Posted by JoAnn M. Drabble on 2/6/2019

 

10 Steps to a Decluttered Kitchen

Reduce clutter and live simply with these tips for better organization in the kitchen. Scale back on cookbooks, don't buy another coffee mug, and then take a deep dive in

Commit to the Pantry Challenge

Take a close look at the items in your pantry, especially the ones way in the back. Make a goal to use any items that are expiring in the next three months. Bonus points if you can incorporate three of the ingredients into a single meal. More bonus points if you can use up all these items in a single week.

Stack Your Cookware

Make better use of cabinet and drawer space and have a system for stacking cookware. Regardless of quality, pan protectors will help protect non-stick surfaces from scratches and will prolong the life of your pots and pans. You can make protectors like these; a single layer of felt cut into an asterisk shape will do the trick, but I recommend double-layered for added durability.

Keep the Fridge Free of Magnets and Artwork

It’s easy to let kids' artwork consume every spare inch of your refrigerator. Keep the chaos at bay by framing select pieces of artwork, or purchasing a shadowbox frame that doubles as a secret built-in storage unit – totally genius.


 


Reduce Unused Small Appliances and Tools

Some small appliances get used a lot, and those are the ones you should keep handy. However, whether we want to admit it or not, there are some appliances –like a veggie spiralizer, ice cream maker or specialty stand mixer attachments– that we rarely use, and we can certainly do without them taking up a whole cabinet of their own. If you must keep the lesser-used appliances, carve out anew space for lesser-used appliances in an unused closet or on a shelf in your basement.

Find Order in Your Silverware Drawer

Store-bought utensil trays are good for simple organization, but storage systems that take into account serving pieces and lesser-used hand tools – like potato mashers and can openers – are often better off custom built.

Organize Your Refrigerator

When there’s an assigned place for everything – and everything’s in that place – it’s a whole lot easier to find what you need. I always struggled with loose condiments wedged in the narrow door shelves, so a rotating tray has been the perfect accessory for our fridge. Not only can we spin it to access a specific item, but at dinner time we can pull the whole tray out and transfer it to the table so that everything remains contained and accessible. This same system works perfectly for salad dressings too!


Store Recipes Creatively With Magnets

Maybe it dates me to admit this, but we still rely on printed recipes from time-to-time. I keep our most-used favorite recipes (pancakes, enchilada sauce,dumplings, pizza dough) pinned to the inside of our upper cabinet doors for convenience. Open up the door, there it is! No poking at my phone for the recipe and no pulling out the cookbook. The easiest thing to do is to attach an inexpensive metal mending strip using a piece of mounting tape and then use a magnet to hold the recipe in position.

Reduce Your Stash of Plasticware

Assess your collection of plastic containers. First, separate items that aren’t yours; label and bag them so you can return them to their owners. Then separate items that don’t have a lid or lids that are missing their bottom.Next, check for cracks and melted plastic – those too can go. Finally, filter out plastic items that are from to-go containers. Put those containers to better use, such as organizing screws and hooks in your workshop. The goal? A much-less cluttered cabinet where you can always find what you need.

Keep Bulky Items Off of the Countertop

While it’s usually fun to show off your colorful stand mixer or high-velocity blender for a little while, it sure is nice to get that counter space back when the appliances aren’t in use. The Rev-A-Shelf is without a doubt my favorite invention, because it keeps the tool as accessible as it needs to be, and eliminates the back-breaking movements we all know from trying to lift one of those things from the bottom cabinet, or the top shelf in your pantry. Get one for every appliance!

Use Wall Space to Your Advantage

A magnetic bar installed on the wall is a magical way to store your most-used knives. Keeping them out of a drawer prevents them from getting dinged up, and getting a knife block off the counter saves valuable space, too.





Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by JoAnn M. Drabble on 8/23/2018

Steps to a De-cluttered Kitchen

Reduce clutter and live simply with these tips for better organization in the kitchen. Scale back on cookbooks, don't buy another coffee mug, and then take a deep dive into this challenge and learn how to streamline your lifestyle.

Commit to the Pantry Challenge


Take a close look at the items in your pantry, especially the ones way in the back. Make a goal to use any items that are expiring in the next three months. Bonus points if you can incorporate three of the ingredients into a single meal. More bonus points if you can use up all these items in a single week.

Stack Your Cookware


Make better use of cabinet and drawer space and have a system for stacking cookware. Regardless of quality, pan protectors will help protect non-stick surfaces from scratches and will prolong the life of your pots and pans. You can make protectors like these; a single layer of felt cut into an asterisk shape will do the trick, but I recommend double-layered for added durability.

Keep the Fridge Free of Magnets and Artwork


It’s easy to let kids' artwork consume every spare inch of your refrigerator. Keep the chaos at bay by framing select pieces of artwork, or purchasing a shadowbox frame that doubles as a secret built-in storage unit – totally genius.

Reduce Unused Small Appliances and Tools


Some small appliances get used a lot, and those are the ones you should keep handy. However, whether we want to admit it or not, there are some appliances – like a veggie spiralizer, ice cream maker or specialty stand mixer attachments – that we rarely use, and we can certainly do without them taking up a whole cabinet of their own. If you must keep the lesser-used appliances, carve out a new space for lesser-used appliances in an unused closet or on a shelf in your basement.

Find Order in Your Silverware Drawer


Store-bought utensil trays are good for simple organization, but storage systems that take into account serving pieces and lesser-used hand tools – like potato mashers and can openers – are often better off custom built. This drawer organization system built by Sarah at The Ugly Duckling House proves that you can retrofit any drawer to meet your individual needs.

Organize Your Refrigerator


When there’s an assigned place for everything – and everything’s in that place – it’s a whole lot easier to find what you need. I always struggled with loose condiments wedged in the narrow door shelves, so a rotating tray has been the perfect accessory for our fridge. Not only can we spin it to access a specific item, but at dinner time we can pull the whole tray out and transfer it to the table so that everything remains contained and accessible. This same system works perfectly for salad dressings too!

Reduce Your Stash of Plasticware


Assess your collection of plastic containers. First, separate items that aren’t yours; label and bag them so you can return them to their owners. Then separate items that don’t have a lid or lids that are missing their bottom. Next, check for cracks and melted plastic – those too can go. Finally, filter out plastic items that are from to-go containers. Put those containers to better use, such as organizing screws and hooks in your workshop. The goal? A much-less cluttered cabinet where you can always find what you need.

Keep Bulky Items Off of the Countertop


While it’s usually fun to show off your colorful stand mixer or high-velocity blender for a little while, it sure is nice to get that counter space back when the appliances aren’t in use. The Rev-A-Shelf is without a doubt my favorite invention, because it keeps the tool as accessible as it needs to be, and eliminates the back-breaking movements we all know from trying to lift one of those things from the bottom cabinet, or the top shelf in your pantry. Get one for every appliance!

Use Wall Space to Your Advantage


A magnetic bar installed on the wall is a magical way to store your most-used knives. Keeping them out of a drawer prevents them from getting dinged up, and getting a knife block off the counter saves valuable space, too.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by JoAnn M. Drabble on 3/28/2018

Low Pressure in Showerhead

Most showerheads and faucets now come with water-saving devices called reducers. They’re great for saving water (and money), but sometimes these models are not as powerful as you would like. To remove the water reducer, unscrew the showerhead off its arm. Look inside for the reducer; it is usually a bright color. Remove the gasket that holds the reducer in place then remove the reducer. Another cause of bad water pressure is hard water which can leave mineral deposits in a showerhead and restrict water flow. To clean a showerhead, soak it in vinegar to loosen and remove deposits. Boiling the vinegar, letting it cool a bit, then placing the showerhead in it will make it work even faster. If your water pressure hasn’t improved, check the shut off valves (both cold and hot) for your shower to see if they're not open as fully as they could be.


Dingy Faucet Handles

While we'd all probably like to replace our faucets, but sometimes the budget doesn’t allow it. Those original one-handled clear plastic faucet handles can get a bit funky over time from hard water deposits or simple daily use. You can pick up replacements at the home center for a few dollars, or if they're in good shape, save money by removing them (all it takes is a screwdriver) and giving them a soak in vinegar and a good scrubbing with an old toothbrush. You'll be surprise at how well they'll shine and gleam.


Exhaust Fan Woes

Over time, dust builds up in the fan slits and makes it work less efficiently and effectively. You can test the fan's strength by placing one square of toilet paper in front of it when running to see how much air it is drawing in (however, this may only show you how strong a fan you have installed). If replacement isn't an option, give the fan a good cleaning with a vacuum hose fitted with a brush attachment. It's also possible there could be a blockage in the exhaust pipe. To clean this, you can use a dryer vent brush, which has a flexible long handle with a brush on the end.


Cabinet Facelift

If your bathroom cabinets are looking dingy but are still in good functioning shape, there's no need to feel stuck if your budget is limited. Even builders' grade laminate covered cabinets can be freshened up. There are kits available that include all primers and paint/epoxy layers, or you can simply sand, prime and paint using ordinary materials. To make the job easier, remove all the doors, drawers, hardware and work on these parts in a clean workspace away from the bathroom. It's best to use rollers or foam brushes to get a smooth finish, and you should top it off with a coat of polyurethane or polycrylic. For the finishing touch, pick up some new knobs and pulls.


Broken Tile

Cracked or broken tile is not only unsightly, but can also be a trip hazard, a sharp exposed edge, or an entry point for leaks. Cut around the broken or cracked tile at the grout line using a tile saw attachment for a rotary tool. If it's not loose, you'll need to break up the tile using a hammer or a cold chisel. Make sure you protect the surrounding good tile. Clean the area thoroughly and check to see if there is a void that may have cause the tile to crack. If so, apply a leveler compound, smooth, and allow to set. Apply mortar to the back of the tile and area it's being inserted, and set in place, making sure it is level with the surrounding tile. Allow the mortar to set and apply grout. When this sets, apply a grout sealer.


Dirty Grout

A big mistake homeowners often make is not sealing the grout lines after doing a tile job, or not requesting the grout be sealed after having the job done for them. It won't take long to regret this decision when irregular color patterns start showing up in the grout. But all isn't lost. Manufacturers have vastly improved grout cleaning products that will get the job done. However, these products are pretty noxious and you'll need to take a lot of precautions. An alternative is a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, and there is always the option of use a steam spot cleaner. No matter what you use, you'll need some elbow grease and heavy-duty brushes. Once you've cleaned the grout and allowed adequate drying time, seal the grout. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendation on any addition steps to take before applying the sealer.





Posted by JoAnn M. Drabble on 4/11/2017

As a home seller, you'll need to declutter your residence before you add it to the real estate market. By doing so, you'll be better equipped to ensure that your home makes a positive first impression on homebuyers. Decluttering also guarantees that you'll be able to get rid of unnecessary items prior to an upcoming move. Clutter may seem overwhelming, especially if you encounter tall stacks of items in your attic or basement. Fortunately, there are many quick, easy ways to get rid of unnecessary items, including: 1. Donate your items to charity. Do you have quality clothing, housewares or other items that you won't need in your new home? Donate them to charity, as this will allow you to give your items to an organization that will be able to provide them to families in need. Donating your unnecessary items to charity may enable you to receive a tax write-off as well. That way, you can provide these items to an inspirational charity and save money on your annual taxes. Many charities are available in cities and towns nationwide, too. Thus, you should have no trouble finding a charitable organization to accept your donations. 2. Sell your items online. Numerous websites are available that are designed to help you sell your items without delay. Therefore, you can list your items online and sell them to local or remote buyers. Listing your items online usually takes just a few minutes to complete. Plus, you can add descriptions and images to highlight your items to prospective buyers. Remember, when you list items online, you may or may not receive instant responses. But with a patient, diligent approach, you'll be better equipped to find interested buyers who will pick up items at your home. Or, you may be able to ship items to buyers in remote locations. 3. Throw out items that cannot be reused. If you find that you have many items that are in poor condition and can no longer be used, you should dispose of these belongings. In many cases, you will be able to put these items out with your weekly trash or drop them off at a local junkyard. On the other hand, an item like an old TV or a mercury thermometer may need to be taken to a hazardous waste facility for proper disposal. Are you uncertain about how to dispose of specific items that cannot be reused? Consult with your real estate agent, as this professional should be able to provide guidance and support. A real estate agent possesses the skills and know-how to help you simplify the process of decluttering, and ultimately, selling your home. As a result, this professional will be able to assist you during every step of the home selling journey. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips to ensure that you can enjoy a clutter-free home. By devoting the time and resources to eliminate excess items from your residence, you'll be able to minimize stress and guarantee that your residence is ready to be shown to prospective homebuyers.




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Posted by JoAnn M. Drabble on 7/17/2016

Often times, certain cleaning rituals are saved for spring-cleaning, certain cleaning rituals that should occur more than once a year. One of those things that fall into this category is your refrigerator. You open your refrigerator, stare into it trying to find something to eat or drink, find that something or not, and then close the fridge. This happens multiple times a day, but how often do you go into your fridge with intentions of cleaning it out? And by, “clean it out,” I don’t just mean to toss the nearest thing to you that looks like it morphed into a creature inside of your tupperware. A refrigerator needs a good cleaning every couple of months to avoid any unwanted stenches, difficult clean ups from unknown spills, and expired food/drinks. Here are a few tips to keeping your refrigerator clean: Go Through Every 2-3 Months: Go through your fridge every two to three months. It’s so easy to lose track of what is in your fridge, from throwing leftovers in, to fruit and vegetables, and eggs and milk. And don’t forget about your freezer. Check for food that is no longer any good or has past best buy dates and anything in your freezer that looks freezer burnt and throw it away. Wipe down Every 2-3 Months: When you are cleaning out old food from your fridge, take the time to wipe it out too. Spills can happen without you knowing and can leave your fridge sticky, slimy and even stinky. By wiping your fridge out every so often you can avoid those issues. Rotate: After going through the items in your refrigerator and freezer, make sure to rotate any duplicate items. Rotating means to put the oldest item in the front so that you use that one first. This will help ensure that you are eating foods and drinking drinks before they go back therefore causing less waste. This will also help you save money in the long run. It may sound tedious but the more often you do it the less work there will be each time. Happy cleaning!







JoAnn M. Drabble