know how to best use them.

Organizing what lies within the cabinet drawers will also help to cut back on the number of items in your kitchen. Take for example the storage container drawer. In the typical household it contains various sizes of mismatched plastics that are haphazardly shoved into a general area. Consider upgrading to a stackable glass container set that simply has four sizes with color coded lids. Having one stackable entity that can easily slide in and out of the cabinet could save you time and hassle for meals on-the-go and storing leftovers.

For that clumsy pots and pans drawer, take a second to look up. If your ceiling allows for it, consider installing a hanging pots and pan rack to allow for easy access and to free up one of your cabinets for additional valuable storage space. Once they are on display, you might also recognize that it is time to update the pots and pans collection of parental hand-me-downs that you have been hanging on to since college with the best and brightest new cookware.

Mess Free

The kitchen seems to be the mecca for where dirt, food scraps and oily messes tend to build up. To alleviate less mess on the floor, opt to put your cutting board over one half of your sink. It cuts down on the amount of food scraps that end up on the floor and makes clean up that much faster. It reduces the wear and tear on your countertops and prevents against potential staining from items such as beets and turmeric root. An added bonus is that you can use it to cover up any dishes that you didn’t happen to get done if an unexpected guest stops by for a visit.

Cooking in a small kitchen, there are areas that seem to get dirty again within a day of cleaning them. Try using natural cleaning agents to get your appliances looking like new without drowning yourself in chemicals. Using flour to scrub down those new stainless steel appliances will have them shining like new after a quick rinse. Additionally, you can use lemon juice to get rid of rust spots that may be on knives that you have on display and a bit of salt and lemon juice on your wooden cutting boards will both cleanse them and rid them of any residual food odors.

No matter how small, there is a kitchen hack for it all. Before you start to complain about your limited space, take a look around and notice what small changes you could make so your kitchen world work better for you and your needs.

What is your best kitchen hack? Share it in the comments

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Twitter FacebookFacebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

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How to organize hockey gear.

My guest blogger this week is from ProStock Hockey.  It can be difficult to keep hockey equipment organized, dry and clean.  Do you want your child putting on equipment that was stored in a moldy hockey bag?  Imagine having 15 hockey bags in a small room containing equipment that is not taken care of properly.

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Infographic created by Pro Stock Hockey, an online hockey shop offering pro stock hockey equipment

Post your best tip for organizing your sports equipment in the comments. 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Twitter    Facebook   

Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

Learn more about What Professional Organizers do 

On-line Lifestyle Organizing Coaching leading professionals From Clutter to Freedom
Residential Organizing Services for the Region of Niagara, Hamilton, Halton-Peel and Surrounding Area