Archive for the 'Kitchen' Category

Drink, Chat and Get Organized!

Join me, Tuesday, April 26th,  for the last Coffee and Conversation of the spring.

What:    Coffee and Conversation

Why:    To Get “In Order for Life”!

When:  Tuesdays, April 26th, 9-10 AM

Where: Birdie’s Cafe, 233 East Main Street, Westminster, MD

This week we will be chatting about kitchen organization. Our kitchens do tend to be the heart of the home. It’s the one place the family is likely to gather. It where we land when we come in the house, and we are inclined to spend many of our home hours.

As the kitchen goes, so goes the home…………

Does the heart of your home feel more like the bowels of disorder? Come share your organizing successes and struggles, and learn tips, habits, and tricks, to tame the chaos in the heart of your home. Come rediscover the heart in your home, bring calm and efficiency to your busiest room, and revitalize the Joy of Cooking once again.

Coffee and Conversations will resume this fall. Watch my website for details. Is there a topic you would like us to cover? Send an email to

Happy (and Organized!) Days!


Dinner is on the Table (And I Haven’t Lost My Mind!)

Fall. The perfect time to get your kitchen in order. The fall season tends to be the time that we bake and cook more often. Simplify your life, and the hours you spend in the kitchen, by first organizing it. Once completed, you will be ready for the holiday cooking and baking to come. Check back, later in the month, as I guide you through simple steps to simplify and organize your kitchen.

If you want to get a jump start on getting your kitchen in order and your family on track, sign up NOW for my upcoming workshop:

Dinner is on the Table (And I haven’t Lost My Mind!)
The dinner hour is approaching and once again, your anxiety level rises as you anticipate another trip to the grocery store and another trip to the drive through. This workshop will teach you practical skills, tricks and techniques to meal planning, organizing your kitchen and pantry for maximum efficiency and how to actually get those meals on the table day by day!

Choose from 2 dates:

Tuesday, October 12, 10 – 11 AM
At the Robert Moton Center, 300 S. Center Street, Westminster, MD
Wednesday, October 13, 7 – 8 PM
At the Westminster Senior Center,125 Stoner Avenue, Westminster, MD

Register online , by going  to “Home and Garden” or by phone at: 410-386-2103

Happy (and organized!) fall!


Paper Management, Part 1

Help, My Kitchen is My File Cabinet!

Take a quick look around your kitchen and dining room: the kitchen table, the counter tops, the buffet, and the surfaces of your refrigerator. Do you notice a re-occurring theme? Do you see the mounds of information needed to run your home and your life, spread hit or miss around your kitchen? Is the pile of junk mail, catalogs, and newspapers on your kitchen table blocking your view of your loved ones at dinner? If so, you’re not alone.

Do you realize how much paperwork enters your home on a daily basis? Most of us probably receive more mail on most days than our parents received in a week. We receive newsletters, magazines, bills, advertisements, million dollar offers, and letters, to mention a few. Along with incoming mail, many of us have school-aged children, who each bring home permission slips, completed work, tests to be signed, the dreaded fund-raising packets and letters from teachers and administrators. We receive the Daily Newspaper, and we carry in papers on a daily basis from work, meetings and appointments.

In my time as a professional organizer, I have come across a universal problem of overwhelming amounts of paperwork, and the resulting piles that usually end up in the kitchen. In our efforts to “Get Organized in 2010”, we will look at this all-too-common issue and outline simple solutions that can solve this problem and simplify your days.

Together we will create a plan of action. A place for everything and everything in it’s place! Clutter happens when we don’t have a place for something, or when it’s more difficult to put something away than it is to deal with it. The result is the inevitable cluttering up of our spaces and our lives.

As we create a plan for all the paper coming into our homes, we will ask ourselves some very basic questions:

  • Who needs this information?

  • Where will I/they need or use this information?

  • How long do I need/want to keep this information?

  • What time of day does most of this information come into the home?

  • Do I have time to put it where it belongs?

The truth is, the majority of the paper coming into your home will NEVER need to be looked at again!
“Man’s best friend, aside from the dog, is the wastebasket”.           Business Week

Remember this truth and always have your friend with you when dealing with paperwork. That’s the first and most essential step! Until next time, I challenge you to quickly recycle or simply throw out that which you don’t need, won’t use, or won’t read (despite your best intentions!). Make it a habit, and your piles may actually start declining!
In the upcoming weeks, I will be posting a 6-part Paper Management Series, which will simply outline what to do with all that paperwork. From developing short term and long term filing systems, to “junking all that junk mail”, to practical filing tips and tricks; all of which will help you to launch into a more organized 2010!

Happy (and Organized) Days!


Quick Access Files…….Don’t Live an Organized Life Without Them!

Last time in “Help, My Kitchen is My File Cabinet”, I referred to the universal problem of overwhelming amounts of paperwork, and the resulting piles that usually end up in the kitchen. Part of the solution to this problem is the creation of Quick Access Files.

Quick Access Files are just that– files that you need to access often and quickly. Don’t let the word “file” in “Quick Access Files” throw you. These are files containing different information than we generally keep in our regular “Filing Cabinet”.

My Personal Quick Access Files

  My Personal Quick Access Files


To create “Quick Access Files”, gather up all the bits of information lying around and plastered to your kitchen. Then separate them into logical categories. Because each of our lives and habits are different, so too will be each of our Quick Access Files.

You may end up with:

  • A file for each school, which will hold current phone lists, school calendars, announcements, and newsletters
  • A file for every sports team or club
  • A file for volunteer organizations, which will hold current phone lists, announcements, schedules and newsletters
  • Or, you may choose to create a file for each family member in which you can place all the information from each school, club or organization
  • A “doctor/dentist” file with contact information, directions and appointment cards (which you will drop in the file AFTER you write it on the calendar)
  • A file for prescriptions which can hold patient information for any current prescriptions that your family members are using
  • A file for take out menus
  • A file for parties and invitations (which you drop in AFTER you write on the calendar)
  • A file for coupons and gift cards

For many of these categories you will also have a file in your regular file cabinet. For instance, each child will have an “Education” file in your regular files in which you will put all their permanent records, report cards and testing information. Each family member will have a “Medical” file, which will hold immunization records, surgery, allergy and all permanent medical records.

These papers, invitations, schedules, announcements, appointment reminders and take out menus in your Quick Access File will generally be  used for a season and then discarded or updated. At the end of a school year or sports season, for example, most of the contents of the Quick Access File will be discarded. Any important information or documents, however, will be added to your regular long term filing system, and your Quick Access Files are ready for a new season!

Several of my clients have been hesitant to create a Quick Access File because their spouses didn’t like the idea of a file box setting out in the kitchen or family room. You may kindly suggest, to these well meaning spouses, that a small, nice looking file box (think compact and attractive) looks much nicer than a pile of papers in disarray!

Check out some of these links for ideas.  Be creative!

Happy and Organized Days!



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NEW Home Learning Parties!

Organizing Just Got Fun!
Now Scheduling Home Learning Parties for Summer 2011
Gather your friends, choose a topic, learn, simplify AND earn free and half priced products from the Clever Container Company! To schedule your party, call Cheryl at 410-259-1466 or email

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National Association of Professional Organizers