This isn’t a cleaning hack post or an organization post, like the other posts I have. This is just a checking in on all of you. It’s been so crazy since March and I’ve really not been active on my blog, I’m sure all of you can understand that! Lately I’ve been trying to go out into nature and breathe and enjoy.
How are all of you doing? I hope you’re all safe. I’ll be putting up a post on some great cleaning and the top disinfectants, how to stay on top of things, etc. most likely this weekend. I barely have time to think as of lately, just due to working from home, also going to school and having my children home for schooling too. It’s been busy, but Thank God we are all safe. We had a scare recently, someone in my little ones class contracted COVID-19 and so my little ones have been in quarantine but I’m happy to say they’re healthy and safe.
I’ll post something on Saturday afternoon and I’ll be more active with you all. Thanks for keeping up with me!
Questioning whether your items “spark joy” is one of Kondo’s biggest tidying up hacks.
Feelings of gratitude toward your home, your family, and even your possessions can become stronger using Marie Kondo’s tips.
Getting everyone in your household can help with tidying and may also lead to an overall better sense of communication and cooperation.
Tidying expert Marie Kondo has built a decluttering empire over time — first as a tidying consultant and then as an author of two bestselling books about her KonMari decluttering process. Her KonMari method is said to help you organize your belongings and change the way you regard yourself, your possessions, and the people you care about.
Now, Kondo has brought her brand of decluttering magic to Netflix and her series “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” shows her full process in action. Whether you’re new to KonMari or you’ve read “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and “Spark Joy” from cover to cover, you might find that the show can inspire you with its organization and decluttering makeovers.
Here are some of the biggest organizing lessons and tips learned from “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.”
Stay committed to the process and know that there’s an end.
Because each household has individual concerns and collections of items, your process will look completely different from someone else’s. In “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” we see a number of different households from a newly single woman to young, first-time parents with toddlers.
All of these people have different concerns but in every case, they used the KonMari rules to wrangle their possessions and declutter successfully. It may take more than a month if you have a lot of items but the time spent can be worth it and having that end goal in sight is usually helpful for keeping you and your family on task.
Kondo suggests following the KonMari method without skipping steps.
Throughout her decluttering career, Marie Kondo has developed six basic rules for tidying. These simple items are the basis of her brand — but if you apply them to your household, you may just see results.
Marie Kondo’s six rules for tidying are:
Commit yourself to tidying up.
Imagine your ideal lifestyle.
Finish discarding first.
Tidy by category — not location.
Follow the right order.
Ask yourself if it sparks joy.
At first, the idea of “sparking joy” may make you raise an eyebrow — but it makes a huge difference.
Think about the little things that truly give you a little zip of pleasure. Maybe it’s holding a puppy, or wearing your favorite outfit, or styling your hair a certain way. That’s the feeling Marie Kondo encourages everyone to look for when they’re sorting through their belongings.
Touch is a big part of it. If you hold a piece of clothing in your hands and you feel that joy because you remember how good it looks on you, you should keep it. But if it never fit right in the first place, or is the wrong color for your skin tone, it’s probably better off finding a new home. This idea applies to toys, DVDs, kitchen utensils, tools and almost anything else in your home.
Walk through your entire home and pay attention to everything so you’ll know how you want to categorize your items for sorting.
Marie Kondo advises starting with your clothing then working your way through miscellaneous items, documents, and books. She suggests finishing the process with sentimental items so by the time you’re ready to tackle sentimental items, you’ll be more in tune with what truly sparks joy in your heart and how you want to treasure it and give it a proper home of its own within your home.
What “tidying by category” looks like is very different from “tidying by location.”
Instead of going room by room, with Marie Kondo’s rule of tidying by category, you first start with clothes. Have each person in the house gather all of their clothes and put them all into a single pile so you can see everything you have. In many cases, you might be surprised to see just how much clothing you own.
After you see the full scope of everything you have, Kondo suggests deciding what you want to keep, what you want to donate, and what you want to throw away.
Folding is the key to the KonMari method and it can make a huge difference in your wardrobe.
KonMari folding is all about rectangles and folding things into thirds so the item is compact, but the fabric isn’t stressed or stretched out. When clothing is folded this way, the rectangles can stand up by themselves. This makes keeping your drawers organized a cinch.
Plus, the result is pleasant to look at and you can instantly identify where all the items in that drawer are or whether they’re currently in the laundry because they’re not in their correct spot.
If you live in a multi-member household, turn folding clothes together into a habit.
That way, everyone respects their clothes a little more and also, everyone knows where their stuff is. The mental housework burden can be extremely hard on a family’s primary caregiver and working together as a group in this way can go a long way toward creating a less stressed out group that’s happier and more relaxed.
Don’t be discouraged if your home temporarily looks worse while you’re in the process of tidying.
You have to take everything out and examine it to know what you want to keep and what you want to toss. As long as you follow all the steps in the process, Kondo says you can reach the end and your home will be tidier.
Promise yourself a realistic end point — for example, one family on an episode of “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” had been in their home for over 50 years. That family will likely have more possessions to sort through than a young couple who just moved into their first home.
Don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t do everything in one day — most people can’t. It might even take over a month, but with a commitment to hard work and an end goal in mind, Kondo says you can do it.
Keep like items together by size in drawers.
In your kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom, using smaller boxes inside your drawers to corral like items together can make staying tidy a lot easier.
Store things in a way that you can see them.
If you’re putting your items into closed boxes on shelves, try to use clear boxes so you can see what’s inside. This will help you avoid buying multiples of the same thing because you don’t remember that you already have it.
Make sure everything in your home has its own home to return to.
When you walk in the door, having a place to hang up your coat, store your shoes, and place your bag can make a big difference. So Kondo suggests trying to find a certain home for everything within your home.
Don’t store anything you want to keep in big, plastic bags.
Doing so can make it hard to see and appreciate what you have and it can make your belongings feel less valuable. Instead, use clear boxes for everything that will be stored on shelves so that you can see what you have. According to Kondo, small opaque boxes are fine to help organize things that will be stored inside drawers since you will be viewing their contents from the top.
Store things you use more frequently in easier to reach places and things you only use once in a while in harder to reach places.
For example, store your everyday dishes on the eye-level shelves of your kitchen cabinets and store any special or seasonal dishes up high or down low in those more difficult-to-reach locations. That way, you can utilize all your storage space in a sensible, livable way.
When possible, store things vertically.
Kitchen utensils, straws, and other long items can be stored in containers that make them stand upright so they’re easy to see, access, and use.
When you find items that are precious to you in the “sentimental items” category, it’s important to find good ways to store them.
Photos can go in an album or a box, but Kondo says you want to avoid shoving them somewhere and assuming you’ll revisit them later. By confronting all of your possessions head on and finding a permanent home for them, Kondo says you can find the joy of completing your organizing.
Tidying via the KonMari method can help change the way you view your possessions and, by extension, the rest of your life.
You’ll see this time and time again if you watch the series. No matter who’s doing the tidying, it isn’t just about the items you’re rearranging. Each episode of Kondo’s show seems to show just how much tidying your home can improve your quality of life.
The refrigerator is the home base of the kitchen. It’s a place that you want to be in and out of quickly, and that’s true whether you’re grabbing ingredients for a family dinner or you’re on the hunt for a snack. An organized refrigerator is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it also adds efficiency, and in some cases even promotes better health.
Start with a Blank Canvas
Like with most organization projects, it’s best to start from scratch. Empty out as much of the refrigerator as possible; spread packaged products across the kitchen countertops or clean surfaces so you can see everything before deciding what deserves a place back in the fridge in a thorough edit. “Toss expired food,” advises Sirianni. “Especially those old condiments and forgotten frozen meals, [because] that makes room for items you’re currently eating.”
Organize by Need
When mapping out the new refrigerator layout, it’s important to consider two things: First and foremost, remember to weigh the health and safety measures of certain foods against where they’ll live in the refrigerator. “Raw poultry should always be at the very bottom of the fridge,” says Nass. “It can carry salmonella, so put it below everything else so it cannot leak onto any ready-to-eat foods.” Second, consider the most frequent reasons you or your family open the refrigerator and create zones or compartments for easier access to these often-used items. “Create a snack zone, a drinking zone, a producing zone, and a meal prep zone. Remember, most refrigerators can adjust the shelving to make space for your specific needs,” says Sirianni. That way, you’re not removing pickles and condiments at the end of the day to get to that cold-water bottle that gradually made its way to the back of the fridge.
Lose the Plastic Takeout Containers
It’s easy to stick half-eaten takeout into the refrigerator and forget about it, but that thinking is a reason why you need to learn how to organize your refrigerator in the first place. Make your fridge work for you—anything going into it should be conforming to your storage system—so be ready with your own containers. “Store food in reusable containers,” offers Nass. “From my restaurant days, I’m most comfortable using quart containers—they stack nicely, and they’re clear so you can see inside.”
Another important aspect of organizing your refrigerator comes from breaking down some of the excess packagings after grocery shopping. “Remove packaging from individually packaged foods like yogurt, string cheese, and drinks,” says Sirianni. “They’ll take up less space, and it will help you visually track inventory. Where necessary, use acrylic drawer dividers, open bins, and Lazy Susans to separate and contain categories.”
Part of keeping an organized refrigerator happens when you’re nowhere near the fridge, but while you’re perusing grocery store aisles. Too often, when the groceries are brought home, the new supply goes right in front. But by stocking things back-to-front, expired or soon-to-expire products can be resurfaced as a reminder to either discard or use before they go bad to help keep a clean and organized setup. “[For prepared leftovers,] stick the dates of preparation on the containers, and push to the front of the fridge whatever containers are oldest to use first,” says Nass.
Add a Label
Just because you’ve taken the time to design a new organizational plan for the refrigerator doesn’t mean the rest of the family will immediately understand. By labeling the different zones, anyone opening the fridge can search for the right label, rather than tearing through carefully arranged shelves. “Label categories with damage-free chalkboard stickers [to] keep everyone in your family on the same page,” says Sirianni. “Some of our go-to’s include bread, cheese, condiments, dressings, and fruit. Unpacking groceries will never be easier!”
The kitchen is the room that you prepare your favorite dishes, meals are shared, and dish washing occurs, so it’s no wonder that cleaning this space can feel like a pretty daunting task. To make everyday cleaning easier, an occasional deep cleaning is necessary, especially in those tough-to-reach areas. With some Earth-friendly formulas and elbow grease, your entire space will shine again in no time at all!
Kitchen cabinets are one of the very first things people seem to notice upon entering the room, and with such a prominent display comes the need for a thorough scrub. Whether they’re covered in a coat of dust or a film of grease I know exactly what you need to do in order to make them look as good as they did the day they were installed. The next spot to pay extra attention to you ask? Your oven! It’s prone to baked-on stains and charred fragments of previous recipes, it requires a deep clean every few weeks. Don’t skip the inside! Be sure to wash the racks separately with soap and water for a thorough cleanse.
When’s the last time you gave your fridge a good once over? The refrigerator deserves a serious wash at least twice a year, including a full soak of the inside bins. A stainless-steel exterior should be wiped down with a homemade solution and microfiber cloth.
One of the most frequented areas is your entire kitchen is the sink, including the garbage disposal if you have one. As a place to scrub everything from fresh produce to pots and pans, the sink often gets overlooked—it’s where everything goes to get clean, so many assume it needs no care itself. But with food scraps and a build-up of grime, cleaning the sink and disposal is an absolute must. We’re recommending techniques for getting both back in sparkling order.
After you clean your cabinets, appliances, and the sink, there’s one more spot to tackle: the kitchen floor. The technique you use to clean it will depend on what it’s made of, but we’re showing you how to give both hardwood and tile surfaces a good wash. Ready to get cleaning? Our best advice is just ahead.
All you need to give your kitchen cabinets a serious deep clean is Castile soap, a microfiber cloth, and a little elbow grease. If your cabinet doors are greasy, wipe them down with a solution of one-part vinegar to two parts water.
Freshening Up the Sink and Disposal
You might think a spot where regular washing occurs wouldn’t need such a heavy cleaning, but you might be surprised. Food scraps and grime can leave your kitchen sink looking anything but new. Clean the sink itself with baking soda and lime. For the disposal, try a vinegar-soaked loaf of bread stuffed in the canister. We recommend letting it sit for 15 minutes, then turning on the disposal and flushing it with cold water before following up with frozen citrus rinds.
Cleaning the Oven
The oven is susceptible to baked-on messes and burnt fragments of meals long gone. That’s why it’s important to scrub this appliance every few weeks and to be sure that it gets a deep clean immediately after spills happen. Don’t forget the inside! The oven racks need to be cleaned separately, while the oven itself can be wiped down with a homemade paste.
Cleaning Out the Refrigerator
One of the number 1 biggest projects to tackle during your kitchen deep clean is your refrigerator. As a home to perishable foods, it’s often prone to spills, leaks, and rings left behind from containers. For a serious clean, I recommend removing everything inside and giving the bins a good soak with baking soda and water. For a stainless-steel exterior, mix one-parts vinegar to two-parts water and wipe down with a microfiber cloth!
Cleaning the Floor
Get your kitchen floor looking shiny in no time. I recommend cleaning this easily dirtied surface weekly. The cleaning techniques you use will depend on the material of your floors: for hardwood, sweep or vacuum before mopping; for tile, mop with warm water and all-purpose cleaner.
A fresh perspective can totally change how you look at a room. Experiment with different furniture arrangements to transform the space without swapping out any of its elements. Try flipping the living room sofa to face the other direction, or rotate chairs around the room until you land on the ideal placement. If you don’t like the final layout, you can always move the pieces back.
Turn Objects into Wall Art
You don’t need to splurge on expensive art to create a striking wall display. Gather a collection of objects you already own, such as baskets or hats, and mount them on the wall to form one statement-making arrangement. Consider it a unique spin on the gallery wall.
Frame Family Pictures
Print out family photos and other favorite memories to hang in a personalized wall display. Gather up the frames you have and paint them the same color for a unified look. Here, basic black frames with white mats lend this gallery wall a polished look.
Paint is a must-have tool for budget decorating, but this versatile medium is not restricted to walls. It can also be used to give dated furniture and accessories a much-needed lift. Try repainting wood furniture in a splashy color to instantly modernize an aging piece.
Hang Curtains Higher
If your drapes have enough length, consider moving the curtain rod closer to the ceiling to give the room a greater sense of height. Before you make the move, measure your curtains to make sure they will still graze the floor if you reposition the rod. If you need a little extra length, try hanging the curtain from drapery clips.
Pillows can be pricey, and if you’re getting tired of yours, try swapping out the cover instead of buying new. Using the old pillow as an insert, zip or button it into a different cover for a fresh look. If you’re handy with a needle and thread, consider making your own pillow covers. You can even use a sweatshirt or T-shirt for fabric.
Add Pattern to Shelves
Upgrade ho-hum shelves with a boldly patterned backdrop. Wallpaper, fabric, and wrapping paper remnants are all perfect fodder for lining the backs of bookcases or built-ins.
Take your bracelets and necklaces out of hiding and hang them along a bedroom wall. Mount simple hooks or hardware knobs inside an empty frame to define the arrangement. The colorful jewelry will add visual interest to your walls and keep items from becoming tangled.
Fill Your Fireplace
Spruce up a non-working firebox with an eye-catching fireplace filler. Using books from your home library, line the inside of the firebox with a stacked arrangement. For a streamlined look, wrap the volumes first in white paper. Birch logs make a rustic, farmhouse alternative.
Accessorize with Collectibles
Embrace eclectic style by bringing a few family treasures out of the attic. Thoughtfully select one or two interesting pieces, rather than an entire curio cabinet. Too many collectibles can read as clutter, but a few prized pieces integrated into your existing decor will come off as charming.
Repurpose Glass Bottles
Display a collection of bottles, vessels, or vases in a similar colorway for vintage-style appeal. Instead of sending glass bottles straight to the recycling bin, check to see if they have an interesting shape or color. Clean them out and save them until you have enough to create a pretty ensemble for a centerpiece or mantel.
Display a Poster
Skip the frame and use a wooden pants hanger to display a poster instead. This hanging technique works well with smaller posters that are just slightly wider than the hanger itself. Wider posters may flop over at the corners.
Add a No-Cost Cushion to a Bench
Try this trick to soften a wooden bench and instantly add style. Fold a colorful blanket over the seat to use as a cushion. Secure belts around the seat to hold the blanket in place.
Bring Outdoor Decor In
Move outdoor pieces inside for an easy addition to your indoor decor. Garden stools work just as well indoors as they do on patios and porches for extra seats and surfaces. Bistro chairs and other outdoor seating can also relocate inside.
Remove Cabinet Doors
Remove doors to turn basic cabinets into open shelving. Check inside first, as they may need a fresh coat of paint or a good cleaning. Remove doors and fill any holes with putty, and paint or stain to match the cabinet box. Display favorite dishes, utensils, and cookware or large jars filled with pantry staples, such as flour, pasta, and rice, inside the newly exposed cabinet.
Decorate Your Coffee Table with Books
Books are good for more than reading. Bring hardcover books off the shelf to create an interesting tablescape or mantel arrangement. Removing dust jackets can reveal a beautiful cover with eye-catching colors or designs.
Dress Up Basics
Even decorating basics can look extraordinary with a little embellishment. Wrap rickrack trim around a lampshade, hang picture frames with ribbon, or attach decorative veneers or trim to plain bookcases. Here, vertical stripes of rickrack dress up a plain white table lamp and lengths of rope draw back curtains.
Display Your Finds
Incorporate mementos from vacations or special occasions into your decor. Dig out these small treasures from storage to create a meaningful display that integrates your personality and life experiences into your home. Whether it’s a collection of shells from a beach vacation or a framed wedding invitation, even the simplest of items become display-worthy when they recall a special memory.
Beautify Office Supplies
Turn office staples into accessories you actually want on display. Wrap file boxes or magazine holders with small scraps of wallpaper or wrapping paper to add a quick dose of color and pattern to your home office. This trick also works with desktop items like pencil holders.
Hang Kid’s Art
Kids’ finger paintings, construction paper creations, and carefully colored drawings are cherished works of art. Instead of stowing away these masterpieces, put them on display in pretty frames. Change up the gallery occasionally with fresh artwork or rotate a few favorites.
Hang this paper garland on the mantel, outdoor table, a wall, or on your front porch railing. Choose your cardstock or scrapbook paper with interesting patterns in a red, white, and blue color theme. Fold the paper accordion-style and fan it out, then you can either connect the “fireworks” together with string to make a garland or attach a stick to create a fan.
If you can’t get enough of mason jars, this is the project for you. Create a centerpiece by painting the flag pattern on a row of three jars. Place them on a tray or rectangular plate and fill with pretty flowers – simple white ones will work best and won’t take away from the flag design.
This silverware holder will complete any place setting. Or if you’re planning a party with a buffet table, you can set these at one end of the table so guests can grab a utensil sleeve before they sit down. You’ll need some thick white fabric, swatches of red, white, and blue fabric, and some basic sewing skills.
Nowadays, no party is complete without a photo booth. Set one up and make these “fireworks” for guests to pose with. All you need are old toilet paper rolls, scrapbook paper, rope, and wooden dowels. They can also work as table decor, too.
Need a last-minute decorating idea? Take your plain plastic cutlery and add some washi tape in a patriotic theme. You can get creative with mixing and matching the different patterns and colors. It’s a small festive detail that will really surprise your guests.
If you aren’t allowed to light fireworks in your neighborhood, or you have younger kids who might not be ready for that, this is a genius solution. Take jumbo straws (like those used for smoothies or bubble tea) and seal one end with glue. Then fill the straws with confetti and top it off with a small, rolled-up piece of card stock with gold confetti strips attached.
Personalize some napkins to use for all of your summer gatherings. With bleach pens and 100% cotton napkins, add stars, stripes, or any other favorite patterns. Let them dry for an hour and then rinse them out.
Can’t get enough of the dip-dyed trend? Bring it home for your Independence Day party. Create a tassel out of yarn and dip it in bleach to create a two-tone, ombré effect. Take another string of yarn and use it to connect the tassels together so you can hang it on your mantel or wall.
Dress up your table with a super-easy, no-sew table runner. Cut slits in the burlap to weave in red and blue ribbons. This vintage, Americana-inspired craft is festive enough for a 4th of July party, but not so flashy that you can’t use it for other celebrations.
If you plan on using plain white plates and simple cutlery, make each guest’s place setting even more special with a personalized placemat. Using the American flag as inspiration, take a red placemat and paint white stripes using painter’s tape as a guide.
There are few rites of spring more satisfying than the annual deep clean. For many people, however, the pleasure comes only after the work is finished. Cleaning your home from top to bottom may never become effortless, but you can make the project more manageable-and even enjoyable. The printable checklist down below offers an overview of everything you need to know-including information on cleansers, stain removal, fabric care, and storage-to zip through the process.
After you read through the tips and techniques, tailor the list to your home and yard. Whether you prefer to proceed from the attic to the basement or start outdoors and wind your way inside, create a realistic schedule and focus on one task at a time, keeping in mind that a single weekend won’t suffice. You’ll need several days for more involved projects, such as shampooing carpets and organizing closets. And be sure to enlist the help of family members.
The tips below outline basic techniques that will help you clean almost every surface (or object) in any room, leaving your home refreshed from top to bottom.
Before you can get to work, you need to make sure you’re stocked with your must-have cleaning supplies. On the natural front, baking soda, white vinegar, and Castile soap are essentials you can use to make natural cleansers for nearly any spot in the house. A microfiber mop, like Libman’s Wonder Mop, makes easy work of cleaning vinyl, wood, linoleum, laminate, marble, stone, and ceramic tile—we like that the Wonder Mop’s head is machine-washable, making it an eco-friendly alternative to most conventional alternatives. Plant-based sponges and a reusable spray bottle also make most cleaning jobs easier. You’ll also want to stock up on your favorite mild dishwashing detergent and all-purpose cleanser, or else make a batch of your favorite DIY solution.
Wipe Walls and Ceilings
Use a vacuum to remove dust. Tackle stubborn surface grime, especially prevalent in kitchens, with a solvent-free degreaser (test it first in an inconspicuous area to ensure it won’t mar the surface).
Reseal Grout Lines
The cement-based material between wall, floor, and countertop tiles is extremely porous and stains easily. Protect it with a penetrating grout sealer; it’s best to apply it with a small foam brush.
Vacuum and Shampoo Rugs
Synthetic carpets and rugs with waterproof backings can be deep-cleaned with a rotary shampoo machine and a hot-water extraction machine. Rugs without backings, including Orientals, require professional cleaning.
Dust Books and Shelves
Take everything off the shelves, and brush them (along with the books) with a feather duster. Use the dust brush or crevice tool on a vacuum to reach into tight spots. Wipe the spines of leather-bound books with a clean, soft cloth.
Clean Upholstered Furnishings
Take cushions outside and gently beat them by hand to remove dust. If there are stains, check the pieces for care labels. Use a vacuum’s upholstery and crevice tools to clean under seat cushions.
Polish Metal Door and Window Hardware
Liquid polishes and polish-impregnated cloths work well for medium-tarnished surfaces; pastes and creams are best for heavier work. If the tarnish doesn’t come off, try a stronger product.
This includes hard-to-reach places, such as the tops of ceiling fans and window casings. Always work from the top of a room down, vacuuming the dust that settles on the floor. Avoid using dusting sprays.
Wax Wooden Furniture
Wipe surfaces with a soft cloth dampened with water and mild dishwashing liquid. Apply paste wax, such as Butcher’s wax, a few feet at a time with a cotton rag folded into a square pad. Let the wax dry; buff with a clean cloth.
Ensure Fire Safety
Change batteries in smoke detectors (this should be done twice a year), and make sure units are free of dust. Teach everyone in your household how to use a fire extinguisher, and review escape plans.
Wash Window Screens
Using warm water and a mild dishwashing liquid, scrub each screen with a brush; rinse thoroughly.
Clean Window Treatments
Many draperies and curtains are machine washable; check labels. Dry clean fabric shades. Wipe wooden blinds with a damp cloth; warm water mixed with a mild dish washing liquid is safe for metal and vinyl blinds.
Wax Non-Wood Floors
Vinyl and linoleum floors that have lost their shine should be waxed with a polish designed for these surfaces. Most stone and tile floors can be treated with either a paste or a liquid wax designed for the material.
This is a very easy and no fail recipe for meatloaf. It won’t take long to make at all, and it’s delicious! Family favorite. This is a comfort food in my opinion! I have had this my whole life, and have always enjoyed it immensely!
Prep:10 mins Cook: 1 hr Total: 1 hr 10 mins Servings: 8
1 ½ pounds ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 cup milk
1 cup dried bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
⅓ cup ketchup
Step 1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Step 2 In a large bowl, combine the beef, egg, onion, milk and bread OR cracker crumbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste and place in a lightly greased 5×9 inch loaf pan, OR form into a loaf and place in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking dish.
Step 3 In a separate small bowl, combine the brown sugar, mustard and ketchup. Mix well and pour over the meatloaf.
Step 4 Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour.
Per Serving:372 calories; 24.7 g total fat; 98 mg cholesterol; 335 mg sodium. 18.5 g carbohydrates; 18.2 g protein;
Here’s how to do a quick pick up in your kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, office, and more with simple techniques that work.
No matter how neat and tidy you naturally are, it’s all too easy for clutter to pile up in your home. There’s mail, books, school supplies, tax forms, and so many other odds and ends — plus, the items you use all the time that never seem to get put away. Fortunately, there are simple ways to stop clutter in its tracks.
If you’re not sure where to start, follow these expert decluttering tips to help you take control of your home. From organizing tips that will help you maximize your space to design hacks that will make everything look more streamlined, these decluttering techniques will change the way you live. And if you really want to overhaul your home, don’t miss my best cleaning tips of all time.
Declutter Your Kitchen
Messes materialize fast in the heart of your home. Keep it clean and tidy (until your kids roll through) with some pro advice.
Expand Cabinet Storage
When it comes to the kitchen, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Make the most of your cabinet space — no matter how small — with a quick DIY project. “Mount a rack on the back of a cabinet or pantry door, or try a roll-out rack in a lower cupboard to amp up cabinet space,” recommends organizing expert Alejandra Costello.
Use Up Wall Space
“Bulky pots and pans can quickly gobble up valuable cabinet space,” says Alison Victoria, host of HGTV’s Kitchen Crashers. “Be like Julia Child and put them on display — just hang them from S-hooks on a pegboard or from a suspended pot rack.” Now, go and be like Julia Child!
Tame Your Spices
As a general rule, spices stay fresh for roughly four years. If you’ve had the same container of coriander for more years than you can count, ditch it. When it comes time to organize, either place them alphabetically or categorize them by use.
Declutter Your Bathroom
At this point, your bathroom practically has as many products as a Target beauty aisle. There are the scattered cotton pads, expired mascara tubes, an assortment of toilet bowl cleaners, just to name a few. That ends now.
Toss Expired Products
When was the last time you checked the expiration date on a bottle of sunscreen? Exactly. “Take 20 minutes every three months to pull everything out of your bathroom cabinets and check expiration dates. Throw out all expired products and items that you just don’t like,” says Susan Santoro, owner of Organized 31.
Keep Towels on Hand
If you’re short on closet space, then bring your everyday linens right into the bathroom. Stuff decorative wicker baskets with bath towels for a practical yet stylish accent.
Amp Up Under-the-Sink Storage
Instead of filling up your precious vanity space, take advantage of the space below the sink with labeled baskets, bins, or stackable plastic drawers. Decide what’s worth keeping by following HGTV and DIY Network’s Matt Muenster’s trick: “Tuck everything away out of sight and watch what builds up over the next two to three days. Those items are worth keeping in an easy-to-reach spot. Everything else should be packed away.”
Declutter Your Bedroom
Your bedroom should be your place of zen. After following these genius tips, it can be. *Breathes a sigh of relief.*
Hide a Hamper
Place a basket underneath an open bedside table to create an undercover drop spot for laundry or throw pillows.
Think Below the Bed
If you’re tight on closet space, under-the-bed storage works wonders. Store any out of season clothes or accessories in space-saving vacuum storage bags or foldable fabric storage. Before storing any apparel, toss any that has rips, stains, or pulls.
Declutter Your Office
A cluttered desk and a cluttered mind go hand in hand. Make your office space productive again by listening to the experts.
Follow the Rule of Three
Open shelves are great in theory — until you fill ’em with knick-knacks, and straight-up clutter. “Restrict non-book items to a maximum of three per shelf,” says Melissa Picheny, founder of declutter+design. “Their sizes and shapes can vary, but relate the pieces by color or theme — say, ceramic vases in shades of cream.”
Leave Room to Grow
If you fill your bookshelf to the brim, then you won’t have any room to continue growing your collection. Good point, huh? “The goal is to leave at least 10% of each shelf bare and book-free,” explains Justin Klonsky, author of Organize & Create Discipline. “Before filling bookshelves, do a side-by-side comparison, ask yourself: If I could keep only one of these two volumes, which would it be?” (Remember, you can store everything else on an e-reader.)
Detangle Cords and Cables
Between chargers, lamp cords, and laptop wires, your desk can quickly become a maze. Secure wires in a cable box, which keeps things tidy, or install a shelf with cable “ports.” You can also use decorative washi tape to label cords for easier use.
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Declutter Your Living Room
You live here — and it sure looks like it. Give your living space a warm, cozy, and functional feel with these decluttering tips.
Clear the Coffee Table
Coffee tables are the focal point of most living rooms. As tempting as it may be to cover it with books, candles, and flowers, prop stylist Stephanie Hanes recommends you keep it as clear as possible. “To give the illusion that a room is a clutter-free, the top of the coffee table should be 75% clear. Styles with drawers or shelves below the surface will get you there fast,” she says.
Create Good Flow
“It’s not as much about where you put your furniture as it is about the types of pieces you choose. In each room I design, I try
to include at least one round piece, such as a coffee table, that people can walk around without bumping their knees,” says interior designer Katie Rosenfeld. She also recommends filling the space with versatile pieces like an ottoman, which can be used to sit or to hold a drink.
Make It Guest-Friendly
“Corral smaller items — vases, candles, and decorative accents — on a handled tray that’s easy to relocate when company’s coming,” says Klonsky. That way you can quickly sweep away excess clutter in a snap before they arrive — because we’re clearly more inclined to clean our house for guests rather than ourselves.
Pair Pillows by Color
Whatever you do, don’t go overboard on the throw pillows. “Stick to a trio in complementary colors and patterns — always have at least one solid — for most sofas,” says Picheny. A massive couch, however, can handle five pillows — two solids, three patterned.
1poundshrimp (I used 31-40 count size)thawed & peeled
2dashes Italian seasoning
1/4cupsun-dried tomatoeschopped or julienned
1cup(packed) fresh baby spinach
Handful fresh basilcut into thin strips
Salt & pepperto taste
Melt the butter on medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the flour and cook for about a minute, stirring until smooth.
Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.
Stir in the cream, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, and sun-dried tomatoes. Simmer for 2 minutes. Reduce heat if it’s bubbling too much.
Add the shrimp and cook for around 5 minutes or until they’re cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened, taking care not to overcook them.
Add the spinach and basil and cook for another 2 minutes. Season with salt & pepper as needed. Serve immediately. I like to squeeze extra lemon juice over the top when serving (up to you). You could also grate some fresh parmesan over the top if you wish.
Serves 2-4 depending on what else is served with this dish.
I used sun-dried tomatoes that were packed in oil (I drained the oil). If you use the dried kind, you may want to add more than 1/4 cup.
This creamy garlic Tuscan shrimp recipe with sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and basil is rich, decadent, and ready in about 15 minutes! Great served over pasta or mashed potatoes.
I’ve not done a shrimp recipe yet here on the blog. I wanted something quick and easy but also fitting in with the Spring-weather (which means rain for us) comfort foods I’ve been craving lately. Enter these creamy Tuscan shrimp!
I used 31-40 count size shrimp in this Tuscan garlic butter shrimp recipe. Technically these are considered large shrimp, but to me, they’re more of a medium-size really when compared to some of the REALLY large shrimp out there. Anyway, any medium-to-large shrimp would work.
This is one of those dinners that make it seem like you tried really hard, but the time involved makes it perfect for weeknights. 😉
What to serve with creamy Tuscan garlic butter shrimp
Pasta, mashed potatoes, or rice would be delicious. Or, keep this recipe low-carb and serve it over zoodles!