Thursday, August 30, 2012

Easy Peasy You Can Too!

OK Girlfriends
Yesterday and this morning I received numerous comments and emails concerning my tidy way of living.
Several gals believed that 
A - they could never do it
B- never maintain it
C- afford to do it
and then a few want to do it,
but are lost as to where to begin.
Well I'm gonna knock those thoughts up with 
the Mars Rover
no pretty pics, just info

The first thing I do for myself and any client is to see if shelving can be added to any closet, because it's cheap, it's easy to do.
In this laundry area I added one additional long shelf across the back and you'll soon see multiple shelves off to the right of the dryer under an eave, to hold appliances 
that are infrequently used.
I also added a small shelf right above the dryer originally planning to keep soaps there but they dripped sometimes and looked messy so I changed to a basket I could easily remove from top of dryer. 
I also keep a pretty woven laundry basket there but this a.m. it was upstairs waiting to be emptied.

Lock and Lock  boxes and ricers/ Martha's Storage I have had for decades

Once I have additional shelving, I start my basket or bin or jar systems. Now I have been collecting jars and bins and baskets for 30 some years and always on sale, with coupons etc...
so don't expect you have to do it all at once. 
Try a shelf at a time, spread it out over months. OR Use plastic shoe bins to start. They're 1.00 ea. The smaller drawer bins are sold in multiples for a few dollars also. You can use inexpensive canning jars, recycled plastic bottoms of containers.
Get as creative as your budget allows.


Drip dry Hangers accessible for hanging on door rack/ Lock and Locks/ my seldom used ricer

Why the basket or bins?
Using this system assures continuity.
In other words you would have to TRY to make it messy again.
When there is a basket for JUST drip dry hangers, or 
tupperware etc, you merely toss it and everything goes where it should...and you'll find it just as quickly next time.
No shoving aside, things falling over, or shoved "just anywhere".

Another major problem for almost every client.
as in tupperware or saved empty butter containers.
No one EVER has that many leftovers.
Invest in a stacking set of no more than 
3ea of large, medium, small.
Then three lock and locks or similar storage for cookies,
or major party leftovers. THAT IS ALL YOU NEED.
Most of you will free up an entire shelf or two.
I see it in every house.
Also never used gadgets. Purge those babies,
or give to a gourmet who might use (once).
No one needs 15 spatulas, four garlic presses,
12 mixing bowls.
no client...

Muffin tins, cake pans, small cookie sheets/cooling racks tucked between baskets/ silpats cheesecloth

 I also use these inexpensive plastic shelving risers to separate heavy items. If you have 10 platters stacked you have to move all ten to get out one, whereas my way each one slips right out. On top of platters are my wicker trays, serving baskets.

To the left are aprons, paper lunch sacks, laundry delicate bags,
a dustpan tucked in and a lint basket easy to remove and empty.
Some wire baskets are hung from a nail up top.

This is the side shelving, holding crockpot, mixers, cookie sheets, blender, grinder, ice buckets, panini press etc.
At the middle left are the pants hangers I use for drip dry.
I attached industrial pipe straight out from wall.
If you have the room, this is great for drip dry also .
For drip dry I use a fold down flip up rack 
attached to garage door just beyond laundry.
Originally there were ugly bifold doors in laundry closet. I removed and added full length floor to ceiling ivory corduroy curtains from Ikea. Small peek at basket on floor where I throw non clothing items to be washed....rugs, rags, dog toys etc

Drip dry in use. 
You can also see stick on lights I have on shelves 
in dark corner.

In other baskets and on shelves I have bakeware, 
pizza stones, plastic wraps etc.
The more you keep the baskets solely for one type of item, the 
less likely you are to just dump anywhere.
If you are really tight on space, try to keep like items together
as much as possible.
If you need reminding, add stick on labels or tie on tags.

Added shelving to door for small easily lost items.
Wine rack on bottom actually holds long pkgs of pasta and 
ramen packages. ( I see I need to add to grocery list)
Seldom used liquors fill up each side on floor.
Yes, my cans are on risers. Available almost everywhere.
The one I have contracts and expands as needed.

Baskets hold similar products.
Baking, tomato sauce products, pasta.
pull out the basket, select item, push back.
I take instant oatmeal, granola bars etc out of original packaging 
and each gets it's own basket. easy to grab and go.
Easy to see quantity for shopping, nothing gets shoved to the back and expires out of sight.
Instruction booklets for appliances at the ready,
easy to locate.

These jars are two deep, holding far more product in the same space. Air tight, no critters. All dried products go in jars.

These are also two deep.
Clear jars make it easy to identify product, no labels required.

See the two shallow shelves I tucked way up top? Half the depth of regular shelves. Every inch used.

Top and bottom shelves have small lazy susan's.
Center shelf holds most used products at eye level.
Corn starch, honey, vinegar, vanilla, baking soda.

Everyday dishes use stacking shelves also.

Mini dividers in drawers.
Keep like items together as much as possible.

Are you still with me or did your eyes glaze over 
awhile back?
I don't have to "Work" at this,
once you set it up, it takes care of itself. Honestly.
Next time a boring tv show is on, or you are waiting for a call or on a long chat, work on just one shelf or drawer.
Use those Michaels, Jo Anns and Kohls coupons for 
storage containers. When they're already half off and you get an additional 25-30% SCORE!

This doesn't have to be daunting at all.
Buy lots of sizes of containers. Return what you don't use. Don't spend hours measuring for sizes etc. 
Just know your width and depth.
You can spend a fortune and make it all pretty,
or use what you have. For me? tidy and pretty enough for behind closed doors.

Do I get teased about this?
you bet
Do I care?

You see I can find my brulee torch
 nutcracker, bottle opener, garlic press,
egg slicer and wine stopper before you can snap your fingers.
I don't buy the same groceries over and over because I think I don't have it, or cannot find it.
Being organized keeps your life simple,
not difficult.

I have very little storage, so I am forced to 
be creative and organized, yeah - yeah I would be anyway.
Sometimes I think these mega kitchens
 and closets make things worse for some.
Nature abhors a vacuum.

I hope you have found an idea or two 
or at least are inspired to tackle your storage issues
in your own way.
If you have thought recently,
"I'll just stick/shove/toss it here for now, 
and deal with it later..." probably have issues.

More to come,
stay with me.
You're getting oldgreymare for free.



time worn interiors said...

You are the organizing QUEEN!
tot said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you !!! All great ideas. I never thought of putting my canned goods in baskets too. I'm going to get started as soon as I can:)
Debra xxx
Capers of the vintage vixens

Carole said...

Good for you! I hope you will keep up the organizing posts. You'd be proud of me my pantry has been organized for months. We don't really keep a lot of food at home, cans, boxed goods etc. so not much need to organize there. We don't even have that much in gadgets except for the ones G buys. Not always good to have a hubby that shops:(

erin said...

great tips from a total PRO!! sure wish you'd come do me, do me!
i just reorganized my felt sooo my attic, but i have to wait for it to cool off first.
p.s thunder=dog pooh...cracked me up!

Rebecca said...

I love the baskets... I have used them for years. All my cupboards have baskets, I can pull them out and take what I need without getting on my hands and knees looking for something. I have old deep cupboards and things tend to get lost in them.
The risers I need to get.
Hope all is well in the desert

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Great advice. I love baskets and have started using them to organize. I think I need to start collecting jars as that is a great look to cabinets. Hugs, Linda

MEM said...

Oh my, long sigh, I feel I live in Fibber McGees closet! We are antique dealers and my table/closet/basement/garages ===full of inventory! Someday I will achieve at least one neat closet!!! Thanks so much for the inspiration.

Lana said...

As always, I love your posts. Purchasing the "stick up" closet lights TOMORROW! I'm on a mission to get my fabric stash done; my kitchen completely cleaned and reorganized and live a smoother life! Thanks Suzan! :)

Theresa said...

I would not be able to open doors and drawers over here for the camera... I am in awe. As soon as I win the lottery, i am sending a plane ticket for the organizing guru to come help me take care of this crazy mess. Plus there will be food, beverages, and laughter, what do you think?

glor said...

What a great post! Found this in the perfect time. Puttering here for the coming Fall and getting ready, thinking I really need to "re-do" several storage closets, etc., etc., and here it is. I do like baskets but not to the extent I see here. I can see they will do the job! Love the jars as well. I am inspired. Thanks and have a wonderful weekend. Blessings.

Jill said...

Actually my pantry, drawers and cupboards are pretty good. I love peaking in yours. All the jars and see through is wonderful. My unsightly but works for me plastic lid organizer: cereal boxes cut like a magazine organizer on a shelf in my pantry. Free. You'd be proud.

Amber said...

You, my dear, are brilliant! I LOVE your pantry!! Mine is in dire need of an overhaul and I've been putting it off because I wanted something a little more "organized". So, so, SOOOO glad you posted this! Wal-Mart, here I come (for jars and baskets)! Thanks Z!

Charlene said...

Oh my "TIDY" friend you crack me up!!! I have been gone most of the summer only to come home & start on a 3 week long Master Bathroom & Closet remodel. WHY do we keep so much STUFF? I have thrown out bags! And still have more to go. Thanks for all the great suggestions. You inspire so many & SCARE others. Hee Hee.

Susie~From My Home To Yours said...

I wanna be like you!

Bead and Needle said...

You realize this is why I can NEVER let you in my house, right? You AMAZE me! XOXO

Kathy said...

I live in a very small house so I am forced to use the space I have wisely but there is always room for improvement. Seeing your laundry soaps in that basket was a forehead-smacker! A basket for that spot is going on my looky-for list at the thrift or perhaps I will use the handled basket I keep in the back of the car for shopping bags and find a new one for that. Great idea!
Now, my kitchen drawer where the utencils are kept is a full-on pig pile. I have tried the drawer dividers but things don't seem to stay IN them. I am looking for any advice you can offer on that one! Thanks so much for this inspiring post!

Kit said...

Loving it!!! What would we do without baskets and jars? :) Kit

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm impressed! When my kids were all home it was a constant battle keeping on top of stuff. Now that's it's just two of us it's not bad. I'm totally lazy. I only buy what will be used within a very short time frame. Kind of like my memory. I have a problem with out of sight out of mind. Now if there are party leftovers I wrap it up and send it all out the door. I keep giving away platters too. Hopefully they'll invite me to their house instead haha. I admire your system!

Anonymous said...

I would be overwhelmed by this much stuff - but great org tips!!!

Cindy said...

I bow down to you! Great ideas! I am running out to get some shelves for my pantry door! You would be proud, I took your advice and cleaned one thing.Our kitchen island that was stuffed with old tupperware lids, plastic cups from resturants, koozies, you name it! It is organized and I can see on to the pantry!
Plus my parents are coming in Oct, so extra incentive is required...
xo Cindy