Sunday, September 02, 2012

An Organized Life

Every morning, I get up, fix a cup of tea (a cuppa) and sit at my computer to enjoy it.  My web browser is set up to open a number of tabs of the important (to me) websites.  Of course, there are tabs for my email and Facebook, and those are the first two I typically go to.  Then there are news, world and local, my calendar, Pinterest (a story for another day) and then there is the blog section.

One of my favorite morning reads is A Bowl Full of Lemons, a fabulous blog about organizing.  From the moment I discovered it, I wanted to organize my entire house.  What is great about this blog, is the owner not only shares her organization ideas, but offers readers a chance to link their own accomplishments to her site.  I've written about how she inspired my hall closet makeover in this post "The Dreaded STUFF".  In that one I didn't take any before pictures, but I have been trying to do that ever since.

ABFoL is challenging it's readers to a "Home Organization 101" over the course of 14 weeks.  Week 1 began yesterday focusing on The Kitchen.  I should divulge that I did not do any of this over the course of this weekend.  I started The Kitchen in July.  There is still areas that need attention, but I thought I would share the tip of the iceberg so-to-speak.

 Drawer 1 - Before

Drawer 2 - Before

Junk drawers.  Mine were typical, non-functioning, I-might-need-this-sometime-but-don't-know-when drawers.  Just as I was starting this project, a postcard came in the mail for the Big Brother Big Sister organization.  They were collecting homegoods to sell in their retail store that funds their programs.  Conveniently they were having a pick-up date at the end of July.  I found a box and started the purge.  Some of it was just junk, but some of it, could be utilized elsewhere.  Bonus!

Drawer 1 - After

Drawer 2 - After

The binder in the "Drawer 2 - After" photo is also a great organizational tool.  I will be the first person to admit that I have a cookbook and recipe problem. I love to collect them.  You know how it goes, "Oh, that looks good.  I'll have to try it sometime."  Then I never do anything with said cookbook or recipe.  Guilty as charged.  I'm also sick of eating the same old things all the time.  I'm sick of trying to come up with dinner, or going to the market more than a couple times a week.  

As a result, back in June, I made the conscious decision to make planned menus for my family.  It was easier said, than done.  I pulled out my binders that contained recipes that I have printed and saved, and at least organized into categories.  and I chose a couple of cookbooks.  The next step was to find a blank calendar for 2012.  But that didn't take it far enough, I wanted something that would help me make a shopping list.  My iPad & iPhone are two of the best pieces of technology I've ever owned, so I found a program called Meal Board.  It has taken a bit of effort of inputting recipes and ingredients, but it makes for an on-the-go grocery list when I'm out.  Below are a few screen captures from Meal Board's website.  It's a very easy program to use and you can sync it between the iPad & iPhone with the touch of a button.

Meal Board app iPad & iPhone Interfaces

 Recipe card & grocery list that generates from the recipe cards

The other thing is I print a calendar that gets posted on the family bulletin board.  No longer must I answer the question, "What's for dinner?"  They are all trained now to look at the calendar!  A small piece of my sanity was restored by that simple task.  The calendar will tell me where I can find the recipe, be it on a certain page of a cookbook, my Main Binders (where ALL the untried recipes are kept), my Favorite Binder (the one in the drawer) or my Recipe Basket.  Ultimately my goal is to print them out to go in the Favorite Binder or my Recipe Basket.  The front of the Favorite Binder also has the months calendars that have transpired since I started this phase of my organization project.  As I go forward, I can look back and remember what were out and out favorites that my family would want repeated more often.

I'll show the rest of the kitchen reorganization in my next entry.  Cheers!


DogsMom said...

Very nicely done. We have the same before photos. I hope I can also do a successful after.

Disney Mummy said...

You absolutely can DogsMom! Feel free to email me, I'd love to see them.

Best, Jenn

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