Have You Seen The Muffin Pan? 5 Tips For Reorganizing Your Kitchen

kitchen cabinet storageTrue story – Carolyn spent most of this month looking for a muffin pan that she knew was somewhere in the kitchen. But where? The muffin pan odyssey led to a complete “redo” of her entire kitchen cabinets, drawers, and the troublesome lazy susan corner cabinet. This journey led to our 5 tips for reorganizing your kitchen:

  1. Take an inventory of the items in your kitchen and give away your “multiples.” Everyone love a good frying pan. How do you love 7 frying pans stacked on top of each other? Pick your favorites and find another home for the rest. We are giving the extras to a friend who just bought a second home and needs to stock a kitchen.
  1. Group all “like items” together. This advice would have saved hours of time searching for the muffin pan. All baking pans in one drawer. Period. Same advice for mixing bowls. This step, combined with the “inventory of items” led to another donation of two sets of bowls.
  1. Use containers in your drawers. I have to admit, this was not my idea. When a good friend, and, as I discovered a member of a professional organizing group visited my house I took her on a tour of kitchen. When I opened the drawer for pot holders, aprons, and kitchen towels they had already jumbled themselves together. While the grouping of “like items” together was successful the drawer was still messy. She suggested that I put the tea towels, aprons, and pot holders in their own separate plastic cubes/containers in the drawer to keep them divided. Brilliant! Thank you!
  1. Rethink your routines. Pet confession – our dog’s food, treats, medication, and pet bowls took up the entire base of our lazy susan corner cabinet. Every day we would spin the wheel to feed our furry friend. After the purging of the frying pans we had an entire drawer that was empty. To our amazement all of the dog items fit nicely into the empty drawer. Bonus space reclaimed in the lazy susan.
  1. Toss all spices that you never use. I’ll admit this isn’t easy. As soon as I toss the Old Bay Seasoning I will need it for a recipe, right? If your spices are overflowing you have to make some tough choices. If you haven’t cooked with that spice in a few years then it’s safe to say it’s not a keeper. We said goodbye to curry paste, mustard seeds, very old bay leaves, and whole peppercorns (we don’t have a grinder).

Where was the muffin pan anyway? In the midst of the entire kitchen redo we really can’t remember where it turned up. Now it has a home in the baking pan drawer. Blueberry muffins anyone?

5 Steps to an Organized Closet

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P: stayinelpaso.com

Closets have doors to hide your secret mess. You accumulate things and stuff them in every possible inch of your closet, so where do you begin to dig out? If the task seems overwhelming, follow these 5 steps to organize the closet of your dreams:

Start with a clean slate. Pull everything out of your closet and set it aside. Now you can give the space a good dusting, wipe down any shelves, and vacuum the floor – don’t forget the corners!

Maximize your space. If you have the resources, investing in a closet system like elfa with custom shelving and drawers is a great long-term fix. If that’s not in the budget, there are some inexpensive options you can implement to make the most of your storage space. Hanging shelves are great for folded items like sweaters and sweatshirts, or even organizing accessories like hats, scarves, and purses. When using hangers, choose all the same color for a sleek look and slim non-slip hangers will maximize the space.

Keep only what you wear. This is always the most difficult task, getting rid of the items you no longer like or wear. Maybe you’ve been holding on to that pair of jeans that is 2 sizes too small, because one day you will fit in them. Let them go! Weed out the unnecessary items by asking the following questions:

  • Have I worn this in the past year?
  • Does it have holes or stains?
  • Does it fit well? Ahem, jeans!
  • Does it look outdated?
  • Do I still like this?

Separate everything into 3 piles: keep, sell/donate/toss, not sure. If the items in your sell/donate pile are still on trend and in good condition, you can take them to a place like Plato’s Closet or Style Encore and make some money off of your unworn threads. Try on the items in your ‘not sure’ pile and either keep or toss. If you still can’t decide, place the items in a box and store it in the attic, basement, or garage. If you don’t feel compelled to find the box in 6 months, toss it.

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P: Pinterest

Sort your clothes by color. Now that you have weeded out the garbage, hang your keepers up by color. It will make getting dressed in the morning easier and seeing your closet so beautifully organized will encourage you to keep everything neat and tidy.

Keep it clutter free. Don’t let unwanted items pile up and crowd your closet again! Learn from Oprah – After you wear something, hang it in the closet in the opposite direction from everything else. After six months, anything that hasn’t been hung in the opposite direction gets donated.

5 Storage Tips to Hide Your Clutter

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – the holidays are here! The family is coming to town, which means it’s time to tidy up around the house. But seriously, where are you supposed to put all of the random piles of things you don’t have a home for? Don’t worry, we’re here to help out your clutter woes, read on for 5 storage ideas to help you declutter … or at least hide the clutter.

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P: West Elm

Bed Storage – There are plenty of bed frame options out there that incorporate drawers into the base, creating ideal storage for clothing. There are also lift-up mattresses that offer a larger storage area for items you don’t use every day. Another simple solution? Bed risers. They will lift your bed 3-6 inches off the ground so that you can slide storage containers underneath.

Use the Inside of Doors – Your closet and cabinet doors can do double duty, hiding clutter behind closed doors, and adding storage to the doors themselves. You can purchase storage systems that mount to the back of your closet door and create vertical storage with different sized baskets. Or use an over-the-door shoe organizer on the back of your hall closet to store cleaning supplies, light bulbs, etc.

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P: Classy Clutter

Pull-Out Pantry – Do you have a tiny space between your refrigerator and wall? Turn that unused sliver of space into pull-out storage for canned food and spices. You just need a few basic tools, wood boards, dowels, and casters. Check out this DIY tutorial from Classy Clutter.

Between the Studs Storage – Your home is hiding potential storage space behind the drywall and between the studs! Remove a rectangular piece of drywall to reveal the hollow space between the studs and add a shelving niche. This new shallow shelving will provide space to display decorative items or books, liquor or barware in the rec room, or toiletries in the bathroom.

Stair Storage – This project will require custom construction, but building pull-out drawers into your stairs will create hidden and efficient storage. This is a creative fix for tiny spaces where you need to make every inch count.