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Just because you’ve got a teeny balcony or patio space doesn’t mean you have to miss out on gardening this summer. Teeny gardens are the way to go! Bring some food and colour to your balcony, window, or little gardening space.

Flower box with lots of yellow and green

My parents always planted and managed a big garden, including vegetables, roses, carnations, and several of my favourites…Lily of the Valley, lavender, and mint. When Dad got older, he set up a self-watering system of planters using recycled cloth bags and eavestrough so that he could continue to garden but not spend so much time on his knees. It was very effective, though still required lots of room. The next step was to reduce the garden in size and have everything contained in a teeny space.

I too am adjusting to teeny gardening this year, and there are oodles of ants, ticks, and other creepy crawlies right outside our door. We’ve placed some lavender pots out there, and a boundary of mint since both of them are a deterrent  to what’s walking around the yard. Unlike marigolds, however, I can harvest the lavender for sachets and use the mint in several different recipes!

peppermint plant

On wandering around the garden centre last weekend, there were some beautiful pots and planters and so I was looking to see what’s available this year for small spaces. I love the little mixed window boxes that have four or six herbs in them. They range in size from about 16 inches to 24 inches wide and they’ll produce a nice crop of greens through the summer, for about $20 or less.

The flower boxes and baskets are looking fabulous, and I see that they are going on sale this weekend so now is a great time to get a show of colour, for a bargain!

Flower box with lots of yellow and green

I noticed a couple of neighbours have started some vertical gardening with tall structures that you can insert plants directly. You can grow herbs, greens, and strawberries effectively this way. And, if you want to grow in the winter, you can use this idea with some special lighting to grow greens all year long.

Different varieties of lettuce and greens in one planter

You can set up a vertical garden by leaning an old pallet against an outside wall and hanging plants off it, or getting hooks from the garden centre to hang from your railing. Don’t forget to check out your local Dollar Store either – something they have all kinds of hooks, pots, and stuff that can be repurposed.

Air plants are trendy right now. These succulent plants can be popped into a vessel or can rest on top of an old brick and need next to no attention. Spritz them with water as directed, and they will last for ages.

If you’d like to get some help organizing a new home or somewhere you already live, with or without a teeny garden, we help with that! Fill out the contact form and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

There’s a royal wedding this weekend! Are you going to watch it? Will you wake up in the wee hours to catch it live on television, or go watch it at a local hot spot while enjoying ceremonial tea and biscuits? What about those of you who’ve taken a holiday to be part of that kind of energy?

coffee and blueberry scones with blueberry sauce drizzle

There aren’t as many royal watchers in Canada as there used to be, but it seems that having the wedding on a Saturday morning could just catch the attention of a lot more people than had it been held during the week. This is a sign of how Prince Harry and Meghan will buck the trends, since royal weddings are usually held on a Friday.

Speaking of Ms. Markle have you noticed how nice her skin is? Apparently she is very diligent about following a skin care routine, and when she was filming the show Suits, her stylist said that she took good care of her skin, and visited the salon regularly to help keep her skin in beautiful condition.

As I age, I’m looking for ways to keep my skin healthy, and to stop the onslaught of wrinkles. I know, I earned them…but that doesn’t mean I want all of them!

I did some digging around and discovered that Queen Elizabeth is a big fan of Elizabeth Arden (they’ve held a Royal Warrant for 55 years), and she uses their moisturizer as well as their Bold Red lipstick. I don’t typically wear red lipstick, I’m more of a hide in the background lip gloss person, though I got a sample of Maybelline’s On Fire Red recently and I like it. It’s a red I can wear, and I just might put it on Saturday morning while I enjoy the show.

Lipsticks that range in colour from pink to nearly black

When Kate Middleton got married, there was lots of chatter about how she did her own makeup for her wedding. She apparently loves natural skincare products, and uses a face cloth to remove her makeup. The cloth is nothing fancy – just a cotton, terry looped cloth you can pick up for $2. That’s the type of cloth I use, too, so I must be on to something, right?

stack of face cloths of various colours

It’s not necessary to fill your entire bathroom with buckets of skincare products, at least not once you find the ones you like. And, if you’re tripping over all kinds of extra pots and jars in the loo, it’s possible some of them are out of date. If there is no expiry date listed on the container, open the lid and give it a smell. If it smells different than it did when you bought it, it’s time to throw it out.

I once helped a friend downsize and organize her makeup. She had 32 bottles of red nail polish (all different shades and finishes, but they were all red) and 20 red lipsticks. There were plenty of other colours too! When we finished the project she stood back and sighed with relief that she was able to sit down at her dressing table and knew exactly where everything was, and that the things she used regularly were within reach. We celebrated this win with big cups of tea, and lunch.

How About You?

What’s the state of your makeup products or that bathroom cabinet? If you need some help getting things organized, you know we do that, right? Contact us and let’s get your home ready to host a royal party!

It’s Mental Health Awareness month, and to celebrate we’re taking a look at some women who are great examples of staying healthy, happy, and productive well into their third act.

Remember that great Ted Talk from Jane Fonda where she shares Life’s Third Act? You can check it out here  https://www.ted.com/talks/jane_fonda_life_s_third_act . Jane Fonda’s had a great career, been applauded for outstanding work, and has revived her career after retiring more than once. Some people want to retire at 65, and lots of people don’t like the idea at all. Jane Fonda’s in the latter group.

Picture of a movie reel, popcorn, soda

Dame Helen Mirren has had a great career on stage and in film, and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, either. She turns 73 this year and has six projects currently in production. In addition to playing a queen six times in her career, she played a tough retired spy in RED and RED2, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I have a feeling that her role in Retired Extremely Dangerous is as close as she will voluntarily get to retiring.

Speaking of women who don’t show signs of slowing down, Dame Judi Dench turns 83 this year. Judi she has played the complicated M since the 1990s in the James Bond movie empire, in between many fascinating roles. Like Helen Mirren, Judi also has several movies in the works presently, and she reportedly likes to do embroidery to fill long stretches of waiting on movie sets. She makes intricate, elegant pieces, and finishes them with the rudest of phrases and cuss words before giving them as gifts!

What things are you doing to stop yourself from retiring or taking a back seat to life? Jane, Helen, and Judi have all had long, successful careers and continue to have fun, contribute, and work. They don’t show signs of stopping.

Contact Us

If you’d like to get some help with downsizing, organizing, or relocating so you can spend more time doing things you love, give us a call. We love to help people! Contact us here!

This is the third article in our Spring Cleaning Series and we hear you! Who has time for spring cleaning when there is so much else to do? And, if you have  uncooperative joints, pain, or are prone to dizziness, there are things you don’t want to tackle. Here are some great tips to freshening up your bedroom, fast.

If some of these things are tough for you to do, invite a friend, family member, or consider hiring a reputable cleaning company. They have people who love to do Spring Cleaning!

Tackle the Bedroom

Your bedroom will feel like an oasis if it is clean, clear of clutter, and you create a comfortable space. If you want to change up the colour or mood, consider changing your bedspread, or adding some new cushions, or a pretty blanket at the end of your bed.

Spring cleaning includes doing the jobs you don’t do regularly, like these ones:

  • Use an extendable handle and a reusable duster to clean the tops of door frames, windows, light fixtures, and baseboards.
  • Check floor mats for wear and tear and decide if they need replacing. Mats need to have a non-slip backing but if you use a walker or wheelchair, or have a habit of tripping, you could get rid of them entirely.
  • That extendable duster can be perfect for getting dust bunnies out of the corners, under the bed, and behind the dresser. Be sure to clean dust off of electrical cords, too.
  • Use the upholstery or a dusting brush to vacuum the inside of your window screens and tracks.
  • Take a few minutes to declutter the tops of dressers, nightstands, desks, and entertainment areas. Limit yourself to ten minutes per area, and be snappy about it so your Spring Cleaning doesn’t turn into a full organizing project.
  • See this post for tips on getting your windows clean.

Enjoy your refreshed bedroom, and have a good sleep!

bedroom with grey bedspread and yellow flowers

Ready?

At Elder Move Inc. we help seniors to downsize, organize, move, and more. If you’re ready for some help, get in touch here.

This is the first article in our Spring Cleaning Series and we hear you! Who has time for spring cleaning when there is so much else to do? And, if you have a wonky shoulder, or bad knees, or other uncooperative body parts, there are things you might not be able to tackle.

Below are some handy hacks to make your windows sparkle. Clean windows and their coverings can make you whole home look bright and cheery. You don’t have to tackle them all at once; remember that you need to go at a pace that works for you. Most of these jobs are best done with a friend around for an extra pair of hands and some cheering if you get tired. Friends are also helpful if you get yourself stuck somewhere, and you can always return the favour by helping them to spring clean at their place.

If you don’t want to tackle this job, scroll down to the second last paragraph to see an easy way out of it!

Curtains

If you have washable curtains or drapes, take them all down and get the washer going (remove any drapery hooks first). Get help with this if climbing up and down on a stepstool is not your thing. Wash your window coverings using the gentle cycle and if they aren’t too wrinkly when they come out, you won’t have to iron them before they go back up.

If your curtains can’t go in the wash, you might get away with a good vacuuming (especially if they were dry cleaned last fall). Use an upholstery brush, and for delicate fabrics, put a nylon sock over the end of the brush to protect the material. If they won’t stand up to the vacuum, give them a good dusting with one of those extendable handles and a replaceable fluffy duster.

Blinds

The best way I have found to clean horizontal blinds is to remove them from the window, and hose them off out side or wash them in a tub. That is a pretty physical undertaking, so you may want to wash them while hanging up. Vinyl, aluminum, or plastic blinds are usually washable. Prepare a bucket of warm water, with some mild dishwashing liquid, some vinegar. Wear a pair of rubber gloves, grab durable sponge or dishcloth, and get scrubbing. Careful not to move the grime from the blinds to your window frame or the walls, and be prepared to wash the window afterwards.

When you think you are done, close the blinds and then turn the louvers in both directions to check to make sure you got everything off them. Sometimes there is an edge that hides behind the louvers on either side.

Hanging vertical blinds are trickier. You can wipe the hard plastic ones with a vinegar and soap solution (careful not to let it drip on your floors), then dry them with a soft cloth. Fabric verticals can be vacuumed like the curtains above. Finish the job off by wiping with a duster to clean cobwebs and debris out of the hardware.

Roller blinds can be a pain to wash. You’ll want to clean them in sections, and leave them extended to dry…but not so extended that you can’t get the blind to roll back up.

bedroom with washable curtains

Windows

The best time to get your windows sparkly is while the drapes and blinds are down. While you can get them clean with vinegar water and a little soap, there are also products (like Windex) that make it even easier. Be careful not to breath in the fumes from a cleaner.

If your windows are tall, it is worth investing in a squeegee tool to make the cleanup even easier. I saw one at Dollarama this week for $4 with a short handle, or you can get an extendable one at places like Canadian Tire or Walmart for about $12.

Take a Breath!

Once your windows are clean, your home will feel bright and beautiful. That might encourage you to get to the tasks in our next few blog posts, and it might not. That’s okay. By the way, if you’re not up to cleaning the windows yourself, check with your neighbours and see if two or three of you can agree on a time to bring a cleaning crew in to do everyone’s windows. You might be able to get a discount or a referral fee if you do it as a group.

Ready to get organized?

At Elder Move Inc. we help seniors to downsize, organize, move, and more. If you’re ready for some help at getting organized for Spring, contact us here.

Have you seen the beautiful photography from Humans of New York? It started out as a photo journal by Brandon Stanton, and features people from all walks of life, including seniors. Stanton’s portrait project evolved to include a short story about each subject. The appetite for these sometimes sad, poignant stories grew so large that Stanton has now traveled around the globe to take photos and tell stories.

Many cities now have a “Humans of” edition, including Edmonton and Calgary. These projects help raise awareness of issues like aging, housing, and more. The photos are telling short stories of everyone featured, and of their communities.

More than 80 percent of Edmonton seniors say they want to stay in their homes as they age, but not everyone remains fully able to look after things in their homes. Making a few modifications can make all the difference in the world. Small changes like an extendable handle to pick things up from the floor, or having someone do some housekeeping for you can make a huge difference. Big changes like moving the laundry room to the main floor are more expensive, but it’s a brilliant option to eliminate stair climbing.

Cities of all sizes are doing some great work with Age Friendly projects. Hit up Google and search for “Age friendly initiatives” with the name of your city. Programs that match university students to be companions to seniors, schools that send teams out to shovel snow are helping. Age Friendly Edmonton has a great report on programs in case you want some ideas for your area. The report is linked above.

A woman on a swing with her husband nearby

With construction of senior living projects going strong, there are also plenty of options for anyone ready to move. Retirement communities, assisted or supportive living, are becoming more available. The prices and lifestyles offered meet all sorts of budgets plus meet the demand for activities. With locations available all around the city, residents can stay close to their original neighbourhood, move closer to family, or try a new area altogether!

What are your plans when it comes to the next place you (or someone 50 plus) want to live? Do you want to stay where you are? Move to a place where your meals are cooked on days you want, or your groceries get delivered to your door? Do you enjoy gathering with a crowd to watch sports, or take in the next episode of your favourite show? How would it be if there were raised gardens or a workshop to entertain yourself? What’s going to make your personal “Humans of” photostory?

Reach Out

At Elder Move Inc., we help people to organize, downsize, and age safely in place where they are. We also provide moving, packing and unpacking services. If you’d like some more information, get in touch with us here.

How are you doing with getting organized? Are you feeling ready to start, or rejuvenated about getting back at it? Everyone approaches their space at home in their own way. Some people are highly organized and have a place for everything. Other people are very relaxed about their home, and not worried about getting things organized. The rest of us are somewhere in the middle.

This morning as I was planning this article, I got thinking about how I want to organize my current place. Currently, I’m living in a small, cozy home that has to feel like home and work. The second bedroom is set up as a a home office, where I work on multiple projects at once and it has to be very efficient. The third bedroom is devoted to craft projects. It is separate from the office so that fibre particles don’t get into the computer hardware. We’ve got probably two more moves coming up in the future, so when I am getting organized, I always look for solutions that are easy to move with us.

One of the trusty tools that I have carried with me from place to place is a sewing machine. I don’t do a lot of fancy sewing, but I am pretty good at sewing a straight line. I’ve made curtains, valances, Roman style blinds, quilts, and pillows. I have recovered chairs, refinished old furniture, and I’m handy with a can of spray paint. Not everyone enjoys this kind of hands-on work, but I love it, and I have gained enough experience over the years that I can now look at a new space and see big potential, no matter the size or setup. I’m a big fan of pre-fab furniture that gets shipped in a flatpack and is easily assembled, like Ikea uses.

This closet shelving is permanently installed, but I love that the shelves and curtain rods inside it can be moved easily to meet the height and accessibility needs of any resident. This type of closet also comes with repositionable shoe racks, baskets, and more.

Closet racks installed

Below is a Roman style blind made with some beautiful fabric. This piece was custom made to hang on a door between the master bedroom and solarium. A wider blind was created to cover the main master bedroom window, for a matched set. We didn’t install pulleys on these blinds (something you often seen in this style), but used a series of dowels installed as rests on the back instead. There are no strings required in this system, eliminating a potentially serious tangling and choking hazard.

Roman Shade for Door Window

If you are looking for inspiration to make your space something you’ll enjoy living in, there are loads of options. Pinterest has an inexhaustible supply of ideas and instructions. As well, your local library will have previous issues of magazines and decorating books if you prefer to flip through pages. (I’m finding that most home organizing/decorating magazines are at least $12 now, so I don’t buy them…I seem to be investing my money in fabric these days 😉.)

Ideas and Inspiration

There are literally thousands of websites you can look at for inspiration. Hit up Google, and search for terms such as:

  • Colour (or color) of the year
  • Home organizing ideas
  • Ikea hacks (you’ll find all kinds of projects people have made from Ikea style furnishings, and you can adapt them, too).
  • Home decorating on a budget
  • Handicap accessible homes

You can find all kinds of handy ideas, including patterns for items including organizers/pockets to hang off the arm of a seat, whether you are getting organized for a wheelchair, walker, or chesterfield (and let’s face it, who doesn’t love to use the word chesterfield!).

Contact Us

If you’d like to do begin getting organized, downsizing, or you’re thinking about a move within the greater Edmonton area, get in touch. We’d be happy to help you out.

Have you ever done this?

You start something new, all excited, and ready to tackle your BIG THING. Then a week later, you quit.

The quitting part is not unusual, whether you want to stop smoking, lose weight, or clear the clutter out of your basement. It happens because it’s so hard to stay on track if you don’t see an immediate result – and we are primed to love immediate gratification, aren’t we?!

black lab puppy with teddy bear

 

If your mind is made up that you need to do the BIG THING, then the next thing to do is set up some rewards! Maybe you respond well to a pat on the back, or a nice meal at your favourite local eatery, or you’d just like 20 minutes of peace and quiet. Whatever it is, you can reward yourself to help keep your motivation high.

When you have something to look forward to, you’ll find it easier to stick with the job at hand, like when you open that closet under the stairs. The right reward will keep you going while you sort through those damp old catalogues that are stored in the garage. And, the right reward will have you coming back for more!

Before you think about what reward you want, check out these tips:

  • Avoid food rewards if you tend to overeat. You want a reward you’ll love, and not one that you are going to beat yourself up over later.
  • Choose a reward that has meaning to you.
  • Choose things that are small so that you can give yourself frequent rewards instead of having to finish an entire project. It’ll be really hard to declutter the basement and garage to earn a big vacation, but you’ll stick with it if you reward yourself for smaller tasks (start with that closet under the stairs, for example), and you receive more frequent, smaller, rewards.

We’ve asked around and checked with our team to create this list of our top 25 reasonably priced (and sometimes no cost at all), fun rewards. Leave a comment on our Facebook page if you have a favourite you don’t see here!

  1. Go to a concert at a local venue or club.
  2. Attend a craft or art show.
  3. Go get a good laugh at a comedy club.
  4. Attend a live sporting event, and remember that amateur athletes offer as good a game as lots of professionals do!
  5. Go see a movie in the middle of the day, where lineups are small and the popcorn is plentiful.
  6. Do a crossword puzzle.
  7. Start a new jigsaw puzzle, and for every thirty minutes you declutter, give yourself ten minutes at the puzzle.
  8. Light some scented candles and sit quietly and relax.
  9. Invite a few friends who aren’t easily offended to play Cards Against Humanity. (Bonus points if they help you declutter, too!)
  10. Volunteer with a local shelter or charity and see for yourself how helpful your donations can be.
  11. Go for a pedicure, manicure, or massage.
  12. Wear a step counter to track your physical activity while you are organizing. Post your results on Facebook, and enjoy the positive comments from people.
  13. Put clean sheets on your bed, and enjoy the smell when you lie down.
  14. Take a day off work for no particular reason.
  15. Visit the perfume counter and try out a new scent, just for fun.
  16. Begin a “rainy day jar” and add $5 or $10 each time you meet one of your smaller goals. When you are all done your project, you can use the money for a BIG treat.
  17. Buy a new painting for your bedroom or living room. For more fun, sign up for Paint Nite and create your own painting!
  18. Purchase a new book and sit and read it. You can schedule short reading sessions between longer sessions of decluttering to keep you going!
  19. Buy a small plant or some cut flowers that make you smile.
  20. Buy colourful shoelaces and put them in your runners as soon as you get home.
  21. Go for a walk around a formal garden.
  22. Invite your friends out for bowling.
  23. Grab your binoculars and go for an evening of star gazing.
  24. Make a small picnic and hop in the car for a drive to nowhere in particular.
  25. Visit a local dog kennel or shelter for some pet therapy.

There are plenty of ways to reward yourself, and help you stay committed to your project or to develop a new habit. As always, if you’d like some help getting organized and you’re in the Edmonton area, we’d love to hear from you!

 

Are you getting ready to organize? Does it scare you, or overwhelm? Fear not dear reader! Help is on the way! Lately here on the blog we’ve been writing a series to help you get organized in different areas of your home. Are you feeling inspired? Getting ready? If so, this article is going to help you get started.

Before you go ahead and stock up on supplies like boxes and packing tape, you need to know the most important thing about getting started. I am going to use a buzzword here, so now is a good time to sit still for a moment, and steady yourself.

The buzzword is mindset.

Mindset may sound fancy, but it’s just a way to say that before you begin downsizing or organizing, you must make up your mind that you are ready, willing, and motivated to get it done. If you’re being encouraged (or forced) to organize because you’ve got too much stuff, or you’re hoarding, and it’s hard for you to get it under control, you will naturally find it hard to make up your mind to get started. And, you may get started but find it hard to continue. Let’s face it, motivation is something that needs motivating sometimes!

If you’re hoarding or you’ve never downsized, it’s normal to feel agitated or anxious about what’s to come. If you aren’t a tidy person, the thought of all the cleaning up that’s going to be done can stop you in your tracks. Don’t get discouraged; we’re going to help you make up your mind to get control of your space because it is important to you.

This is where a positive mindset comes in. When you decide that you’re ready to organize, you’re making an important first step. Next, it helps if you write a goal statement, and you include a positive feeling about it. You don’t need to be a poet or a novelist here. Just state what your intention is and how great you will feel when everything is done.

Write your statement down on several pieces of paper, and hang them up around the house. You can hang your statement on the mirror in the bathroom, on the refrigerator door, on the inside of your front and back doors or a door to your hallway. Write it on a smaller piece of paper and slip it into your shirt pocket so you can pull it out and look at while you do the work, or supervise an organizer who is doing the bulk of it for you.

A positive statement will help you feel better about giving away items that you may have treasured for a long time. It will support you when you look at something you know you must get rid of, but the item has sentimental value to it. Your statement will be helpful when you start to feel frustrated, or disappointed in how long things are taking. If the first statement you create isn’t helpful, rewrite it and add what’s missing. Remember to include a positive feeling to it so that it becomes more meaningful, easy to remember, and it helps motivate you. Adjust one of these to make it work for your situation, or create something new!

  • “I’m feeling happy to be organizing, and I’m proud of myself for creating a place I can enjoy living in because it is open, clean, and safe.”
  • “I’m excited to tackle my organizing. I already feel happier to be getting in control of my things, and letting go of possessions that I do not need or want any longer.”
  • “I’m grateful that I can organize my things so that my children and grandchildren don’t have to do it.”
  • “I’m happy to be organizing and packing so I can enjoy moving into my new place next month!”

If you’re not a natural organizer (and not many of us are, to be honest), or you haven’t already downsized things at least two or three times in your life, then getting your house can be overwhelming, especially if you are doing it all on your own.

Remember: create a positive mindset statement that means something to you. If you are struggling, don’t feel embarrassed about asking for some help. A coach or counsellor can help you develop these statements, and help you work through the range of emotions and procrastination that can derail your plan.

if you change the way you look at things things you look at change

Here’s a handy shopping list to help you begin your organizing sessions. If you’re calling on a company like Elder Move Inc., we will bring packing supplies with us. If you want to look after things yourself and you have difficulty getting out to the stores, check out online ordering so that you have everything you need handy – that’s a good way to keep motivated!

  • Blank paper and sticky tack for hanging, or post-it notes for hanging your positive mindset statements
  • Black garbage bags for rubbish (thick construction bags are ideal if you have things that will poke through thin plastic)
  • Clear bags for recycling and donations (so items don’t get confused with rubbish)
  • Boxes for packing items that are too bulky to bag
  • Boxes or plastic tote boxes with lids, to store items for a move or place into long-term storage
  • Packing tape, the clear, wide sticky kind (note that very thin packing tape won’t stick well on dusty cardboard. If you are reusing old boxes, make sure you wipe them clean.).
  • Painter’s tape (easily removable for tagging items before a pick-up, but make sure you place it in a spot that won’t damage the finish or fabric on your item)
  • Felt markers for labelling. Use permanent markers but be careful not to mark up your furniture or clothing! Washable markers tend to smudge when written on tape, and will ink up your things, but permanent markers (which I always use) are just that…permanent if they stray onto your favourite sweater.

If you’d like some help getting organized, downsizing, or you are preparing for a move and you’re in the Alberta region, let us know! We’d love to meet with you and help you get sorted!

Getting the kitchen organized is all about what you want to get out of the space, and how much time you normally spend in it. It goes without saying that kitchens can be tricky to organize! There never seems to be enough cupboard space, or the perfect configuration. Sometimes you have a nice big space with plenty of cupboards, and other times you have a small apartment with a cupboard for a kitchen.

The Organized Kitchen

If you’ve got a tiny kitchen, you already know how essential it is to maximize your space. My rule is to make sure that any tools or dishes I buy can be used for more than one thing (this is a tip I learned from Alton Brown, who used to have a “basic” cooking show before he became a big celeb on The Food Network). Next time you want to buy something for your kitchen, ask yourself how many uses it has. If it can be used for more than one task, that’s great! If it’s a one hit wonder, give it a pass. Using Brown’s rule, I recently bought an Instant Pot. This thing is a slow cooker (a kitchen essential for me), rice cooker, pressure cooker (which has saved me a ton of time when I making stews and soups), yogurt maker, sauté pan, and more, yet it only takes up the space of one appliance!

Plastic and Glass are Beautiful

Store your dry goods in glass or plastic containers you can see through to help you put your hands on things quickly. My pantry inspiration is Canadian Chef Michael Smith, who stores his spices and dry goods in canning jars (you can see it here http://chefmichaelsmith.com/photos/new-kitchen/). You’ll see that he also had lots of in cabinet lighting, which is a great way to perk up a small, dark space.

Get Creative With Peg Board and Modular Shelves

Peg board and modular metal shelves are kitchen favourites. Cut a piece of pegboard to fit a large drawer. Insert dowels inside the peg holes, and they become guides so plates, platters, or awkward sized dishes don’t slide around. Check out great ideas on Pinterest to see loads of ways to organize with pegboard. https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/151715081175723248/

The large space under a kitchen sink is often poorly utilized. Modular metal shelves can be inserted around the plumbing to make the most of this space, and provides a sturdy surface for storing things.

Shoe Organizers

Use an inexpensive shoe organizer to save cupboard and shelf space. Look for one that has clear plastic pockets, so you can easily see things like spices and small kitchen tools that you store there. Rolls of garbage bags, elastic bands, and Hang the organizer on the inside of your pantry, or trim it down to fit on the inside of a cupboard door. You can fasten the corners with double sided tape to stop it from shifting when the door opens.

What are your favourite kitchen hacks? Share them with us on our Facebook page!

If you’d like some help getting organized, or you’re thinking about making a move, reach out to us! We’d love to help you make the most of your space. You can reach us easily by using the link on our contact page.

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