How organized is your kitchen? That is a great question for me, because it is my favorite room in a house to organize, reorganize. or unpack. This is probably because my top hobbies are cooking, wellness and nutrition. I also spent many years in the food business, so I have a passion for kitchens and the contents of kitchens.
How many people don’t know how many vegetable peelers or cheese slicers they have?
No one is going to wake up on a Saturday after working all week and say wow I can’t wait ! Let me see how many duplicates I have in my kitchen? let me scale this back and rearrange all of my kitchen stuff so I know what I have! Don’t laugh I would!
Many times we received gifts over 20 years ago and have never used them or save them thinking one day we will use them. Some examples are the vase, platter, appliance , fondue pot or sterling silver piece from Aunt Bee. I want to let you know it is ok to say goodbye to these items and no guilt is necessary . If you are not using these items there are plenty of people in this world who will.
I give you permission to reduce the quantity of all things in your kitchen . Believe me you will finally know what you have, where to find it, where to put it away and won’t have to buy another one since you didn’t know where it was.
Tips for starting this project besides calling me, begin with taking everything out and putting like things together. Next step is to evaluate, make decisions and reduce. After that take a look to see where the items can fit together in a place that makes sense. You definitely want to keep items you use daily in a convenient place ie. coffee maker , coffee and mugs near each other and dishes and glasses near the dishwasher. Items used less frequently can be put over the refrigerator or up high or down low in the back of a cabinet.
Yes you can have a junk drawer, but put some sort of divider in there so it won’t get out of control .
My new go to place for spices is inside a draw lying down so visibility is terrific. If there are additional bigger rubs ,spices etc that don’t fit, use the cabinet near your stovetop that has oils, vinegars, sauces, salt and pepper and put them there.
We all have to eat, so why not make it easier, more organized and fun to spend time in our kitchens.
How can it be ‘back to school” time already? By now you have probably shopped during the tax free time for supplies and have hopefully taken a day or more to decompress and relax during these lazy days of summer. Summer is also when some projects are planned and meant to be completed, but either way time has passed and now it’s crunch time.
It’s a fact that life is fast and everyone is working more and making less and everything is a click away. Getting stuff may not solve problems, but some say it can make you feel better. In reality this is not true, because the more stuff you have makes it harder to be productive in the daily routine of life. Choosing experiences over things could help in reducing the clutter.
Why not take a walk, spend time with friends, read or journal next time you are compelled to hit click.
In the SpareFoot.com (the largest storage marketplace) back to the grind survey, 45% of Americans believe fall months are the best time to get organized. They also reported that in less than two weeks after tidying up for school 55% of Americans feel disorganized again. 80% say it takes about five to ten minutes longer to get ready in the morning once school starts.
The following are some tips for staying organized and on time for the fall schedule:
1. Post a daily routine in a central location for homework, reading and bedtime
2. Set up and make breakfast and lunch the night before whenever possible
3. Label boxes, bins and your time, so that daily to-do lists work
4. Clean as you go
5. Make space for daily items i.e. lunch boxes, shoes and backpacks
6. Consider a parents’ bin or cubby for paperwork, $ for books, info for nurse, sports, music, art or any other required items to be returned to school
7. Go to bed gradually earlier each night of the week before school starts to prepare for the early morning grind
8. Set a timer each day for 15-20 min to keep up with mail and a once over throughout the house to keep clutter under control
I wish you a smooth transition as summer comes to a close.
I can’t say I am paperless, but I do try everyday to some degree. I have recently had many clients who are trying to do the same. It has been said that clutter is a result of postponed decisions and I have to agree.
I know some perfectionists get lost after a trauma or something devastating. Since they feel like they can no longer be perfect, their decision is to just to do nothing which is a decision in itself.
I feel passionate about helping people realize that life isn’t perfect, but having too much paper around is too stressful. I ask my clients if a hurricane comes tomorrow what are you taking with you? What really matters? Why is there such attachment to stuff?
Barbara Hemphill says in her book,Taming The Paper Tiger, that four out of every five pieces of paper saved in the typical file cabinet will never be needed again. You think oh, I may need this or that. I am not sure if we will all be paperless one day or not, but I am trying to decrease my own by paying bills online, not printing what isn’t necessary, banking and shopping with an email receipt only, reading from a kindle and sending less greeting cards. Also, as a rule of thumb, try to recycle after two weeks for a weekly item and recycling after two months for a monthly item. I also try to keep junk mail at a minimum online and snail mail by unsubscribing or dragging to my junk file. You may ask after minimizing paper, how to manage digitally as well?
I say one step at a time. In all areas strive for less in general. Spend a little extra time this summer to stay neat in Miami.
I recently attended a National Association of Professional Organizers conference and the speaker really got in my head when he mentioned “cognitive distortions.”
This means our mind convinces us of something that isn’t really true. These thoughts are usually used to reinforce negative thinking.
How many times do you have self doubt and compare yourself to others without knowing what they are carrying around with them???????
Yes this is brain trash, rubbish and junk! Why do we hold onto emotional clutter?
Clarity is seeing things as they are. Isn’t this what we all want to truly see?
It’s pretty common to go with our feelings instead of facts and this is where the distortion comes into play. The speaker Scott Greenberg made reference to The Giving Tree book. I am sure at some point everyone has read this.
The main premise is to have gratitude or in other words, want what you’ve got.
In order to ignore and clear out the mind trash, we have to focus on something bigger than ourselves. Face your fears and go for the action anyway. This will lead us into making connections. No matter what you do for a living this will put you in a better place. You won’t be worried about yourself. Facts and confidence will replace the rubbish.
This is when you can exist in a peaceful space both inside and out.
Practicing mindfulness or a brief 5 minutes of meditating everyday would be great too.