Categorized | Organizing Solutions

New Jewish Homemakers

Posted on 18 July 2010

Organizing Primer for Jewish Homes- The Basics, some Advice, and then some Fun!

Organizing Basics

I have a different approach to organizing. One that works so well, I’m thinking of creating a certification program for professional organizers that licenses them to use it. My method is called DECORganize.

The basic premise with DECORganize is that if you first clear out a room and make it gorgeous; rearranging the furniture, decorating it starting with what you have, you will NEVER clutter it up again. I guarantee.

Clients I had that for years could not get organized with the typical sort and purge formula that EVERY single organizing book talks about were able to get organize and MAINTAIN their gorgeous room for years to come. No burnout on either side of the fence. (professional organizers do get burnt out with constant backsliding)

If you want to read more about how I use DECORganize, go to my local professional organizing site for my Baltimore business available here at this link: RebekahSlatkin.com. I started off using my English name for my local business and never stopped.

I’d love to hear your feedback and if you’d like to take a class in the DECORganize method, send me an email through the contact form.

Organizing Advice

I created a store with my hand-picked recommendations for getting organized, in every room of your house. WHY I picked certain products is explained more below. All of the products in the store are absolutely the best at what they do and if they are listed in the store, it is because I’ve picked them OVER others.
The link to the store is: or copy this link and put it in the browser if it doesn’t work, http://astore.amazon.com/bestorganizin-20.

Organizing Fun

We’re going shopping! The Fun Part!


What I want to do is teach you what organizing products work well for setting up your home and organizing it and which products do not, based on my experience in setting up homes.

Room by Room

KITCHENS

1. Space Saving Colander


For anyone that has a large round colander/strainer, you will be elated to know that there is a space saving Flat Fold Colander. When I saw this in a household goods store I said out loud, “What a great invention!!!” I have repeatedly fought with my kitchen cabinets to try to get my large colander inside and lost the battle over and over again. So I am really happy to tell you about the Flat Fold Colander. I bought one for myself last night and cannot wait to use it 🙂

2. Plastic Bag Saver


These plastic bag savers do not work for me! They always fall down. They look nice, seem practical, but I don’t like them. If you have one and it works well for you, please comment, and otherwise this product is not one of my recommendations.


However, I did see the Aluminum Garbage bag ring which seems A LOT smarter to me because it is wall mounted and assembled to your wall. So the success of it depends on your wall mounted capabilities! If anyone has one, please comment here and let us all know how well it works. My hunch is that it works great. My only concern would be to keep it in a concealed area so it doesn’t look bad or smell gross.

3. Stemware Rack

Hang your mugs and cups and stemware. Remember though, you want your kitchen to look great.

Put only your best items back into the kitchen cabinet and counter tops. That old chipped fathers day mug might be better for tool storage.

4. Lazy Susans

Your vitamins and small items you need access to pretty frequently, store in a lazy susan.

Before you get a lazy susan, measure the depth of your cabinet to make sure the stuff will fit.

I also buy large lazy susans and store them in the cabinets under sinks. This way, I can rotate the lazy susan and actually get to my cleaning supplies!

5. Pot Lid Organizer

Don’t you hate the noise of clanging pots? The only way I see avoiding that noise is by hanging pots on some kind of hanging pot rack and storing the lids in a pull out drawer.

Otherwise, stacking your pots and pans inside of each other like most people do, in their kitchen cabinet and counter tops, is noisy!

6. Paper Plate Storage

Do you use paper plates? Are they taking up too much room?

You could mount them to the underside of your kitchen cabinets, saving space. I don’t know how well they stick, be sure to find one that can also be properly mounted with screws in case the tape does not work.

7. Expanding Shelf Organizer

Would you love to be able to know what foods you have and not have to make lots of duplicate trips to the store?

Use a tiered expanding shelf for your cans. You’ll be able to see all of your cans.

Get the shelves with the gripping so the cans don’t fall off. You can use these shelves also for your spices.

8. Pot Rack

Get your pots up on the wall or on the ceiling. This will free up your kitchen cabinet and counter tops. I know, some of your pots may not be in great condition, so get some good looking ones and hang them up. I really think this is a wonderful organizing as well as decorative option.

9. Silverware Organizer

I know this is for your drawers not your kitchen cabinet or counter tops, but I couldn’t resist mentioning the importance of organizing your cutlery. With all of the products now on the market for organizing, you’ve got to include this one. It’s such an easy, cheap solution yet makes such a difference. No more jumbled silverware.

10. Cabinet Organizers

Keeping the insides of kitchen cabinet and counter tops organized can be hard. It’s so easy to reach in and take something and put it back whereever. Especially if you are short!

The more set locations you have for things, the easier it will be for everyone to know where things belong.

One example could be a tiered organizer plate rack. Now you know where the plates go and how they fit. Plus, you’ll be maximizing the unused space typically behind the plates. You know have a whole shelf underneath the plates to store mugs or something.

Click here to get the kitchen products I mention above.

LAUNDRY ROOM

1. Are you a sucker for cute laundry hampers?

I’m still deciding if I like those cutesy little 3 bin laundry sorters. You know, the one with 3 compartments? I think I like them for small families. I don’t think there is enough room for a large family to split up their clothes between 3 categories. Also, only get it if your family members will help you presort their clothes. If they aren’t going to and you have to sort the dirty clothes in the 3 bin hamper and then sort them before washing, it is pointless. I am a fan of presorted laundry systems, as you can read here, but only if your family will support you in this.

And also what about having a hamper in each bedroom? I’m not so into that. The other day, I was looking for my daughter’s Shabbos robe. I went into the bathroom hamper where we keep my husband and my dirty clothes and most everything else that is dirty. I went into the drycleaning bag, not there either. I went downstairs to the laundry room and it was not there either. I was really annoyed about not being able to find it!

Finally, my husband looked in the butterfly hamper in my daughter’s room. There it was. We just don’t look in the kids hampers because we are so used to using one in the bathroom and that is all.

So I’ve concluded that I like hampers in one place, not in everyone’s room. People can take off their clothes and bring the dirty clothes into the one location of hampers. Make sense?

BATHROOMS

1. I don’t like any bathroom organizers.


Bathroom Organizers-I don’t like any bathroom organizer that has to stick to the shower or tub. They fall off, are ugly from the mildew that grows on them, and make cleaning more of a pain. Forget them all! I shy away from anything that involves suction in the bathroom. Yuck!


Galvanized Tin- What I DO for storing my shower and bath supplies is use a galvanized tin bucket. These buckets are featured in stores around summertime because they are great for storing things outdoors. The tins will not mildew, look a lot better then dirty clear suctiony storage things, and are very easy to clean.

***

There is nothing like a hot bath, sigh.

There is nothing like a hot bath. Don’t you agree? It’s not often that I get to luxuriate in a hot bath and just soak in there comfortably for a while.

In the past, I’ve bought bath pillows and I must say, I am not crazy about them. They either fall off, or get mildewy from being soaked all the time. I think they are a waste.


What I DO think is worthwhile though is getting a Bath Tub Overflow Cover. You know when you’ve filled the tub too high and it keeps making a noise when you go underneath the water? Talk about not relaxing. With the overflow cover though, there is not limit to how much you can fill up and the noise is gone. Back to my luxuriating hot FULL baths!

Click here to get the bathroom products I mentioned…
***

MUDROOMS

1. Battery Racks…a wonderful convenience


I love this battery rack. Every household that I know of has batteries or NEEDS batteries for just about everything, so why not mount one on your wall? I don’t care what kind of battery rack you get, just make sure it has a built in tester like this one.

If you buy batteries in bulk, you may need to get two of these or just store your extra batteries nearby and when the rack empties out, just fill up again. Great convenience and I LOVE mine, wouldn’t want to be without one 🙂

CLOSETS

1. Clothing and Shoe Organizers

If you need to organize your shoes and sweaters, I highly recommend getting a closet system like Rubbermaid configurations. It’s a great closet organizing system because you don’t have to measure the closet perfectly, there are rods that expand and contract.

If you are not ready to put in a system into your closet, you can buy closet organizer products, but let me tell you which ones work well and which don’t.


I personally do not like organizers that fit on your existing closet rod. To me they are annoying and take up necessary space. That also includes double hanging closet rods.

What I am into are clothing and shoe storage hanging bags that fit over a door. They are not in the closet, not taking up valuable closet space. In my house, I have hanging storage on every back of the door. Hooks for coats, hats, purses, and kids toys, you name it. If you are specifically looking to store shoes, small toys, and mudroom going out the door items-like diapers, brushes, socks, etc. these hanging shoe bags featured in the picture are perfect. I’ll tell you more about how to store accessories a little later.

2. Space bags


I really like the IDEA of Space bags, but no matter how many times I try to use them, they just don’t seem worth the effort. My Maryland Association of Professional Organizers group was recently talking about Space bags, and we came to the
conclusion that the Space bags with the vacuum insert are really the only ones that work properly. But they are the ones that are most inconvenient to use! However, when I travel, sometimes I do use the travel space bags and those work pretty well. But for daily closet use and clothing storage, I think Space bags are not quite worth the effort of pulling out your heavy vacuum.

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