Where To Keep Pet Items

We've talked about what kind of storage you could use for your pet's things. But, where?

When it comes to pet food, I recommend using a storage container or a plastic bin with a lid. You'll know if you have a pet that will help him/herself to food, if they can. For treats, it’s a good idea to put them on a shelf or a counter that’s up high enough that your pet can’t get to them easily, either.

For pet toys, you can put them in a basket where the pet has easy access to the toys, but you won't trip on it.

For food and water bowls, try to keep them off hardwood and carpet flooring. Aim for a tile surface so that the water drips don’t ruin the floor. If that's not an option, get a plastic or silicone place mat for under the dishes.

Pet beds and crates should be kept in a place where your pet feels safe, it won't be in the way, and it won't be out of place (don't keep a dog crate in the middle of a formal living room, for example).

How Much Craft Supplies Do You Really Need?

Whether yours or the kid's, if you live in a crafty house, you likely have supplies you haven't seen in quite a long time. Time to release yourself of crafts of the past!

If you're anything like... well, any crafty person ever... you probably have supplies left over from some kind of craft you used to love. 

Or, you thought you'd love...

Or, you really, really were going to see if you loved...

Be realistic with yourself; are you going to tackle this kind of project ever again? Donate or recycle whatever you won't use anymore. Schools and art programs will likely be thrilled to have your unwanted supplies. If you're sifting through the kid's crafts, have them help out with this. You might be surprised by what they want to do, instead of what you think they might do!

Kitchen Extras

If you cook a lot, have merged households, or just haven't gone through your kitchen in awhile, you likely have duplicates in there. Make quick, easy decisions to get rid of extras and make sense of the rest.
Black Plastic Spatula Hanged on Black Hook

First, donate anything that you don’t like or use any more. 

Organize your pots and pans, whether stored in a cabinet, drawer or pot rack. Keep pots with their lids, but turn the lids upside down. This creates a flatter surface that allows smaller pots to stack on top of the larger pieces. No searching for bottoms to match tops. And, save some horizontal space in your cabinet. 

Depending on your space, if you're putting utensils in a drawer, use a divider. Make sure to measure your drawer first before purchasing a divider - length, width and height! Sort your utensils in a way that makes sense for how you cook or bake. Cook v. bake, or pasta v. meat, for example. If you have too many to fit in a drawer, put the utensils that you'll use most often out on the counter in a vase or a big canister. As long as it's tall enough that the utensils won't fall over and wide enough to fit everything in it, then you're good to go. If you're going to use hooks to hang spoons, spatulas, etc., be sure those are ones you use most often; otherwise those will sit around and collect dust.

Hiding Toys

Most kids have favorite toys. They're always winners and are loved over and over again. That usually means the other toys get ignored, at least from time to time.

Hiding toys away for three to six months is a great strategy to see if your kids still want them. Pack some up in a plastic bin or box; store it away in a closet or storage area. If you're feeling extra ambitious, stick a label on the side that says which toys are inside. Then, if a specific toy is asked for, you can find it quickly. Otherwise, bring the toys out in a couple months. Pack up different toys, and repeat the process. It's especially great when you don't have a ton of space for toys, but do have some storage room to spare.

Think of it as if you're swapping out seasonal wardrobes, but with toys!

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