Creative Solutions for a Functional Kitchen Space

Creative Solutions for a Functional Kitchen Space

Organizing your kitchen can make cooking and meal prep a breeze. Our approach focuses on one simple rule: make the most of your space. Whether you’re dealing with cramped cabinets or overflowing drawers, we’re here to help you clear the clutter and create a kitchen that works for you.

Visualize Your Clutter

Start by emptying out every drawer and cabinet. This helps you see what you have and makes it easier to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. Sort your items into these categories:

  • Plates and bowls
  • Cups, glasses and water bottles
  • Baking
  • Kitchen gadgets
  • Cooking utensils
  • Pots and pans
  • Serveware
  • Spices
  • Pantry

Then, create piles for items you want to donate, sell or keep.

Strategic Storage Solutions

You have to think outside the box when organizing a cluttered kitchen. We use products like lazy susans, risers, utensil holders and dividers, but you don’t need to purchase extra products to get organized. The key is to let go of things that are causing clutter.

When organizing, create specific zones such as a coffee bar, place a dish towel rack next to the sink or keep daily use cups near the dishwasher. Store items you use less often in higher cabinets, and place seasonal items such as cookie cutters or serving platters with other holiday decorations in the garage or attic.

Make use of vertical space, as well. You may be able to add shallow racks or hooks to the inside of cabinet and pantry doors to take advantage of every inch of space. Or, add a wall or ceiling-mounted pot rack to clear up some space inside cabinets. Don’t forget the space between the upper cabinets or shelves and the countertop. It’s a perfect space for hanging paper towels or adding magnetic strips for knives and other utensils.

Embrace Routine Decluttering

Don’t forget to regularly declutter and toss out broken or unused items to keep your kitchen organized. I suggest taking the time to work on each zone at least four times a year, where you toss broken or unusable items. Also keep an eye on plastic containers, to-go cups and shopping bags so they don’t take over any of your new-found storage space.

By maximizing your space and keeping things simple, you can create a kitchen that works for you. With a little effort and the right strategies, you can enjoy a clutter-free and functional cooking space every day.

Spring Organizing 🏡

Spring Organizing

•Tackle a junk drawer in your kitchen or office to give yourself an easy 15-minute win. Start building momentum! 

•Do a quick pantry check for expired food items. Give your fridge a wipe down while you’re at it! 

•Pack away your bulky sweaters, extra layers, hats, and gloves. Bring out your dresses and sandals!

•Take inventory in your garage. Toss any old potting soil or gardening tools and think about what you’d like to plant this season. 

•Paper Clutter-Did you know you only need to keep tax records for 3 years from the date you filed them? To keep your papers sorted for the rest of the year, try using  stackable acrylic inboxes with labels such as “to do, to pay, to file.” 
I keep my tax filings on my computer in a folder. 

Happy 😊 Spring Organizing.

Edit and Organize like a Pro

Edit and Organize like a Pro

•You need boxes: Amazon boxes, plastic boxes, cloth shopping bags, trash bags, etc. 

•Sticky notes and a Sharpie. Create labels for boxes: Donate, Return, Resell, Recycle, Trash and other locations (items that belong somewhere else in your home).

•Cleaning supplies: always begin organizing with a tidy and clean space.

•Tape measure to measure shelves, drawers, and cabinets if you want to add organizing products: bins, baskets, etc.

• Use sticky putty dots when organizing a drawer or cabinet; use them under containers to prevent slippage. 

• Notepad and pen project-related notes.

•Label maker or chalk pen.

•Remove all contents from the space you are organizing; begin with a clean slate.

•Categorize and sort. Put like items together; for example, if you’re organizing your pantry, put breakfast items together, condiments together, and so forth.

This category or items in a zone goes for any area you’re organizing: Closet, drawer, pantry, etc.

Ask yourself these questions:

What needs to be discarded? What needs to be donated? 

Do I love it? Use it.

Do I have duplicates?

Is it broken?

Does it belong to me? (Borrowed and needs to be returned).

Would I want it if I didn’t already have it?

Is it expired?

Am I saving it for someone else? 

This process may be time-consuming and for some emotional, and that’s completely ok.

Containers and Organizing Products! This is where the fun begins. Bins, baskets, trays, carts, drawer dividers and more! And don’t forget to measure the space you’re organizing. Even if you have a zero product budget, please don’t let that slow you down. Shoe boxes and Tupperware work, too! Most of the products will be stored in other spaces like closets and pantries. You can always go back and replace it. 

Maintain

Once each category item has a home, you will always know where to return them. 

Happy Organizing🏠
Paige

Neat Pantry

Neat Pantry

Let’s say clutter costs💲100 monthly to store; that’s💲1200 per year. 

It’s a common misconception that holding on to those unused items will somehow save you money 💰 down the road. The truth is that clutter is actually costing you money. 💵 

When your pantry is unorganized you can’t see what you have and repeat 🔁 buy.

Any area of your home or business that’s unorganized costs you money.

Statistics show Americans spend 38 billion every year on self-storage. 😳😳

Just think of all that cash spent for items simply sitting in storage or sitting in closets, attics and garages!! 

Your clutter is expensive even if you don’t rent a storage unit. Storing unused items in your home costs roughly $10 per square foot. Of course, that cost depends on how much you pay for your residence; you can calculate your “clutter cost” by dividing your monthly rent or mortgage by the square footage of your home. That’s how much you’re paying for your space per square foot. Then, add up how much you’re paying to house just your stuff. 

It’s time to let go and get NEAT!

A Guide to Decluttering for a Fresh Start in 2024

The holiday season can often be overwhelming and over-extended.

Remember to carve out some time to rest, recharge, and remember the reason for the season.

As we move into the New Year, I encourage you to start 2024 with a mind, body, home, heart, relationships, people, places, and all things that weigh heavily on you.

Declutter……

Clutter is stressful and distracting. There’s a connection between clutter and procrastination. Clutter causes stress, decreases productivity, and can make it challenging to unwind. 

Overall,  clutter can negatively impact your work, your relationships, and your health. 

Thankfully, there are simple and effective ways to start reducing the clutter in your life.

  1. Make a declutter checklist
  2. Start Small
  3. Ask yourself, does this bring me joy? 
  4. Unsubscribe and remove.
  5. Shred, Trash, and Recycle anything outdated. 
  6. Tidy up your workspace and vehicle.
  7. Don’t buy things that don’t serve a purpose. 
  8. Don’t keep things “just in case the other breaks.” Owning multiple of the same items is a big part of clutter.
  9. Practice being mindful. We often forget not to get consumed with the past, future, and negative self-talk.
  10. Toxic Habits and Relationships.
  11. Unplug; the brain needs time to rest and relax. 
  12. Hire a professional organizer; this is an excellent opportunity to start the home and business process of Decluttering.
  13. Make decluttering a priority. Whether weekly, bi-monthly, or quarterly, mark your calendars for time to reflect, decompress, and clear out your space.

Merry Christmas 🎄 and Happy New Year. Thank you for following Neat.

Paige

How Often to Clean Out Your Pantry

Ideally, you should clean your pantry at least four times a year as the seasons change. However, twice a year is a good start!

• Take everything out of the pantry.

• Clean the shelves and floor.

• Remove any items that belong in other places and put them where they belong.

• Check the expiration date on each product and decide what stays and what goes.

• Now start organizing. Place items that are used daily within easy reach.

• Group similar items together so you can find them easily. Consider placing all baking items, all canned goods, breakfast items, etc., together.

• Maximize your storage space with shelf risers, over-the-door shelves, turntables, and reusable storage containers. And label 🏷️ everything!
Paige❤️

Taking a Solo Road Trip…..

In June of this year I took a solo road trip. It was a spare-of-moment decision. I didn’t plan too much ahead. I packed my bags, an ice chest, and snacks and hit the road. My goal destination is Zion National Park in Utah.

In a world of constant reminders of danger, fear, what if’s, along with three years of stay-at-home chants! I needed to do this for myself mentally and emotionally and to see things on my own. 

What I learned about myself traveling for nine days alone…

If you’re wondering how it feels to travel alone, then maybe it’s time YOU take a solo road trip! You may be worried about being lonely, which, FYI, is very normal! Instead, think about all the benefits of traveling solo….stay where you want, stop when you please, pick all the restaurants, and see spots are all your decisions. It’s a wonderful feeling and so liberating! 

Is it safe for a female to travel alone?

I didn’t share my plans or my solo trip adventure with very many people before leaving. You’ll find people will discourage you from traveling alone because it is not safe. I choose to ignore such comments. Traveling solo can be both safe and unsafe! My best advice is NEVER to let YOUR guard down; always be very cautious and self-aware of your surroundings. I love to have a glass of wine, but on this solo journey, I did not drink alcohol. I wanted to keep my mind very clear at all times. You can travel with a group, and unfortunate things can happen; stay hyperaware of your surroundings and never assume you don’t need to take the utmost safety precautions. Share your location with a family member or a friend. Also, don’t broadcast your travel plans on social media. Share after the fact! I never drove at night and only stopped in populated areas.

Now, to get to the GOOD stuff. 

What did I learn about myself traveling solo?

I learned how independent and resilient I am. The experience made me feel free. The landscape from Alabama to Utah was terrific.

I traveled through New Mexico and Arizona. OMG Texas is the longest travel state EVER! Lol. I used different routes, going and returning, to see other places. My best friend lives in the Phoenix area; I stayed two days with her. Driving into Utah was terrific! Being in northern Arizona was beautiful. Zion National Park was breathtaking, and I can’t wait to return! I learned of so many places I want to see that I didn’t have time to visit this trip, BUT next time, I will know exactly where I want to stop and stay, explore, and enjoy.

Zion was like being one with nature and God. The mountains are breathtaking! I loved every moment I spent in Utah. Traveling back, I went through Sedona and Flagstaff, Arizona; this part of our country is unique and beautiful.

I felt more robust, more confident, and capable than I think I ever have in my life after returning home from this journey. 

Visiting with my best friend in Goodyear, Arizona, was so much fun; she and I had just been on a trip together in April, so it was nice seeing her again. 

Do I recommend a solo trip? YES, if it’s not a journey but just a weekend away to reflect and self-care, I highly suggest taking time for yourself and seeing places you’ve never seen.

I can’t wait for my next adventure! I wish I could share all the magical photos I took but for now, here are a few.

Happy Fall and Happy Travels!

Paige

“How To” Summit 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio

I attended my first organizing conference last week: The “How To” Summit. I met some wonderful people and organizers from across the U.S. and beyond. Some of my favorite professional organizers spoke; Heather from Tidy Style is one of my favorite professional organizers. I loved meeting her. MDesign is my go-to business for organizing products. Hearing the CEO speak was amazing. This conference was less about organizing and more about networking and taking your business to the next level.

Things I took away from HT: Summit:

  1. How important it is to build my professional network. Meeting other women in my field allowed me to hear how they are running their businesses.
  2. The latest organizing products. I, again, am a huge fan of mDesign products.
  3. I learned about new professional development strategies and outstanding career advice. The back end of running a business is one of the most important aspects of your success!
  4. I attended three workshops: marketing, product management and how to run a successful business.

And, I had fun! I connected with ladies from Texas, New York, California, Louisiana, Florida, Kansas, Idaho and even Canada. I can’t wait until next year.

If you have the opportunity to attend a conference in your field, go for it! Sometimes business is about who you know, not what you know. If you choose your conference well, you can expect to run into your industry’s top experts (I know I did) and influencers! Until next year!

Organizing Tasks To Tackle For An Organized Fall Season

The first day of fall is September 23rd. There’s plenty to do to get your home ready for the
coming season. Whether you’re getting ready for mild temperatures, or a season of snow and cold weather, here are some tips for prepping for the fall season.

Get rid of anything you did not wear over the spring and summer.

This can be bathing suits, tank tops, sun dresses, etc. Look through your entire closet and drawers. To save time and maximize space, you should only have in-season clothes in your closet. Store out-of-season items in labeled bins and storage bags. If you live in the South where we wear shorts throughout the year, I suggest sticking to the same rule: if you haven’t worn it for a season, let it go!

Go to your kitchen and clean out anything that has expired.

This means a pantry and refrigerator. Plastic ware is an area that needs tackling every season. Think to-go containers, glass jars and extra plastic containers.

Declutter kid rooms and play areas.

Toys, outgrown clothes and all the little things kids collect should be purged if not used. Just this week, I worked with a mom going through her five and six-year-old children’s closets and toys.

Store away spring and summer decor throughout your home.
With the fall comes the holiday season. Do a purge of all summer items. With cooler weather, it is the perfect time to change out pillows and exterior summer decor. If you have younger kids this is a perfect time to clean and purge outdoor toys.

There is no better feeling than being able to walk into a neat and tidy space. Decluttering for the coming season makes a huge difference in your home. The busiest season of the year begins in November so tackle the clutter now to prepare for the coming season.

Have a great September!
Paige❤

Back To School

Back To School

Who’s ready to send the kiddos back to school? Summer flew by! My 20-year-old son starts his junior year at the University of Alabama—ROLL TIDE! I can’t believe he is already a junior.

Unlike elementary school and high school, you’ll need considerably more than just a pen and paper.

Dorm Room Must-Haves:

  • Shoe Organizer
  • Shower Caddy
  • Ottoman
  • Bedding
  • Lamp
  • Under-Bed Storage
  • First Aid Kit
  • Cleaning Supplies

School Supplies You Need For College:

  • Student Planner
  • Notebooks
  • Extra Paper
  • Pen/Pencils
  • Folders
  • Sticky Notes
  • Index Cards
  • Highlighter Pens

Starting a new school year and getting back into a routine can have its challenges. Adding these tasks to your daily schedule can help keep things moving smoothly.

  • Start Your Routine Early
  • Make A To-Do List
  • Eat Breakfast
  • Map Out Your Schedule
  • Plan Your Commute
  • Don’t Bust Your Budget
  • Work Ahead
  • Plan Study Hours Out
  • Have Fun!

Have a great 2023-2024 school year!

-Paige