I Love Pantries

Why do I love pantries so much?

 

 

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Pantry Organization

 

 

I love organizing pantries so much because I’ve always felt that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s my happy place, and I want to make it yours too! We spend so much time in our kitchens through out the day that we need to make it a priority! You should love being in your space. I can help you make it pretty as well as functional.

 

 

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Clear, Air Tight Containers

 

 

I look back fondly, to the years when my kids were little, of cooking and creating good meals for my family. I’ve always loved cooking for large groups, after all I am the oldest of seven, I can do it with my eyes shut.  Like my Grandma, feeding people is my love language.  So naturally for me, creating a functional yet pretty space in any pantry is a must.

 

 

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Create Zones

 

How I organize a pantry.

 

If you follow me on instagram you know the drill by now. Take it all out. By taking everything out of the space, you will touch and see it all, forcing you to decide if you want it, need it, and/or use it.

 

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Before….you must take it all out!

 

Next step is sorting. Sort like with like. Check expiration dates during this process. I put all the baking together, all the lunch items together, all the snacks together and so on. If I had a quarter for every time I heard “how did I end up with five of these?” I’d be rich.

 

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Oxo Brand Pop Top Containers

 

Now create Zones.  Here is how I zone my pantries: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, eat first (snacks), baking, paper goods, cleaning supplies (if applicable).  I use the top shelf for large items that aren’t used very often.

 

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Keep it simple.

 

 

Next, choose your favorite organizing supplies. Mine are  Oxo brand containers,  baskets,  bins,  lazy susans , can stackers, and labels.

 

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Use lazy Susan’s in the corners.

 

 

Lastly, use floor baskets help hide clutter. I use big floor baskets for paper and plastic sacks, lunch boxes, cleaning supplies, paper goods, and Costco snacks.

 

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Hide the clutter with large floor baskets.

 

 

 

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Target Basket

 

 

 

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Belly baskets hold a ton!

 

Now, it’s time to enjoy!

That’s it! That’s my pantry formula!

 

I’d love to help you organize your pantry too! Did you know I do virtual organizing? It’s so fun and easy. We FaceTime for forty five minutes and then I send you a detailed to do list and links to all the products. It’s that easy. Or if you live in the DFW area, I’ll drive straight to your house. I also travel! Send me a plane ticket and I’m there! We will have fun, I promise.

 

Is redoing your pantry on your to do list?

 

I’m ready to help you today,

Lisa

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Finding Balance

Balance.

It’s a state of being a lot of us are looking for.

By definition “Balance” means ‘an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady’. Naturally the ebb and flow of life causes the scales to tip slightly here and there but what if you can’t get it back to even?

I work with a lot of people who feel their life is completely off balance. Whether it be a major life event such as death, divorce, or an unexpected health issue, or working parents that are completely overwhelmed with life and need help to get their homes in order to function properly. The scales have tipped along the way and they need help.

 

So how do we find it?

My advice to my clients is to stop. Stop buying useless things to fill a void, stop saying yes, stop feeling the need to do it all. Unless you have a housekeeper, a cook, a personal assistant, a bookkeeper, a home organizer on call, and an endless checking account you cannot, absolutely cannot do it all. Something is going to suffer. Your sanity, your health, your relationships, your home, your bank account, trust me, something is going to suffer.

 

Where do I start?

Take a breather. Find one day to turn the world (and your phone) off. Assess your life. What do you want out of your life? What do you want out of your relationships? What are your dreams? Look around your home, does it bring you joy? Does it bring your family joy?

Next, call a family meeting. Check in with each other. Are you filling your schedules to avoid something? To keep up with your friends? Do you feel pressure to look like you’re doing it all? Is every child maxed out with school, homework, sports, and lessons of every kind? Do you have any down time at all?

After you have done all this and had honest conversations with yourself, your spouse, and your family, what can you do to find some balance?

Helpful tips.

Rest. Make one day out of the week a rest day. Decide what true rest looks like for you and do it.  Your body, your brain, and your soul needs rest. Resting lessons anxiety, reduces stress. Relaxation clears your mind, helps with your thought process, and helps you make better decisions. It renews you from the inside out.

Sit in silence. When was the last time you did this? It may be uncomfortable for a few minutes, but try it. Just sit and be quiet. It’s so refreshing. My favorite time to be quiet is in my car. I drive a lot around the Dallas Metroplex and I love doing it in silence. It’s wonderful.

Go for walks. This helps me so much. When the world is crashing in on me and my life feels out of control, I put on my shoes and walk. I walk and I think. I don’t listen to music or podcasts. I just walk until I feel better. I look around me,  I’m quiet. I listen to my heart. It’s truly my favorite thing to do.

Say no. Like I mentioned above, saying no is a huge step to finding balance. You don’t have to give a reason why either, just say “no, I can’t do that right now”. Period.

Stop useless spending. Buying “stuff” without a reason is useless spending. “Just because it’s on sale” is not a reason to buy it. That useless stuff turns into clutter. Clutter you don’t need in your home. Don’t make impulse purchases. Don’t shop your feelings away. Have a reason for why you are buying something. Try it, it takes practice but pretty soon you will have trained yourself to say “no, I truly don’t need that”.

Ask for help. It’s ok to ask for help. A trusted friend, a parent, a sibling, your spouse, a professional. Talk about it and say it out loud. I need help. It’s the first step in claiming back your life. I always tell my clients the hardest part is actually calling me, once they’ve asked for help, the rest is all downhill.  You don’t have to do it alone.

Dear friends, I want to tell you I speak from experience. I’ve been there and made all the mistakes. I’ve walked that path. I’ve suffered imbalance and I’m here to tell you it can get better…..if you want it to.

Are you ready to find your peace? Claim your life back? Fight for balance? It’s worth it. You’re worth it. Your family is worth it. Start today.

I’m here to help,

Lisa

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Get Organized HQ is back!

 

Ever wish you could sit down and have coffee with someone (or a room full of someones) who is totally non-judgey and knows exactly which manageable steps you should take next to get your life and home running smoothly? 

Are you tired of all of the “expert advice” that doesn’t actually work for busy women who have a lot to manage and who also DO need to sleep occasionally?

Well I’m teaming up with over 40 other real-life, real-talk women and we are all so excited to share our stories and the lessons we’ve learned along the way about organizing and streamlining your home.

It’s called Get Organized HQ, and it’s a completely free, 100% online event. These been there done that women are will be talking about everything from organizing pantries, garages, and toys, meal planning, work/life balance, setting practical goals, decluttering, budgeting, and so much more!

And the awesome thing is – it is free to attend!

No need to leave your house, hire a babysitter, or even change out of your yoga pants. It’s all happening right here online September 9th – 13th. And it’s going to be nothing short of amazing!

Ready to join in? Click HERE.to get your free ticket!

 

 

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Food Prepping – Back To School Edition

What does it mean to food prep?

 

For me food prepping (preparing food ahead of time) is a way to keep my sanity during the busy school weeks. When we have food prepped and ready to go for lunches, dinners, snacks and breakfasts, we not only save time, we save money!

 

I typically grocery shop on a Friday or Saturday and food prep on Sunday afternoons.  Sunday’s are slower days for us and it’s relaxing for me to be in the kitchen making good food for the week ahead. Get the whole family on board to help. Littles love to help in the kitchen, and big kids can help you cook!

 

What food items do I prep ahead?

 

Meat. Even though I eat vegan, I prep meat for my family. I will cook up all the chicken, beef, turkey burger, bacon, sausage etc. all on one day. Then I freeze it into portions for quick meal prep for spaghetti, tacos, chili, breakfasts, or whatever is on the menu for the week.

*Side note: our trash cans go out on Monday night, so when I cook up all the meat on Sunday, there’s no stinky wrappers sitting in the trash can all week!

 

Veggies. I wash, dry, cut up and prep all the veggies I can. We use these for salads, lunch boxes, snacks, fajitas, you name it!

 

Fruit. You’ve seen my vinegar wash for strawberries and blueberries. I buy in bulk, dump them into a large bowl. Cover with water and pour in 1/4 to 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (with the mother), stir and let set for one hour. Drain, rinse and set out on a towel to air dry completely. Then I put into mini serving reusable baggies for lunches or snacks.

*Side note: fruit has to be completely dry before putting back in the fridge.

 

Snacks: I buy snacks in bulk and portion them into smaller reusable baggies This saves money and time each morning. When you have a grab and go section in your pantry it makes packing lunches a breeze!

 

Muffins: I like to make a double batch of muffins (any kind) to freeze. Perfect for breakfast, snacks, or to have on hand for guests. They freeze so well.

 

Steel Cut Oats/Pancakes: I make a large batch of oatmeal and heat up a little each morning for breakfast. Add honey, walnuts and cinnamon for the yummiest breakfast ever. You can also do the same for pancakes; make a huge batch on Saturday or Sunday and freeze the rest…pop them in the toaster and you have a quick, hot, and home made breakfast!

 

Quinoa/Grains: I also will make up a batch of quinoa, lentils, rice, or couscous, etc. They make a great side dish when you add veggies, are good in salads, soups, tacos, etc. Having them made up ahead of time makes weeknight meal prep go quickly.

 

Chili/Soup: I love to make a big batch of chili or soup for dinner on Sunday. Freeze the rest and you’ve got a quick dinner all ready to go. Add a salad and bread and you’re done.

 

What do I use to freeze my food in?

 

I have slowing been phasing out plastic baggies and switching to reusable baggies whenever possible. Last week I showed you all the reusable lunch box inserts we have for the grandkids.  Today I’ll show you the reusable silicone baggies I love and use daily.

*Side note: they are dishwasher safe, but I prefer to hand wash and dry them.

 

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Half gallon reusable baggies made of silicone. Thick and durable! Perfect for freezing soups and chilis. I also use them to freeze cooked up meat of any kind. They hold a ton! So easy to have it already cooked up and ready to add to any recipe.

 

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Keep all your frozen bags in this clear bin for easy access, not to mention great freezer organization.

 

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Here are the reusable baggies I love and use. You can write a name in Sharpie for each member of your family. Wash and dry to use again and again.

 

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These are my favorite reusable snack size bags. Portion out the perfect snack and reuse and reuse and reuse.

 

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I love keeping other snack items in the fridge using this divided turn table. I keep one in my fridge and one in my pantry. Easy access to grab and go, or to help littles pack their own lunches.

Fridge:

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Pantry:

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Use these bins and labels to keep fresh foods contained and accessible as well. Be sure and measure your fridge first. These bins come in lots of different sizes to fit any space.

 

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Now what?

Well, you’ve spent one afternoon cooking and prepping. Sit back and enjoy the rest of the week. Trust me, food prepping works. I was a teacher when my kids were younger. Our weekdays were jam packed with school work, activities, sports, you name it. By having a plan for each week, it saved my sanity not to mention my time and money. It takes a little getting used to at first, but if you start simple and stay consistent with it, you’ll soon be a food prep pro!

 

Need help? I’m an email away.

 

Ready to help you today,

Lisa

 

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I Like-It!

Do you ever come across a product that has so many uses you just can’t wait to use it?
Well this is that product for me….”this month” anyway lol!

 

Exhibit A:

The dreaded water bottle situation….no matter what system I use it has never worked! It is a constant mess; it doesn’t help that I have a rotating door of family members and grand babies needing water bottles. Not complaining just stating the facts 😉

If I could redo my kitchen, I’d choose all deep drawers instead of cupboards….but since I can’t, this is the best solution I found!

Before:

 

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And AFTER…..

I am in love with the like-it bins from The Container Store! Here I used the short wide drawer. They fit perfectly inside my kitchen cabinet shelf. No more bending over trying to find all the lids, or sweet family members just putting things in the wrong bin….at least they try ;-)….now they are all neatly contained in this one drawer!

I separated the drawers by water bottles and lunch items. It looks so nice and clean now!

 

 

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Exhibit B:

I needed some more storage in my Neat Freak office to hold supplies. I like to stock up on things that I use all the time. But I wanted them in the closet, not sitting on my desk. So….you guessed it, I used the like-it bins here too!

 

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For this project I used  two tall wide drawers and two tall medium drawers.

They fit perfectly on the floor and give me the storage I need!

 

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I added some simple labels and just like that I’m organized and happy!

 

Exhibit C:

The laundry room! Most clients I work with need extra storage in the laundry room. These work perfectly!

 

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I stacked three tall wide like-it bins to create extra storage in the laundry room. I paired it with the three bin laundry sorter and we have instant organization!

 

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Exhibits D, E, F, G, H, I and J!

I have so many ideas floating around in my head on how to use these drawers!

Dorm Room: school supplies, bathroom supplies, dresser drawers

Baby Room: diapers, wipes, changing pads, baby clothes, bath supplies

Closets: use as a dresser for young children’s clothing so they can dress themselves

Kitchen: under the sink storage, pantry drawers, cleaning supplies

Bathrooms: back stock supplies, personal products, washcloths, cleaning supplies

Garage: tool storage, golf balls, golf accessories, power cords, gardening supplies

Back yard: bbq tools, pool supplies, pool towels, pool toys, swim diapers

 

What ideas do you have? Tell me, I’d love to hear! And as always, if you need help, I’m an email away!

 

Ready when you are,

Lisa

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Summer Travel

Do you have summer travel plans?

Yes? I’d love to know where you are going! I love traveling and only wish we had more time to do so.

This summer my daughter and I are embarking on a fourteen hour road trip with three kiddos ages 8,5, and 18mo! Sound fun? NO?? LOL! We are going to escape the Texas heat and go visit my son and his family in Wisconsin!

Packing Cubes

To make life easier on the road, I’ve updated a few things to my packing routine! Have you ever tried packing cubes ? I can’t believe I’m just now getting on board!

 

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I chose blue for me and gray and white for my daughter. Our other daughter has a different color cube set  for each family member and she said it has made traveling so much easier!

 

 

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I can’t believe how much room they save. Summer clothes are so much easier to pack and I was able to fit a week’s worth of outfits in one cube ! The Container Store has so many packing options right now. I love thinking of all the ways to use them!

 

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I also added these cord holders to my travel kit! No more tangled head phones for me! They come in three colors too!

 

 

Four Wheeled Suitcase

The other item I added to my travel routine was this four wheeled suitcase  by Eagle Creek. I was so ready for an upgrade! The last few trips we’ve taken my elbow has ached from pulling my heavy two wheeler all over the airport.

 

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I love the lightweight and water resistant fabric that this suitcase  comes in. I chose black but they also have a pretty blue one too. There are so many compartments and straps, that no matter your destination, you’ll be sure to carry it all! The multi directional treaded wheels make it easy to cart your suitcase over any terrain! Hello German cobblestones!

 

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My other travel secret is keeping all my travel items and toiletries in this bin.  It makes packing so much quicker when all my products are in one place! I have all my travel sized items and containers in one place in my master bath. Grab and go packing is my favorite!

 

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I can’t wait to hug that boy in the picture! Wasn’t he just in high school yesterday? Now he’s all grown up and is the sweetest husband and daddy ever. I always told him he would be. Moms are always right!

 

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Happy travel this summer friends! Need help organizing? I’m an email away!

 

Ready to help you,

Lisa

 

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