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Wishing you find some peace and joy in the busyness of the upcoming holidays!
A pantry can quickly become a catch all space that becomes overwhelmed with food items, small appliances, paper goods and knick-knacks. Below are some simple tips that I know will help you achieve a more organized pantry. You can do it!
4 Tips for a More Organized Pantry
1. Create Zones. The easiest way for things to spiral out of control is to have no definition. It's like having traffic laws, if there were none, it would be a mad house out there! There has to be some order and definition. Create zones in your pantry to keep like with like. For example: small appliances on the bottom shelf, zone for pasta/grains, zone for grab and go snacks, zone for canned goods, zone for party items. Make the zones obvious and distinct. The best way to do this is to use bins or crates that are labeled.
2. Toss the Packaging. Especially if you shop at club stores like Costco or Sam's, letting the bulk packaging linger in the pantry is an eye sore and an issue. It's an issue because it leaves these bulky containers hanging out when you shop down in your own pantry, wasting your valuable space. Take all of your items out of their bulk packaging as soon as you unpack so you can see what you have. And to take it even further, this leads me to the next point....
3. Use Clear Containers. By putting items into clear containers, you can quickly and easily see what you have or don't have. It also looks much more organized and will help you stay accountable for the work you've put in! Clear containers come in all kinds - it might be acrylic bins for on-the-go snacks, or glass mason jars for nuts or grains, or plastic air-tight containers for baking supplies or cereals. All of these are excellent solutions for getting rid of packaging and displaying your food so you know what's there.
4. Strategize the Highs and Lows. Use the high and low areas for less frequently used items. Also consider weight and bulkiness. For these reasons, if you have small appliances in your pantry I recommend keeping them lower as they tend to be bulky and heavy. Use the high spaces for items like paper goods, soft sided coolers, party supplies, or other lighter less used items. This is all assuming that we've put our most used food items right at eye level in the middle of the pantry where you will have the easiest and fastest access.
Take a stab at rearranging your pantry to incorporate these ideas, and let me know how it goes!
I don’t need to be the millionth person to tell you that we spend a lot of time on our phones. They are a necessary part of life now. But what I DO want to tell you is that YOU control the amount of time or attention you give to your phone. You need to control your phone, or else it will take control of you! Below are some quick and simple tricks to ensure your phone isn’t stealing more than it's fair share of your time.
Delete old or unused apps - right now!
How many apps do you have on your phone? Techcrunch.com reports the average smartphone user has 90 apps on their phone. Does this seem like a lot to you? It does to me! Take a quick inventory of the apps you have on your phone, and delete any that you just aren’t using. This quick phone clean up should take about 5 minutes, and you’ll feel a little lighter for it.
Keep a clean home page
What are the most used apps on your phone? What SHOULD be the most used apps on your phone? Try keeping your homepage to just what you NEED, and this may help minimize the amount of time spent on apps that really aren’t necessary. As an example, my home page includes: time clock/alarm, step counter, Google Keep, Everydollar budgeting app, photos, maps, and Instagram. These are my most used apps that keep my daily life moving forward. Instagram is my favorite “time-waster” app, but I also use it for my business so I like to keep it close by. All other apps that are time wasters - games, FB, etc, are kept out of sight. I have to dig to find them.
Organize your apps
No matter what smartphone you have, you should be able to group like apps together in categories. On my second home page, I have a handful of app groups. Some helpful groups could be games, travel apps, social media, TV/streaming, music, prayer, etc. This helps to keep things visually organized and easier to find. I especially love my TV group, all the apps to look through for some good streaming are all in the same place!
Turn off notifications
This for me is the BIGGEST trick to keeping my focus off of my phone until I want it to be. I have almost no push notifications, aside from the weather, my calendar, and my messaging app. No facebook notifications, no email notifications, no game notifications. I choose when I want to see my email, not it choosing me. What app notifications could you turn off today to reduce the amount of time your phone blinks at you?
Hopefully you can try some of these tips today and start seeing the benefits! There is really nothing to lose :-)