Posts tagged ‘NAPO Charleston’

June 18, 2012

Makeover Monday::Kitchen Edition

by heatherkp

Disclaimer:: These photo’s are not very good and I apologize, I think those of you who regularly read my blog know that I’m normally a much better photographer.  These were taken with  my new phone and I’m still getting use to the settings.  Okay, on with it.  This project was in a very small home (just over 800 Sq’) in the historic Byrnes Down neighborhood.  The homes in this neighborhood were built in the 40’s as “war homes” and their sizes reflect this historic fact.  This particular house is the home of 2 adults and 2 kids who love to cook and entertain but their very limited cabinet/cupboard space has made it challenging.   In the 4 hours we worked, we tackled 6 of the 8 cabinets in the kitchen.  These 6 cabinets must hold ALL the food and dishes.  The remaining 2 cabinets are under the sink and above the refrigerator.

Above the sink-Open cabinet

Because this is an open cabinet (i.e. dust will accumulate etc) I wanted it to be filled with frequently used items that were not cluttered looking so we opted for glasses and a few serving pieces.  The top shelf contains seasonal and less used items.

Dishes and Glasses

The daily china and smaller glasses stayed in this cabinet.  Less frequently used barware was moved to the dining room and a shelf riser was installed to double the amount of short glassware and coffee mug storage.  Again the top shelf contains fine china and less frequently used items.

Lower Storage Left

The opposite side of the kitchen (this is a galley style kitchen) only contains 4 cabinets.  This side has a trash can that lives in front of one side so the left had to store less frequently used items such as larger serving pieces and small appliances/accessories.  Whenever possible I like to use containers to keep like items together, this makes it easy to locate the items when you need them and know exactly where to put them away.  We took advantage of the tall space to use another riser for canned goods.  A few frequently used utensils hang on the inside of the door since there are only 2 drawers in this kitchen.

Lower Storage Right

This side (of the oven/stove) holds the cooking items and every day items used to make the kids lunches.  By corralling all the wraps, bags, foil etc. into a door mounted unit these items are now easily accessible without bending down and digging through the cookware.  The deep cabinets allowed for this good size unit to be installed and the other door can still be used if needed.  Doors are a great place to store things when space is tight.

Food Storage Upper Left

All the food staples need to fit into two cabinets less than 30″ wide.  The other drawback to these cabinets is the lack of shelving, with only 2 useable shelves in each it was necessary to bring in shelf risers to accommodate more storage.  The client may install additional risers or shelves in the future to fit even more in but we decided to work within boundaries of only purchasing 4 items (2 shelf risers, one stepped spice rack and the inside the door unit for the foil etc). The top shelf contains baking goods and other less frequently used foods.

Food Storage Upper Right

Lastly the upper right cabinet contains the more frequently used breakfast and snack foods as well as pastas, rice and other staples on the top shelf (where a step stool can be used to access them relatively easily).  When its constantly necessary to use a step stool I recommend finding a small collapsible one that can be mounted on the wall or slid into a tight space for easy accessibility.

Shortly after leaving this client she sent me this email:

“So excited to use our organized kitchen! Thank you Heather!”

As with all organizing projects it’s important to re-evaluate how well the changes you made are working for you.  I will follow up with this client to tweak things and be sure the “system” is working for them.

January 4, 2012

Wednesday Wellness::Living with Less

by heatherkp

I’m back from the holiday whirlwind and I’m taking stock of my surroundings and the stuff around me (in physical and cyber space).  I was inspired by this article I read about Oouosji, the Japanese tradition of cleaning out for the new year.  The article got me up out of my chair clearing out the holiday decor and giving the house a little spiffing up!

January is also the official Get Organized month (Go-Month) and Organizers, magazines and media across the nation are promoting getting more organized.  The new year is a perfect time to start fresh and getting organized ranks a top resolution for many people.   I always love getting a little more organization, especially after letting a few things go over the holidays.  Since most of our belongings are in storage I’ve turned my attention towards digital and electronic organizing, including unread emails and blog posts in my RSS reader.  Here are some of the ways I’m simplifying, getting things organized and trying to live with less.

  •  Whittled the blogs I subscribe to down to those I really enjoy reading and those that didn’t focus on stuff-I love the eye candy but don’t need the additional temptation! (I didn’t keep track of how many I got rid of but this is my second round of clearing out in the past month).
  • Evaluated the twitter feeds I follow and reduced them by about 15%.
  • Went through my two separate emails (one for personal use the other for newsletters, stores, coupons etc…) to delete and unsubscribe from anything that no longer interests me.  I usually do this a couple times a year at minimum.
  • Went through all my digital photo files and deleted unwanted images and duplicates.  At the same time I’m adding tags and ratings in Lightroom and backing it all up to an external drive. (This has been an ongoing project over the past months)
  • Sorted through music to delete unwanted or duplicate songs while creating playlists and rankings.  (This is an ongoing project I will finish by the end of January)

Among all those emails I was clearing out there was this great article over at Becoming Minimalist.

Owning less is far more beneficial than organizing more.“-Joshua Becker

I got to thinking about how we are currently living with all our stuff is in storage.  I’ve found myself craving a few of my things over the past 6 weeks, which consists mostly of clothes I wish I hadn’t packed, cooking tools and craft supplies.  Everything else I can live with out for now.  I’m sure after living without most of our possessions for several months we will be much less attached and more likely to purge when we unpack.  Remind me of this will you when I get to that point?!

Right in the midst of all this I came across an article about this guys who only owns 15 items!  I wouldn’t consider myself a minimalist but I long to embrace a less is more philosophy and lifestyle.   I am glad to say that our Christmas holiday was not “stuff” centered.  We did not give, nor receive an abundance of things.  I took some advice from the Joshua Becker article and grabbed one of the boxes we had gifts shipped in and filled it with stuff to give away…the process of living with less is one we have to continually re-evaluate and participate in.  As I walk the beach now I keep this in mind and rather than pick up each little beautiful treasure I take a photo of it and release it (most of the time:).

Stuff comes, stuff goes and the less you let come in the less you have to let go of!

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