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A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place: Dining Rooms

2014 August 12
by Wheaton World Wide Moving
GH Dining Room

The dining room’s main function is serving meals, eating and socializing on special occasions. The well-defined purpose leaves you with a clear goal in organizing the room: to make serving and enjoying meals as pleasant and simple as possible.

The dining room is defined by the furniture you use and the “service circle.” The service circle incorporates the dining table and the area around it. The service circle may also include a storage cabinet for crystal, china and silver and a sideboard or side table to ease the serving of the meals.

Dining Room Table

Start by organizing the table. Remove everything that is stored there and determine whether the items belong there. If they don’t, then they should be moved to a more appropriate place in the home. Once you know what needs to be stored in this area, this will help you determine what additional storage you will need.

The most common issue with the dining room table is where to put the leaves and pads (if they come with your table). The best option to store these is in a closet close to the dining area. If you are buying a new table, consider buying one that comes with self-stored leaves and pads that don’t require any extra space.

Hutch or Cabinet

While relocating, you probably encountered how difficult it was to pack fine china, crystal and sterling silver. Storing these valuable items is no different. A traditional hutch or china cabinet is used for both storage and decoration and is best for storing these highly valued items.

Guide to Storing Fine China:

  • Stack it where it is unlikely to receive any kind of blow to the edges of plates and saucers or lips of cups. Place buffers such as felt pads, cardboard squares or even thick cloth napkins between the plates. Never stack china cups.
  • Racks for plates and dishes – There are simple wood or plastic frames with slots that hold plates apart from one another. They are made to sit securely on cabinet shelves and organize plates to you can easily remove them.
  • Pack away China – If you don’t use it a lot, there are quilted china packing cases to accommodate the number and sizes of your collection. These come equipped with zippered openings to prevent dust and dirt.
Storage Bags GH

If you are packing fine china away, use quilted/cloth packing cases.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crystal is prone to scratches, which is essential to prevent when storing. Leave plenty of room between, never store anything inside crystal, don’t hang crystal stemware, store glasses standing up and avoid keeping on or under adjustable shelves. Just like fine china, you can also store in padded boxes or containers.

Sterling silver is extremely sensitive to its environment. Store silver away from other metals in a chest or box. Tarnish-resistant storage bags are also an option for storage. It’s best to keep silverware in its container in the cabinet or drawer.

Store linens close to where they are used. Place in a concealed area of the hutch or the sideboard. Lace or embroidered table cloths should be wrapped in acid-free paper.  Regularly rotate and refold your linens to prevent creases. Dried lavender sprigs in the folds will repel insects and lightly perfume the fabric.

Sideboard/Side Table:
Sideboard holds food while serving and stores vessels and utensils used when serving food. Keep the area uncluttered to provide a place to work with the food you are serving. The lower storage should be dedicated to over sized serving items.

Additional Storage:
Depending on the size and capacity of your hutch and sideboard, you may need extra storage for seasonal items and replacement supplies. Because of the limited space, more furniture is usually not the answer. Shelving, hanging plate racks and wine racks are natural additions for more storage.

Keeping Up:
Every few days, walk through the dining room and do a clutter inspection to ensure that nobody has left items on the dining room table or sideboard. Remove what you find and place it back to where it belongs.

A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place: Family and Living Rooms

2014 August 8
by Wheaton World Wide Moving
GH Family Room

The organization of the family and living rooms after relocating is an important task because it is the center of family entertainment, relaxation and recreation. In some homes, the family and living rooms aren’t two separate rooms; but in older houses, the family room was for relaxation and the living room was used for formal entertaining. Whether you have two separate rooms or just one, this article will help you organize these complex spaces. Work your way through each zone, starting with the area with the most traffic to the one with the least.

Electronics/Entertainment Center:
This area is the focal point of the room and the center of entertaining your family and guests. Before organizing this area, ask these questions:

-    How many components do you want to include in your entertainment center? TV, cable box, Internet wireless router, DVD players, video came consoles, etc.
-    How many CDs, DVDs and VHS tapes do you own and how many do you buy a year?
-    Will the stereo and speakers be stored with the TV and is it part of a home theater system?
-    Do you prefer to keep the electronics hidden?
-    How much wall and floor space is available for the entertainment center?
-    Will you need to make connections to computers or other devices?

An entertainment center is the best way to organize your various media and entertainment pieces. Usually, the placement of the entertainment center will be dictated by cable wiring and electrical outlets. To ensure the best use of space, make sure to measure the area. Entertainment centers usually come equipped with shelves or drawers to store CDs, DVDs and video games. If the entertainment center does not offer shelving or drawers, you can add standalone storage or shelves along the wall. Keep equipment and accessories as close to each other when not in use, for example, controller by the console and TV remote close to the TV.

Entertaining Area:
This space is defined by a couch, coffee table and surrounding chairs. The coffee table is the center of the room, which is a natural place for food, beverages, books and magazines. When searching for a coffee table, consider what style you would like, how many people will be using it and whether you would like additional storage.

Reading Area:
If you would like a separate area for reading, put a comfortable chair, reading light and a small side table to create this space. To avoid clutter, the table should be just enough for a beverage and a book.

Shelves:
Shelves in a living or family room are commonly devoted to books, but can be used for other storage as well. Follow these general rules of what to place on shelves:

Have a purpose – Individual items must have a reason for being on the shelf. A picture is there to be displayed. Your eye glasses shouldn’t be there nor should a pile of mail.

Collect to declutter – Individual items that are part of a collection should be grouped together in their own section of a shelf.

Contain when possible – Some items you might like to put on a shelf are best kept within a box or other container.

Fireplace and ManteGH Living Rooml:
This area turns into a casual resting place , which tends to invite clutter. It is important to keep this area clutter-free and keep items that are used in the fireplace nearby. The brick area around the fireplace should only be used for fireplace accessories and decorative urn or sculpture. Keep wood tidy in a large fireproof basket, tin bucket, metal cradle or canvas satchel enough for one fire. For the mantel, use it as a showcase for one or two of your decorative (fireproof) pieces. The less there is on the mantel, the more items will stick out that don’t belong.

Chests, Side Tables and Supplementary Furniture:
Now you have your living and family room in order, but you still need to determine what additional storage is needed and what other types of furniture you may want to add to complement the socialization, entertainment or relaxation. Chests are a great way to provide long term storage, a place to sit or a surface for decorative items or lighting. Side tables and end tables are useful additions to the family and living rooms for their surface, drawer or shelf space they provide. A small trolley or caddy bar is great for entertaining, but should be able to fit neatly in the corner when not in use.

Windowsills, Pianos and Other Flat Surfaces:
These surfaces tend to be a temporary resting places for items, which can cause clutter. There are two strategies for keeping the clutter away: No vacancy rule – nothing is allowed on these surfaces at all times and creating a focal point, which will showcase the area and prevents items from being put in that area.

Keeping Up:
Two for one – Integrate your clutter check as part of the regular dusting and vacuuming. Return anything out of place to its proper location.

Periodic Update - Once a month, check the magazines and catalogs on your coffee table and recycle those that are out-of-date.

Disc Order - Every few months make sure that your CDs, DVDs and video games aren’t piling up. If you need more storage, you may have to add an extra tower or rack.

Come back on Tuesday, August 12 to organize the dining room area of your home.

A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place: Bathrooms

2014 August 6
by Wheaton World Wide Moving
GH Bathroom 2

The bathroom is one of the busiest place in the home, so finding the time to unpack and organize after relocating is essential. The bathroom also is the most confined space, which presents challenges in avoiding clutter, but because of the size, is relatively simple to organize. The solution is putting the items close to where they are needed as well as tailoring to the number and type of people using the bathroom.

Family bathrooms face challenges of organizing tissues, toilet paper, cups, medicine, towels as well as the individual products for particular members of the family. Break up the bathroom into zones to focus on these specific needs, such as the medicine cabinet, sinks and vanities, shower and bath, toilet storage, walls, doors and floor space.

Medicine Cabinet:
The medicine cabinet is ideal to keep all of those small everyday items well organized and out of sight. To start, remove everything and give the cabinet a good cleaning. Throw away empty containers and expired medications (Make sure you dispose of them properly by checking poison control). Organize what is left by putting items into groups. For example, put everything to do with dental care in the same area. Take out the items that don’t fit and either store them under the sink or put it in a smaller container to fit in the cabinet.

Sinks anGH Bathroomd Vanities:
The area around your sink provides a place to put everyday items near where they will be used, but may not fit in the medicine cabinet. Organize this zone from top to bottom, starting with the sink and moving to the drawers.

The surface holds personal care items that are used every day. Whatever you decide to put on the surface, keep it contained with a caddy, baskets, trays or bins.

Drawers give you the opportunity to organize often-used supplies, such as cosmetics, while still providing quick and easy access. Organize the drawers based on type of products and try to keep the groups separate.

Beneath the sink is a good area for oversized items and concealing items that don’t quite fit anywhere else, for example, cleaning items and back up supplies. Add door racks, baskets and specialized bucket to achieve optimal storage and organization. Keep in mind the area under the sink can be reached by younger children, so you may want to consider a safety latch.

 

Shower and Bath:
To avoid clutter around the edges of the shower/bath area, use wire or plastic storage containers. Corner shelves in the shower are a great way to store products for multiple people. If toys are used in the bathtub, keep them contained with something as simple as a bucket.

Toilet Storage:
This seems to be an odd area to provide storage, but there are multiple ways to do so. On top of the toilet tank is a small surface that you can place a caddy. The slim surface between the toilet and the wall can have hanging or standing storage. Étagères are an extra-long cabinet to fit over your toilet tank, which provides the most efficient storage in the bathroom. Adding shelves above or beside the toilet provides storage, but make sure to measure and buy shelving that is meant for the bathroom.

Walls, Doors and Floor Space:
When seeking storage in the bathroom, you will have to look at all surfaces as potential storage – no matter how big or small.

Hooks, pegs, shelves and bars provide effective storage for towels along the walls. If you can’t find room on the wall, the back of the bathroom door is a great option with over the door shelves or hooks. If you have ample square footage, standing cabinets and storage towers come in various sizes to provide extra storage. Hampers are ideally kept in the bathroom and can be found in different shapes and sizes, including free-standing ones or bags that can be hung from different places.

Keeping Up:
Once the bathroom is organized it requires minimal organization maintenance that can be done during routine cleaning.

Date Check: Every six months go through the medicine cabinet to discard medications that are empty and expired.

Prune Publications: Take a minute to look through the magazines on the magazine rack and remove old issues.

Inventory Assessments: Before shopping, check the levels of personal products, including toilet paper.

 

Come back on Friday, August 8 to explore the organization of family and living rooms.

A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place: Kids’ Bedrooms

2014 August 4
by Wheaton World Wide Moving
organized-childs-bedroom-fb

Relocating to a new home can be challenging for children. A child is more likely to embrace the idea of moving if they are involved in the process, especially when it comes to unpacking their room. Keeping the child engaged will not only teach them to organize and maintain their room, but will help them feel more at home.

Despite the child’s age, there are basic principles that are fundamental to organizing a child’s room. The more the process of organization is innovative, interesting and part of a daily routine, the more likely the child will be to make the effort to stay organized.

Make sure the storage that you pick is safe and adaptable. Divide the room up into zones and begin with the messiest area. At that point, invite the child to help organize in order for them to feel vested in the process. Some of the zones that we will go over may not apply to your child’s room, so feel free to skip over these and apply what is relevant.

1.    Toy Storage
The first step in getting toys in order is to get rid of their old or broken ones. By listening to your children’s input, you can figure out the little details of their personal preferences.  This is also a great opportunity to teach your children about the value of charity.

For infants, don’t be afraid to donate toys that never get played with. You also can store these in the closet then reintroduce them later as they may develop interest in them. Put their favorite toys in a bag and move it to where the child plays throughout the day – playpen, changing table, stroller, etc.

Benches, boxes, chests, hampers, bin consoles and shelves provide the best type of storage for toys. Remember to keep the toys together by group and label with words or pictures (depending on the age) to help nourish the child’s organizational skills.

2.    Work/Art Space
You can create this area with just a small desk or table, light and drawers for art supplies. This space’s functionality will change as the child matures and can be turned into a homework/computer area. Recycled plastic containers with lids, such as plastic butter tubs, jars or drink bottles, are also great ways to organize art supplies.

A child’s art area can result in a mess, so follow these rules to maintain a clean environment:
a.    Keep cleanup gear close – Have paper towels, moist towels and rags on hand for the accidents that need to be cleaned up quickly.
b.    Use appropriate supplies – Make sure the supplies are non-toxic and water-soluble.
c.    Contain creativity – Keep the art supplies in containers and explain they must be put back into the correct area when not in use.

3.    Bed/Play Area

The bed usually ends up as an extension of play or recreation area. The key is to provide enough storage and organizers to keep things tidy around the bed without letting those additions to become part of the problem.

A bedside table, just like an adult bedside table, should be easily accessible with not too much surface area to gather clutter.

The child’s bed is traditionally a little smaller than an adult bed, so the storage underneath the bed will have to be a bit smaller. To overcome the challenge of bunk beds, consider putting a small shelf for books and toys, hang a lamp on the ceiling or wall or use a hanging basket as a nightstand for the top bunk.

If there is room, a small table for younger kids to play board games or a dressing table for older children may be ideal to add in the bed/play area.

4.    Clothes, Closets and Dressers

There are two key principles to a child’s closet: accessibility and versatility.  First, the focus needs to be on easy access and intuitive locations. Secondly, the closet will have to change as the child changes.  Use organizers that will adapt to the child’s age as they grow. A great way to organize is to use shelving and drawer units.

Here are some rules to follow when organizing clothes:

a.    Organize low to high – What children wear everyday should be within reach. Use the higher shelves and hard-to-reach areas for out of season items.
b.    Avoid hangers – Hangers are a hassle for kids, use pegs or fold and store on shelves instead.
c.    Spell it out – Pictures and labels can help teach the child to place where their clothes go.
d.    Laundry entertainment – To get kids in the habit of putting dirty clothes in a hamper, make a fun game or put a face on the hamper with a big hole for the mouth.

A dresser should once again be an area of overflow. The best type to buy is a three-drawer wooden dresser that can be used as a changing table then converted to a dresser for a toddler. Drawer dividers are always useful for smaller clothing items.

closet-door-hooks-fb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.    Book Storage

Books are a must for a child’s growth. A book shelf is a preferable way to keep the books in decent shape and avoid placing books in the toy box.
There are a few other products, such as backpack hooks and hanging organizers, that can keep a kid’s room organized.

Keeping up:

To make it easier on everyone, be diligent in keeping your children involved in the organizational process by using these guidelines:

Toy patrol – Every night as a bedtime ritual your child will go on “toy patrol” to put toys back where they belong.
The pickup path – Whatever is in the way from the bed to the door will need to be picked up and placed in the correct area. It’s important to keep a safe path in case of emergencies.
Weekly visits – Checkup weekly to make sure the storage is being used and maintained correctly.

Tomorrow, August 5, we will tackle the bathroom area in the fourth part of our organization series.

 

Find more tips for moving with children here: http://www.wheatonworldwide.com/planning-guides/how-to-move-with-kids/

Reference: “Clutter Rescue” by the Good Housekeeping Research Institute
Photos: Good Housekeeping

A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place: Bedrooms

2014 July 31
by Deandra Danch
Bedroom

The second most important room – the first being the kitchen – to unpack after moving your household goods is the bedroom. The bedroom should be a place where you relax and prepare yourself for the day ahead. Relaxation will come much easier if the bedroom is organized and clean. In part two of our organization series, we will focus on just that.

Separate the bedroom into four clutter zones: closets, bedside/bed, dresser and accessory furniture. The solution lies in reorganizing these zones so everything has its proper place and you remove what doesn’t belong.

Closets

The closet is the cornerstone of bedroom organization. Clothing causes the most clutter, which in turn means a lot of what you wear isn’t in its proper place. The closet can be an easy to organize thanks to various products, such as shoe cubby shelves, specialized multi-garment hangers, belt racks, revolving tie-racks and wall-or-pole hung canvas shelving.

The first step in organizing your closet is assessing the space by removing everything and measuring the dimensions. This will determine where storage should go.

The next step would be to get rid of items you don’t wear anymore. Just like moving, less is more when organizing. You can donate or simply throw out your old clothes. Be sure to follow these guidelines:

•    Is the article more than two sizes too big or small? If so, consider giving it a way. A drastic change to your body will take months, if it happens at all.
•    Has it been more than a year since you wore the piece? Donate it because you probably won’t wear it again.
•    Are the clothes in bad condition? If favorite shirt has holes or is severely worn out then throw it out!
•    Have you changed careers or left a line of work? It’s probably time to get rid of the clothes of your past working life.

Limit the amount of clothes that will be hung because folded clothes, such as pants and button down shirts, take up less space. Hang up the remaining clothes with appropriate space between items. This keeps them clean and wrinkle-free. To ease search, keep similar type clothes, such as suits, dresses and blouses, together.

Closet

Put the rest of your clothes on shelves in the closet. Allow the shelves to be adjustable for changing storage needs. Wire shelving or laminate shelving are types that can be used. You may want to include a drawer or pull out trays to store smaller items.

Shoes also are a culprit of creating chaos in a closet. Keep shoes off of the floor by using wire racks, shelves or hanging a shoe holder on the closet door. If you don’t want to spend money on such products, use your old shoe boxes, label them and place them neatly in the closet.

If the closet is shared, create a border between your space and your partner’s space.

Bedside and Bed

This area includes the bed, the area around your bed and your nightstands. Nightstands are great for books, décor, alarm clocks and a place for your cell phone when it is charging. Nightstands should have a drawer to conceal items like medications, TV remotes and flashlights as well as a shelf for books and magazines. If the items in the nightstand aren’t used while you are in the bedroom then they do not belong in there.

Most beds provide a great place for storage. Under the bed is a great place for items like comforters, extra sheets and pillows. Be sure to measure how much space is under the bed before buying storage containers. Luggage that isn’t used frequently can be used as an under the bed storage, but be sure to have it accessible when needed. A bed skirt is a great way to conceal these items.

Dresser

The dresser can be a challenge because it tends to be where everything goes when it doesn’t have a place. Start by removing everything from the dresser and get rid of old clothing – follow the guidelines from the closet section. Give everything a set place. Whatever you put on top of the dresser should be self-contained, for example, jewelry in a jewelry box and cosmetics in a makeup bag.

Accessory Furniture

You may have room for excess furniture in your bedroom. This furniture should have purpose so it doesn’t end up being clutter or in the way. Chests or trunks provide long term storage options for extra blankets or seasonal clothing. Place this at the foot of the bed.

Other accessories include chairs, small tables and desks. Keep these out of the flow of traffic.

When positioning a TV and/or DVD player, place it on a recessed shelf close to an outlet and in an ideal location for you to see it. Secure the cables to the baseboards.

Keeping Up

Schedule time periodically to clean and reorganize once a month.

Look at the items in your closet every three months and remove older items you no longer wear while adding new clothing.

After doing laundry and before placing items back into the dresser, take a minute to ensure your dresser is organized.

Get in the habit of making a weekly visual sweep of the bed and surrounding area. Clean under the bed monthly as it tends to get dusty quickly.

Come back Monday, August 4 for the organization of kid’s bedrooms.

A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place: Kitchen

2014 July 29
by Deandra Danch
kitchen

The kitchen is the control center of the house and typically the most used, which makes it susceptible to clutter! Whether you are unpacking your kitchen or giving it a tune up, here are some helpful tips on doing so with help from the book “Clutter Rescue” by Good Housekeeping Institute.

The kitchen should be the last room you pack when preparing for a move and the first room you unpack after you move. Having the appliances in place and functioning will make the flow of unpacking day easier. If you or your family get hungry, you will have access to food and cooking supplies while unpacking!

Organizing the kitchen will probably take more than one day, so plan accordingly. Conquer one clutter zone at a time.
Store items in the kitchen near where they will be used. This will make it easier to access those appliances as well as remember where they go. Keep this in mind as you are organizing each clutter zone.

1.    Cabinets
Start by pulling everything out of the cabinets and clean the shelves. Take inventory on what you have in your cabinets and take action:
-    Throw away open boxes of food that are more than six months old
-    Donate canned goods you’ve had for more than nine months
-    Discard or donate glassware, dishes or flatware without mates
-    Get rid of equipment or appliances you never use
After taking inventory, put similar items together, i.e., cereals with grains, canned goods with other canned goods, and glassware with dishware. The goal is to make everything in your cabinets easy to see and reach. One way to do this is place all food labels facing forward to make it easy to find what you need. Store larger items, such as mixing bowls, small appliances and pots and pans in under cabinets. Consider using tiered shelf platforms, basic wire shelves with legs or turntables to achieve your organization goals.

lid-rack-s3-medium_new

2.     Under sink space
Since the under sink area usually has odd dimensions, think of it as a puzzle. Make the space as efficient as possible by creating groupings for under the sink. Put household cleaners in one container, possibly a bucket. Do the same with poisonous household products and be sure to childproof these with a cabinet lock. You can add pullout stacking systems, stretchable shelves, towel bars to the under sink.

3.    Hanging storage
Much of what clutters cabinets and drawers can be hung from a ceiling or wall. This allows more flexibility to accommodate your height and reach. Look for unused wall space and hang cookware or utensils. It is best to avoid hanging items around the stove.  You can use rail systems, pot racks, hooks, hanging baskets and hanging glass racks to achieve this organization.

4.    Drawers
Because drawers are flat, pieces that should go in them are flat items, linens, napkins, flatware and cutlery.   This way it becomes clear to anyone in the kitchen where items go. Drawer inserts are available that could help maximize storage, including spice inserts, flatware caddies, expandable cutlery organizers, knife racks and expandable compartment organizers.

5.    Counter tops, Work Surfaces and Shelves
Separate the counters into stations, which will allow work surfaces to be confined and functional. Use storage containers as decorative pieces.
Cooking Station – Put items that are essential for cooking, such as cooking oil, utensils, lazy Susan, salt and pepper, near the stove. and etc…
Food Station – Group canisters holding sugar, flour and coffee in a centralized, accessible location. You can create several different groups in this station.
Appliance Station – Unless you use small appliances daily, these should not be on the countertop. If you use small appliances daily and leave them on the countertops, put them near outlets.
If you still need space, consider using stand-alone shelves or wall mounted shelves to store “overflow” that does not fit in a particular station.

organized-kitchen-cupboards-fb

6.    Refrigerator and Freezer
Cleaning and organizing your refrigerator will need to done on weekly basis. This area is the easiest to become unorganized because of the constant flow of the food. Move everything out of the refrigerator/freezer and get rid of old/spoiled food, food that you haven’t used in six months in the refrigerator, or nine months in the freezer. Clean the inside of each by taking out removable surfaces and wipe the rest with a cleaning solution.
Put everything back into assigned locations. For cheese and deli meats use the covered bins. Keep condiments together in the shelves on the door. Have a distinct area for leftovers so the family can easily access them and you can gage how old they are. Assign shelf space for different types of food and use labels so everyone knows what is what.
When putting new food or beverages in the refrigerator, rotate by putting the older items up front so they are consumed first.

7.    Pantry
Prevent clutter and waste in the pantry by organizing what goes where. The pantry should be used as a backup storage area and should be organized by level depending on how often you use items. The most used items should be placed at eye level and items rarely used put on higher shelves.  No perishable items should go in the pantry. Dry goods should go in the pantry and in airtight containers. Paper goods should be placed toward the top of the pantry because they won’t get damaged if something spills. Most beverages can be stored in the pantry, which will free up space in your refrigerator. Cookbooks can be stored in the pantry.

pantry

6. Kitchen Table
The kitchen table can have many uses, which can cause it to have a lot of clutter. “Center piecing” is a way to beat clutter by creating a central area. Keep the table covered with a simple tablecloth or lay out place mats to keep the table free of the clutter cause by homework, work and bills.

A Few Tips on Keeping It Organized:
Empty sink, closed doors – Make a habit of emptying the sink every night and closing the doors to your cabinets. These simple acts make cluttered areas stand out.
Have a bin near the kitchen in which to store things that do not need to be in the kitchen. At the end of the week, have the family go through it and put things away in the proper place.
Assign one day every week to remove leftovers in your refrigerator.

Visit the blog on Thursday as we will explore the organization of bedrooms and kids rooms.

References: “Clutter Rescue” from the Good Housekeeping Research Institute

A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place: A 10-Part Series

2014 July 24
by Deandra Danch
Order-Chaos

Whether you just moved or have lived in your house for 20+ years, organizing your household is a must for smooth and efficient daily life. In the coming weeks Wheaton World Wide Moving along with the help of “Clutter Rescue” from the Good Housekeeping Research Institute will help you get your home organized.

Good Housekeeping created a system that divides each room into manageable zones, which in turn allows you to devote less than an hour a day getting your home organized. This will help you find things easier, clean better and faster, and feel better about your home with these tips and tricks.

Below is the schedule and corresponding rooms that we will tackle. If there is a certain room you would like to work on, visit Wheaton’s blog on the scheduled day for in-depth details!

Clutter Rescue

Find Clutter Rescue on Amazon.com

 

Schedule:

Kitchen – Tuesday, July 29

Bedrooms – Thursday, July 31

Kids Rooms – Monday, August 4

Bathrooms – Tuesday, August 6

Family and Living Rooms – Thursday, August 8

Dining Rooms – Tuesday, August 12

Basements and Attics – Thursday, August 14

Garage and Sheds – Tuesday, August 19

Foyers, Mudrooms and Entryways – Thursday, August 21

Home Offices and Work Spaces – Tuesday, August 26

Laundry Rooms – Thursday, August 28

Let’s get organized together! See you on Tuesday!

 

 

 

References: Clutter Rescue – by the Good Housekeeping Research Institute

Wednesday Wisdom 7-23-14

2014 July 23
by Deandra Danch
#WednesdayWisdom will have moving tips and tricks every Wednesday

#WednesdayWisdom has moving tips and tricks every Wednesday

 

Wednesday Wisdom for 7-23-14

Sweet Summer Strawberries

2014 July 22
by Deandra Danch
Strawberry

Summer is the time for strawberries! Strawberries are great for a quick, healthy snack while packing and moving. Once you are at your new place you can explore your new neighborhood to find strawberry farms or fresh strawberries from the local farmers market! If you love strawberries, then this blog is for you!

Strawberries have many health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, improving heart health, reducing inflammation, reducing risks of cancers and improving cognitive function. Eight strawberries will provide 140 percent of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C for kids. Pregnant women who eat strawberries can lower the risks of birth defects in their children.
There are more than 600 different varieties of strawberries grown in the United States. While they can be grown year-round, strawberries are most prevalent from April through mid-August, which is a great time to go picking at your local strawberry farm!

When choosing the most flavorful strawberries, look for ones that are brightly colored, dry, firm, shiny and plump that still have fresh-looking green caps attached. Avoid soft, dull-looking or shriveled berries. Strawberries do not ripen after being picked so avoid any with white patches on them. Smell the strawberries and if they do not smell like a strawberry, do not buy or pick.
Once you get your strawberries, do not wash them until you are ready to eat. Strawberries are like small sponges and will soak up water, which causes them to get mushy and rot quickly. Store in a moisture proof container in the refrigerator for two-to-three days at the most. Freeze the strawberries if you are not planning on using them for a few days. This will keep them unblemished. This is also perfect for smoothies, sauces and baking.

Once you are ready to use, wash the berries by putting them in a large colander and rinse with cool water. Dry with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel in a single layer. Hulling strawberries is removing the green caps. To do this, place the knife at the base of the cap, insert gently to remove only the soft white part at the base of the stem and slowly turn the strawberry. Once you come full circle the top will pop right off without sacrificing too much flesh.

Now you are ready to use your strawberries! Below are a few, popular recipes using strawberries:

 

Strawberry-Shortcake-Cake-Layered

Strawberry Shortcake
From: Diethood

Ingredients
For the Cake
• 1-1/2 cups cake flour
• 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 cup milk
• 3 tablespoons butter
• 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 3 large eggs
• 1-1/4 cups sugar
• 1 clamshell of fresh strawberries, halved

For the Filling
• 1 can (21-oz.) Strawberry Pie Filling
For the Whipped Frosting
• 2 cups cold heavy cream
• 1/2 cup powdered sugar
• 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Directions
• Preheat oven to 350.
• Set oven rack in the middle.
• Lightly grease two (9-inch) cake pan with baking spray and set aside.
• In a mixing bowl, whisk cake flour, baking powder and salt; whisk until combined.
• Set a small saucepan over medium-high heat and add milk and butter; bring to a boil.
• Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and lemon juice.
• In your mixer’s bowl, combine eggs and sugar; beat until pale yellow, fluffy, and doubled in size.
• With the mixer on, slowly pour in the milk mixture; mix until well incorporated.
• Turn off mixer and gently fold in the flour mixture.
• Spread the batter in the prepared pans and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.
• Remove from oven and set pans on a cooling rack.
• Let the cake completely cool
• In the meantime, prepare the frosting.
• In a mixing bowl, combine the whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla.
• Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
• When chilled, beat the mixture until stiff peaks form.
• When cakes are completely cooled, cut one of the cakes crosswise so you end up with three round layers. One will be bigger than the other two.
• Spread half of the whipped frosting over one of the thinner cake layers.
• Add the thin cake layer over the whipped frosting.
• Spread the strawberry pie filling over the cake.
• Top with the last cake layer.
• Spread the rest of the whipped frosting over the cake.
• Top with fresh strawberries.
• Chill cake for one hour.
• Serve.

Spinach and Strawberry Salad
From: Good Housekeeping

Ingredients
• 1 pound(s) strawberries, hulled and sliced
• 3 tablespoon(s) lime juice
• 2 teaspoon(s) honey
• 1 teaspoon(s) olive oil
• Salt and pepper
• 1 container(s) (12-ounce) baby spinach
• 10 ounce(s) (2 cups) chicken breast meat, coarsely shredded
• 3/4 cup(s) walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
Directions
1. In blender, puree 3/4 cup strawberries with lime juice, honey, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Transfer dressing to large serving bowl.
2. To bowl with dressing, add spinach, chicken, and remaining strawberries; toss to coat. Sprinkle salad with walnuts to serve.

 

Strawberry-Lemonade-Cocktail-1-of-1

Strawberry Lemonade
From: My Baking Addiction

Ingredients
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 cup of water
• 1 pint fresh strawberries
• 1 cup fresh lemon juice (this equaled close to 8 of my lemons)
• 4-6 cups cold water (this will vary depending on your taste)
• 1 cup vodka, optional
Directions
1. Make a simple syrup by combining the sugar with 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Place over medium heat and heat until the sugar in completely dissolved; swirl the pan occasionally. Let cool.
2. Once the simple syrup has cooled, puree strawberries in a blender with ½ cup water.
3. In a large pitcher, combine strawberry puree, simple syrup and lemon juice. If using the vodka, add it to the pitcher and stir to combine.
4. Add 4-6 cups of cold water. The amount of water you use will depend on your taste, so add as little or as much as you want to achieve your perfect sweet/tart balance.
5. Serve over ice. If desired, garnish with fresh strawberries and lemon slices.

Rhubarb and Strawberry Pie
From: Allrecipes

Ingredients
• 1 cup of white sugar
• ½ cup all-purpose flower
• 1 lb of fresh rhubarb
• 2 pints of fresh strawberries
• 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
• 2 tablespoons of butter
• 1 egg yolk
• 2 tablespoons of white sugar
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, mix flour and sugar. Add strawberries and chopped rhubarb. Toss with sugar and flour and let stand for 30 minutes.
3. Pour filling into pie crust. Dot top with butter, and cover with top crust. Seal edges of top and bottom crust with water.
4. Apply yolk to top of pie, using a pastry brush. Sprinkle with sugar. Cut small holes in top to let steam escape.
5. Bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C), for 35 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly and brown. Cool on rack.

10 Minute Strawberry Jam
From: French Press

Ingredients
• 1 pint of hulled and quartered strawberries
• 3 Tbsp sugar
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp vanilla

Instructions
1. combine the berries, sugar, and cinnamon in a microwave safe bowl
2. stir
3. microwave on high for 3 minutes {uncovered}
4. stir, and if needed return for another minute or two
5. add the vanilla, and allow to cool
6. the jam will thicken as it cools
7. cover and refrigerate

Do you have a favorite recipe that includes strawberries? Post is below!!

 

References:

http://baby-recipes.com/strawberry-cantaloupe-baby-food-recipe/

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/strawberries.html

Moving Tip Monday 7-21

2014 July 21
by Deandra Danch

Tool Belt

 

For more helpful tips on packing and moving your household goods, please go to: http://www.wheatonworldwide.com/planning-guides/