Tag Archives: organization

New Year, New Fridge, New Pantry, Tips on Organizing-Part Two

New Year, New Fridge, New Pantry, Tips on Organizing-Part Two. You can view Part One here.

Moving onto the pantry…We are going to apply several of the same principles and strategies when it comes to organizing a pantry. 

If you don’t have a built-in pantry or a pantry-type closet in your kitchen, that is ok. You can easily re-purpose a piece of furniture like a glass cabinet, hutch, or bakers rack and turn it into a pantry. 

Step 1: Clean out your pantry just like your refrigerator. Take EVERYTHING out and wipe down the shelves and drawers. After your pantry has been cleaned out, wiped out, and expired items tossed, it’s time to create a system BEFORE putting everything back in. 

Step 2: Begin to group things into categories- baking items, breakfast items, snacks, candy, etc. Be careful not to over categorize- really focus on the basics. Once you have your categories, you can begin to find a place for each category of items. Think about what you use daily and be sure those items are more accessible. 

Step 3: Now is when you will figure out what baskets, bins, and containers you will use as you reassemble your pantry. 

Use baskets, bins, and containers to your advantage. Baskets are great to put chips, boxed snacks, bars, etc. You can even put jars/cans in a basket if your pantry is more visible and you want it to be more visually appealing and tidy. Baskets are a great tool to help maintain cleanliness and organization in your pantry. I also highly recommend the OXO pop top containers. They keep food fresh and are easy to wash. These containers can be used for virtually anything in your pantry (or even elsewhere in your home). 

Use glass jars for pantry staples. Transfer common ingredients (especially baking ingredients) such as flour, sugars, spices, pasta, rice, granola, nuts, etc. into large glass jars with lids. Mason jars work great and are an affordable option. One idea is to take the jars to your local grocery store that sells bulk items (i.e. grains, beans, nuts) and replenish your staple items from the bulk bins. This will be a more cost-effective option versus purchasing these items pre-packaged.

Add shelving. If you have a pantry with a door, you can add an over the door shelving unit to add even more storage space to your pantry. These are particularly great for spices, cans, and other small items. 

Everyone’s pantry and refrigerator situations are a little different, but I hope these tips inspire you to clean out, organize, and set yourself up for success this new year and beyond. Our home environments have such an impact on our health and our ability to maintain our goals. Systems, routines, and organization play such a crucial role in us being able to maintain our health and keep moving forward with our goals so that it truly becomes a sustainable lifestyle. Happy organizing!

Meghan Meredith
HomeBodySoul, Founder
Certified Health & Wellness Coach
Certified Personal Trainer

New Year, New Fridge, New Pantry, Tips on Organizing-Part One

New Year, New Fridge, New Pantry, Tips On Organizing…

Another top New Year’s resolution is to de-clutter and get organized. I have to admit, I LOVE when all of the cute containers, planners, and organizing gadgets make their debut in early January. 

Clutter unfortunately doesn’t just stay in our closets or behind closed doors/drawers. It can invade our refrigerators, freezers, and pantries as well – a place we and our family members access several times a day. 

Why does it matter that we have an organized and clean refrigerator and pantry? And what does any of that have to do with our health and wellness? Well, it has A LOT to do with it! Have you ever been so overwhelmed by your refrigerator that you just grab whatever is easiest to eat- regardless of how it impacts your health goals? Perhaps you have a hard time cooking a healthy dinner at home because the kitchen is just too chaotic and un-organized and you don’t even know what food is there. 

This is why it matters that we maintain a clean and organized refrigerator and pantry situation. The more aware we are about what we have in our kitchens, the easier it will be to stick to our healthy eating goals. 

Maintaining a clean and organized refrigerator and pantry will not only make going to the refrigerator less stressful but it will also save time and energy when putting a meal together, especially at the end of a busy day. Stress-free meal preparation will not only save our sanity but also save your health goals. And of course, there is the money factor. In addition to saving time and mental energy, keeping an organized fridge and pantry will also result in money saved. Less food will be wasted because you won’t forget what you have and you won’t overlook ingredients and re-buy, hence helping you save money!

Here are 4 Steps to get you started on creating an organized refrigerator for 2021

Step 1: Remove everything from the refrigerator and freezer and wipe down all shelves and drawers using a mild soap and hot water. This will give you a fresh start and also help you take inventory of what you have in there (and what items need to be tossed because they are expired). 

Step 2: Toss any expired foods. 

Step 3: Adjust your shelves. Most new refrigerators/freezers have adjustable shelving and drawers- take advantage of that! Since most of us buy the same items time and time again, find a place to store said items in your fridge and adjust your shelving accordingly. This will help you stay organized and optimize the space you have. 

Step 4 (Optional): If you are really wanting to maintain a clean, organized fridge space, you can line your shelves and drawers after you clean everything and before you re-organize. Be sure to use a heavy-duty, water resistant shelf liner. Using a liner can help make clean-ups from spills easier and cleaning out your crisper drawers from fruit/veggie debris a lot easier too. 

Here are 10 quick tips on how to creatively organize your refrigerator so that it can stay that way and decrease your stress, help you stay on track with your eating goals, and put more money in your pocket. It’s a triple win! 

  • Store the same things in the same place every time you grocery shop. This way you will always know where to go to find the ingredient you are looking for and you will know when you need to buy more/replace the item. 
  • Group like items together- condiments, meat, vegetables, cheese, etc. 
  • Stack to save space, especially if you are storing bottles or cans. Try a bottle/can dispenser so you can get the most space out of stacking your cold beverages.
  • Keep your most often used items front and center and easy to grab. You can also keep healthy snacks (pre washed and pre-cut veggies, fruit, etc.) front and center so you are more likely to grab those when opening the fridge for a snack. 
  • Use your fridge doors for condiments, butter, cheese, juices, etc.
  • Use clear containers to keep like items together. You can even purchase ones with handles to make it easy to pull out and take to a prep area. Maybe you have a sandwich making bin with all of the ingredients to make sandwiches for lunches. You can also use labels to label your clear containers. Be sure to use clear containers so you can easily see what is inside. 
  • Stick kid snacks at eye level where they can easily reach without making a mess. Perhaps you even use a special bin for the kids snacks to keep them separate and organized in the fridge. 
  • Use drawers to separate items, especially produce. 
  • Always rotate items when you grocery shop…bring the older item to the front and the fresh items behind it so you can use the older items before the expiration date. 

 

See you next week for Part 2 when I give tips on organizing your pantry!

Meghan Meredith
HomeBodySoul, Founder
Certified Health & Wellness Coach,
Certified Personal Trainer

 

 

Best Aps For Staying Organized

Most of us have been working from home over these last weeks, trying to stay organized and by now notice that it probably hasn’t gone as expected. We most likely already made changes in our routines and the way we work.

One of the areas that cause made much anxiety when I first started working from home was what I will refer to as my filing system. An old manager of mine from years ago would say “there’s nothing wrong with my filing system, it’s my retrieval system that doesn’t work”.  That is a concept  that has stuck with me over time, because in reality there are not two systems, only one.

A filing system that will work does have to be thought out before hand. We have come a long way, because when I worked for that manager everything was on paper, and file folders, and filing cabinets. There was no such thing as a cell phone and computers were not something that every person had.

Now that most things are stored digitally, we have been presented with new challenges. Back then there was one filing cabinet where everything was kept, but today we have files and documents stored on our computers, iPads, mobile phones, and backup drives.  Trying to keep all of them in  synch can be daunting.

There are two apps that have simplified my life dramatically. The first is Dropbox and the second is Evernote.  Both apps will store any type of document or photo you can throw at them  and have strong search engines to be able to find documents by typing a word or phrase contained in a document.

The key is to create folders to store everything related to one another. For instance, in Dropbox I have a folder specifically for real estate forms, another for real estate clients, another one for personal items and another for company related information, to name a few. I will leave you to create your own filing system.  

I’m using Evernote  in a slightly different way. It’s searching capability is far stronger than drop boxes. I primarily use it for storing photos and hand written notes from my iPad.  The search engine is so powerful that it will find words in photos. For instance if I take a picture of a business card I can search for the person’s name or the company name and Evernote will find it within the picture.  I can also ask to find a word that I had written in a document on my iPad and it’ll find it. It seems almost magical that it can do that.

Both apps are free to use with basic functionality, which is enough for me, but have paid upgrades for more storage and additional capabilities.

 

~Steve

Go Through Your Excess

Excess clothes, excess shopping bags, excess safety pins, excess kitchen magnets.  I could go on and on with this list.   When you really stop and think about all the drawers and cubbies and closets that you may have an adundance of things taking up space.  Unnecessary, unneeded, unwanted things… it just might be time to go through and purge, merge and unsplurge.  Lol.

If you knew now how you would feel after all the undoing of years of doing…. You would have started already.  It’s hard to explain the freedom you get when you get rid of the extra things you don’t need, don’t use and don’t even like very much. It’s liberating, really.

It’s like explaining to your friend what it was like to have a baby… you don’t give it any justice.  Well this is what I’m saying about going through your excess.  It’s beyond words.

And you know the best part….after you get rid of the unwanted excess there is now space to bring in things that warm your heart.  Things that make you feel good when you look at them.  New photos, wood signs with your favorite verse, poem, scripture or quote.  There’s room for new makeup when you get rid of the piles of old.  There’s room for collecting wine corks to make a trivet if you get rid of the collection of plastic grocery bags.  Have you been wanting to make a jigsaw puzzle but there was never any room on the kitchen table?  Have you been wanting to buy some cool knee socks but your sock drawer is full to the brim?

Whatever it is that might make you smile…..bring it into your life.  But FIRST, go through the spaces that make you roll your eyes at yourself.  And during the whole process, laugh at it all and have fun.

~Tracy

Everything In Its Place

When my son, who is now 22, was a little boy, I was allllll about “THERE’S A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE.” That was more for me than it was for him or for anyone else, really. You see, I didn’t want it to take 20 minutes for us get out the door every time we had somewhere to go.

When we were going to “Mommy & Me”, I wanted to know where my purse and his jacket and his firetruck were. At my fingertips, there had to be his bestest friend “Freddie” and his car snack bag & his play bag. “What about the bag of hand me downs for the other boys?” Oh AND MY COFFEE. Etc etc etc. Until WHOOSH, we were out the door in no time flat. That’s why I put things in their place.

If everything is where it belongs…. it takes no time to get everything together and go.

Life just works better when you’re organized…. and on purpose with your life. You show up on time AND you’re in a happier mood because you weren’t running around the house like a banshee looking for everything, everywhere. You didn’t have to open and close the closet door 5 times, you didn’t have to look under the bed…again. It’s all right there . The kids and all you need….are out the door with you.

The most important part in this is to let the kids put their things where they go…not you. And when they ask “HEY MOM….where’s my xyz?” You can tell them “It’s where you left it.” They will learn on their own along with your teachings and guidance how important it is to keep things tidy…..Especially when mom says “The bus is leaving in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1” And you walk out the door.

Your God Girl,

Tracy

No More Tears

No More Tears

Tears….Lots and Lots of them…The other day I was talking to a client who was crying about her situation. I knew this was a desperate situation and I reassured her there would be no more crying when I was done.  She went on to tell me how ‘stuff was everywhere’.’ she has a hard time finding anything’, ‘it has never been this bad’ and ‘it’s going to take more than 4 hours of organizing!’.

We talked about the specifics of her home, what her immediate goals are, what she sees changing as a result of my coming and is she ready to purge.

She is very clear and very ready to have me come clean up the clutter purge the unnecessary and open up a harmonious space in her home for her to paint again.

Our conversation helped her see how her anxious thoughts, her heavy shoulders and her feeling of being burdened were a result of the clutter that was surrounding her.  It was an AHA moment for her.

No more tears here…just a smile and an eager client.

Tracy

Overwhelmed…Where Will It All Go?

I was working with a client recently and she was overwhelmed with the thought “where will it all go?” How would everything she wanted to keep fit in the small spaces she had available.  Well…she did not look up, she did not look wide, she did not look in.

Look up…. there is space above your head, knooks and crannies on shelves and on top of armoires that could be a great place for ‘things’ as well as room décor.

Look wide…look beyond the space right in front of you, look at your side tables, bed tables, wall units and fill them with the extra stuff you LOVE.

Look in…that’s about you my dear friend.  Look in at the attachment you have to some of your things and really really really take yourself on.  Give it away if you can.  Throw it away if you’d like  And keep it if you must.

Think about organizing like things with like things.  Put them into baskets, buckets, boxes, bins. Label them as you pack them away. Put them in cabinets, closets, & on high shelves.

And if it really comes down to the answer of “where will it go?” is “there is no room”. Then it’s time to decide between what you want and what you need to keep.

Peace & Blessings,

Tracy

Organize Your Thoughts

Organize Your Thoughts

Make a list, Make a list, make a list. Did I say make a list? Yes.
Write down what you want to have happen, where is the chaos, what
needs decluttering, what space is overwhelming? Just start and keep
writing. Some.of the things on your list could be to ‘own a new car’,
‘clean out the junk drawer’, ‘buy a new perfume’. When you’re
organizing your thoughts, you just keep going…just write…it doesn’t
have to make sense…..buy a new bra ,clean out my garage,
organize the pantry, PB&J for lunch, sew the clothes that need
mending, give away the baby’s clothes. Your list could consist of
many different things. Things you want to see happen, change, fix,
have or purge…etc.

Then organize the list. Pick out what’s REALLY doable over the next
3-6 months. Then write the month next to each line item. Can you buy a
new car within the next 3-6 months? If not, take it off the list.
Keep going through the list identifying the month you can accomplish it.
Can you organize the pantry, get some sewing done, clean out the junk drawer?

Now take what you put into this month and decide what do you
want done this week? Schedule out your days. You have to start
somewhere and you have to start with a doable action. OK let’s pick the
pantry because every time you open it you’re reminded of how messy
it is and you can’t stand looking at it. So today organize the top shelf,
then tomorrow do the next shelf and the day after that, attack the
next shelf, until you’re done. Throw out expired food, stale chips,
crumpled crackers. Say goodbye to the things you don’t eat that are
taking up space. If you want to take on the WHOLE project, then empty
the whole thing and designate what foods are going where and put
them back in an orderly fashion, purging as you go. AND if for some
reason you don’t accomplish ‘it’ then put ‘it’ onto another day. Maybe
your GF called and she really needed you. Don’t beat yourself up.
Tomorrow you can do it. Whatever you do….. it starts with organizing your thoughts…
and then, organizing the space around you is easier to handle.
Good luck!

Peace & Blessings,

Tracy

Organize and Make Room for New

It’s time to organize and make room for something new.

Purging, tossing, sharing, recycling, releasing, donating…all of that…it’s so important to do…. not only for your sanity, sore back, stress-filled energy & heavy-laden shoulders….BUT also so new things can come to you. If your space is full of piles, clutter, chaos, old memories, excess, chachkies, memorabilia, stuff, stuff & more STUFF….there is no room…I’m talking NO ROOM for new opportunities, new ideas, new movement, new concepts.

Why?

Because you’re already full. Full Up. Full Up with everything and anything that may mean something or nothing at all.

So if you haven’t made the time to get it handled.  Now sounds like a good time to start,right?  Move it on, pass it down, throw it out, give it away.  Stuffed drawers, overflowing files, busting-at-the-seams closets, duplicates, triplicates, an abundance of things you don’t use.  Make a list of the different spaces you’d like to clean up.  Make a list of how you’ll feel if things were different.  Then start with one thing.  Just one.  Get it done and cross it off the list.  Smile at your success and see the new is coming your way.

Peace & Blessings,

Tracy