So, you know that little break I’ve been on? It’s coming to an end soon and I’m just getting back to some sort of normal. Which sounds good, except that “normal” changes pretty often.
Every time I think I have a nice routine all carved out, everything gets turned on its ear and I have to start all over again. And, I get kinda ticked off. It’s not that all the changes in my life are bad.
They’re good, actually. Really good. I’m learning a lot. I’m having a great time. I’m experiencing things that make me feel warm and fuzzy…giddy, even.
And, I’m also getting majorly frustrated.
How can something fantabulous make me feel so unbelievably grrrr!? The short answer is because I’m anal and I like things all lined up in height order. And, color-coded.
The longer answer is that new experiences sometimes make me feel inept.
And, I’m used to doing things in a particular, “I know how to do this” way.
And, I don’t like change unless I can see it coming and know exactly how I’m going adjust.
And, because my confidence took a hit when I realized that I’m not exceptional at all these new things. Imagine that.
And, because change is hard.
Maybe even harder for a Type A personality like me. You’d think it would be easier. I see what the issue is. I come up with a plan. I turn it upside down and look for holes. Then, I execute said plan. That’s my MO for almost everything. It works.
But, it’s not working now.
So, the only thing I can do now is breathe. And, take one day at a time.
And, I hate that.
“Our human propensity [is] to pass feelings to one another in a phenomenon called emotional contagion. We volley emotions back and forth all the time, as part of every interaction we have with another person. We can “catch” other people’s anxiety, depression or stress – all with amazing speed and dexterity.”
Is Your Boss Ruining Your Weekend? | CNN.com | 2.26.12
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I’m away on a short break so, I’ll be re-sharing some of my favorite OTR articles and introducing you to some new guest bloggers, like today’s writer, Ana Brady. Check out her tips on how to get your pantry in order.
The point of organizing your pantry is not for the sake of being organized, and not only to get rid of what mice left behind (though, for those folks who had the misfortune to go through this like I did once, this is a big part of it). The point of straightening out your pantry is also to save money and time.
That’s practically what most of the organization around the kitchen should bring. It might be no fun, but it pays off. You know that feeling when you have a toothache and you keep postponing going to the dentist because you hate it? But once you get it over with, there’s a heavy load off your chest. Organizing a messy pantry might be a little bit like that.
Whatever the level of your pantry messy-ness, one thing is clear: if everything is cluttered, you have no idea what’s expired, and the shelves haven’t seen a cleaning cloth in years – you are the right candidate for pantry organization.
If you have children with surplus of energy, you can proclaim a new game called Who Can Organize the Pantry Better, and let them help you.
How to Organize Your Pantry in 8 Easy Steps:
1. Start by taking out absolutely everything you have in the pantry and line it on a kitchen table or floor. It might take you awhile, so be prepared.
2. Take a few cleaning cloths and whatever cleaning product you like to use for pantry shelves, and give it a good wiping. Don’t forget spider webs and hard-to-reach corners. Everything should be spotless once you’re done, because you won’t be doing this every week, I suppose.
3. Then, go back to what you lined up on the table and go through all items. Some of them might be expired, some of them might have holes from mice or some other pests (hopefully not), and some might be a surprise to even be there, because you never eat such things, or you stopped eating them. Throw out everything that you won’t be using anymore. Your goal is to make that the last time you’ll be throwing away food (in bulk, at least).
4. Now, this step is optional. You can use only the shelves you have in your pantry, or you can purchase extra bins, baskets, hanging or slide-out racks, turntables, wire shelf helpers, any additional products that might help you create more room for food in your pantry.
5. Group all food items into sections according to likeness. Don’t group according to size because that might confuse you later when you look for a particular thing. Breakfast foods like cereal and oatmeal can be one group, pasta and rice can be another, flour, sugar and salt yet another, etc. Group food according to what makes sense to you.
6. Start putting back the food. It might be a good idea to keep everything you want to hide from your kids on the highest shelves where they can’t reach it. Also, use those shelves on top to keep lighter food packages. Keep heavy stuff (like jars, glass bottles and large containers on lower shelves or on the floor). You can use turntables for bottles of oil, vinegar, etc. Also, it’s not a bad idea to keep everything you often use on shelves/racks that are at eye level.
7. Re-packing the food might also be necessary. If some food packages are torn, or too bulky, you can purchase convenient see-through plastic containers that not only save space, but also let you know what you have inside. They are good for storing cereal and pasta. I use glass jars for storing flour and sugar.
8. Make sure everything you have in your pantry and all labels are clearly visible, so that your search time is minimal.
When you divide pantry organization into these clear tasks, like I did, it doesn’t sound so intimidating. The problem is that new food comes in very often, at least once a week, and you have to remember not to throw it on top of whatever shelf you find convenient at the moment. Place new items where they belong, now that you have nicely grouped food sections. You’ll be doing yourself a favor.
About the Author
Ana Brady is a mother of two, a writer focusing on food and health related topics, and a member of a designers’ group that recently completed a project on food packaging labels.
I’m still on that mini-sabbatical, so while I’m gone, check out this post about the battle between time and money.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that I like short, sweet posts. Nothing wrong with longer articles at all (OTR has some of those, too). It’s just that I want to get right to the point. And, if there are too many words, sometimes some of you (and me, too) move on quickly to something else. You get distracted.
The words start to blur.
And, you say to yourself, Do I really have to read all that?
So, in honor of short posts everywhere, today’s will be pretty concise. It’s about time. The topic of time.
Have you ever gone out of your way, like say, 20 miles from your house to get the cheapest gas?
…or bought a bunch of tools from Home Depot to fix the leaky pipe? You know, to save some money because plumbers are ridiculously expensive.
- Are you really saving money – or spending precious time – when you go to the opposite end of the earth to get something on sale?
- Is the time you spend fumbling about the pipes under your sink worth the hassle? And, did you get the job done right?
And, then consider…
Are you really able to tell the difference between time and money?
That is all.
Welcome to our regular “Transformers” feature (click link and scroll down to see them all). A transformer is a thing that started out as one thing, has been rehabbed, and now functions as another thing. A transformer can also be a thing that is really another thing all at the same time. Check out our latest find… (Yep, I’m still on that mini-sabbatical.)
And you thought newspapers were just for reading…or gardening.
It turns out that they’re good for your butt, too. What you get when you mix a bit of flour (yes, the cooking kind) and finely shredded newspaper is a chair, a Paper Chair to be exact. It’s entirely eco-friendly. Expired flour is whipped into some sort of glue to hold those old newspapers together on a recycled foam frame.
So, who came up with the Recycle/Rechair and why? Designers Peter Plantan and Nusa Zupanc from Slovenia took on the challenge hosted by Architecture Workshop in Rome (AWR) and also took home first prize.
The chair has a funky, cool look, but I wonder how comfortable it really is? Nice concept, though, don’t you think?
“…not only did exercisers have more energy after their workout, their cognitive abilities showed improvement as well. Lifestyle blog Greatist suggests you harness that mental boost by working out over the middle of the day, right when you’re starting to slump, and then head back to the office recharged.”
Try Exercising During the Middle of the Day for an Energy and Productivity Boost | Lifehacker.com | 2.17.12
I’m taking a bit of a break from writing and will be re-sharing some of my favorite OTR articles, like this one, “You Really CAN Have it All,” by Dr. Marla Deibler. Have you mastered the art of having it all? Do tell!
I’ve always been ambitious. From the time I was a little girl, I imagined myself with the devoted husband, 2.5 precious children, white picket fence, and rewarding career. It seemed plausible, even realistic.
These days, I am often asked, “how do you do it?” Patients often comment on how “calm” and in control I seem. While it’s true that I feel incredibly fortunate in my life, when I’m asked this, I have to laugh, as “having it all” can be downright ridiculous at times. Let me tell you a little bit about myself and the reality of my day-to-day.
I am a wife and a mother. I am also a doctor, a clinical psychologist. I specialize in treating trichotillomania, anxiety, OCD, and compulsive hoarding. With two young children at home in 2009, I left the comfort of my employer to set up a part-time private practice in order to have some schedule flexibility; I wanted to spend more time at home with my children, have a more balanced home-work life.
All was going so well with two children and a business; why not have a third child? Well, this child’s birth was very different for me. Now, I was a business owner from which I could not take family medical leave. Less than one hour after my cesarean section, I found myself checking my work voicemail and calling a patient who was waiting at my office for a therapist who was not scheduled to come in that day. I could not even feel my feet yet and I was making a professional call from my hospital bed!
And so this new balancing act began. From calling employees while breastfeeding to submitting payroll through my iPhone (thank goodness for free hospital WiFi), I had it all.