Last week I was scrolling through my Facebook and I came across the Good Housekeeping article – “6 Places We’re NOT Organizing Anymore.” Naturally, it caught my attention and I, of course, quietly gasped. What areas could they be talking about? I asked myself. I immediately clicked on the article to see what over 1,000 people “liked.”
As I read the article it all made sense and I knew where the author, Lauren Piro, was coming from. The areas she confronted are a constant struggle for many of us so I completely understand sending up the white flag. And, to Lauren’s credit, leaving these areas disorganized is not going to prevent you from reaching your ultimate goals in life. However, as the person who comes in when these areas become overrun with clutter and cause daily frustration, I can attest to the fact that some level of organization is necessary. After all, organization is about making your life easier by living lighter and more efficiently.
All of this got me thinking… maybe we need to address some of these areas in a more simplistic way and just get real about the level of organization needed to make life easier and not add more work to the to-do list.
So, here’s what I have for those who would still like to have a little order to their chaos…
Nail Polish – Sorting through 10 or 15 colors every time you paint your nails can be annoying to say the least. I’ve witnessed many of my friends’ and clients’ chaotic drawers/bins and the process they go through to find the color they want. Keep the colors neat and tidy by taking a Q-tip and dabbing the color on top of the lid. This way you won’t have to pull out every single nail polish to find what you want and you’ll easily be able to keep the colors in order.
Serving & Cooking Utensils – Purging is always helpful, but even after a purge you may still be rifling through things to find what you want. Using drawer dividers, split the drawer into sections to easily organize the items you use on a regular basis (if you have more than one drawer, use one for baking utensils and one for cooking utensils). Then, put the once or twice a year items in a canister that gets stored in the pantry. After all, you don’t want to be without that turkey baster come Thanksgiving.
ON THE EIGHTH DAY OF NEATNESS…
I love a kitchen crock. I think they’re useful. I think they are a great fix for those most used or too-long-for-the-drawers kitchen utensils. I think they’re also a wonderful solution if drawer space is limited. The challenge has always remained that before you know it, your slotted spoon has a wooden one shoved through it and the whisk is hugging the tongs. Well, CHEFS® Catalog has come to the rescue with their neat product on this year’s list. Finally a bit of organizational genius! Try as I might to create something like this on my own, nothing beats the real deal. The tall, durable quality stoneware Kitchen Tool Crock comes with a built-in, three-way stoneware divider so you can finally put some order back into your kitchen. Whether you separate by utensil type (wooden, silicone, metal) or utensil purpose (spoons, spatulas, miscellaneous), it’s a very neat-making and visually pleasing solution for any kitchen…and those utensils can finally start behaving themselves.
ON THE FOURTH DAY OF NEATNESS…
I gotta say when it comes to style and efficiency the folks at Joseph Joseph® have it mastered. The Nest™ 9 Plus mixing bowl to measuring spoon set is perfection on so many levels, it keeps words from coming out of my mouth in complete sentences. The classic and simple design, and its unique ability to skimp on bulk makes this four-in-one kitchen staple perfect for every kind of cook. This clever set saves precious drawer space, which can be primo real estate in a kitchen with limited storage options. The Nest 9 Plus includes 5 measuring cups which snap together into a small unit. They’re designed to fit perfectly in the small mixing bowl, which then sits inside a stainless steel mesh sieve, which THEN all fits neatly into a medium plastic strainer/colander and FINALLY, all collectively rest compactly and perfectly inside one large mixing bowl. This kind of space-saving brilliance is a neat product that truly speaks my language.
Thanksgiving is only nine days away. Let’s just repeat that for effect: Thanksgiving is only nine days away. And if you’re like any other living, breathing, working, person out there, there is still so much to do to make sure you are ready for the big day. Never fear! Breathe, relax, get those shoulders down from your ears, because I’ve outlined 3 simple to-do’s to make sure your kitchen is ready for one incredible feast!
Taking a little time to plan in advance will help you feel in control of your party, rather than at the mercy of gravy boats and green bean casserole. Above all, remember that the whole purpose of the day is to come together with family and friends to enjoy a beautiful meal. Stress does not get a seat at the table!
Orla Reynolds, a recent graduate of the Dublin Institute of Technology, has designed this invaluable solution for those of us who live in small spaces. The ‘As if from nowhere’ bookcase functions as any typical bookcase, but it also ingeniously stores four chairs and a table allowing you to easily transform your space to host a small dinner party, or create a functional work area. I personally love the pop of color that this original design has.
Lil Davinci is a simple way to display and store your child’s treasured pieces of art. Each frame can store up to 50 masterpieces, helping you keep these special memories safe while eliminating clutter from your kitchen refrigerator. These easy to update frames make the idea of framing every piece of your child’s art a breeze and makes it easy to show them just how proud of them you really are! This fantastic idea isn’t only for your child’s artwork either; Dynamic Frames also makes other great solutions such as the Pinster shadow box frame for displaying memorabilia and gallery frames, which can store as many as 288 photos!
With the Oscars this Sunday, many people are gearing up for a festive evening with friends. From parties with themes based on the movie nominees to parties with competitive voting contests, for some it is a night bigger than the Super Bowl.
Unfortunately, at the end of the night whether Best Picture goes to Argo or Lincoln, the task of getting the award for “Best Cleanup” still remains for the gracious host or hostess. To make cleaning up from this “star studded” evening a little easier, pickup a couple Clean Cubes. A recent discovery at the New York International Gift Fair, Clean Cubes take away the mess and frustration of taking out the trash or recycling. This fully biodegradable product is leak resistant and a great solution for when you need an additional receptacle for your disposables or recyclables. Plus, it’s sturdy construction means there’s no worry about bags tearing or breaking on the way out the door.
If you like to cook, or dream of cooking more often, having an organized kitchen is imperative. By keeping your kitchen and pantry organized you will have the proper foods and tools more accessible, which will ultimately lead to a healthier diet and greater ease moving around your space while you’re slicing, dicing and sauteing.
I recently had the opportunity to work with my friend, whole living guru Sara Jane Mercer, to help her organize her pantry. Since Sara spends a large part of her day in the kitchen creating new recipes and discovering ways to help her clients eat more healthfully in an easy and simple way, having the right foods easily accessible is very important to her.
After spending some time sorting, editing and labeling, we were able to create an organizational system that allows Sara to always see what she has on hand; saving her time and money (no more buying unnecessary duplicates). To learn about the great tips and tricks I taught Sara and see the changes we made to improve her pantry, check out our quick and fun video.
Maybe it’s because I love food and secretly have a burning desire to open a bakery, or maybe it’s because there always seems to be room for improvement in this often overcrowded room, but I frequently find myself talking about kitchen products that help improve the room’s functionality, efficiency and storage. So it should come as no surprise that my latest favorite find is this collapsible whisk from German design studio Ding3000.
This space-saving whisk can easily be put into action by sliding the colorful ring, which doubles as a hook for storage, to expand the whisking tentacles. Made of nylon this cheery kitchen tool is easy to clean, dishwasher safe and sure to put a smile on any chef’s face.
Available from: Gretel
I’m in love with their approach to taking this basic, household item and turning it into an architecturally designed, functional piece that is not only more efficient in terms of its use (i.e. sturdy construction for delicate glass drying, a flip-up drainage spout, and removable cutlery holder), but also in its ability to be easily stored away. It is the perfect solution for those of us who live in small spaces and have limited counter space in the kitchen.
Check out Google Shopping for a list of online retailers in the U.S.A. where you can purchase this everyday, must-have item.
Over the past several years companies have done an excellent job of taking the eco-friendly, reusable tote bag and making it not only functional, but stylish and fun too. However, these must-have, useful bags can very easily become a cumbersome mess as you start to collect them. The colorful collection you accumulate as event gift bags and from different stores, typically end up getting tossed around your car or your cabinets – you may even frequently forget them when you walk out the door.
Lucky for us, Julie Zizka seems to have had similar frustrations and has created the perfect solution – The Tote Buddy. This super simple product allows you to organize and neatly store your tote bags so they will no longer be a cluttery mess, and will always be ready for your trip to the store. The Tote Buddy works with a various size totes and is available for purchase on the company’s website.
Now, why didn’t I think of that?
It is the height of the outdoor summer season, and whether you are spending your time at the beach, or in your backyard, chances are that you are outside BBQing and entertaining friends and family. However, just because you’re outside doesn’t mean you should have to resort to the typical white disposable tableware. Let the summer fun follow through to your tablescape with the Waverly Tableware collection by Hefty. These vibrant disposable plates carry the Hefty tradition of being super strong, while donning some of the Waverly prints that have become synonymous with American style.
You can find this fun and colorful collection of tableware at Walmart and your local grocery store.
The countdown is on…. we are less than one week away from the official start of the summer grilling season! If you have been dreaming of joining the summertime cult of men and women who are OCD about BBQ-ing, but you are short on space for a grill, check out Black + Blum’s Hot-Pot BBQ.
The Hot-Pot puts your BBQ and garden in one, helping you not only save space, but also save you from a horrible eyesore in your outdoor living area. Made from stainless steel and a heat insulated ceramic coating, the Hot-Pot allows you to maximize your outdoor square footage by growing your garden on top of your grill. It is the perfect solution for those of us living in areas with limited outdoor space.
A couple months ago I wrote about The OCD Chef cutting board, which, due to its genius grid layout, enables you to dice and chop with exact precision. Well, here is another great product that helps make the dicing and chopping of food prep easier and more organized.
The Ute Bowlboard, which is made of carbonized bamboo, was designed with four inlaid food prep bowls to help keep you organized. Simply chop your ingredients and slide them into the appropriate bowl so they are neatly stored and ready for cooking. The bowls sit flush to the surface of the board so there is no mess and not lost ingredients.
P.S. – It will also serves as a great snack tray with built-in condiment bowls!
If you have little children, I am sure that you are familiar with the constant flow of artwork that comes home with them almost daily from their daycare or school. With every new piece being their favorite, you can’t help but put it on display – not only are your refrigerator doors full, but their bedroom walls have become a gallery and your desk at work even houses several of their masterpieces. As proud as you are to display their work, you may be wondering if there is a way to more neatly showcase their art that won’t leave your walls or refrigerator cluttered.
Several years ago, the ladies of Wexel Art were pondering the same thing, which led to the creation of the Wexel Art Floating Frame. This easy-to-install, acrylic panel frame comes with 4 pairs of strong magnets that allow you to quickly and effortlessly change the prized work of your little artist (or, update the latest photo of your child with this week’s favorite Kodak moment). The clean modern design blends well with a variety of decorating styles and can easily be incorporated into a kitchen, a child’s bedroom or playroom, a casual family room, or even a home office. Use one frame to make a singular statement, or group them together to create a trio or a fun collage. These frames will not only leave your walls looking neat, but they will also make your little artist feel proud as you display their work in a more special way.
Wexel Frames come in various shapes, sizes and styles, which makes them the perfect solution for displaying:
This Spring, Wexel Art will also be offering a limited edition run of frames designed by Eva Zeisel. Visit their website to find out more about the various sizes available, or to inquire about creating custom shape or custom size frames.