Posts

Creative Products to Help Organize your Food Storage

Buying groceries in bulk is a wonderful thing. Not only does bulk-shopping save money, but having commonly used food items stashed away is very convenient if you have a busy week and can’t get to the grocery store. If you have an irregular income, filling the pantry during the profitable months can help with the budget in the lean times.

However, one common problem with packing your pantry full of non-perishables is the storage issue. In the days of manor homes, houses had room-sized pantries where an entire year’s food could be stored. Nowadays though, most homeowners count themselves fortunate if they have a large closet or cabinet where they can stash food. Additionally, wise household managers must figure out how to rotate food to avoid having a pantry full of out-of-date items.

You don’t have to buy hundreds of dollars of organizers from commercial companies, nor do you have to have a professional install a totally new shelving unit in your pantry. Anyone can organize a pantry with inexpensive bins, totes and organizers available at discount stores. Items like dishpans, baskets and large canning jars can keep your pantry in order just as well as expensive organizational products.

Pasta, Baking Products, Rice and Dried Beans

Large quart and half-gallon mason jars are perfect for storing flour, sugar, pasta, dried rice and beans. They are airtight and insect proof, and they will look very nice on the shelves of your pantry. These jars can be ordered online and are also available in many hardware stores. Be sure that you label your jars to avoid mixing up your flour and cornstarch and to remind you of expiration dates. If you can’t find or afford glass jars, airtight plastic canisters work great too.

Canned Goods

A can organizer is a valuable tool to help you organize your canned goods. These racks allow you to fill your shelves in the pantry with new cans, but they also roll the oldest cans to the front of the shelf so that you can use them first. Buy several can organizers, and store a different variety of canned good on each one.

Snacks and Chips

Buy several large dishpans in which you can store bagged items like potato chips and individual-sized snacks. This will help you avoid the common problem of half-eaten bags of snacks being pushed to the very back of the pantry and being forgotten. Dishpans can also be used to corral smaller items like taco seasoning and spices.

Massive Quantities of Items

Say there was a sale on cereal, so you stocked up. Of course, there is no reason to have a dozen boxes of cereal on display in the pantry, especially if that means that the kids will open four or five boxes at one time and let them go stale. To store the extra items, you may want to buy a few large snap-top totes. You can store these in the bottom of the pantry under the lowest shelf and restock your shelves with these stored foodstuffs as you use shelved items.

Having an organized, efficient pantry is not an impossible or expensive undertaking. Use commonly found containers to organize your pantry on the cheap.

About the Author

Jezebel Lake is a blogger who enjoys writing about survival and emergency preparedness. She is currently promoting emergency food supply and food for survival.

Organizing Tips for Busy Moms

If you’re like most moms, it feels like you always have a million things on your plate. You have a job to do, kids to raise, errands to run, and tasks to accomplish. While you’re certainly capable of doing it all, it helps to have devices and techniques that make your juggling job slightly less chaotic. Here are some ideas:

Embrace Technology

These days, using technology is a great and no-brainer way to help organize your life. With a smartphone, your organizational abilities are almost unlimited. You can easily communicate with family and colleagues, you can have all your appointments at your fingertips, and you have an almost limitless capability to improvise, check the traffic, and looks things up while on the go. You can use your htc android camera phone as a virtual personal assistant. The kids are right at your fingertips and you can enter every little task into the calendar.

Try Block Scheduling

A block schedule is one where you group together general categories of tasks. For example, Friday may be your day to run errands. Perhaps Tuesday is when you clean the house. Instead of constantly cleaning or constantly running errands, try to make certain tasks happen all at once. For some people, scheduling tasks by category this way is unfeasible; others find it a better way to organize and lower stress. If you think you may fall in the latter group, give it a try. Start by putting all the little tasks you have into categories. Then, decide if you have the ability to allocate to each category a set time. Try to be flexible at first and more regimented later. Even if you don’t have Tuesdays free for cleaning, perhaps you can schedule an hour for the task during a set time every day.

Don’t Get Overwhelmed

Instead of putting all tasks into block categories – such as errands, work, family, home – some moms are better served to create just two: time when I need to do work and time when I can relax, either alone or with my family. While this approach may not untangle all the tasks that need to be done, it does help make everything less overwhelming. On some days, make the mornings a time to do work and the afternoons a time to relax. Get the kids off to school and then have some personal time. Work your schedule so that you’re not busy shopping or cleaning when you’d like to be spending time with your spouse. However you go about doing it, it’s always good to keep your free time in mind.

Ultimately, it’s best to keep in mind that being organized means having a plan, and a plan requires having a framework through which that plan can be made. Whether your framework is grounded in technology, scheduling, or work breaks does not matter, so long as it works for you.

*Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

Is it time to head back-to-school already? Kati Chevaux, organizational expert and editor at Cozi.com, the No.1 online and mobile family calendar, recommends the following 3 tips to make this fall’s back-to-school transition smooth for everyone involved.

3 Ways to Get Organized for the New School Year

1. Set the daily “times.” You can be firm or flexible, but be sure to let the kids know your expectation forthe daily schedule. Include bedtime, wake-up time and the time you’ll leave the house for school. Schedule blocks of time for homework, music practice, and other daily commitments and extra-curriculars.

2. Hold a family meeting. Scheduling a weekly meeting with the family might seem unnecessary, but it’s actually one of the best ways to communicate expectations, go over the schedule and resolve conflicts that come up during the week.

3. Share the three keys to keeping stuff organized. Teach your kids the following principles: Everything needs a place to call home; If something comes in, then something goes out; Leave things ready for the next time you need them.

About Cozi

Cozi is a free Web and mobile service that simplifies busy family life. With Cozi, families have the tools to manage schedules and activities with an online calendar, track grocery lists, shopping lists and to do lists, organize household chores, and share family moments with relatives and friends—all with one solution. Families can access Cozi from any computer at home or at work, and can get their grocery list, shopping list, to do list, schedule and messages on any mobile phone. Located in Seattle, Wash., Cozi was founded by veterans of Microsoft, Expedia and Amazon with a vision for creating technology tuned to the family. Cozi has over 3 million registered family members, and is available for free at www.cozi.com.

* Image: Arvind Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

Vintage style meets organizational wizard in this classy purse organizer from Plaid Doctrine! This modern twist using a tried-and-true fabric choice – plaid – helps multi-tasking moms keep their keys, wallet, phone, and various small essentials together when switching from diaper bag to evening bag.

Busy women can go from work to Mom & Me class to the gym with ease using the locally-sewn, eco-chic purse organizer made from high performance recycled plastics made from plastic bottles. The organizer stands up on its’ own when placing items in or taking them out, and is available in red or blue plaid. Plus, it is both stain- and water-resistant!

To view the entire collection in the Plaid Doctrine line, visit www.plaiddoctrine.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*

OMG. Eco-conscious tweens and teens will love storing all of their personal items in this water resistant IM Text Shower Tote from KangaRoom Storage! Carting items to and from the shower, whether in the locker room or at home, becomes a breeze – the IM Text Shower Tote features eight small outside pockets and one large center pocket to hold all the necessities. The center pocket is big enough to hold a hair dryer, curling iron, or flat iron, if desired.

Made of 100% recycled materials, this durable tote also features grommets on the bottom for drainage while showering. Moms’ of little QT’s can also stash bath toys, soaps, shampoos, and other items in the shower tote to keep everything neat and tidy between baths. The IM Text Shower Tote costs an affordable $7.99, and can be found online.

For other products in the KangaRoom IM Text line of recycled organizational items, check out their website at www.kangaroomstorage.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*

It’s that time of the year again, you finally get settled into a workable summertime routine with the kids and everything changes again. It’s back to school time and that means back to morning chaos, homework disorganization, and dealing with massive amounts of information between school and home.

It’s normal for kids to generate chaos and disorganization (it comes with the territory), but being organized is a learned skill that is developed over time. With guidance and practice, kids can develop an effective approach to becoming organized. Amy Morris, single Mom of two teenagers and founder of GotFamilyGetOrganized.com, offers these unique tips to help your kids start the school year with a check plus.

5 Ways To Keep Kids Organized

By Amy Morris

Hub Of The House – Create a central location to hang a bulletin board that will hold important school and family information. Teach kids to update the calendar upon receiving new information and get in the habit of checking it the night before for the following day’s activities so that they can prepare in advance.

GotFamilyGetOrganized.com – An organized parent sets a good example. This website stores in a unique, simplified, and easy to use format, important family information: school schedules and extracurricular activities, social and sport information, and medical, just to name a few, and it is all available in a central location that can be accessed anytime and anywhere – from any computer, iPad, or smart phone.

Organize Backpacks – A backpack is your child’s personal assistant. Teach them how to keep it neatly organized by only filling them with necessary school day items and keeping out unnecessary loose papers, non-school items and liquids.

Make Lists – Teaching kids to make and prioritize lists will provide them with a greater sense of accomplishment – as they complete items and their lists become smaller, they will feel more productive and they have a greater sense of satisfaction in themselves. Kids will take ownership for their tasks, shape their own time, and gain greater independence.

Student File Storage – Teach your kids to sort and effectively file school papers in an organized manner. It will be crucial to them at exam time – especially if midterm and end of year final exams are inclusive of all the material covered to date.

Organization is an awesome opportunity for kids to gain self-confidence and independence and not lose their sanity or you lose yours.

*Image provided by Kangaroom Storage.*

The following is a guest post from bestselling author, Jamie Novak. Her newest book, Stop Throwing Money Away, is on shelves now!

In celebration of Earth Day, Jamie wanted to share with you the best tips that didn’t make it into her newest book, Stop Throwing Money Away, to turn clutter to cash, trash to treasure and save the planet while you’re at it!
Grab the five items below you probably already own and try these clever ways to reuse them to get more organized today:
Cardboard Paper Towel Insert
For kid’s artwork. Need a way to protect that noodle and glitter creation for years to come? Roll it and insert it into the tube. Put your child’s name and the year on the outside so you can remember who created what and when.
An Egg Carton
As a jewelry organizer. No more tangled necklaces or missing earrings. Use the egg carton to store commonly worn jewelry. Earrings, bracelets and necklaces will each have an individual section plus you can use the lid as the place to store watches.
Clothespins
For socks. Do you have a pile of unmatched socks? Most people do! Instead of trying to match socks after they’re laundered keep them together through the laundering process by clipping matches together as soon as you take them off using a clothespin.
CD Cases
For photos. If you adhere a magnet onto the back of a CD case you can then stick a photo inside and hang the ‘frame’ on the side of a filing cabinet or the front of the fridge.
Magnet
In the medicine cabinet. Adhere a magnet to the inside of the medicine cabinet door or under one of the shelves. Then you can stick tweezers or clippers to the magnet so they are within reach.

Hopefully Jamie has inspired you to tackle a project! She hopes you will join her at the Bite Size Living Cafe where all sorts of great discussions are taking place!

A BIG thanks to Jamie, “The World’s Most Relatable Organizer”