Cleaning Out The Cabinets in Your Kitchen Written by Stephanie Davies
Cleaning out and finding space in your kitchen cabinets can be a hard, trying experience. There seems to be so many items, and just no where left to put them!
There are several methods you can incorporate into your kitchen to save shelf space, store items easier, and save time searching for right thing. And there are also a few basic pointers I will give you along way.
The first thing is to group like mined items together. Be sure all your spices and herbs are in same location, and also that your pans are together, ect. Unfortunately, kitchen is one area of household where use it or lose it rule doesn't always apply. Meaning, in most other areas of house, if you don't use something frequently, or have a purpose for it even if that purpose is aesthetic, you need to throw it away or donate it. However, in kitchen there are a whole lot of things you may not use frequently but will need to save, such as herbs, spices, specialty pans, canned items, and more.
So now that you have clustered items together, now what? Well, you figure out which "groups" will need most space. Start by placing largest groups in largest available spaces, and working your way down. At this time you may need to incorporate several space saving techniques.
The first technique is what I call Martha Stewart technique. This is where if you have money and resources, you go out at this time and buy all those specialty gadgets for saving space, such as lazy suzans, expandable drawer inserts and shelf racks, wall hooks, and such. This can be a very attractive and simple way to achieve organization...but I am assuming you are reading this because you know how to buy space, you just don't know how to do it with what you have, right?
So next technique is what I call easy-find box method. This method works particularly well with spices, herbs, flavorings, and small jars. Find a box that will hold group of items you need to store. Shoeboxes and gift boxes work well for this purpose. Take all items in a group, and label each one on lid using small yard sale type sticker labels stating what they are. Place all items in group in box selected in alphabetical order. Then store box, and next time you need to get something from it you will be able to just take lid off and quickly locate an item. If you have more than a few of these boxes, I recommend labeling them with magic marker on side or top to be able to locate certain groups quickly. You can expand upon this idea by decorating boxes by gluing fabric to them, wrapping them in countertop sticky paper, or whatever else suits your fancy. This method works well for storing any number of things including canned goods and pastas.
Tearing Down the House Written by David Leonhardt
Last year, we bought this big ol' 1887 house. We are just now coming to grips with magnitude of "upgrades" planned.
With a baby on way and Little Lady all of two years old burning calories faster than pillagers burn Amazon rainforest, how tough can "upgrades" really be?
Ever since we bought house, my wife has been urging me to tear "that thing" down.
"That thing", at foot of our lane, had been a shelter to keep kids dry while waiting for school bus. It had seen better days. Like when paint could still be seen on wood. Like when it stood upright – taller even than weeds! – before gravity won battle.
"That thing" was our very own Roman ruins ... minus Roman part, of course. So I finally tore it down.
"What?" my wife asked. "You tore it down?"
"But how will people find us, now?"
We had used "that thing" as a marker, even a beacon. "Turn right on County Road 7, and just keep going until you see eyesore. You can't miss it. That's us."
Houses grow and age just like people. Sometimes old gets in way of new. Sometimes you have to rip things apart to build them up.
Recently, I was ripping apart a couple walls of soon-to-be nursery. I assured my wife it would be a two- to four-hour job. To avoid inhaling an overdose of plaster dust, she and Little Lady escaped to exile at Grandma's for afternoon.
Twelve hours later ...
The clock ticked past midnight before those two to four hours showed me mercy. Little Lady and her pregnant mom wisely chose to remain in exile overnight. Instead of resting my weary muscles, I had a jungle of – hack, hack - plaster dust nearly a foot deep to dispose of. Beach party, anyone?