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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.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Opting out...

Recently I received some unwanted emails and attempted to "opt out" by following their instructions, which led to nowhere...I suspect on purpose.

It seems to me that everyone should have the right to opt in rather than having to opt out, but of course, what would it do to marketing if you only got what you actually signed up for.

A kitchen counter covered with mail... most of it unwanted junk.

There are several ways to opt out that will help eliminate some of the day to day junk that arrives by phone, mail and internet.  None of these methods will get rid of everything, but it's a start...

Opt out of unwanted phone calls - go to the Do Not Call Registry - - this service works for cell phones as well as land lines, and it's now permanent for each number you enter.  Remember the magic phrase "take me off your calling list" whenever you receive a call you do not want.  By law, they are suppose to stop all calls from that point on.

Opt out of credit card applications, especially those with checks attached - call each company individually, and ask to be removed from their list.  By law, they must do this.   However, they can get around this by sending things in several different name styles, as in:  G. Grace, Gayle Grace, Gail Grace, etc.  You have to call each time they try this bit of trickery.

Opt out of catalogues - call each one individually and asked to taken off their mailing list.  Most reputable companies will do this, as it saves them on printing and postage fees.

Opt out of junk mail - the direct marketing association has set up a website for you to register.  There are varying opinions on the ease of use and the less that speedy response to your opt out request.  Try it at

Opting out of spam email is nearly impossible.  Using a spam remover program will help somewhat.  I use SpamSieve on my Mac.  And I understand that Spam Arrest is very good.

For more opt out information and sites, try:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I love using turntables in kitchen cabinets.  Especially in upper cabinets, corner cabinets and other places that are hard to reach.  

One of favorite uses for turntables is in liquor cabinets.  But anytime you have bottles of like things you need to reach, a turntable can be the solution.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Vitamin and medication storage

A common issue with clients is where and how to keep vitamins, medications and over the counter drugs.  Everyone seems to have a different opinion about this.  I find these items in some of the most unusual places in people's home, generally depending on whether there are children in the house.

Vitamins and onions or vitamins and glue... which do you prefer?

If there are children, all of these items should be treated the same way, and locked away.  Anything a child can swallow is dangerous.  One of my clients spent a tough day in an emergency room with a child that ate an entire bottle of the candy type vitamins for kids.

Studying the Internet I find that a cool, dry, dark, safe location in your house is where you are suppose to store these items.   They are not suppose to be in the refrigerator (unless, of course, specifically instructed to keep them there), or in the bathroom medicine chest (like the refrig, too much temperature fluctuation).

Additionally, they should not be transferred into other containers to keep them from being contaminated or losing the instructions.

However, I don't know too many people who will remember to take their vitamins or meds if they can not easily see them to be reminded to do so.

For myself, living alone, I do keep my over the counter meds in the bathroom medicine chest.  I'll risk cutting the life span of my aspirin for the convenience of being able to find them in the middle of the night.  And I do transfer my vitamins into somewhat decent looking containers and keep them on the kitchen counter, in the light of day, so that I actually take them.

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