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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Little Green Boxes and 3 Tips for Organizing the Kitchen

Well, I am getting off to a slow start this year with the blog, but maybe I'm striving for crochet perfection (or at least correct and useful information) too much!  So, in the mean time, I'm posting about my New Year's Cleaning (rather than Spring Cleaning) in the hopes that it will be helpful to you.  And, by getting organized and decluttered, I'm hoping my creativity will get a boost as well.

The kitchen is the first room I've been tackling.  I got out my labeler and got all of the half-opened bags and containers of dried goods out of the pantry and into properly sealing containers with labels.  I didn't also add the date on the containers, but that's probably a good idea going forward (hopefully I'll use up stuff fast enough to not have to worry about this, but I think on the next go around, I will add dates so that I'll know how quickly or slowly I'm using up products).

Then I started in on the refrigerator after having read this helpful post by Nealey Stapleton of the Organizing Boutique.  Since I was headed to Bed, Bath, and Beyond anyway for a new shower curtain and toilet seat (the bathroom is next!), I added a 12-inch turntable/Lazy Susan to my list and put it in the fridge to organize all the small jars of pickles, mustard, etc.  I think it's really going to help in avoiding jars of half-used stuff getting shoved to the back of the refrigerator and being left to die.

And, even though I stuck to my list while at BBandB, I did make an impulse purchase of Debbie Meyer's 32-piece UltraLite Green Boxes to preserve fruits, vegetables and baked goods (hey, I had some 20% coupons, so not so bad :-)

We've been trying to eat more healthfully but, if I try to shop for the whole week, by the end of the week, some of the organic produce is looking a little sad...  I'm hoping, based on the great reviews given these boxes, they will help extend the life of our fruits and veggies!

So, in summary:

1)  Get everything labeled and dated -- it will help you keep track of what ingredients and pantry items you have and don't have, how fresh it is, etc.
2)  Keep the refrigerator clean by using a few containers and turntables to help group like items and keep them organized and accessible.
3)  Allow yourself to get distracted by little green boxes if it will help motivate you and help you feel better about starting off 2015 the way you want!

(Disclosure:  We are an Amazon Affiliate and the above-provided link is an affiliate link.  The boxes were $19.99 at BBandB, before the 20% off.)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Welcome 2015!

Go figure that the first half of my last post of 2014 didn't publish...

But we are not looking back, here's to a New Year and a clean slate :-)

So, what do I aspire to accomplish this year?

1)  Blog posts twice a week

One of my action items for this year is to get back onto a blogging schedule of two posts a week (I had been doing that a while back...).  Once a week (probably Tuesdays), I plan on focusing on basic crochet techniques and building to more advanced ones through the year.  What will be different about my posts?  My aim is to "curate" the technique, meaning that I will try to find, in my opinion, the best sources out there on the chosen technique and present them to you all in one place.  There are A LOT of crochet blogs out there now, and I've come across some really good ones.  I want to give credit where it's due and not reinvent the wheel unless I can't find what I think is a definitive, clear presentation of the technique.

The second post each week (probably Fridays), I plan on sharing something along the lines of "learn, make and grow through crochet" by returning to a fundamental objective that I had when I first started this blog -- experiencing crochet in a holistic way through the mind, the body and the spirit.  Recently I was explaining to a non-crocheter that crochet is a lifestyle enhancer in so many ways.  And it conjures up many images doesn't it?  A basket of yarn nestled next to a crocheter, who is stretched out in a favorite sitting area, perhaps with a steaming (or cold) beverage at the ready, working away on a project that is most likely a gift or donation for someone special.  I want to explore how crocheters live "the crochet lifestyle" and the different ways that lifestyle manifests itself.

2)  More communications and interactions

I admit that I am a "stalker" on Facebook and share others' posts without really putting myself out there.  This year I plan on exploring different ways to interact and communicate with crocheters who are seeking the same thing.  Frankly, I'm not sure that Facebook is the best venue for accomplishing this goal, so I'll be exploring different platforms that might work better.

3)  More follow through

You all know that I have the best of intentions, but let's face it, I don't always follow through as I should or in a timely manner.  So, my third goal this coming year is to finish what I start and (try) not get distracted by (too many) bright, shiny objects!

So, once again, I am trying to lay out my plans and aspirations for the upcoming year and hold myself accountable for achieving them (or at least moving closer to achieving them).  I look forward to this journey and hope that you all will join me for the ride :-)