Updated: Feb 14
Hello my dears!
How did your January, a.k.a. "Get Organized Month" go? If you need help, my organizing eBooks are still on a super sale today (last sale day!)
My husband Steve and I worked together on many projects in our little cottage home this month, tweaking our systems so that our life runs as smoothly as possible from day to day.
We also drank lots of our favorite coffee in our new cute coffee mugs! These would make a great dollarwise gift for Valentine's Day for your favorite coffee-lover. I love them; they are not too heavy and don't overheat the mug, burning your lips as some mugs are prone to do.
Have you ever considered that just like the entire world relies on high-functioning systems, (hospitals, employers, governments, military, airlines etc.), your home needs well-oiled systems to run well too?
(We all know when the aforementioned systems break down how tough life can be, so you don't want a repeat of that systems breakdown in your own home.)
Take a look around your home room by room and ask yourself what systems you need to tweak that are bugging you, inefficient, totally broken, or perhaps you need to set up some systems in the first place.
Note: Systems save you time, money, and stress. But I'd be lying if I said systems don't take time to set up and tweak. They do. Systems also take maintenance, but once they are set up that's minimal. It takes more time and is a bigger headache to live in an ongoing mess/chaos at home, trust me.
Here are systems we tweaked in our own home this month:
Our pantry system and inventory has grown due to my dollarwise penchant for stocking up on pantry items when they are on sale. This cabinet is in our living room foyer, but when the doors are closed, it just looks like a cute little cabinet on the front and you'd never know we have a stash of food in there!
This is what it looked like before we perfected our new pantry system and I had done my latest sale stockpile.
After: Investing in these Rubbermaid containers was worth every penny! Now I have everything I need easily visible to cook, and it also makes it easy to know when I am needing to order more.
The oranges are from our Arizona orange tree in front of our home which will soon be all picked, juiced in our juicer, and frozen into reusable containers like these so we can grab one and take it along when we go for a scenic drive. :)
This is our kitchen pantry which is a very small cupboard so it took a feat of organizational engineering for me to finally get it where it's superbly functional. The key? These containers. The door hangers we did last year. Similar. The clear containers fit perfectly around the edges of the cabinet and stack too so I can see exactly what I have when I am cooking or need to make up my latest grocery list. My hubby also installed a little light like this as it was dark in there and hard to see things.
Our third pantry system we just bought is this cute little cabinet. Similar.
Fun thing: I saved enough money on my Vitacost grocery orders during their 30% and 14% off sales the last three orders to pay for my cabinet in full! I also got a rebate on my groceries too using Rakuten, which I love using, and you should use it to maximize your shopping money too since I know you like to save money, right? I have shopped at Vitacost for years and they have wonderful sales, and free shipping over $49. I have earned cashback of I think around $2000 from Rakuten since about 2011 or so. (I can't get into my account there right now so can't tell you the exact figures.) All for shopping online for things I need anyway and Rakuten (used to be ebates) is easy to use when shopping online and covers many stores. They also do double cashback some days if you are patient.
My hubby installed this window film on the back of the glass door so we don't have to look at groceries in our living room. :) I like hiding things for storage in a pretty way. :)
Pantry mini-mission accomplished!
Next up in our systems-tweaking this month? Our dishcloths. Yep, I even have a system for our dishcloths! It goes like this: buy fresh new ones and use them until they look like rags, then put them in the rag bin, and then buy a new pattern/color so I know when I do laundry which ones are now the rags and which are currently for dishes. Not rocket science, or anything new, but it's a system that works!
I've liked these dishcloths before too.
Do you have a system for keeping your home warm in winter and cool in summer? Of course you do! Ours? Well, like you, we have AC and a furnace. And now we also have high-tech "door-draft-blocking cats."
Just thought you might like to know. :)
Aren't they the cutest? And they work really well!
If you have been reading my work any time at all, you are likely not surprised to know I have a system for my (small) clothing closet and wardrobe. I'll go into how I tweaked it in more detail later, but for now, here it is, and ...
Note: No home or closet or storage system is ever perfect. Including mine. Including yours. I've had friends who have built or bought big and even custom homes who had storage regrets! Use what you have NOW to best function is my motto.
Example: I was hoping to buy more white drawers to match the ones above I bought last year, but white is no longer available so brown had to do. Oh well. The overall functional system still works.
My sweet hubby got out his duct tape to make my drawers sturdier, God bless him. Gotta love a man with stellar duct-tape skills! xxoo my sweetheart Mr. B!
I bought my brown drawers here as I was in a hurry to get this project done and done. Sometimes I choose between saving money and saving time. This time around, saving time won out! Sometimes you can do both. :)
If you're gonna get dressed up a little, makeup comes next. Love this hanging organizer, especially the big bottom, (perfect for TSA liquids), and I like the makeup brush slots. Win! I can't find this one on Amazon now, but I have used this one in the past and really liked it too.
Note to self: Tuck a large command hook in one pocket so you can easily hang this in the bathroom next time you travel since not every bathroom has a hook, remember? Or this kind of hook might work too.
Call me a Girl Scout, but I like to be prepared for "events" like cutting or burning my finger in the kitchen, (ask me how I know), stomachaches from food or whatever that respond well to essential oils etc. My fave oil company. So, I have a system for those, as per above. Case similar to mine.
Great pockets in the front and foam dividers are nice too. I leave spaces for new oils.
I have a system for storing our toiletries, medicines, and homeopathic remedies. Makes it easy visually to check and see what I am out of, and order more ... yes, when there's a sale. Love my stacking drawers as they are individual and can morph to configure to your own closet, no matter the size. Similar hanging bags.
My husband Steve and I keep our own calendars, and we check in with each other verbally regularly on our schedules, but this year we also decided to set up a household command center with a joint calendar, emergency contacts, our master grocery list, a list of bills that only happen in specific months, etc. and it's working out great.
Some great ideas/pix from others for family command centers.
In case you're worried that we both have OCD, don't worry, we didn't just spend our entire January setting up systems in our home; we enjoyed lunch out too! As in, at the fabulous Picazzo's in Paradise Valley, AZ. We loved it! Amazing vegan and gluten-free food and the cutest little neighborhood-bistro-ish kind of place like we both prefer. Their motto is "Where pizza is art." And it was! Highly recommend this place if you visit or live in the Scottsdale, AZ area.
Our Greater Phoenix Dining Guide if you want to try somewhere else here in the Valley of the Sun.
No kidding their pizza is art! And the taste was amazing.
See, I told you we are not total OCD-ers as we also took time in January to enjoy our gorgeous Arizona scenery and sunsets.
Systems at home enable you to have more time to enjoy life!
Love me my AZ cactus! Especially when they are taller than trees! They just amaze me as like people, they're all different.
Standing proud and tall! These take many years to grow this tall.
See this pretty little one? If you get too close to those they latch onto your jeans and ... won't let go!
Wishing you organized home systems, a great bistro lunch out, and sunshine!