Kitchen Features {that you may or may not love}

If you were able to design your DREAM kitchen, what special features would it include? An island? Pots and pans hanging from the ceiling? Everyone has their preferences, and when we remodeled our kitchen, there were a few characteristics I knew I HAD to have. You may have some of these and not love them as much as I do… so I’m going to show you how I use them in hopes that you may love your kitchen a little more…

1. The Glass Cabinet

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Don’t be afraid of the glass cabinet door! Now I admit, I would not want all of my cabinets to have glass. But having just one can be such a perfect centerpiece to your kitchen. The trick to keeping it beautiful and clean? Fill the top half with items you don’t use often, but have an interesting look to them, whether it’s their color, shape, or something else. Then the bottom half, stick to clean, simple dishes. Mine have all sorts of Fiestaware in them – plain colors, but staggered in different heights. I use these plates every day, but it’s pretty hard to make a pile of plates look messy!

2. The Corner Lazy Susan

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So many people use these for their canned goods or other pantry items. Don’t do it! Those little items can get completely buried in there. Without even turning it, I have all of my saute pans and saucepans on the bottom, ready to use every day right next to my oven. On the top, I have my batter bowl (which I seriously use for EVERYTHING), a can of cooking spray, and a few baking pans. Then in the back, I have some of the pots I use less often – steamer pot, double boiler, etc – and my stack of mixing bowls, etc.

3. The Non-Pantry

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When we were figuring out our new kitchen layout, there was just no room for a full-blown pantry. But let’s be honest…if you have a big pantry, you tend to fill it with random items you rarely use! We just have two shelves dedicated to pantry items, and it helps me be more intentional about the groceries I buy each week. I know it’s not super pretty, but hey, like I said in #1, I don’t keep all my cabinets totally organized!

4. That Tiny Cabinet Above Your Microwave

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This one is always obnoxious, but the best I’ve found is to put items like extra cookbooks up here, since I don’t use them too often. I also put my cutting boards up here vertically so I can easily see them all and grab which one I need.

I hope this helps you love some of your great kitchen features! What other features do you love / hate?

Best Hangers Ever + Closet Clean Up

I LOOOOOVE cleaning out my closet. Seriously, I’m a freaky nerd like that. I get the itch to reorganize and toss items every few months or so. A few years back, my mom introduced me to these lovely velvet hangers, purchased from Costco. My goal was always to not need more of them…instead, whenever I bought new clothes, I vowed to get rid if items.

WELLLL I’m getting to that point where I don’t have too much to get rid of: my closet is finally full of things I really DO wear, and items I’d consider high quality (for the most part). So I recently needed a few more hangers, and got these from Costco:

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Now I’m sure that Sam’s has something similar. In fact, Amazon does too. What makes them so wonderful? Well, your clothes stick to them, so you don’t have things falling off all over the place. They also don’t leave any hanger shoulder marks on your clothes, which is amazing. And finally, they are pretty space efficient. Look how many I can fit into my tiny hands at one time!

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I know, it’s a super nerdy thing, but I KNOW I’m not the only one out there who feels a deep sense of satisfaction when their closet is all tidy and organized. See how nice and tight they are? In a perfect world, I would have more space between each item of clothing, I know. But I’m living in a 1920s house with closets the size of a shower stall.

IMG_7732Have you already done your spring cleaning? Any helpful items you just couldn’t live without??

 

Reorganization 2013

As I have shared before, I really don’t do new years resolutions. Instead, I TRY to make small changes in my life whenever it seems necessary, and this year is no exception.

So much is happening this year, and I could not be more excited. Jonathan and I are combining our lives: our families, friends, visions, and of course, our STUFF. This process is already fully underway, and in an effort to downsize, I have already done some major purging of just about everything I own.

But still, there is more to come. There are closets that need makeovers. There are clothes that need donating. There is jewelry that needs organizing. And while I have already accomplished some of this, I plan to share with you any good before & after organization stories that come our way.

Do you have any great organization tips or stories? Pantries, kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms…anything?? Please share!

Creative Jewelry Organization

With the new year comes a new living space. And let me tell you – I have downsized; joyfully, of course. Less closet and wall space, but more love all around! So I have had to get creative with a few storage and organization solutions.

I feel like I saw something like this on pinterest, but really, it was my friend Ashley who inspired me to try the S-hook-on-a-bar-jewelry-organization-method. I have a jewelry box for my nicer pieces, but what was I to do with my fun and glamorous items I’ve collected over the years?

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Voila! And you know what? These aren’t even metal S-hooks from Home Depot. Oh no sir, they are nice, rubber-coated S-hooks from Walmart. There are two in a pack, and each pack is only $2 and some cents, which is a totally worth while investment, if you ask me. Not too shabby, huh?

 

How do you deal with stress?

I have recently been re-introduced to my old friend stress.  With a class that is intensely split over only three weekends in a row, I have quickly begun to feel the pressures of school all come back to me.  I am good at time management and generally keeping my cool, but my inner tension is just painful.

Today, I went for a run, got to work on time, have day laid out well.  But I had an unexpected email from my professor regarding the “assignment” for tomorrow.  She had made it sound like a short, simple, quick submission of ideas for our final project.  The email she sent, however, is a sample of a complete and well organized project proposal.  This means cancelling tonight’s plans to make sure I get it done well,  on top of continually studying for the test she is giving us Friday.  Ugh.

I’m not meaning to complain–it’s all great and interesting and I’d probably be 100% content if I wasn’t stuck at work all day instead of at home, firing this out.  But I am where I am.  So how do you deal with the stress of knowing there are things you need to get done, but you can’t do them right now?  How do I take those things out of my head until the appropriate time?