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Entries in organizing (2)

Tuesday
Mar012016

I organized my pantry, and it changed my life

This is the story of how a set of cabinet drawers can change your life.

Ok, that's dramatic. But after my book/wine club read/didn't read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, we were on a roll to "add joy" to our lives by organizing our homes. In addition to getting my linen closet and dresser drawers into ship-shape, I partnered with ShelfGenie to tackle my pantry and dreaded tuperware shelf. You can see the chaos in my previous post. I had been trying for years to get by with baskets and such, but investing in a permanent solution is worth it in the long run for preserving your sanity.

 

Let's break it down shelf by shelf:

#1 - Things I don't use too often. I'm going to move the protein powders to a lower shelf, and put bulk items in their place.

#2 - Things we shouldn't eat, and are thus placed on a difficult-to-reach shelf. This level is pretty much 100% sugar.

#3 - Grains and snacks. Since this is at eye-level, it's the first shelf with a ShelfGenie drawer.

#4 - The hot-spot, i.e. items that are accessed multiple times per day. Here I've got my coffee, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

#5 - Cooking and baking ingredients. This is for vinegars, baking powder, specialty oils, etc.

#6 - Teas and canned goods

#7 - Potatoes, onions, and cookies. Ok, the cookies should probably go on the second shelf.


 

 

 

Want to take a closer look?

For the above shelf, we chose a slanted edge so that taller items could stay secure in the back, but items in front could be easily seen at eye level. For the shelf below, however, it made more sense to go with higher sides all around.

ShelfGenie drawers are made of 9-ply eco-friendly Baltic birch, melamine bottoms for easy maintenance, heavy duty steel rails, and pro grade hardware. They'll hold up to 100 pounds, but someone smack me if I ever hoard 100 pounds of tea.

We added a moveable divider for the lowest shelf. And yes, I see that my cookie-to-real-food ratio is questionable. It's Girl Scout cookie time, and I have my priorities.

 

Let's look at the tupperware situation. I have never, ever been able to come up with a good system for keeping this stress-free. 

DO YOU SEE HOW MARVELOUS THIS IS? People, for two months now, I have been able to locate a container and its matching lid in under 15 seconds. Again, we used a moveable shelf, this time running horizontal instead of vertical.

Excuse me while I fangirl over ShelfGenie's customer service: These glide-out shelves were personalized down to the millimeter. After the initial visit to design the space, an installer came out to take super-precise measurements, and then he came out again to do the installation. I was not looking forward to removing everything from the pantry, but the installer did that! He would have put everything back, but I wanted to choose the new locations #controlfreak

So that's the story of how I organized my pantry by finally investing in a system that works. ShelfGenie can also tackle tricky dead spaces like blind corner cabinets and cabinets housing sinks and drain pipes. Make this your spring cleaning goal! Call ShelfGenie and change your life. #dramaticbuttrue

 

This is a sponsored post, but as with all partnerships, my feedback is genuine.

 

 

Wednesday
Dec022015

Organizing your kitchen for the holidays

Is your kitchen ready to be the hub of holiday happenings? Mine...is in a questionable state of readiness. You know how it is when you move into a new place — things get placed into what you hope is a strategic area, but as the weeks wear into months, it's clear that you don't have a very good system in place.

In all fairness to me, the above organization is courtesy of my toddler sous chef.

"This goes here, this goes here, this goes wherever..."

 

STILL. Things could be greatly improved, so I am delighted to partner with ShelfGenie for the first in a two-part series of posts. ShelfGenie makes fabulous custom drawer systems for cabinets, and I am very excited for mine to arrive!

I sat down with one of their top organizers, Serena. She spent a little time talking about ShelfGenie, but more time analyzing how I use my kitchen.

In Serena's words, here's what I need to do to get my cabinets into ship-shape for the holidays:

1) Use shelving to its full potential. The depth of the shelves in the pantry make it difficult to keep track of what's stored in the back. By only using the front half of the shelves, I'm neglecting 50% of my storage capacity. Adding four Glide-Out shelves on the bottom, I could free up two shelves and create additional storage. Items from the top portion of my pantry can then be reorganzined to the bottom Glide-Out shelves.
 
2) Identify the kitchen "hot spot". The Glide-Out shelves on the bottom half of the pantry will free up crucial storage space in an often-utilized area of the kitchen. The top half of the pantry is the space I should be utilizing for items that often used items. The kitchen "hot spot" is the shelf that is filled with items used on a daily basis. The hot spot shelf should be at eye level, thus reducing the hunt for coffee beans, oil, salt, etc.
 
3) Customize storage based on your lifestyle. Because entertaining is important to me, we wanted to find a good alternate solution for items that are currently in the basement, and therefore hard to access. Having those items in the basement make it difficult to take inventory of what I have. As we talked, we realized there's a drywall pantry off to the side that currently isn't serving any real function, but would be ideal for entertaining items. Such a "why didn't I think of that earlier!" moment.

THIS is what my cabinets will look like after the system is installed. Call me hopelessly domestic if you want, but this seems like heaven:

 
More to come, but for now please check out ShelfGenie's Facebook and Twitter for more organizing tips. And remember these three steps to great organization:

1) Make an organization wish list
2) Identify what causes you the most frustration
3) Have a process — not a destination — and stick to it. And don't let your toddler reorganize.


This is a sponsored post, but as with all partnerships, my feedback is genuine.

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