Dining room organization

Organizing Your Dining Room

organizing your dining room Jennifer Ford Berry Organize Now

Organize Your Dining Room

 

Organizing your dining room seems like a tough task to tackle for some, but I have some tips that will help you figure this out! One of the first things you should address when you are organizing your dining room, is how are you going to utilize this room? What purpose does it serve? We don’t all utilize our dining rooms in the same ways. Some people use it as a playroom, some use it for hosting regular guests, and some may just use it for a dining area. Whatever your purpose is, you want to get the most out of the space.

Your dining room can serve multiple purposes but you should make sure to keep them separate and distinct. If your children regularly play here, make sure to designate these toys to a certain area or corner of the room. If you host people often, make sure to store everything you need to host parties is close so its functional. Make sure to sort all your dishes, glasses, serving platters, china and candles/candlesticks. Know what you have and what you use and how often, so that it is easily accessed. Evaluate the furniture in your dining room and make sure it works for the space. Also evaluate if the furniture is serving the function you need it to, such as adequate seating. Keep the space peaceful and relaxing.

Here are a few tips for organizing your dining room:

  • Organize your dining room so it fits you. For example, keep a tablecloth handy so you can play games or do crafts with your children.
  • Only keep what you use or love. You don’t have to keep something simply because you inherited it.
  • If you have a center piece on your dining room table, make sure it is low enough for everyone to see over.
  • When you serve meals, keep large serving plates nearby to eliminate clutter and simplify serving.

You can read more about dining room organization and get a copy of my book here.

Jennifer Ford Berry

organized pantry

Organized Pantry {organize now challenge}

organized pantry

An organized pantry is essential for saving time and money. It is also a crucial piece for feeding your family healthy foods!  By spending a little time this week organizing your pantry you can set up a simple, efficient system that will work for you the entire year.  No more buying items you don’t need or eating expired food!  You will no exactly what is in your pantry which will help ease the tasks of grocery shopping and meal planning.

In this podcast I discuss:

  • What to toss and what to keep
  • The key to pantry organization
  • Condensing
  • How to set up categories
    • Snacks
    • Baking
    • Lunch Items
    • Meal Time Ingredients
    • Canned Goods
  • Systems that work to keep your pantry fresh and efficient
  • How to maximize the space in your pantry

For further tips on how to organize your pantry see Week 24 in Organize Now! a week by week guide to simplify your space and your home.

What does your pantry look like?  Don’t forget to share the before and after photos of your pantry with us in the Organize Now Challenge Group on Facebook!  You will also get tons of ideas there.  

I recently shared an inside view of my own pantry on a live Facebook video on The 29 Minute Mom Facebook page…check it out!

 

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST!  

LEARN HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR PANTRY

You can now subscribe to The 29 Minute Mom on Google Play!

Listen on Google Play Music

refrigerator organization

Organize Your Refrigerator

 

Organize Your Refrigerator

Refrigerator Organizatioin

When it comes to organizing your refrigerator, it can be the center of organization and chaos all in one. With a clean, organized refrigerator you can prepare better meals, utilize everything with less spoilage and prevent buying duplicate items. I find the best time for me to wipe down and organize my refrigerator is while I put away a fresh load of groceries. Some find it better to organize and clean before you go grocery shopping so you can see what you need. Keeping the refrigerator clean and organized will make things easier for your family to locate what you are looking for. As well as, maximize your food’s shelf life.

Try to have a system with your refrigerator and put things back in the same spots. Make sure to keep older items to the front and newer in the back so you’re always using what needs to be eaten/prepared first. Try to keep the outside of the refrigerator clear and organized with limited papers, if you do have papers, remove any outdated or unnecessary papers. Keep things off the top of the refrigerator and wipe it down. You can put a basket on top to place lose items that you need to store there.

Here are a few tips that will help you keep your refrigerator clean and organized for good:

  • Keep a list of leftovers on the outside of your refrigerator with the date the meal was prepared. This reminds everyone of what’s available so it will get eaten.
  • Place healthy items that you need to eat more of in the front of the refrigerator and fatty food in the back to help you eat healthier.
  • After cleaning out your refrigerator, look at what you threw away and whether it went rotten or stale. If you have a lot of leftovers, consider making smaller meals.
  • Use the clear, plastic, handled baskets you can buy at the dollar store to contain loose items that are falling out when you open the door.
  • Use one drawer in your refrigerator for bottled drinks so they are not rolling around the inside of your refrigerator.

You can read more about refrigerator organization and get a copy of my book here.

Jennifer Ford Berry

organizing kitchen cabinets

Organizing Kitchen Cabinets {organize now challenge}

organizing kitchen cabinets

Back again with another week of the Organize Now Challenge!!! 

Would you be embarrassed if I looked into your kitchen cabinets?  If so, this is the week for you because we can fix that because we are going to be organizing kitchen cabinets.  I want you to be proud of your cabinets.  I want them to look so good you will hope that your girlfriends come over and open them all up just you can feel the pride!  I’m telling you no matter how bad those babies are today they can make you scream with glee by the end of the week!

So if you have the book open up to Week 23.  In the podcast below I talk about the following topics:

  1. Be honest yourself
  2. Use a holding tank
  3. Items that should be stored near the dishwasher
  4. Items that should be stored near the stove
  5. Use up what you have
  6. Plastic containers
  7. Think outside the box

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST!  

I DISCUSS HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR KITCHEN CABINETS

Once you have started the process of organizing your kitchen cabinets please post your pics in the Facebook group (Organize Now Challenge) or here under the podcast.  Don’t be nervous!  We are all in this together.  The group is really kind and full of encouragement!

Do not forget the maintenance!  In order to keep this area organized refer to page 117 in the book, Organize Now!

Good job today.  You have completed the second week in the Organize Now Challenge.  

Jennifer Ford Berry

Organizing Kitchen

Declutter Kitchen Surfaces {week 1 organize now challenge}

declutter kitchen surfaces

Welcome to the Organize Now Challenge!!! Woo hoo…super excited!!!  This week is all about how to declutter kitchen surfaces. This is the quickest way to make your kitchen look clean and organized.

I don’t want you to just look at this challenge as another thing on your To Do List. 

I want you to get excited!  I promise if you stick with me this WILL be life changing!  

How do I know this? Because I have been helping people get organized for years and the reason why I LOVE what I do isn’t  because I have OCD it is because when someone I work with finally, truly understands the blessings that come with getting organized and more importantly the blessing they can be to others…I get PUMPED UP!  

I want YOU to reach your full potential here on this earth and can not do this if you are not organized.  

Remember I said FULL potential…sure you can be successful, reach goals, make money and buy lots of stuff if you are not organized but you can do SO much more on this earth if you clear the clutter.

I encourage you to stick with the challenge and do not give up.  An organized home does not happen over night.  It takes one small step at a time.  Most of us don’t have all day to organize so from this point forward your goal is to focus on one area per week.  Schedule time to do this.  You may want to chart your progress…this particular challenge is going to be 12 weeks long.  Just imagine what we can get done together in 12 weeks if you commit!

So without further a do we are going to start with the kitchen!

Ok I am going to give you 2 HUGE reasons why you should get your kitchen super organized this week and next:

  1. This is an area of your home that the most people see.
  2. You spend more time in the kitchen then any other room so it is imperative that it is easy to find what you need when you need it AND it is not cluttered!

So if you have the book open up to Week 22.  This week we will cover the most visual areas in the kitchen:

  1. Countertops
  2. Refrigerator (the outside)
  3. Paper
  4. Walls

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST!  

I DISCUSS HOW TO DECLUTTER ALL THE SURFACES IN YOUR KITCHEN.

How to Get Organized in 2017!

how to get organized

Do you want to learn how to get more organized in 2017?  

I am calling all of you that need a little boost in the organization department to commit to the 2017 Organize Now Challenge.

How does the 2017 Organize Now Challenge work?

  • 1. Listen to the podcast.  Every Friday I will be on The 29 Minute Mom Podcast.  There are 3 different ways to listen:
    • Click play on the podcast episode from the website
    • All podcasts will be posted on the Facebook page
    • Subscribe on iTunes (just click the link and hit “SUBSCRIBE”
    • Subscribe to the Organize Now mailing list and the podcasts will be sent to your inbox
    • Note: you can listen to the podcast any day after it goes up on Friday. So pick a day that is convenient for you.  However, we did plan Fridays in hopes that you could get that particular organizing task done over the weekend.  Some tasks will take you longer than others so I recommend that you go at your own speed.
    • In the podcast I will share some of the steps and tips that I cover in the book along with tons of inside knowledge and motivation!
  • 2. Follow along with the book.  I have written out checklists for each area we will organize in the book.  So for example if one week we are covering “How to Organize Your Kitchen Cupboards” the book has a step by step guide written out for you.  It also has a list of how to maintain that area throughout the year (maintenance is KEY my friends).  You can find the book anywhere books are sold including:
  • 3. Ask your questions during the Facebook live videos.  Facebook videos will be posted on the 29 Minute Mom Facebook page.  Dates and times for videos will be posted as we go.
  • 4. Join our private Organize Now Challenge Group on Facebook.  There you will be able to interact with others on this quest to get more organized.  It is also a great place to share ideas, ask questions, get inspired and receive support!

Some of ways the 2017 Organize Now Challenge will change your life:

  • You will learn how to purge things that you don’t love or use.
  • You will be able to find homes for the things you are keeping.
  • Your home will be simplified.
  • You will waste less time looking for things.
  • You will save money because you won’t buy things you already own.
  • Your mind will become clearer and it will become easier to focus on other goals.
  • You will start to feel proud of the home you have created.
So I hope you have decided to commit to getting more organized!  I think this format will be perfect not only for teaching but to offer support to each other.  I mean who doesn’t like some extra motivation when you decide to reach a new goal, right?
I am here for you! I am telling you 2017 is YOUR year! No more wondering what it would be like to have an organized home and an organized life.  This can be your reality!
 
Join me! Learn how you can live your dreams instead of your things!
Would you like to win a FREE, SIGNED copy of the book?  Here is how you can enter:
  1. Share this post on your social media accounts along with #organizenow2017
  2. Answer this question in the comment section below:  What chapters in the table of contents do you want to focus on the most in 2017?
I am so excited to go on this journey with you!
 
Jennifer Ford Berry
stay calm and organized during the holidays

5 Ways To Have a Calm and Organized Holiday Season

Christmas is by far my most favorite time of the year.  I love the feeling of celebration, love and hope that we should be experiencing.  It is sad when I talk to other moms that don’t feel the same way.  I think our society needs to be careful before all of the Christmas magic is sucked out! It is being replaced with over the top gifts that create debt and families that are so caught up in their individual selfish desires that they forget the point is to create memories together!  If we are not intentional with how we spend our time this month we will feel depressed and let down when it’s over.

I try not to get too overwhelmed with the details of the season.  It really helps me to start early so that I am more present when the holidays arrive. This also give me more time to do the things that bring me joy when the season is in full swing.

I have to admit I become a little obsessed with the Hallmark channel this time of year.  I love to take it a step farther by attending real life holiday events that make me feel like I am living in a Hallmark movie.  There I said it!  (please don’t judge me)

But seriously, when I was a kid I cherished the traditions that we did every year and my kids are now the same way.  If I am stressed out, overwhelmed and too busy getting things done I will miss these very important memories.

I think being proactive with organization and not procrastinating is the key to getting the most out of the holiday season.

Here are 5 ways to stay calm and organized during the holidays:

Be Intentional

Grab your calendar and spend a little time reserving time in your schedule for the things that matter most to your family. 

What activities do you want to do together?

Who do you want to see and spend time with this year?

When will you get your shopping done?

What traditions do you want to continue?

Make Card Sending Easy

I absolutely love receiving holiday cards in the mail, especially ones with photos!  It warms my heart to see pictures of our friends and family in the mail during November and December!  However, over the years I feel like less people are taking the time to keep up with this tradition.  It could be the money it costs but I also think it is because people 1) don’t plan ahead 2) over think!

There are ways to make this tradition easy:

Don’t over think the card or photo, it doesn’t have to be perfect

Create an excel sheet of addresses that will print labels. You can reuse every year.

Use return address stickers or have the address printed on the envelope.

Create your card on a website that will mail them for you.

Decorate & Purge Decor At The Same Time

The perfect time of year to clean out your holiday decoration is while you are decorating!  Nobody wants to look at the Christmas decor in July!  So while you are looking at these items decide what you don’t want.  I will give you a hint: the decorations left in the bottom of the bins are the ones you don’t love.  If you loved them then they would be displayed. Let them go now and save storage space the rest of the year!

Clean and Label the Bins

Now that you are finished with your decorating and have removed the items you no longer love or use, your bins should be nice and empty.  This is the perfect time to wipe them out and label them.  I don’t know about you but I am always more excited to pull out my decor then pack it away. I like to have the bins ready to go so I can just toss it all back in after the holiday season.

Pinterest Pantry Prep

It is a good idea to stock up on ingredients and snacks that you will need on hand during the holiday season. Here is one of my favorite holiday tips to share with you: spend about 20 minutes on Pinterest and pick one or two easy recipes that you can make for all holiday parties or gatherings you get invited to.  Save it to your board and make a list of all the ingredients you will need.  Next time you go grocery shopping stock up on these ingredients.  This will not only save you time running to the store it will take the guess work out of making something next time you receive an invitation.

Happy Holidays!!

Jennifer Ford Berry

Kids’ Beach Bathroom {virtual tour}

I was so excited to design a Jack and Jill bathroom for our son and daughter when we were building our house.  

 

However, it was a little tricky because many of the themes I came across were for much younger kids and I wanted a theme that would carry them from pre-teen into teen years.  Finally, we decided on the beach theme because it was age appropriate, gender neutral and we all love the beach!  

 

This bathroom has been so much fun to decorate.  I love the color of the walls and the floor that looks like pebbles.

This room is now one of the favorite rooms in our home.  I hope you enjoy taking a peak!

kids beach bathroom

You may not believe me but this is the only linen closet we had built in our house.  

 

We have four beds in our home that all have their own set of sheets.  Then we have three extra sets that I store on the top shelf of this linen closet and that’s it.  No need for more linen closets!

 

The second shelf is for travel size products, the third shelf is for my children’s bath towels and the fourth shelf is for extra supplies they need.

kids beach bathroom

I think it is really important to store all “like things” together and that includes travel sized products.  This way when you are ready to pack, everything is at your finger tips.  It also makes it easy to know what you have and what you may need.

kids-beach-bath2

kids beach bathroom

I can not even tell you how excited I was when I found this oar with hooks on it at Home Goods!

 

Personally, I am not a fan of towel racks.  I like to find different, unique ways to hang towels so this went along perfectly with our beach theme.

kids' beach bathroom

Speaking of excited, I was also very excited to find these mirrors at TJ Maxx.  To me they look like windows of a ship!

img_7829

These little bins are great for keeping my daughter’s drawer organized.  (my son tends to have much less in his drawers).  We go through these drawers twice a year to purge and tweak.

kids' beach bathroom

I think the spaces in our home should be meaningful to us.  So I like to use meaningful things to tell a story about who we are to visitors.  

These two photographs do just that.  The top is of my husband and his sister, who were three years apart in age.  We have always loved this picture because it shows the love and bond between two siblings.  We decided to reenact the same shot with our children (also three years apart).  

It has now become a tradition to redo the same shot every year on our vacation!  So sweet!!! I wonder how long they will cooperate with us?

kids' beach bathroom

Of course it wouldn’t be a beach themed bathroom if it didn’t have shells.  The kids love displaying different shells they collect when we visit the beach.

kids' beach bathroom

kids' beach bathroom

Jennifer Ford Berry