The Tidy Traveller

Organization covers many realms, and travel is no exception. Before you venture out into the world, you must arrange your suitcase. This seems simple enough, but there are tricks to maximize efficient use of this space. Here are some quick tips for organizing your suitcase:

1. Plan your outfit for each day. Also, you don’t need a new pair of pants every day – usually one pair can be worn for at least two days. By planning in advance what you’re going to wear, you won’t end up overpacking.

2. Roll it up! Rolling your clothes is the most space-saving method and it also minimizes wrinkles.

3. Compartmentalize. Think of a junk drawer and how everything just gets jostled around, turning into a chaotic mess. You don’t want that to happen to your suitcase, so use slim, smaller pouches/bags to compartmentalize your items. Group like items together. When you’re at the airport, you’ll be able to easily grab your toiletries for inspection.

4. If you’re packing extra pairs of shoes, arrange them in the way that retail stores do – putting opposite ends of the shoes together – this will save space. Also, put them in a grocery bag to avoid getting other things dirty.

5. Identify. A lot of people have black suitcases and this can make it hard to find yours. Tag your bag with some sort of colourful identifier so that it catches your eye quicker. I once tied a bright purple fuzzy elastic band on the handle of mine.

These are just some simple and quick tips for getting yourself ready for travel. I hope they were helpful.

Happy organizing!

 

 

Liebster Award

A classmate of mine, Kassandra Kitz, nominated me for this award and I’d like to thank her! Check out her blog where she shares her inspirations, life’s tidbits, travels, and everything in-between.

 

Here are the official rules:

1) Thank the rockin’ blogger that nominated you.

2) Answer the 11 questions you were given.

3) Nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 500 followers.

4) Post 11 questions for your nominees to answer.

5) Tag your nominees and post a comment in their blog so they know they’ve been nominated.

 

Here we go folks!

1. What is one quality that you would like to be remembered for?

This is a tough question, but I’d say, my acceptance of others.

2. What’s your favourite food?

Sushi!

3. If you were to win the lottery, what would you spend your money on?

Buying everyone in my family a house (or paying off their mortgages).

4. What’s your favourite sport to watch and why?

I don’t watch sports.

5. Which actor/actress do you wish to be with?

I’ve never actually thought about this… hard to say!

6. Can you build an awesome house of cards?

Nope

7. What’s your favourite quote?

“I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.” – Bilbo Baggins, J.R.R. Tolkein

8. If you were a super hero, what power would you have?

Invisibility

9. Where would your dream holiday be?

Japan

10. Do you have a favourite cheesy pop song?

Nope

11. What is your best talent? (Can you juggle? Solve a rubix cube?)

Swimming – front crawl

 

I nominate these lovely people… your questions are below.

1. http://skissm.wordpress.com

2. http://365simplify.com

3. http://hiddenpassions.wordpress.com

4. http://lizard100blog.wordpress.com

5. http://justdecorate.wordpress.com

6. http://amongthefallingstars.wordpress.com

7. http://usemeagain.wordpress.com

8. http://joanfriesen.wordpress.com

9. http://thegildedcarafe.wordpress.com

10. http://shortandsoundreviews.wordpress.com

11. http://msrainbowhair.wordpress.com

 

Your questions:

1. Do you drive? If so, what kind of vehicle is it?

2. What is your favourite hobby?

3. What is your favourite quote?

4. Do you have pets? If so, what kind and how many?

5. What is your favourite thing to do on your day(s) off?

6. If you could only speak once to one person today, what would you say and to whom would it be to?

7. What is your favourite movie of all time?

8. Would you ever go vegetarian or vegan? Why or why not?

9. Do you believe in recycling? Why or why not?

10. What is your dream job?

11. Would you ever donate a kidney?

READY. SET. GO.

Enter at Your Own Risk? (Part 3 of 3)

Continued from part two…

7. Manage your mail. The entryway is often where we put incoming mail, but sometimes it just sits there and starts to turn into a messy stack. Sort through your mail daily and keep up with it. Recycle junk mail immediately and file important paperwork soon after you open it. Additionally, get a storage device for your mail (see examples in the pictures below).

8. Maximize your entryway closet space. Go vertical with a double-hang or purchase cascading hangers to free up space (both are pictured below, respectively).

Don’t have a front hall closet? There are still solutions! Installing hooks will work wonders. You can also get a small table or cubby with storage space.

9. Get a charging station for your gadgets. Recharge your phone, ipod, etc. in a designated spot in the entryway. You won’t forget your phone again when you leave the house and it will remind you to plug-in when you get home. A charging station also keeps cords neatly tucked away.

Happy organizing!

Enter at Your Own Risk? (Part 2 of 3)

Continued from part one…

4. Get shoe storage. Whether it be a rack, cubbies, or a hanging system, invest in some sort of shoe organization device. Pick what works best with your entryway. If you have a small entryway closet, don’t hang your shoes, as you will need this precious space for coats. Also, if you have the space for it, get a bench! This is helpful for putting your shoes on and if you have one with storage, you can keep certain things inside like more shoes, hats, scarves, etc.

5. Keep it seasonal. Store out-of-season items elsewhere. Some ideas for storing your out-of-season things are: under-the-bed storage, vacuum seal them, or store them in a spare bedroom closet.

6. Hang it up. Get hooks to keep things off of the floor and counters. Hang up purses, bags, backpacks, scarves, hats, helmets, etc.

Entryway organization will be continued in part three!

 

Enter at Your Own Risk? (Part 1 of 3)

The entryway: the beginning and the end of your home. It is a space that is greatly prone to disaster and disorganization because of the perceived – and instant – “drop-off zone.” Big or small, narrow or wide, the organizational functions of this area are often misused. It is convenient to free yourself of paraphernalia here – it is very easy to just throw and go – but there is a better way to go about it, and it is one that will leave you happier in the long run!

Messiness strains our minds and puts us in lousy moods. Should the first and last thing you see when you leave or enter your house be a chaotic composition of your things? By keeping a well-organized entryway, you are setting yourself up for a better mood as well as efficiency when leaving or entering your home. Below are some basic tips on how to create and maintain a tidy entryway.

1. The first step to entryway organization is the same as many other organizational tasks: Remove everything from the space! Sort through your belongings and decide what to keep, donate, sell, or discard. Also, this is a great time to clean!

2. Since most entryways are small, determine whether or not certain items would be better stored in another room. For example, do you really need your summer sandals sitting on the shoe rack during winter? Must you have that stack of magazines lying around? Reconsider everything and keep only what is meant for the purpose of this space: things that come in and out of the house on a regular basis.

3. Designate a key spot. Always put your keys in the same place so you know where they will be when you are in rush. No more hunting! Suggestion: put them on a hook or place them in a decorative bowl/tray.

Entryway organization will be continued in part two!

 

Too Much Media

I used to have an enormous collection of DVDs. From Toy Story to Rosemary’s baby, they lined two entire walls, reaching over halfway up to the ceiling. This was ridiculous! I watched most of these movies only once and then they just sat there, consuming a huge portion of the space in my room. I have since downsized and am much happier for it. I still have a fairly large amount of them and am currently in the process of doing another huge purge. I can’t wait to get rid of more!

Why do we need so many movies? How often do you really watch them? Instead of paying $20.00 to watch something only once, why not just rent it? Most people now have the option to rent directly from their television set, so you don’t even need to leave the house to go grab a flick. And let’s not forget NetFlix.

I suggest that you only keep your absolute favourite films of all time and discard the rest. Sell them on Kijiji, eBay, or Amazon! Have a garage sale. Donate to charity. Just. Get. Rid of them.

Happy purging!

Fruition of Kitchen Ambition (Part 3 of 3)

Fix Fridge Affliction

The first step in getting ready to organize your fridge is the same as the pantry – take everything out and decide whether to keep it, trash it, or donate it to the food bank. Disinfect, and then you are ready for the fun part!

Line the Shelves

Using plastic shelf liner significantly cuts down on fridge cleaning at a later point in time as you can simply strip away the lining and any mess along with it!

Arrange Shelves and Drawers According to Your Preferences

Most people buy the same products consistently, so it makes sense to format your fridge the way you see fit. Structure the shelves and drawers that come with the fridge to fit the products you buy most often. Most new fridges will have easily adjustable parts to do this. If you don’t have a fridge like that, read on to the next tip.

Get Baskets and a Lazy Susan

Cluster your things by size and put them in a basket/bin that fits that shape. It’s best to use acrylic bins so you can see items clearly. The lazy Susan, along with the bins, ensures that food doesn’t get lost in the back.

Store Meat on the Bottom

Keep meats below everything else in case of drips. We don’t want contamination!

Clean it Up!

Clean out your fridge approximately once a month to maintain cleanliness and organization. You’ll be happy with the results.

I hope these tips were helpful, happy organizing!

Fruition of Kitchen Ambition (Part 2 of 3)

Pantry Pedantry

Before you organize your pantry (or food storage area if you don’t have a pantry), take everything out of it first. Throw away expired items and donate the ones you know you won’t eat to the food bank. This is also an opportune time to get rid of junk food! After you’ve done this, do a thorough cleaning and possibly put in new shelf liner. You are now ready to organize.

Sort food by type and give them designated areas within the pantry:

  • Baking supplies (flour, sugar, baking soda, chocolate chips, etc.).
  • Dried goods (pasta, rice, beans, etc.).
  • Canned food and jars.
  • Breakfast foods (cereal, oatmeal, pop tarts, etc.).
  • Snack foods (crackers, granola bars, chips, etc.).
  • Certain vegetables (potatoes, onions, etc.).
  • Pet food.

It’s a good idea to put many of these in clear, square and/or rectangular containers because you will use space efficiently and will see when you need to restock. Also, these categories are not concrete. You can group items in ways that suit your needs best.

Use organization devices:

  • A lazy Susan is wonderful for keeping everything in view and packing a lot onto a small surface.
  • Under shelf organizers add extra storage space.
  • Keep things in order with a can organizer.
  • Use a step organizer to easily see items at the back of shelves.
  • Make use of baskets for meal planning or storing small items like sauce packets, tiny jars, etc.

This post will be continued! Read the next one for tips on fridge organization.

Happy organizing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fruition of Kitchen Ambition (Part 1 of 3)

Are you on a mission to organize your kitchen, but lacking a vision? Read the following tips and tricks in order to bring your goals to fruition.

Hang and Stay Sane

Aprons, pot holders, oven mitts, and dish towels are kept handy when you hang them up while counter and drawer space remain free for other things. You can buy hooks (regular or removable) and put them in appropriate places. If you have the right kind of space for it and are feeling really ambitious, get a hanging rack and show off your pots and pans. This will free up a lot of cabinet space!

Use it Much? Make it Easy to Touch

Place kitchenwares meant for special occasions on high shelves and every day items within arms reach. For things that you use once in awhile, like a rice cooker or crock pot, put them on the bottom shelves. If it’s not used every single day, put it up high or down low. Make things easier on yourself!

Gather Rather Than Scatter

Group like items together for better coordination in your kitchen. Keep tin foil, saran wrap, other wrap, and plastic bags in the same area; store pots and pans in cupboards close to the stove; bundle baking materials; corral cleaning supplies. You get the idea.

Manage the Container Challenge

Plastic containers can be a plague on kitchen cabinets and/or drawers. They slip around and create a jumbled mess. In order to curb their unkempt proclivity, it’s necessary to get organizational devices that will force them to stay tidy. A few options are baskets, drawer dividers, shelf organizers, and peg boards.

Magnetic Aesthetic

Free up more space in your kitchen with magnetization. Consider magnetizing these items: spice rack, knives, measuring spoons, and sink accessories.

 

Read my next post for more kitchen organization ideas.

Happy organizing!

 

 

 

Enlivened Living

Your living room is one of the first places that you and other people see when entering your home. It is often a high traffic, multifunctional space and because of this, it is incredibly prone to clutter. Therefore, it is important to set up a good organizational system here and to keep on top of it!

Everyone has different living rooms and varying budgets, but there are some general suggestions to keep your living room looking lovely.

The Coffee Table

The best kind of coffee table to own is one with built-in storage. Instead of having one with everything strewn about, place it all inside and contain the mayhem. It’s a great place to store remote controls, magazines, books that are currently being read,  coasters, children’s toys, etc.

If you don’t have the budget to get a coffee table with storage, try buying some baskets and store them underneath.

Television Stand

The problem that this area tends to face is cord clutter. Keep it under control with a cable organizer. These are a few options:

Cable Turtles

thecontainerstore.com

thecontainerstore.com

Quirky Plug Hub

 

 

plug-hub-power-cable-organizer-2

Cable Box

 

Cable Box - Inside

Bookshelves

Sort books by author, CD’s by artist, and DVD’s either alphabetically or by genre. If you don’t have enough shelf space, buy a DVD/CD tower.

Alternatively, you can buy media storage bins for the CD’s and DVD’s. I store mine under my bed. You could also put them under your couch, or on top of the bookcase if there is room.

Don’t forget to use the tops of your bookshelves for storage (if you haven’t already). Place baskets/boxes here for storing things that are not used daily.

Papers

Magazines, brochures, etc., tend to be left around the living room. Designate a drawer for these or get a basket or two to contain them. Keep them inside your coffee table, underneath it, or in magazine holders on a shelf.

Knickknacks

Store the majority of your trinkets. Keep a few out at a time and occasionally rotate which ones you have out on display. Too many knickknacks makes the living room look cluttered, also, this way the pieces you choose to display stand out more.

Happy organizing!