Archive for the 'Kitchen Organization/Food Preparation' 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 cheryl@inorderforlife.com.

Happy (and Organized!) Days!

Cheryl



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Get in Order for the Holidays, Part 6

Meal Planning

We tend to cook more and entertain more during the holidays. There is much that you can do prepare for this busy time so that you can truly enjoy your celebrations.

First, ask yourself who, what, when and where? When you have your answers to these questions, you have the backbone of your plans.

Take time to prepare for the weeks ahead by doing some (or all!) of the following:

  • Organize, purge and clean your pantry, refrigerator and freezer
  • Do a quick inventory of dinnerware, glasses, silverware, linens and serving pieces. If there is a need, there is certainly a sale!
  • Prepare a flexible menu for the weeks ahead
  • Each week, make a shopping list from your menus and try to shop only 1 time a week. Go on off-peak times of the day—early in the day and early in the week, if possible
  • Take advantage of sales to stock up on non perishables that you will need for your holiday preparations
  • Prepare dishes, breads, cookies and desserts that can be frozen
  • Keep basics and easy to prepare foods on hand
  • Share the responsibility and joy of cooking for others—when your guest asks if they can bring something, say YES, and cross something off your list!
  • Consider pot-luck dinners for large celebrations

Remember your goal this holiday season! Look back at your “Holiday Mission Statement” that you created back in week one. How is your mission going? Are you joyful in the journey of your preparations? If not, it might be time to cross a few more things off that list of yours, regroup and move forward.

Check out Part 1, Happy Shopping, Part 2, Take Time to Make Time, Part 3, Budget and Gift Giving Guide, Part 4, Cleaning,  Part 5, Decorating, and Part 7, It’s a Wrap of my Get in Order for the Holidays Series.

Have a blessed and organized holiday!

Cheryl

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
or
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!

Cheryl


Paper Management, Part 2

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. A large 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. Quick Access Files are files that you will need for a season and/or you need to access often. They are filled with the papers that are otherwise taped to our refrigerator, stuck on the bulletin board or, all too often, piled up next to the phone or on the kitchen table.

Not Your Mother's File Box!

To create Quick Access Files, gather up all the bits of information lying around and plastered to the surfaces in your kitchen. Then separate them into logical categories. Because each of our lives and habits are different, each of our Quick Access Files will be different as well. 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
  • Or you may choose to create a file for each child in which you could place all their papers for their individual school, sports, and clubs.
  • A file for volunteer organizations, which will hold current phone lists, announcements, schedules, and newsletters
  • A doctor/dentist file with contact information and appointment cards (which you will drop in the file AFTER you write the appointment on your calendar)
  • A file for prescriptions, which will 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 the appointment on the calendar)
  • A file for coupons and gift cards

    Basic File Box by See Jane Work

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 place all their permanent records, report cards and testing information. Each person will have a Medical file, which will hold immunization records, surgery, allergy and all permanent medical records.

The papers, invitations, schedules, announcements, appointment reminders, and take out menus in our Quick Access File are generally 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 or permanent information or documents, however, will be added to your regular long term filing system, and your Quick Access Files will be ready for the new season.

With the addition of just a few categories, with corresponding files, you will have a complete system to deal with your mail on a daily basis.

  • To Do
  • To Pay
  • To File (anything that simply needs to be transferred to your long term filing system)

Now that you have created your own Quick Access Files, I suggest that you keep them in your main living area, which is usually the kitchen or family room. This is generally the place that you bring in and drop your mail, you walk in with files and papers from meetings and appointments, and your children bring you papers to sign, fill out and file away.

I have heard people say that they don’t want a file box sitting in their living area. May I kindly suggest, that a small, nice looking file box (think attractive and presentable) looks much nicer than a pile of papers in disarray!

Check out some of the links to file boxes and files in this article, or find your own. Be creative. There are 100’s of options available in every style. Find your own style.

A Cool Vintage File Box

If you have ever worked with me, attended one of my workshops,  or followed my blog for any length of time, this concept is not new to you. If you already have Quick Access Files, the New Year is the perfect time to revamp them.  Simply sort through each file and:

  • First of all; decide if you still need each file

    A Beautiful Alternative to Manila!

  • Toss any obsolete information
  • File anything that should be transferred over to your Permanent Filing System
  • Determine if you need to add any new categories – (do you have any new information hanging on the fridge or piled up on the kitchen table?)

It’s the perfect time for a fresh start!
Happy (and Organized!) days!
Cheryl

Get In Order for Christmas, Part 4

Part 4, Meal Planning

We tend to cook more and entertain more during the holidays. There is much that you can do prepare for this busy time so that you can truly enjoy your celebrations.

First, ask yourself who, what, when and where? When you have your answers to these questions, you have the backbone of your plans.

Take time to prepare for the weeks ahead by doing some (or all!) of the following:

  • Organize, purge and clean your pantry, refrigerator and freezer

  • Do a quick inventory of dinnerware, glasses, silverware, linens and serving pieces. If there is a need, there is certainly a sale!

  • Prepare a flexible menu for the weeks ahead

  • Each week, make a shopping list from your menus and try to shop only 1 time a week. Go on off peak times of day—early in the day and early in the week, if possible

  • Take advantage of sales to stock up on non perishables that you will need for your holiday preparations

  • Prepare dishes, breads, cookies and desserts that can be frozen

  • Keep basics and easy to prepare foods on hand

  • Share the responsibility and joy of cooking for others—when your guest asks if they can bring something, say YES, and cross something off your list!

  • Consider pot-luck dinners for large celebrations

Remember your goal this holiday season! Look back at your “Holiday Mission Statement” that you created back in week one. How is your mission going? Are you joyful in the journey of your preparations? If not, it might be time to cross a few more things off that list of yours, regroup and move forward.

Have a blessed and organized holiday!

Check out Part 1, Take Time to Make Time, Part 2, Budget and Gift Giving Guide and Part 3, Cleaning.

Cheryl


Twitter Updates

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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 cheryl@inorderforlife.com

My Favorite Things

Click here for my collection of favorites links for organizing products and other useful sites.

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