Need more cupboard space?

A great solution for lack of storage is a pantry. In the past, a pantry was generally a separate room in the kitchen that was used to store food items-a storage area complete with shelving and a door. It is possible to purchase your own pantry and personalize it to suit your needs. There is a wide variety to choose from. Not to mention the array of colours and sizes; it is easy to find one that will fit perfectly into your space.

I am a firm believer in creative thinking and using items for different purposes. I just purchased a pantry for my kitchen and as I was putting it together, I began to think of the various uses for the one I purchased. It is a wood tone that would also be a great choice for a home office.
The benefit of a pantry is that it keeps items “out of sight” and therefore helps remove visual clutter from the room. Another great benefit is that the shelves are adjustable so you can control the height to store items by size.
Here are some ideas for “pantry” storage:

Kitchen

• Entertaining items such as serving trays, serviettes, paper plates & cutlery.
• Paper towels
• Recycle bin
• Bottles & cans
You can also store like items together in baskets. If you keep them together, you will see at a glance that you have enough and avoid duplicates and triplicate.

Home Office

• Paper
• Files
• Office Supplies
• Tax returns
• Manuals , notebooks & books
• Warranties
• Spare computer hardware, printer or parts

Laundry Room

• Detergent, fabric softener, bleach & spot remover
• Cleaning rags

Other uses

• Gift wrapping tools
• Sewing items
• Craft storage
• Christmas decorations
• Game storage
• Spare bedding & pillows
A final tip-Always store heavier items on the bottom shelf.

Lurlene Anderson
Professional Organizer, Writer, Speaker
http://www.organizeyourworld.ca
http://www.LurleneAnderson.com

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Organize & Clean in Minutes!

Years ago a group of friends rented a lovely cottage in a popular area. It was a great location, lots of space and great bedrooms for a large group of adults with children in tow. This particular group was very unique; we shared the “everything in its place” gene. We were quite upset that the rental was not up to our “white glove” status. We all keep our homes clean & clear, so at the beginning of our vacation we spent more time inside than outside. Why? We spent a lot of time putting things in order to our liking. You have to keep in mind, if you like having things in order; it is not a chore-it’s actually enjoyable. As our time there progressed, every time I walked into the cottage, it “sparkled” or “shined” a little more each time I walked through the door. The little things you do really make a difference.

What was the difference? We were all in synch; we all naturally and without a second thought, put things away as we used them and cleaned up after ourselves and our children. This sounds too simple but it really works!

Try these tips to make your rooms “shine”.

Remove any clutter from the room that has no purpose in the room

Dust all surfaces

Kitchen:

  • Wipe down counter, fridge, stove and cupboard doors
  •  Clear the sink. Wash or put dishes in the dishwasher
  • Change the dish towel and dish cloth every third day or right after having guests

Quick Tip:

Always keep the dishwasher locked after washing before putting dishes away. This helps avoid mixing clean with dirty. If the door is locked, everyone knows it’s time to put the dishes away, if it’s open, put dirty dishes directly into the dishwasher.

Bathroom:

  • Clean all surfaces
  • Change towels
  •  Check to ensure you have extra toilet paper rolls

Vacuum, sweep and mop floors.

 Remember to:

  • Put things away immediately
  • Wipe down counters after putting dishes away
  • If it doesn’t belong in the room, it shouldn’t be there!

Enjoy the shine!

Lurlene Anderson

Professional Organizer, Writer, Speaker

www.OrganizeYourWorld.Ca

www.LurleneAnderson.com

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Spring Painting

I paint on a regular basis, during the Spring or Fall season. With all the rain recently I decided to paint so I can enjoy the Sunshine when it comes. I KNOW it is coming!
I enjoy painting, it relaxes me and gardening does the same. It is best to know what you are doing before you paint-you want a professional look. Here are some tips to help you organize your painting session.

Do’s:

Before you decide on a colour, bring the chip sample home to test in your home with your regular lighting.

Start with dry clean walls, free of dirt, dust and mould. (If you have a few spots of mould, clean it completely with bleach and allow it to dry completely).

Purchase good quality paint and brushes. You will need a good brush designed for corners. I buy a straight line roller design for the area between the ceiling and the wall. I find them easier to use.

If you need to prime the walls, prime them, this is a step you definitely cannot skip.

Keep damp rags ready to use for minor spills or mistakes. You can wipe it clean if you use a damp rag right away.

Don’t:

Paint electrical and light switch plates

Forget to cover the floors and furniture before painting.

Try to save money and buy cheap paint. It will be more difficult to use and you will not be happy with the final result.

Lurlene Anderson
Professional Organizer, Writer, Speaker
http://www.LurleneAnderson.Com

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Spring Cleaning Tips

It’s springtime, or is it? With the temperatures fluctuating day to day, it’s hard to believe it is actually Spring. This is the time of year to roll up your sleeves and “Spring Clean”, or as I prefer to say “Spring Clear”. Everyone could use a few time saving tips to speed up the process, preferring to “get it done” during the rainy season to be able to enjoy the sunny weather.

Create your own to-do list with the following tips. If you choose to hire someone, be prepared with the list of things to do.

1. Main Closet
 Be prepared with bins to separate recycling, re purpose and donated items
 Move winter outerwear to an alternate closet, if available. If not, move winter items to the back.
 Donate items that are too small
 Do not keep damaged or mismatched items
 If necessary, install a shoe shelf. You will more than double the space for shoes

2. Refrigerator

 Wipe down shelves and walls with a solution of water & vinegar. For stains, try water & baking soda. Be sure to clean between the door
 Check expiry dates on all containers. Remove all expired and old food

3. Flooring

 Steam clean the carpets
 Clean baseboards

4. Walls

 Wipe down walls, start with a sponge and rinse with a cloth

5. Windows

 Clean the inside (hey, it’s rainy season) with water, vinegar, and squeegee. Dry with a cloth
 Wash curtains or clean blinds

When you’re done, you can sit back, relax and enjoy the view!

Lurlene Anderson
Professional Organizer, Speaker, Writer
http://www.OrganizeYourWorld.Ca
http://www.LurleneAnderson.com

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What is your New Year’s Resolution?

Is today the day that you are making a list of your resolutions for the New Year?

Are you thinking about a change? Has anyone asked you about your resolution today?

Every year, getting organized or spending more time with family and loved ones are one of the top ten.

Getting organized is actually a “habit” that you can develop with conscious effort and commitment. It takes 28 days to develop a habit, so why not commit to one change in your daily routine to create a new you for the month of January!

Start slow, here’s a list of small, baby steps to get you started:

• Make your bed each morning. (Even if you pull up the covers to your pillow, your bed will look better than an unmade bed)

• Put your keys in one location every time you walk in your door

• Clear your kitchen table each night

• Put your dishes directly in the dishwasher instead of the sink or wash your dishes right after dinner

• Designate one location for all your mail and put it in the same spot each day

• Recycle junk mail as soon as you receive it-put it in the recycling bin right away

As you become more organized in your daily routine, you will find you have created more time to spend with family and loved ones. “Being organized can save you time”. According to the Fast Company magazine, Executives waste 6 weeks per year searching for misplaced documents!

This is my New Year’s gift to everyone-work on one resolution and you actually succeed in making two of your resolution wishes come true!

Lurlene Anderson

Professional Organizer
http://www.OrganizeYourWorld.Ca

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Entertaining Overnight Guests

Tis the season to be jolly! If you are hosting a Christmas celebration at your home, it is a good idea to be prepared for overnight guests. Sometimes you plan to have guests, other times it may be last minute due to weather conditions or excessive drinking. Whatever the reason-be prepared!

If you have a guest room, you are one step ahead of the game. If you don’t have a guest room, any spare couch will do. Inflatable mattresses are an easy economical choice for a quick spare bed.

The following items will help you be better prepared and create a comfortable environment for your guests:

• Books or magazines
• Bathroom amenities
• Spare towels
• Over the door hook for wet towels or clothing
• Extra pill or blanket
• Alarm clock
• Night light (very important for guests who may have to find the bathroom in the middle of the night)
• Water or other refreshments in room or on kitchen counter for easy access

It is also a good idea to be clear about boundaries and personal preferences. Not everyone wakes up at the same time-ensure breakfast or snack items are easy to find in the kitchen.

Enjoy your party!

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Yesterday I cleaned my windows. I guess you could say I “cleared” my windows…

It always feels great after you clean your windows, the sun shines through a lot brighter and the air always smells and feels cleaner as the breeze blows through the windows.  I had to remind myself of the benefits before I tackled clearing my windows yesterday.

Before I started, I assembled all my old towels and cleaning rags (damaged clothes that I cut into rags) and mismatched socks.  I put old towels on the floor and placed the windows on them as I took the panes out of the windows.  I always use many cleaning rags for cleaning the window because I like to clean the windows twice, once to remove the dirt and a second cleaning for the shine.  Single socks are great for cleaning the hard to reach tracks of the window.  Any difficult corners are cleaned with cotton swabs. I had my tunes on loud enough to hear as I moved from room to room.  Some people sing in the shower, I sing when I work! 

When I finished, I needed a hot bath, more good tunes but the choice this time is ballads, and the singing continues.

Today, the sun is not shining as brightly outside, but I am still enjoying the view and the air is perfect-almost as fresh as sitting outside.  I am happy I motivated myself and enjoying my day off. 

Next week I will get motivated for the next step in spring clearing.  I know the benefits will be worth it!

Lurlene Anderson

Professional Organizer, Writer, Speaker

www.OrganizeYourWorld.Ca

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