kitchen organization tips
When it comes to loving where you live, organization plays a big role. And while there are strategies, gurus, and services galore that focus on domestic overhauls, when it comes to organizing your stuff, it sometimes just feels better to do it yourself — and as simply as possible. Just don’t start to organize until you’ve taken inventory and purged the items you no longer need (like that mini food processor you bought with good intentions but never actually use).
So before you start browsing those homes for sale in Seattle, WA or Athens, GA, to find a larger place for all your stuff, consider these simple kitchen organization tricks, which can help you but the fun back into what should be one of the most functional rooms of your home.
Read on for tips, download the entire cheat sheet, or save it to your Pinterest boards here.
Start with a blank slate
When you’re playing the organization game, it’s important to start from scratch — especially in the kitchen. So empty out all those cabinets and drawers, and sort your stuff into three piles: trash, donate or sell, and keep. Take the trash out immediately, and put the donate/sell pile somewhere out of sight (like the trunk of your car), so you won’t be tempted to put any of it back into the keep pile.
Then, separate your keep pile into smaller piles by usage: cookware, dishes, seasoning, and storage, and put them near the cabinets and drawers where they’ll be most convenient.
Location, location, location
Yes, cookware takes up a lot of space — but it should still be easily accessible and kept close to the stove. If getting out your stock pot for spaghetti night is always an exercise in frustration, your take-out menus will probably get more use than it does.
The bottom shelf — prime cabinet real estate — is for deeper pots and pans. Store with handles out to render them just a quick grab away from use and to give you a clear view of what dimensions and depths you actually have on hand.
Like goes with like
Once prep is done and you’re ready to enjoy your culinary creation (a simple cup of coffee totally counts!), the Dish Zone should also be prioritized for easy access to what you use most.
Naturally, this space should live near the dishwasher or dining table (or both), as these are spots where they’ll spend the most time. Dividing this zone into quadrants will save time on cleanup and help traffic flow when you encourage guests to help themselves.
Think of the top sections as ideal spots for fancy wares: party plates, serving bowls, and wineglasses, which can be kept safely organized until party time. (Be sure not to stow any of those pretty glasses on their rims — hanging is ideal — as the chance that they will explode in a dishwasher or chip other dishes is almost a guarantee.)
Finally, bottom shelves are meant for everyday dishes and glassware. We suggest storing plates and bowls on one side and water glasses and favorite mugs on another to make locating, rotating, and keeping track of like groups a simpler process.
Consider how often you use an ingredient before storing it
Believe it or not, your spice rack/seasoning hodgepodge doesn’t have to be sprinkled with daily stress — and long-forgotten Aleppo pepper, gifted dry rubs, and the like. Organize spices, oils, and other ingredients in order of how often you use them. You’ll cut down on the scavenger hunt that this area often induces.
Put some cork on the inside of the cabinet door, and you’ll have a spot to pin recipes or keep your kitchen conversion sheet handy. Have a specialty spice you don’t want to forget to try? Make a note about that and store it here for a hint of cooking inspiration.
Tiffany J. Davis
Tiffany J. Davis is a lifestyle editor, writer, and “professional brainstormer” living and working in Brooklyn, NY. She’s contributed to DailyCandy.com, Details, Thompson Hotels, and Garden & Gun and has appeared as a trends expert on ABC, NBC, CBS, and CNN. When she’s not scouting the streets and the Web for design, style, and food trends, she’s throwing Sriracha-laced dinner parties. Follow her on Twitter at @prettyshindig, and online at tiffanyjdavis.com.
– See more at: http://www.trulia.com/blog/the-ultimate-guide-to-organizing-your-kitchen-cabinets/#sthash.bgazAtER.dpuf
For the longest time, I was obsessed with shelving and storage in my home. I searched for savvy ways to conceal clutter and create optical illusions.
But after I had exhausted every hack, I needed a new project.
I often overlooked the role of lighting in my home. As I began reading into it, I learned how lighting can magically transform a room – sculpturally, spatially and stylistically.
As lighting serves a a dual purpose (functional and aesthetic), it can often be better investment than a piece of art!
On a more serious note: did you know that lighting in your home impacts your mood and circadian rhythms?
However you justify it, good lighting can make your home rise and shine.
Get inspired with these clever forms and fixtures:
Balance a feminine and masculine look with these bubbles.
Via Twig Decor
Let the light overflow
Upcycle delicate decanters to give your space a mod feel.
It’s OK to be a square.
This brass piece brings sharp, sophisticated angles
So clever, you may want a matching necklace!
Via MCM House
Chic, shiny, pink.. what’s not to love?
Via Home & Delicious
Jazz it up!
An upcycled show stopper
Via Rue Mag
If there was any magical kitchen staple, dishwashing liquid would be it. Read on for its practical uses beyond the kitchen …
Many kitchen staples lend themselves to other uses, but few can be re-purposed as much as dish soap. Sure, it cleans your dishes, but read on to find out its practical uses outside of the kitchen sink …
1. Remove Bathroom Soap Scum
2. Kill Carpet Fleas & Other Pests
stains on your fireplace’s external bricking, try mixing equal parts dishwashing liquid and salt, recommendsHowtoCleanStuff.net. Add a small amount of water to soap-salt mixture to achieve a scrub or paste consistency, then spread the mixture on the soot stain, and let it dry for 10-15 minutes. Use a brush to scrub away the soot then wash the area clean with water. Voilá, your fireplace looks like new!
5. Make Your Own Ice Pack
6. Wash Windows (Streak-free!)
And most importantly…. Some Fun… !
How can I get my security deposit back cleaning hacks
Think you might be in danger of losing part of your security deposit? These cleaning hacks can ensure you leave your current place without leaving money behind.
Moving into a new place can be so liberating. Farewell, grumpy building manager! Smell ya later, neighbor who seems to always be cooking fish! But there’s one thing you’ll want to bring along to your new apartment: your security deposit. And yet even if you’ve been a model tenant and you think you’ve left your place in the same condition as when you moved in, there’s a chance your landlord could withhold some cash. “You may be responsible for anything that’s above and beyond ‘normal’ wear and tear, like holes in the wall that are bigger than a dime or scratches on the floor,” .
The best way to avoid paying for damages that you didn’t create is to do a little prep work when you move in. Insist on an apartment rental inspection at move-in, where a building staff member will walk you through the apartment and note its condition. It can be a handy reference tool when it’s time to move out. “Plus, you’ll get an idea of how strict the landlord is,” says Arias. “Some are more forgiving than others.” But if you missed an opportunity for a rental inspection — or if you scuffed floors or splurged on a temporary apartment bathroom makeover — all hope of an intact deposit is not lost.
How can I get my security deposit back? Try these hacks.
1. Buff away scuff marks on floors. Grab a tennis ball and make a slit with a sharp knife or scissors. Insert the end of a broom handle or stick into the tennis ball and rub over the marks. They’ll buff away with a little pressure.
2. Get rid of mildew or mold on grout. “Many building maintenance departments will remove mold for you if you report it,” says Arias. Translation: If you don’t keep the mold from reappearing with regular cleaning, you could be charged for a second removal treatment. If it’s been a while since you’ve given your shower a good scrubbing, Jessica of the blog This Blessed Life suggests soaking a piece of cotton coil (like the stuff used in hair salons) in bleach and sticking it to the moldy grout. Let it sit overnight, and when you pull away the cotton the next morning, the mildew will be gone.
3. Repair holes in the wall. Chances are, you’ll have a few of these, especially if you mounted a flat-screen TV on the wall. If the hole is microscopic, but you’re worried your landlord will still notice it, you can try using white (nongel) toothpaste to repair your wall. Squirt some directly into the hole and smooth the edge with a putty knife (your finger works in a pinch). Let it dry overnight, then use a piece of sandpaper to smooth over any ridges. Of course, caulk or spackle is preferable, especially on larger holes.
4. Get rid of grease or burnt-on food in the oven. To clean your oven naturally, make a paste with baking soda and water. Coat the entire oven and let it sit overnight (the perfect excuse for takeout!). The next day, wipe it down with a damp cloth and spray white vinegar on any hardened areas, then wipe away. Keep doing this (and ordering takeout!) until the oven sparkles.
5. Clean a grimy microwave. Remember that time your burrito exploded and you, um, “forgot” to clean it? (Yeah, been there.) Follow this tip from Julie Edelman, The Accidental Housewife: Half-fill a small microwave-safe bowl with water. Slice a lemon in half, squeeze its juice into the bowl, and throw the rinds in too. Microwave for 3 to 5 minutes and don’t open the microwave door for another 5 minutes or so. The steam will help loosen any built-up gunk, making it easy to wipe your microwave clean.
6. Remove crayon from walls. This might be more of an issue for tenants with toddlers (though it’s entirely possible your 20-something roommate or kid sister got a little wild when burning off some creative energy). Crayon is easier to remove than you might think. Simply squirt some nongel toothpaste on the crayon marks and then gently rub with a soft scrub brush or dry cloth. Wipe any remaining toothpaste with a damp sponge.
7. Clean carpet stains. For light stains (read: not red wine), gently rub the stain with a mixture of 2 tablespoons of salt dissolved in ½ cup of white vinegar. Let the solution dry before vacuuming. For darker stains, add 2 tablespoons of borax to the mixture.
8. Wipe up refrigerator spills. While discarding leftover food is a given, it’s also a good idea to wipe up any spills or debris while you’re at it. Becky Rapinchuk, who blogs at CleanMama.net, recommends mixing 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of dish soap, and 4 to 6 cups of warm water. Dip a dishcloth or microfiber cloth into the solution, wring it out well, and wipe down your empty fridge. Give the fridge door handle and front panels a good wipe while you’re at it.
Have you scoured your apartment to get a security deposit back?
Above: Minimalism achieved in the office of glass designer Ingegerd Rí¥men at her house in Sweden designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune.
1. Keep your desktop clear.
Whether digital or three dimensional, a cluttered desk is an impediment to clear thinking and getting work done. Delete downloads you no longer need, organize file systems, and devote time daily to clearing out the unnecessary. That includes emptying the trash.
2. Reap the benefits of a smart calendar.
Who needs a virtual assistant when you can use Tempo? This app connects to your calendar, your contacts, and even your email if you’d like. For a “breakfast, 9 am, Scott/IDEO” meeting, Tempo will pull up Scott’s contact information, IDEO company information, as well as any relevant emails or documents for your meeting. (It might even suggest the best pancake place in the area.) My husband, Jay, also swears by Google Now, which has similar knows-what-information-you-need-before-you-do capabilities. It pulls up our current flight information before we’ve even packed a carry-on.
Above: Kinfolk editor Nathan Williams’ desktop computer at home along the Oregon coast via Hear Black.
3. Effectively manage your To Do’s.
In his book, Get Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, author, consultant, and international lecturer David Allen recommends taking your To Do’s out of your cluttered mind and writing them down, yes, but also: further breaking them down into Next Action lists. A single To Do, such as “set up meeting with IDEO,” actually involves several steps: find the contact, send invitation, decide where to meet, etc. There are a slew of task management apps– Evernote is one of the most popular; others include Things and Wunderlist–that will handle your lists in all of their parts. One important tip for email-based To Do’s: enter the action item (ie. call Julie Carlson) into your task management system of choice, and then delete the email.
4. Get a handle on your newsletters and junk mail, and bring your inbox down to (nearly) zero.
Now that you’ve cleared out your email-based To Do’s, your inbox is still cluttered. Why? Oh, right: your daughter’s school newsletter, plus sale notifications from the zillion places you shop online, and so on. The genius site unroll.me will manage all of your newsletters/subscriptions/invitations for you. When I logged in, I had (eek!) 354 subscriptions, most of which were junk. In one fell swoop I unsubscribed from 310 sites and “rolled up” the rest. Now, instead of receiving 44 emails scattershot throughout my day, I receive one “rolled up” email per day that includes all blasts from newsletters, digests, invitations, affinity groups, etc. Genius.
Above: The app Self Control allows you to keep out distractions.
5. Work sensibly and productively online.
It’s hard to concentrate when reading, socializing, and shopping are ever lurking, just one click away. Self Controllets you block your own access to distracting websites, your mail servers, or anything else on the Internet.WasteNoTime is a browser extension (for Safari or Chrome) that will also give user-defined limited Internet access. The Time Quota feature, my personal favorite, blocks access to a site after you’ve reached your quota for the day. (Because really, do we need to spend more than ten minutes on Facebook?) The Internet-blocking productivity software Freedom (for Windows and Mac) will block your Internet access entirely for up to eight hours at a time.
6. Take frequent breaks.
As author and founder of The Energy Project, Tony Schwartz explains, the daily battle is not about time management but energy management. Our bodies (and brains) need us to work effectively and sustainably, not to log in extra hours confined to a seated-and-going-blind-from-the-glare position. One tool to this end: Timeout. This app will remind you to take periodic breaks (whether to rest your eyes, take a quick walk, realign your posture, or get in a few stretches). Customize the app as you like, and then on schedule your screen will start to slowly dim as your breather begins.
Above: Emma Persson Lagerberg’s office via iDeasgn. See her kitchen in our post, Steal This Look: A Mint Green Kitchen from a Scandinavian Stylist.
7. Organize your files in the Cloud.
Keeping track of your files and making sure that everything is safely backed up is relatively pain free thanks to programs like SkyDrive, DropBox, and GoogleDrive. Personally, I use GoogleDrive for all of my files (giving me instant access from any browser) and DropBox for storing photos.
8. Streamline (and boost the security of) your passwords.
1password helps you to create strong, secure passwords for all of your accounts–and equally importantly remembers them for you. It can also safely store your credit card information, and stands ready to securely populate forms for you.
9. Consolidate apps on your tablet or phone.
Go through all of your apps and delete the ones you never use. I also suggest deleting the ones you do use but don’t actually need. I deleted my Facebook and Instagram apps–while they are good boredom-killers, I don’t need more time wasted on social media. Put your apps into category-based folders like travel, music, or food.
10. Expand your access.
LogMeIn allows you remote access to your desktop from anywhere. It’s a lifesaver for those of us who have ever run out of the office for a meeting, only to find the very document you need is saved to your (now blessedly uncluttered) desktop.
4 Easy Green Cleaning Tips
Some useful green cleaning tips that allow you to reuse items you already have in your home.
Removing Deodorant Stains with Dryer Sheets
Use a (used or new) dryer sheet to remove deodorant stains. Apply the dryer sheets to the stain and scrub thoroughly – and VOILA! – you’re good to go.
Eliminate Shoe Odors
Grab coffee beans and wrap them inside a paper towel. Then place it in the shoe overnight. The next morning your shoes will be odor free.
Best Way to Clean Jewelry
Use an old toothbrush and add a small amount of toothpaste onto it. Then scrub your jewelry carefully to give a new sparkling shine. via-moneyplayersjewelry.com
Don’t Throw Away Your Used Dryer Sheets
Instead you can use the dryer sheets as a substitute for cotton to remove nail polish. It takes it off without leaving a mess like cotton balls or tissue paper. goodhousekeeping.com
Now that we’ve spent months being drenched in rain and snow and hail, the crocuses are finally fighting their way to the surface. Help your garden put its best blooms forward by clearing away the dead stuff and encouraging the new. Or, more specifically, hiring someone to clear away the dead and add the new. Because nothing beats climbing into a hammock and gazing smugly over a gorgeous garden someone else made before falling asleep in the sun.
Four Easy Ways To Improve Your Yard With the Help of Thumbtack Gardeners
Tree Removal: Dead trees threatening to flatten your petunias? Clear the decks with the help of qualified tree experts so you can plant a Meyer lemon tree where that dead pine tree is now wavering.
Baskets o’ Blooms: Short on space? Want to maximize the amount of blossoming color when your garden is more a city patio than rolling hills? There are plenty of gardeners who can help you make the most of your gardening real estate.
Put a Bird On It: Or a waterfall. Or a fire pit. If you want something special for your yard, find an expert and set them loose. A good landscaper can build a new walkway or plant you a rose garden.
Edible Additions: Want to plant a few heads of lettuce or some carrots? Or anything that a character in a Beatrix Potter book would want to filch? Hire someone to build you a beautiful and salad-worthy organic garden.
Spring cleaning can be a rather laborious task every year — especially if you haven’t been preparing through winter, and are going to cover lots of ground all at once.
Often, cleaning can become even more tedious when you throw in the dirty messes that your pets make in the house.
In an exclusive look below, we share 9 easy tips to help you clean up easily and efficiently after your pup — or after any pet, really!
From using an ordinary kitchen cabinet staple to deodorize carpets, to using fabric softener sheets to pick up messy hairs, these tips are sure to make your life easier when it comes time to clean every inch and corner of your home.
Let us know what your favorite dog-cleaning tips are, and if you prefer to use any other ingredients (what about the powerful apple cider vinegar, anyone?) and tools to do the job.
Scroll on to find out the best tips and tricks for cleaning up after your pets, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
- White Vinegar To Deodorize Carpets
It’s super-easy to make your own dog-friendly carpet deodorizer right at home.
Our favorite tip is to fill a spray bottle with white vinegar. Spray the carpet stain evenly with vinegar, but make sure not to soak it.
Don’t worry, the vinegar smell will go away once it dries!
- Walnuts To Remove Wood ScratchesVia Little old hat
You can easily cover up any scratch marks on your wooden walls and furniture by using a walnut. Sounds weird, but it really works!
Begin by rubbing the walnut on the scratched surface in a circular motion, across the length of the scratch, suggests wikiHow.
Leave the natural oils from the walnut to soak into the scratch, before using a soft cloth to polish over the area.
- Baby Wipes To Unclog Hair In The Drain
Next time your bathtub drain gets clogged up by all the doggie hairs, try using baby wipes to solve the problem.
First, take a wipe and put it over the tub drain. Push the tub stopper in, over the wipe.
After giving your pup a bath, reach down and hold the wipe in place, before pulling the plug. The bathwater will drain down, and all the dog hairs will collect in the center of the wipe.
- Damp Rubber Gloves To Pick Up Stray Hairs
Many people probably know about this smart trick for picking up doggie hairs.
Rinse your cleaning gloves underwater, to make them damp. Then, run your gloved hand over the surface of your sofa or chair, allowing the hair to cling onto the glove.
- Baking Soda To Clean Urine
Another solution for cleaning up messes and stains on carpets is baking soda.
This powerful cleaning agent is also brilliant at getting rid of foul odors. To use, pour a little bit of baking soda over the spot on your carpet.
Let that sit for about 20 minutes, before vacuuming it up.
- Magic Eraser To Clean Drool Marks
To scrub off the doggie drool marks from your floors and baseboards around the walls, try using a Magic Eraser.
The formaldehyde-melamine-sodium component used in the foam is a powerful substance used in many cleaning products.
- Dryer Sheets To Pick Up Dog Hair
Dryer sheets can actually be pretty versatile when it comes to cleaning.
They’re known to pick up dog hair on pretty much any surface imaginable — furniture, baseboards, floors, and even clothes!
To clean hair off of your clothes, simply rub a fabric softener sheet over the surface.
- Rubber-Backed Mat To Stabilize Bowls
Many of you may already be doing this, but for those who don’t, it’s just another simple way to keep the floors spillage-free and clean!
- Squeegees To Remove Fur From Furniture
A window squeegee is yet another tool you can use to pick up stray hairs from your furniture and carpets.
They’re super-effective at loosening pet hair from carpets and other surfaces — and are great for removing doggie paw and nose prints from the windows!
To use, rub the squeegee along the carpet, and swipe a few times back and forth to collect the hair.
If you’ve made the decision to hire a Society Hill cleaning service to attend to the needs of your home, it’s important to do your research. Ideally, you’d like to find a combination of premium service, affordable rates, and a trustworthy team of cleaners.
For over 15 years, Homeworks has embodied all of these principles in our Society Hill house cleaning service. Our customer base has come to know our name as one you can trust, and there are several reasons for that:
- High hiring standards – We’re picky about who we allow to join our cleaning team. We think it’s important to build a team of energetic and motivated cleaners who have high character and a strong work history. Unlike many other cleaning services, we avoid hiring career cleaners, instead opting for students and young creative types looking to support themselves, with an eye towards future goals. Our team approaches cleaning with a passion that’s evident in the results.
- An individualized approach – We know that each home and each homeowner is unique. That’s why we strive to offer our customers high-quality and personalized service. To get a feel for your personal needs and preferences, we’ll have you fill out a worksheet prior to cleaning your home. We also encourage our customers to leave any additional notes so that we can clean your home just how you like it.
- Consistency – Once we’ve developed a feel for your specific home, we aim to consistently provide you with premium-quality service tailored to your preferences. That’s why we prefer to assign one specific cleaner to your home, so that you can quickly come to expect returning to a home cleaned exactly how you like it.
This combination of factors has helped us to stand out as the premium Society Hill cleaning service. Homeworks has become synonymous with reliability and premium service throughout Philadelphia.
Full-Service 19106 House Cleaners
We offer the full range of Society Hill house cleaning services you need to keep your home immaculately cleaned, including all of the following areas:
- Bedrooms, Living Rooms, and Common Areas
- Move-in and Move-out Cleaning
- Extras, upon request
Our cleaners will dust, clean/sanitize all surfaces and floors, wipe down mirrors/other fixtures, take out trash/recycling, stack/tidy, and attend to all other necessary components of maintaining a clean home.
Contact Our Society Hill House Cleaners Today
If Homeworks sounds like the type of cleaning service you’d like to welcome into your home, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We’d love to meet with you during a free in-home consultation, so we can begin the process of getting to know you and your home.