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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Time to...

This is my favorite 2 weeks of the entire year, the week before Christmas and the week before New Years.  A good time to hope that humans come to their senses, lay down their weapons and try to get a long... A good time to look back, and to plan for the future.  That's what I intend to do.  Along with some dear friends, and the best food I can find.

I wish you all much joy and happiness.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A beautiful kitchen unpacked...

Last week we unpacked and organized this beautifully remodeled kitchen...

Mom and baby enjoying the activity of moving...

Within hours, everything is in it's place...

And the kitchen is ready to go...

Shouldn't all moves go this smoothly?  Here are some tips from a professional organizer on unpacking a kitchen...

1.  Decide in advance where in the kitchen your items should go... keep dishes and glassware near the dishwasher.

2.  Unpack the items that are easiest to put away first.  Generally, that dishes and glassware.

3.  Try not to have "too many cooks" in the kitchen at the same time madly unpacking boxes and shoving things into drawers and cabinets.

4.  Keep items you use most often closer at hand.  

5.  Remove packing paper and boxes from the area as soon as you unpack each box.  Keeping the area tidy will make it feel more in control.  

6.  Be sure and smooth out all packing paper so you are sure you didn't accidentally miss something from a box.  

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Donating your stuff...

Which of these items would you donate to charity?

The second hand and the alarm on the clock are broken.
The blue vase is fine.
The amber vase is chipped in two places.
Some of the candles are wrapped and some are not, some are faded.
The white tablecloth is stained in several places.
The bird nest has broken pieces missing.
The cat's collar is faded.
The cat game is unopened.
The knit pouch is fine.
The greeting cards are a variety of left over cards, most without envelopes.  

These items were all in a donation box... remember, if you donate items that the charity has to pay to discard, you are not doing them any favors.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The life in our heads...

I'm working with woman I've known for 30 plus years. We packed her up in September so that her house could be remodeled, and now we are putting the house back together. She promised that she would prune her mountains of "stuff", but it seems impossible for her to give up much.  She is not a hoarder, but a child of the depression (the OTHER depression) and she was taught to hang on to everything.

Her closets are stuffed with projects...the hat knitting project, the doll sewing project, the beaded snowflake project, the six mini houses projects, the lamp repair project, the jewelry making project, the quilt project, etc. Each project has heaps of supplies that need to be organized and contained.  The storage unit upstairs is stuffed with these things, and so is the off-site storage unit.

She tells me, "I'm going to work on this one as soon as...."
I say "that's what you told me last week, and the month before that, and the year before that, decades have gone by, but you never seem to get to it. And you just keep adding more projects to the list."

As a professional organizer, I see a lot of people living a life in their heads that is
completely different from the life they actually lead.  It may be collecting tools for woodworking, recipes and cooking gadgets, clothes, cars that "just need a little work"... many of us envision a life that includes doing these things, when in fact, we have a mountain of
excuses for why we are NOT working on our hobbies and projects.

 I've organized her projects and gotten the closet under least until the next project shows up.

How do you handle your list of projects?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's a Good Thing...

As I've said before, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday...a day of thanks is a good thing.

And speaking of good things...Martha Stewart has unveiled her new "mini" magazine for the IPAD.  It's glorious!  Full of beautiful photos and interactive pages, including a panoramic view of her farm in Bedford.  This will be one of my favorite things to look forward to each month.  Go to the ITUNES app store and look for the MS Living icon to download for $3.99.

Oprah has her own mini mag app as well, nice, but not enough content and no interaction.  I suspect, however, that this will change shortly.  Also $3.99.

I am wishing you all A VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

But, I just want a cup of coffee...

I've been trying to remember where this all started - turning everything food related into a reinvented science project...artisan breads, organic milks, private label wines, hand conched chocolates, salt from every sea on the planet, and now, specialty coffee, again.

Food deconstruction is huge in restaurant cooking right now, and certainly, Alton Brown's "Good Eats" and "America's Test Kitchen" have paved the way for home cooks to join in the fun.  But there's something about all this that has finally gotten to me. It happened when I tried to order a cup of coffee.

Coffee was a huge part of the food renaissance/revolution a few years back - Tully's, Peet's, Starbucks, etc...we all traded in our Folger's for a double-half-caf-extra-foamy-latte a while back.  I remember the coffee scenes in Steve Martin's "LA Story" and in "You've Got Mail", making fun of our beverage fetishes.

I just didn't expect it to be happening again, so soon, coffee taken to ANOTHER level, after all, where is the limit or IS there a limit or SHOULD there be a limit?.  How much reinvention of one's favorite beverage can one take in a single lifetime?

This is all about Blue Bottle Coffee...BBC started quietly a couple of years ago, being sold at a few Farmer's Markets.  Not all FM, just a few of them scattered about San Francisco and the East Bay.  Then BBC opened a cafe in SF, and then another and another - but just a few.  When they opened at the SF Ferry Building Market, I finally saw them.  Dozens of 20 something's standing patiently in a line, pecking away at their phones, while they wait for DRIP coffee, yes, I mean good old fashioned coffee filters drip, drip, dripping coffee into a cup...and it takes what seems like FOREVER to get your coffee.

So, BBC roasts their own beans and creates their own blends.  One of their claims to fame is that no bean is sold more than 48 hours after roasting.  After all, who wants 3 day old coffee beans.  Bags are sold in 1/2 pound portions, beans only...and each bean has its very own grind and use instructions.  Apparently, your house will explode if you dare put a bean meant for a french press in your Mr. Coffee. Each bean or blend has been given names that only the people at BBC understand.  The rest of us just go along...

I was given the task of bringing specific beans with me to friends in Marin.  Marin County is one of the wealthiest places on earth, but they are light years behind us poor folks in the East Bay when it comes to food.   BBC does not have a store there - yet.  So, at around 2 pm on Wednesday, I ventured to the heart of BBC, their roaster/cafe headquarters in Oakland.  Only 5 people in line in front of me, okay.  Finally my turn, "I need 2 pounds of 17 Foot Ceiling and 2 pounds Giant Steps, and I'd like to try a cup of Giant Steps".  The coffee doctor behind the counter blinked at me and quietly whispered, "ah, we don't have any more of either of those beans today and we don't make Giant Steps here."  I was taken so by surprise at this news... "well, when will you have these beans?"  "We have them almost every morning, but you have to buy them by 9am - 10 at the latest." I leaned in closer to whisper, "but I have to work in the morning - don't tell anyone - they'll know I am not an animator at Pixar, or a software developer at Apple, and I so love to pretend I belong here."

So sorry, but I'm in a coffee shop and there's no coffee.    Why don't they make Giant Steps?  Because GS needs to made in French Press and alas, they only make drip, drip, drip coffee in Oakland and you can only have what they happen to be dripping that day.  But I didn't get that info until my second visit the next day, when I rescheduled a client so I could be at BBC by 9am. I got the Giant Steps beans, but alas, no 17 Food Ceiling - I had to settle for Hayes Valley Espresso beans instead.  And I felt brave enough to order a decaf latte for myself.

I took a sip, hmmm... this latte is... almost cold.  I took another sip, yep, definitely on the tepid side.  I left the cafe, and then I turned around and went back in to face the coffee doctor.  "Uhmmm.... this latte is rather, ah, lukewarm..."

"Yes, we believe that the beans respond best to milk that is not more than 140 degrees."

"Well, I respond best to hot coffee, so what do we do here?"

He made me another latte, and it was borderline hot, but I decided not to push this any further.    

And, so, you are wondering - how good is this stuff?  Well, damn good actually.  Smooth, not bitter, no coffee aftertaste, I could even drink it without sugar.  I can hardly wait to go back and do it all over again...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Red or white...

How many wine glasses does one person need?  Recently, I organized a client's kitchen, and in the process, we removed dozens and dozens of wine glasses from the cabinets.  My client was amazed to see how many wine glasses he had accumulated over a few years.  They were tucked into every corner of every cabinet, mostly coated with dust.

How does this happen?  A couple of parties and before you know it, you are the owner of dozens of wine glasses.  And especially in California, you're suppose to have glasses for every kind of wine you might serve...white, red, rose, dessert, sparkling, port, etc.

So, how do you decide how many is too many?  How much space for storing glasses do you have?  How often are you going to use all the glasses?  Can you use a "generic" glass and serve whatever wine in them?  Can you borrow glasses from a friend if you needed to?  All these are questions you have to answer when you are deciding how much glassware you want to own.  

Personally, I have 4 red, 4 white and 4 champagne glasses.  That covers the maximum number of sit down guests I can fit into my condo.  If I have more people, I borrow glassware from a neighbor.  

When we put my client's kitchen back together, this is how many glasses he decided to keep.

Here's a great article about choosing wine glasses from The Wine Doctor:

"I suspect most wine drinkers could quite adequately get by with just two or three different types of wine glasses. I would suggest as starting point the three types of wine glasses mentioned above - a standard glass for whites, something a little larger, perhaps, for reds, and of course a flute or similar style for Champagne or sparkling wine." 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The organizing gene...

At some point, when I work with a client, they ask me why some people are so organized and they are not. I've been looking for some scientific data on this, but so far I have not found anything profound.

I only know that, in my case, it comes quite naturally to me. For whatever reason, I have been both organized and neat, for as long as I can remember. I also know that my younger sister, with whom I shared a room, was not. Interestingly enough, she has grown into a much more organized and neat person.

I also know that my organizing skills have improved remarkably over the years. Of course, as a professional organizer I get lots of practice. I find solutions much faster and can handle a wide range of problem areas. But there are tons of things in life that I can't do. So, I simply think of my organizing skills as part of my DNA.

Yes, you can learn the principles and techniques of organization.  As your personal organizer, the tricky part is imparting this information so that it weaves its way into your own natural behavior patterns.  I am not interested in turning you into me.  I am much more interested in improving your life in such a way that it becomes quite natural for you to apply those techniques in your everyday work and living environment.

There's a great debate about whether being neat and being organized are the same, or whether one can be organized without being neat or vice versa.  Personally, I think these are elements that cross over.  The degree to which one must be neat to be organized is an issue.  I have met plenty of people whose desire to be perfect has left them plenty neat, but not very organized.

Photo from The Container Store

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pay, and pay again....

Last week I was working with one of my elder clients and discovered that she has been paying several well known non-profit organizations repeatedly because they send her money requests that look like invoices. Additionally, she has been duplicating payments for magazine subscriptions because they keep sending invoices.

When I studied these fake invoices I could certainly see how they could easily fool someone. Quite frankly, I am appalled at these tactics, especially by groups who we all know are doing great things for the the world.

Last year I found that one senior client had still been paying AT&T monthly for the lease of her 35 year old Princess phone. And the real shocker was that AT&T wanted that phone back or they would charge her for it again! That useless phone cost her over $1200.

Another client had to pay Comcast for a modem because it was easier than trying to struggle through the calling process to get it picked up. I've seen clients break down in tears over trying to get a human on the line for utility services.

I find one of the best ways to track of memberships, subscriptions and donations, is a good old fashioned spread sheet. I note the date of the payment, the amount, and the expiration date of the subscription or membership.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A work of art...

I was looking around the house for just the right place to set up my IPAD recharging station, when it  hit me - it's a work of art, so why not display it as such...

My sofa end table before...

My sofa end table now...

When it's in use, I'll put my Toby Klayman back in its place.  

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Life happens...

Last month, my cat, Littleone, was diagnosed with Diabetes.  This has meant bringing into the house a whole new set of treatment supplies:  needles, insulin, testing kits, etc.   In order to fit these things in, some reorganizing had to take place.

As it happens, the easiest place to give her shots is in the kitchen, so now some of my precious kitchen drawer space has to be turned over to her medical supplies.  So, I went to work rearranging a drawer... not so bad, actually.

In August, I worked with a client whose child has severe allergies, and we decided to set up an allergy medication station in the kitchen pantry.  Right there with dog biscuits, is everything they need to treat a reaction.  We chose that spot because it's most likely to be the central location where everyone can access medications in an emergency.  We also duplicated this station on the 2nd floor and a mini station in the car.  (Note that this photo was taken before we labeled the boxes.)  

If you find that you need to set up a medical station, decide where the most likely places are that treatment will take place.  Empty an accessible drawer or shelf and set up your station.   Be sure everyone in the house knows where the medications are, can reach and manage them, and how to use them.  Label your boxes, drawers or shelves accordingly.  

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Boho... Boohoo

Okay, I'm a bit behind... A young client has introduced me to this particular style of decor.  "Boho Chic" is a mix of bohemian, hippy, shabby chic, flea market finds, Anthropologie, Mary-Kate and Ashley, vintage, gypsies, Rachel Zoe, Stevie Nicks, Janis Joplin, long stringy hair with loopy curls, and things that drip and droop.  It celebrates life in layers - the more the better, color and patterns.  2011 is suppose to be a big year for Boho... structure is out, geometrics are out, minimal is out and so is, gulp - ORGANIZATION!  Oh, oh... better dust off my resume...  (But I have to ask this:  who's dusting this stuff?)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Moving your elderly parents...

Every week I receive at least one call from a son or daughter who is at their wits end over how to help their elderly parents move.

The decision to move should have been made several years earlier, but the parents resisted any discussion of the subject, so the children stopped bringing it up.  Then something happened, a fall, surgery, a diagnosis of a serious illness, sometimes even the on set of dementia, and now it is imperative that they move to a safer environment.

Finally, the parents agree to move, but the move slows to snails pace when it comes to sorting through a house that has been lived in for 40 years.  Every single item needs to be examined and the parents are insistent that everything they own is a valuable antique and can't just be donated, it must be sold for an amount of money that they deem acceptable.  However, when the appraisers come in, there is very little that is actually worth selling.  Sometimes the process stops outright as parents battle children over what to do with their stuff.

When the decision has been made as to where the parents are going, it is often to a much, much smaller place.  Most seniors go from their 3 bedroom, 2 car garage homes to an apartment of about 600 square feet.  Convincing them that they need very little of the items they
have lived all their lives with turns into a tug of war.

I just finished working on such a move and the son asked me "why were you able to get them to
agree to everything when we couldn't?" And my answer was, "because I am not family".  I
don't have your history, I don't look for a "win" with a client, I listen and look for ways
to come to an agreement.  I don't argue, I don't get upset or annoyed, I simply move on until I can find something that we can call "done" and then return to those hot button items until a decision can be made.

Sometimes it's nearly impossible to get a parent to agree with you or to give up their power to their children.  Knowing when to call for professional help will save you, and them, a lot of grief.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Specialty collections...

I work with many people who have, over the course of their lives, collected various types of specialty items.  One person collects tiny spoons, another a certain type of pottery, a collection of model cars and airplanes, medical and dental equipment, old cooking tools and appliances... my current client has amassed a huge number of old woodworking tools.

In his 80's, he's about to move out of his large home and into a 2 room unit in a nearby senior living complex.  There is no room for the hundreds of tools he has stashed everywhere in his house, as well as manuals, catalogues and thousands of magazines dedicated to woodworking.  His children are at their wits end over what to do with this stuff.  They have no interest in keeping any of his precious collection and his home must be sold.  He insists that his collection is worth a fortune - but to whom?


Even with the internet, finding someone, somewhere in the world who would take this entire collection is looking for the needle in the haystack. Many of the local men who shared his passion for tools are also older and facing similar issues with their own collections. The children will rent a storage space while they try and figure this out.  At least it buys them some time.

If you are a "collector", you can do everyone a huge favor by knowing in advance who, or what institution, would buy or take your collection if, and when, it has to be disposed of.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Being prepared...

September is the designated National Preparedness Month.  Here's a list of things you might wish to attend to:

First Aid Kits - one in the car, one on every floor of your home
Water - enough for everyone and the pets for several days
Medications - extras in the car and a months worth of additional at home
Eyeglasses - keep your last older pair in your earthquake kit and a pair in your car
Pet Food - an extra supply
Food - something in the car and some things that don't need to be heated or refrigerator
Crates and leashes - for transporting pets (I carry leashes in my car and I've used them several  times to corral stray dogs.)  Don't forget tags and microchips on all pets.
Fire Extinguishers - one in the car and one on every floor of the house
Flashlights and batteries - everywhere
Hand crank radio - in the car and house
Extra blankets - in the car
Extra cell phone chargers

Safe document storage - a fireproof box for home, a safety deposit box at the bank
Back up system for the computer - some form of off site back up would be great
Printable photos of everyone (including pets) - just in case flyers have to be made

A family plan:  where you will all meet up and how you contact each other
A fire escape route and fire drills:  how to use a rope ladder and a fire extinguisher

A list of helpful sites is posted below on the right side under Disaster Prep Sites for further info.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Another spin...

"What should I do with all my albums?" And we're not talking about photos, we're talking about those vinyl record collections that many of us, of a certain age, still have in the back of the closet.  Usually kept in milk crates, they weigh a ton, require shelf space larger than most bookcases and they don't fit in small moving boxes, even though they look like they should.  They've been carted around for decades and now they have to go...

It's possible that some of your collection has a value to a collector - either for the music, or the cover art and/or liner notes.  But what condition is your collection in?  You won't get much if the covers are worn, torn and moldy or if the vinyl is unplayable.

Check with Record Collectors Guild International or Gold Mind Magazine.  Check with Amazon and EBAY to see what others are selling their copies for.

Try local record stores in large cities.  In the bay area, Amoeba and Aquarius Records still buy some LP's.

Put it on Craig's List or have a garage sale.  Giving albums away is not as easy as you think... many charities don't even take them.

Unfortunately, in most areas, there is no recycling of the vinyl itself.  The trash is the only alternative, while the covers could go into cardboard recycling.

Now, about those old turntables...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Back to school...

Here's a great post from Aby Garvey, at Simplify 101 on creating an area in the house just for homework.

She took a lovely old cabinet, put it in the kitchen and converted it into "homework central".  Some of her great tips are below:

Equip your homework station with essential supplies. Use your storage space to keep basic supplies on hand. If you aren’t sure what supplies your kids might need for their homework, ask their teacher, or use the list below for starters. Then, add to your supplies as the year progresses. Our current homework supplies include:
- pencils and erasers
- pencil sharpener
- paper – lined, colored, plain white, and over-sized
- crayons
- glue and glue stick
- markers
- pens
- ruler
- dictionary and thesaurus
- calculator
- protractor
- highlighters
- a dry erase board and markers (for working out math problems)
- colored pencils

Declutter to make space for your homework station.Our homework cabinet previously contained just craft supplies. So to make room for new homework related items we started by decluttering and whittling down the craft supplies to just the essentials. The Play-Doh collection, for example, was scaled back to just two small containers. And Kailea decided it was time to part with some stencils and other never used craft supplies. We also moved rarely used craft items into a storage area in the basement.
Use containers to corral like items together and create a space that's fun.Most of the tools and supplies in the homework cabinet are stored in containers that make the supplies easy to see, access and put away. Plastic drawer units hold pencils, glue, crayons, markers and other small items. Small ceramic pots from IKEA hold chalk, pens and sharpened pencils. A plastic shoe box holds beading supplies, while an ITSO bin corrals a small stash of Kailea’s scrapbooking supplies.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Building a better lunch box...

School is back in session, and so is packing lunches.  My client's are always trying to figure out how to make this less of a chore and more efficient an activity.  Not to mention the amount of space in the kitchen devoted to this exercise... drawers of ziplock bags in all sizes, insulated lunch packs everywhere, dozens and dozens of plastic containers spilling out of every cabinet - this is not for the faint of heart...

If you've eaten at a Japanese restaurant, you've probably seen a Bento Box... a pretty box, usually of hard plastic (use to be lacquered) with divisions for various small bites of mixed foods.

The Bento box has now gone mainstream and taken school lunches by storm...  dozens and dozens of websites and blogs have popped up devoted to packing the bento lunch.  So far, my favorite is  Kelly Lester has come up with a sturdy, non-toxic, environmentally friendly and dishwasher safe divided box that does the trick for packing lunches.

Yes, you can make your own bento style lunch by taking various sized containers and packing them into an insulated bag.

And the fun doesn't end with the boxes... there can be art in packing the Bento box - and creating interesting, exciting and sometimes amazingly beautiful lunches...

Sites and blogs abound on packing bento lunches, even for vegetarian kids. is a San Francisco woman who offers loads of great ideas along with videos.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The art of ART...

One of the best decisions I ever made was to invest in original artwork for my home.  While my art has been an investment, each piece has not been excessively expensive - and it brings such joy into my life everyday.  I have a Pottery Barn house, but my original artwork makes it feel like a designer showcase...

Throat People by Hyland Mather

Ceramic torso by Jenny Jones

by Hyland Mather

by Hyland Mather

Self Portraits by Jamin

Self Portrait by Anthony May

I choose art by what I like.  I go to art shows, galleries and Pro Art open houses.  I like to know the artist and get an understanding of how the piece came into being.  When I find an artist I really connect to, then I try and buy new pieces at various stages of their career.  

Sometimes I grow away from a piece and it's okay for me to let it go.  I either give it to a friend or trade it back to the artist for a newer piece.  I also rotate some of my art.  I love this bumper sticker, "good art does not have to match the sofa".  

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Post-it Notes...

Turns out this year is the 30th birthday of 3M's famous Post-its notes.  Who can live without these colorful sticky squares?

Here's a brief history from Wikipedia:

In 1968, Dr. Spencer Silver, a scientist at 3M in the United States, with the help of Jesse Kops, a fellow scientist, accidentally developed a "low-tack," reusable pressure sensitive adhesive.[1] For five years, Silver promoted his invention within 3M, both informally and through seminars, but without much success. In 1974, a colleague of his, Art Fry, who had attended one of Silver's seminars, came up with the idea of using the adhesive to anchor his bookmark in his hymnbook.[2][3] Fry then developed the idea by taking advantage of 3M's officially sanctioned "permitted bootlegging" policy.[3] 3M launched the product in 1977, but it failed as consumers had not tried the product.[4] A year later 3M issued free samples to residents of Boise, IdahoUnited States. 90 percent of people who tried them said that they would buy the product. By 1980, the product was being sold nationwide in the US;[4] a year later Post-its were launched in Canada and Europe.[5]
The yellow colour was chosen by accident; a lab next-door to the Post-it team had scrap yellow paper, which the team initially used.[7]

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Self storage...

Here's a great post from about self storage...

The state of self-storage in the U.S.

The New York Times ran an incredibly well-researched and informative article this weekend on the current state of the self-storage industry. The article gives insight into how the downturn in the economy is affecting storage units in terms of capacity and purpose of use. Additionally, the article confirms that the majority of units remain full of clutter, but it paints a vivid picture of people who are using the spaces for other, non-clutter reasons.
Some of the more powerful quotes from the article:
The Self Storage Association, a nonprofit trade group, estimates that since the onset of the recession, occupancies at storage facilities nationwide are down, on average, about 2 or 3 percent. It’s not a cataclysmic drop but enough to disorient an industry that has always considered itself recession-resistant, if not outright recession-proof…
“Human laziness has always been a big friend of self-storage operators,” Derek Naylor, president of the consultant group Storage Marketing Solutions, told me. “Because once they’re in, nobody likes to spend all day moving their stuff out of storage. As long as they can afford it, and feel psychologically that they can afford it, they’ll leave that stuff in there forever.”
After a monumental building boom, the United States now has 2.3 billion square feet of self-storage space. (The Self Storage Association notes that, with more than seven square feet for every man, woman and child, it’s now “physically possible that every American could stand — all at the same time — under the total canopy of self-storage roofing.”)
A Self Storage Association study showed that, by 2007, the once-quintessential client — the family in the middle of a move, using storage to solve a short-term, logistical problem — had lost its majority. Fifty percent of renters were now simply storing what wouldn’t fit in their homes — even though the size of the average American house had almost doubled in the previous 50 years, to 2,300 square feet.
Maybe the recession really is making American consumers serious about scaling back, about decluttering and de-leveraging. But there are upward of 51,000 storage facilities across this country — more than seven times the number of Starbucks. Storage is part of our national infrastructure now. And all it is, is empty space: something Americans have always colonized and capitalized on in good times, and retreated into to regroup when things soured. It’s tough to imagine a product more malleable to whatever turns our individual life stories take, wherever we’re collectively heading.
Be sure to check out the article, which tells a fascinating story.
Posted by Erin on Sep 10, 2009 |

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Under the kitchen sink...

One of the areas that is most likely to be "out of sorts" in a home is under the kitchen sink.  It's a tough area to organize for most people because it is usually just a large cavernous space, often with the garbage disposal and lots of pipes to get in the way.  

Even though this person tried to bring in an organizing tool - the double decker baskets - they are overflowing and difficult to get to.

It's definitely not a good idea to keep your cutting boards under the sink, and certainly not around cleaning products.

Clearly, this cabinet has too much stuff in it. 

The fix?  Start by taking EVERYTHING out and sorting by what is REALLY needed directly under the sink.  Usually, it's anything to do with washing dishes, cleaning the kitchen and sometimes a garbage pail.  If you have room, recycling can go there too, but that's often asking a lot of this space.

Using the double decker baskets in a different direction helped make everything more accessible.

Here we used a plastic box and a caddy to keep cleaning supplies easy to use.

Using a plastic bin under the sink also helps keep things from spilling on the cabinets surface and staining it, as well as collecting any leaks from the pipes that may occur.
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