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Organizing tricks to prepare you for the holidays and beyond.

It’s the time of year when your kitchen starts working overtime. Before holiday cooking heats up, take note of any pain points in your kitchen and implement one of these quick and easy fixes.

1. Give Pots and Pans Their Own Space

Nothing stifles fun and flow in the kitchen like wading through precarious stacks of pots and pans to find what you need. In theory, it makes sense to keep these “like” items all together. But since pots are deep, pans are shallow, and lids are flat, it’s better for everyone to give each category its own space.

If possible, dedicate a specific drawer or shelf for each category. A shallow drawer or shelf works well for lids.

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Photo Credit: The Family Handyman

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Photo Credit: Indulgy

Or make a lid rack by mounting a small towel bar on a wall or inside a cabinet door. Just make sure your door has enough depth to close once the lids are in place.

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Photo Credit: The Kitchn

While pans are easier to stack than pots, why bother if you don’t have to? A simple, wire pan organizer delivers big on convenience and space.

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Photo Credit: Houzz

2. Make Platters and Trays Feel at Home

Large, flat items like cookie sheets and platters often get stuck at the bottom of cupboards and drawers or in strange, out-of-the-way spots if you don’t give them a space that makes sense.

On a free-standing or cabinet shelf, place tension rods in two or three rows to create slots that will keep platters and trays both organized and readily accessible.

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Photo Credit: Hometalk

A less artsy but still totally functional option is a wire shelf organizer tucked inside a deep cupboard. If you’re feeling crafty, a dish drying rack can work surprisingly well for this purpose, too.

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Photo Credit: Organizing Junkie

3. Get Smart Under the Sink

The space under the kitchen sink tends to be a wasteland for recycling, garbage bags, and old sponges. With a few smart supplies, you can make this space work for, rather than against, you.

One of my favorite uses of this space is to re-purpose basic office supplies to organize everything from aluminum foil to cutting boards. Just brilliant!

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Photo Credit: Listotic

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Photo Credit: The Kitchn

4. Go Over-the-Top With Pantry Storage

Over-the-door shoe organizers are one of my favorite, go-to space savers for a variety of household situations. Why not the kitchen?

Simply hang on the back of a closet or pantry door and fill the pockets with items you need to grab in a pinch. If you want to promote self-sufficiency at snack time, place kid-friendly items in the bottom rows for easy access.

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Photo Credit: Real Simple

5. Put a New Spin on Food Storage

Most kitchens have at least one black hole where canned goods, spices, or other items tend to disappear. Lazy Susan to the rescue! Lazy Susans come in many different sizes so just look around for the right one (or two or three) to solve your storage woes. Pro tip: They work great in the fridge, too!

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Photo Credit: Decor Chick

The best part is that all of these tips are truly easy and affordable to implement. Pick a few to get started on now and by the time the holidays arrive, you’ll be ready to entertain with ease.

The post above is a copy of the article I wrote for the online publication of Seattle’s Child, where I publish bi-weekly articles on home organization. To see a complete list of all past articles, please visit the Reclaim Your Home section on Seattle’s Child. See this article on the Seattle’s Child website here

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Tricks for Making Guest Space Without a Guest Room

Are you expecting overnight guests for the holidays but you don’t exactly have designated guest space? Here are some tips and tricks for making guests feel welcome even if they don’t get their very own wing.

Put Your Home Office to Work

Many home offices require a pretty simple set-up, leaving room for a bed or sleeper sofa for overnight guests. One of my favorite tricks is to set up the desk in a converted closet so it’s contained and out of the way. Instead of doors, try a pretty curtain to add some flair while keeping office-like logistics out of the way.

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Photo Source: Apartment Therapy

If you have a spacious office, a ceiling-mounted curtain creates a cozy, private sleeping nook that’s also great for cat naps on a long work day.

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Photo Source: HGTV

Upgrade Your “Big Kid” Beds

Most children get a twin “big kid” bed once they outgrow their crib. I actually recommend bypassing the twin for a larger bed that gives kids room to grow and can accommodate overnight guests in a pinch.

For girls, I recommend investing in a queen-size bed. Your little princess will enjoy it for years to come (think of all the slumber parties!) and it’s a respectful size for grandparents, too.

Photo Source: Houzz

For boys, I like bunk beds with a twin on top and full down below. This practical, playful set-up  provides fun options for slumber parties and plenty of appropriate sleeping space for grown-up guests should the need arise.

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Photo Source: Land of Nod

Invest in Dual-Purpose Furniture

Quality sofa bed: If you really want to invest, I highly recommend a high-quality sofa bed. Who wants to sleep on a thin, sunken mattress with bars jamming in their back! My favorite is the Comfort Sleeper by American Leather with several styles and colors to choose from.

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Photo Source: American Leather

Murphy Bed: If you’re short on space, consider another smart investment: a Murphy bed. You get to use the room year-round for your own needs and easily convert it to a welcoming guest space when family comes to town. Plus, the kids will get a kick out of pulling a bed out of the wall!

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Photo Source: Creative Juice

Accessorize!

Regardless of where your guests actually sleep, a few special touches will go a long way to make them feel warmly welcomed.

Nightstand: While it doesn’t have to be anything formal or fancy, make sure there is room for a lamp or reading light, a clock, an outlet nearby for charging phones and devices, and a glass of tea or water. Fresh flowers win bonus points!

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Photo Source: Lauren Elizabeth

Luggage Stand: A folding luggage stand puts a suitcase within easy reach and keeps the room or space looking tidy. If you don’t have a luggage stand, an ottoman or bench will do just fine.

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Photo Source: Bed, Bath & Beyond

Hooks: If guests won’t have access to a closet, providing a few hooks for hanging coats and essentials will be appreciated. Over-the-door racks are really low maintenance or try my all-time favorite, removable Command hooks.

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Photo Source: Urban Outfitters

Laundry Basket: Even if it’s a short trip and they won’t actually be doing laundry, your guests may appreciate not having to stuff smelly socks back in their suitcase until it’s time to go back home. Really, any cute, reasonably sized bin or basket will do.

Clear your clutter! No one wants to rest with bills and boxes piled up in their face. No matter where you put your guests, take some time to clear clutter and create intentionally inviting space.

I hope these ideas make overnight stays more enjoyable for you and your guests, although  perhaps not so enjoyable they stay that day or two too long! As always, I’d love to hear how you’ve been inspired to take action or what great ideas you’ve discovered on your own.

The post above is a copy of the article I wrote for the online publication of Seattle’s Child, where I publish bi-weekly articles on home organization. To see a complete list of all past articles, please visit the Reclaim Your Home section on Seattle’s Child. See this article on the Seattle’s Child website here

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You’re probably seeing orange and black everywhere you look right now, but these bold colors aren’t just for Halloween.  Try one or both of them in your home year-round.  Here are some of my favorite orange and black items from my shop. Click the links to purchase them today!

Halloween Shop Collage text

1. Ceramic Table Lamp 2. Large Corinth Mirror  3. Del Mar Transitional Floor lamp  4. Sue Pillow  5. Hazel Hexagon End Table  6. Dimensional Chain Stool  7. Arthur Pouf  8. Luna Designer Hand Tufted Wool Rug

 

 

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A cheat sheet for creating an organized, stylish entry space out of thin air.

The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming!

There, I said it. Of course the holidays mean many things, including a revolving door of guests for those of us who like to entertain. Now is a great time to look at easy ways to make your home even more inviting, right from the first step through the front door.

Many Seattle homes don’t have a formal entry or foyer. The front door often opens right into the living room. If this is the case with your home, there are of plenty ways to create a defined entry space that is both beautiful and organized.

1. Make your own (entry) way with intentional furniture placement.

This can be as simple as placing your couch or a set of chairs with their back to the door to create the feeling and function of a hallway. Add a console or table to the mix to create structure and give you an organized spot to drop keys and mail when you walk in the door.

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Photo Source: 52 Mantels

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Photo Source: Ikea

2. Divide the space with a bookcase or other physical barrier.

A well-placed bookcase can do wonders for making good use of large or sprawling space. And as you know, a bookcase isn’t just for books anymore. Make a creative first impression by displaying art and other collectibles or add bins, baskets, or drawer inserts to keep things looking tidy.

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Photo Source: Sara Eizen on Houzz

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Photo Source: Apartment Therapy

 3. Go up the wall!

Smart use of hooks, shelves, and benches along an entry wall may be all you need to define and organize your entry space. And with a little creativity, hooks can be both functional and artsy. They keep coats, backpacks, purses, and scarves off the floor and look cute, too. A small bench with a few baskets offers a resting place to take off shoes as well as a place to store them out of sight.

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Photo Source: Mix and Chic

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Photo Source: Anthropologie

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Photo Source: Anthropologie

4. Send a rug to the rescue.

An area rug, or even a runner, visually frames the entryway and makes it distinct from the rest of the room. As with other small spaces, this is also a great way to add a splash of bold color or pattern that might feel too risky or overwhelming in a larger area.

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Photo Source: Apartment Therapy

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Photo Source: Suddenly Inspired

What are some of the ways you have created a warm welcome right inside your front door? Do tell! Share pics and tips below.

The post above is a copy of the article I wrote for the online publication of Seattle’s Child, where I publish bi-weekly articles on home organization. To see a complete list of all past articles, please visit the Reclaim Your Home section on Seattle’s Child. See this article on the Seattle’s Child website here

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