Thursday, June 20, 2013

Guest Blog Post: Roomations

This week, I'm guest blogging over at Roomations, a site for all things interior design, with the final and most important step in the organizing process - maintenance.  

Now, don't tune out! I have am amazing ability to make maintaining all your organizational system fun. And I'm sharing a few of my secrets on their blog today. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Six Kitchen Organizing Secrets

I get pretty pumped to organize almost any room, but this week I’m sharing a secret (or six). Kitchen organizing is my downright favorite.

Personally, I love to cook. So when I can create an efficient and simple functionality for clients in their own kitchens, it’s like all is right in the world.

So this week, I’m sharing six of my best kitchen organizing secrets.

1. Consider creative solutions. Use pegboards and hooks to organize pots, pans and kitchen utensils. You’ll free up space in the cabinets and items will always be at hand.

2. Make it move. Use portable bins for spices, oils and sauces. You can easily grab them from a cabinet shelf when cooking, and slip them back in when you’re done.

3. Use backs of doors. Paint a chalkboard for grocery lists, hang a cork board or magnetic board for clippings, or add hooks for measuring cups. You’ll make the most of that unused space and keep the outside of the fridge and cabinets clutter free.

4. When in doubt, stack. Use vertical space inside cabinets with stacking bins, stacking shelves (which are great for dishes) or tiered shelves.

5. Highlight what you love. Maybe baking or entertaining is your passion. Figure out what is important to you, group all related items together, and make space for them.

6. Line it up. Use dividers to keep cutting boards, bake ware, and platters lined up and easily accessible.

And as an added bonus, I’m sharing some kitchen no-no’s…
  • Buying products before making an organizational plan and measuring cabinets.
  • Keeping more stuff than you have space. Haven’t cracked open that cookbook yet – get rid of it! Holding on to large kitchen appliances you’ve used once in the last three years – let it go!
  • Not moving shelves. Most cabinet shelves are movable so you can make the spacing work for you.
  • Not working with a plan. Simple solution: Before moving things around, write out the different types of items, or categories of items, in your cabinets on sticky notes. Start assigning a new home to items by moving the sticky notes around as needed.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Getting Ready for Baby

This coming July is all about babies. Princess Katherine and Kim Kardashian, along with a few of my friends, are expecting July babies. 

When I was invited to speak recently to a bunch of moms-to-be, I got to thinking how important organization is when there's a baby on the way. Nesting, a common instinct for expectant mothers, is a basic form of organizing. As with all organizing efforts, my advice is to focus your efforts. It goes without saying that getting the baby’s nursery in order should be the first order of business. 

But after that, what to do? Here are my suggestions for three things to get organized now, so you’re ready for baby.

Photo courtesy of Nest Design Studio

1. Set up a command center in your home. What the heck is this, you might ask? I tell clients to think of this as the area from which they manage the basic functions in their life – kids, pets, home projects, bills, mail – everything. This is particularly important for new moms, as this is the area where you can manage baby’s schedule, paperwork from doctor’s visits, and all that other good stuff. 

Here are more tips to set up your home command center

Photo courtesy of Cup of Jo

2. Set up a filing system. Why now, you might ask? New babies double the amount of paper young families bring into the home, so it’s best to get it under control now. Plus, paper organizing is the perfect project to handle when you’re pregnant because you can do it from the couch. 

First, search every nook and cranny (perhaps that bag stashed away in your husband’s closet) for all the random paperwork in your home. Then grab a snack, hit the couch and get to sorting. Use Post-it notes to quickly label papers and you’re on your way. Throw out any paperwork that’s not critical or that you can find online. Setting up a complete filing system with labeled folders and file boxes is a more elaborate project. However, taking these first few steps goes a long way, and you can always go back and organize the papers you’ve saved during baby’s naptime in the coming months. 

Photo courtesy of Project Nursery

3. Purge! How, you might ask? I’m all about keeping this as simple as possible. Grab three trash bags – one for donations, one for trash, and one for recycling. First, you’ll want to go room to room. Don’t over think it and grab anything that can be either donated or trashed. Next, go closet to closet and do the same. You don’t need to organize as you go. Just get the excess out. It’s the first step. Similar to your paper organizing, you can always go back and organize closets in finer detail when you have more time. 

To all those moms-to-be, enjoy your final weeks of pregnancy! July will be here before you know it.