Home Of The YearWritten by David Leonhardt
We were gathered 'round television, where Little Lady was watching an episode of Stuart Little. The kids had entered their house for a Home Of The Year contest sponsored by some fancy magazine.
I turned to my wife with yet another one of my way-too-brilliant ideas. "Why don't we enter Home Of The Year contest?" I asked.
My wife looked around in horror. "What? With this place?"
Little Lady, just over two years old, was looking for green crayon. "Sure," I replied, obviously missing something. "Why not? It's a great home."
"This place is a mess," my wife said in frustration, as she started slipping videos back into their sleeves. "What magazine would call this home of year? Dump Monthly? Trash Can News? Oh, I know – Bad Housekeeping?"
Little Lady emptied crayon box on floor. "Oh come on," I answered. "This is a wonderful home full of love and joy. See all drawings taped to wall?"
"In Home Of The Year, there are no crayon drawings taped to wall," my wife explained with just a hint of patience. "There might be an original Rembrandt or Van Gogh, or perhaps an exceptional imitation. It would be placed in an elegant frame." Little Lady found green crayon. Now she needed a sheet of paper on which to draw.
"I don't know," I hesitated. "Rembrandt and Van Gogh don't sound very homey. I suspect you might find them in Museum Of The Year contest."
"Just look at this dust!" my wife cried. She blew on top of television set, which temporarily vanished into haze.
Little Lady emptied her bookshelf with one fell swoop, but still could not find paper on which to draw.
"OK, so it's dusty," I admitted. "If we dusted more frequently, we would spend less time together and it would be less of a home."
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.