Battling Clutter… Streamlining your kitchen utensil drawer!

KitchenUtensils RealSimple.com

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You know the feeling… a jammed utensil drawer in the kitchen. Always fun, right? I haven’t organized mine in a year or so and I swear the “stuff” multiplies… I find myself sticking stuff in the drawer “just in case” I need it. If I find a part that fell off of something, I stick it in the back of the drawer in case I ever figure out what it belonged to. Bad idea. I read an article in Real Simple magazine and what it boils down to, is the fact that you don’t need 5 different pancake flipper things (called spatulas)… or 4 wooden spoons (that I never use because I’m freaked out about how bacteria will stick to it, then you can’t put it in the dishwasher). The list goes on and on… I was surprised. I emptied the drawer, washed it out. Pulled out ALL THE STUFF I HAVEN’T USED IN THE PAST YEAR (or ten). I put that “stuff” in a few stacks. One stack to toss, I mean really… I’m saving CORKS in case one goes bad? I had enough for an army… another stack that there was a small chance I could use again (I put this in the garage. If I don’t use it in a year, it will find a new home), and the rest I deemed good enough to put back in the drawer.

I used to despise opening that drawer. It was full, inevitably something would jam it and make it a pill to open. But NO MORE! I am ORG-A-NIZED now! Woohoo, it feels good!

Oh, did I mention giving the drawer a good wipe down? Now is your chance to clean one of the busiest drawers in the kitchen (at least my kitchen)… go ahead and clean the organizer that holds your silverware while you’re at it… EEEK! How does dust get INSIDE a drawer? Never mind, I don’t want to know…

It would have been nice to purchase a few things to hold the supplies, but I haven’t yet, so I made do with what I had… I wish I would have taken a “before” shot! I threw out quite a bit of stuff I haven’t used in years, the rest ended up in a shoe box in the garage… If I find I need anything in that box I’ll come back for it, but I’m pretty sure I won’t!

Organized Utensil Drawer!

Do these little things… no matter what drawer, the same principles apply and it just FEELS GOOD! Use the same rules as cleaning out your closet, click to read my past post, “The Simple Way To Organize and Clean A Closet”

Here’s a list from Real Simple, this is what they say you need in your utensil drawer!

All You Need in Your Utensil Drawers

  • An instant-read thermometer, to take the guesswork out of steaks, chops, and roasts.
  • A large Microplane grater, for cheese, citrus zests, ginger, chocolate, and garlic.
  • straight-edge wooden spoon, for getting in the corners of saucepans.
  • classic wooden spoon, for everything else.
  • natural-bristle basting brush holds more liquid than silicone versions.
  • Nesting measuring cups conserve space.
  • Stainless-steel measuring spoons last longer than plastic ones.
  • large slotted spoon, to scoop food out of boiling water.
  • A low-tech can opener that pops bottles, too.
  • metal spatula, for pancakes, burgers, and cookies.
  • Long tongs, for tossing salads, turning chops, and plucking vegetables from a steamer. The locking kind store most easily.
  • standard spoon, for sauces.
  • Y-shaped peeler: more control than the standard variety.
  • silicone spatula, for mixing and getting the last bits of batter from the bowl.
  • A palm-size vegetable scrubber offers serious leverage.
  • mini offset spatula, to free frittatas, lasagnas, and brownies (and to frost cupcakes).
  • whisk, to get air into eggs and batter.
  • fish spatula: thin, flexible, and perfect for fragile foods, from flounder to fried eggs.
  • ladle, for soups, stews, and sauces.
  • potato masher: also great for breaking up canned whole tomatoes for sauce.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

The simple way to organize and clean a closet!

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Let me start by saying YOU AREN’T SEEING THINGS… I made a theme change to my blog… it’s about 4:40PM, so if you visited earlier YEP it looked much different! Cleaning things up and giving them a fresher appearance, let me know if you like it… or if you don’t!

It’s almost always time to clean out your closet. If you do it on a regular basis it’ll never get out of control… BUT you have to start somewhere, right? Make today the day you start getting your life in order. Start with one closet at a time and you will feel so good! The steps couldn’t be easier… It’s easiest to go through everything and put it in one of four piles… Note: I’ve written this to apply to cleaning a closet, but same goes for art supplies, a garage, kitchen cabinets, etc.

C L E A N  Y O U R  C L O S E T – C L E A R  Y O U R  M I N D ! Don’t laugh, it’s true!

KEEP

These are the clothes/shoes/etc. you KNOW that you wear on a regular basis. The items that you can’t live without.

TOSS

These are the clothes that have seen better days. You know the ones, the holy shirts, and I don’t mean the ones you wear to church on Sunday…  these are the shoes that are worn slap out.

DONATE

This is where you can do so much good with items that you may want to hang on to. It gives you motivation to let go of “stuff”. There are so many places that accept donations, the Kidney Foundation, Good Will, local homeless shelters, etc.

SELL

Whether it be a yard sale or a consignment shop there are some items that will make you some money. That never hurts, does it? What doesn’t sell can later be donated.

If you have a some things that you don’t really want to keep, but don’t want to toss, donate or sell, pack them in a box. If you don’t pull them out of the box after a year (or two!), its time for them to move on…

It’s nice to have boxes to put items to Donate, Sell and Toss.

RD.com spring-closet-cleaning-14-great-ideas-04-sl

Image: Rd.com

Before you hang everything back in your closet go ahead and give it a good cleaning. Wipe down the shelves and walls. Wash (or vacuum) the floor. It’s not easy to do this when there are clothes hanging in the way, so now is your chance.

Hang your “Keep” clothes back in the closet. One idea is to hang the hanger backwards. After you wear the item hang it the way your normally do. After a period of time, you’ll see the items that you’ve worn (hung the regular way) and the items you haven’t touched (hangers hung backwards), so the next time you clean out your closet you won’t have to wonder if you wore it or not. It should be easier to get rid of!

They say the best time to clean a closet is in the morning. It’s when you’ll make the best decisions. Remember we all have stuff, some is sentimental and we don’t want to get rid of… but sometimes stuff is just stuff and it overtakes our lives. You will feel a sense of calm when you walk into your closet (or open your dresser drawers, etc.) when its not overflowing with STUFF. When you look and what you see are possibilities and none of the items that you know every time that you look at them, that you’ll never wear.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Have you met Mrs. Meyer’s? AWESOME hand soap!

Image via http://www.mrsmeyers.com
Have you tried Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day hand soap? It’s wonderful! We started using it several years ago when we spotted it at Whole Foods. It has a wonderful scent (and many to choose from!), I remember our first bottle was Geranium scented… it doesn’t dry out your hands and all that jazz, very nice. I’ve seen it at Target, Walmart, even the grocery stores, keep your eyes out for it! I would like to try some of the rest of their line, check them out at www.mrsmeyers.com.
Well, my husband is on the dreadmill, uh, I mean treadmill, good for him. When he starts a (self inflicted) “get fit” program he goes 110%, while I think of different (more healthy) dinners to make, and make notes and THINK… now’s the time to get off my duff and do too… ha. I think I’ll start the year slowly deep cleaning the house and (re) organizing all the drawers and closets. I am good at that! Ha… time to get rid of excess which we are really good at since we don’t have space to store items that aren’t used. I think we’d be in trouble if we had a big house with lots of storage.
I hope the beginning of 2011 is looking bright for you! Until tomorrow…