General Tips and Advice

Kitchen Organization Tips

Organizing our kitchen is an ongoing project. One day everything is back where it belongs, the next it looks like a tornado ran past. I’ve slowly come up with a few useful techniques that help keep everything in one place and in order.

  • Make the most out of the spaces you have. Being that a lot of storage in the kitchen is tucked away in cabinets, it is easier than not to “shove” stuff away. What I’ve found, is making a designated “home” for things makes it far more likely to maintain organization. One example is using the inside of a cabinet to hang our measuring spoons and cups – by simply making hooks and labeling where each belongs. I also hung a tension rod underneath the kitchen sink – and all cleaning supplies are hooked on top to keep them off the ground. I have also attached metal paper holders to the inside of a few lower cabinets – store cutting boards in one and aluminum foil/cling wrap in another.
  • Labeling! While it may sound unnecessary, labeling containers in your pantry helps everything stay organized and in order – and helps when making the grocery list too. In my pantry we use the containers with pop lids and I just use simple tape and write the contents on the outside.
  • Create more shelving inside of your cabinets. Pots and pans are a huge offender in my house – we simply added a couple of more shelves, and suddenly everything had a place. The large pots had to fit on the bottom, the smaller sauce pans on the middle shelf, and the frying pans up top – because that was the only place they fit. Spices tend to take up a lot of space as well, so dividing a standard cabinet into smaller shelves allows you more space to stack them and makes them a lot easier to access!
  • Fruits/Veggies Storage. Fresh fruits/veggies that do not go in the refrigerator used to take up space and look like clutter on my counters. We purchased a metal wall hanger (designed for mail) and hung it on a wall that was out of the way. We now have one spot for fruits, one for veggies, and the third we use for extra storage.
  • Hooks. Purchase inexpensive stick on hooks for the back of appliances. When not in use, the hooks can serve as a place to hang the cords. There is nothing messier on a counter than cords hanging down all over the place!

Hopefully these tips will give you some order and organization in your kitchen as well!

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DIY General Inspiration Tips and Advice

Mudroom Design Tips

A lot of New England and Cape Cod style houses have an entry space which is commonly referred to as the “Mud Room.” The problem with most of these spaces is that they go from neat to disaster very quickly. Being the first room, you come into from outside, it is usually where shoes get thrown, the jackets tossed, and the book bags left behind until morning. While no solution will force your family to be neater, if you set up the room to make it as easy as possible, you might be surprised with what they are capable of!

The best tip we can come up with is to make it as “user friendly” as possible. For example, a specific place for shoes, a specific place for clothes, etc. With any of these elements, make features as decorative or simple as you want the space to be.

A necessity, especially in places where seasons change, is somewhere to fit jackets. If you don’t have a closet space for that area, a hanging coat rack can work great. A tip that is helpful, is to label each person’s name above two/three hooks. That will designate that each person is responsible for hanging in that space. Install a shelf, either above or below the coat rack, that will be home for a basket assigned to the same person. This will be specifically for hats/gloves/scarves. On the floor below, use separate mats that will be wear any shoes will live. It’s good to keep this all in one area, so when the kids come in from outside you will keep all the wet/dirty/snowy clothes in one place.

In a separate area create a space for everyone’s “things.” Whether it is your work bag, your husbands golf clubs, or your kids backpacks, designate an area where these things will belong. Consider your family, and decide whether hooks, hangers, or baskets would be the most useful.

A great feature I like to include in this space is a calendar. A whiteboard/chalkboard are great options, so you can update every week with any activities or events that everyone needs to remember. This can be your central space to fill in the family about what’s going on. I’ve seen some houses use this area as a space to write down any supplies/groceries that are needed or even what is for dinner on what night.

Hopefully, if you take these steps to neaten up the space, everyone will notice and try to pitch in. Good luck!!

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