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Tiny kitchen in RV

Space-saving Ideas for Tiny Kitchens

Ideas for RVs, apartments, and tiny houses

I’ve been taking some trips in my RV lately, traveling for about a week at a time for Comicons with my husband, a writer. I like traveling! I especially love setting up and organizing a new kitchen with space-saving gadgets. It makes our life on the road easier!

It will make your life easier, too, if you have a small kitchen.

Tiny kitchen in RV

I have some ideas to help you enjoy your small space to the maximum!

Our RV is a forest River Nitro, and one reason we chose this one is the kitchen design. Some RV kitchens have a narrow ‘galley’ kitchen created by the island or peninsula, but we like this open L-shaped footprint for the kitchen cabinets.

To me, the kitchen feels more open this way. The only real disadvantage to this kitchen is the depth of the drawers, which are only 9 ½ deep! I had to improvise because a normal silverware organizer will not fit in my kitchen drawer. I’m sure there are things about your kitchen or apartment that require creative solutions. Read on for some great storage ideas!

But the kitchen in my RV has plenty of storage for food, dishes, pots and pans, etc., as long as you’re willing to get on a stepladder to get to the 2nd shelf.

One way I solved the problem of not being able to reach the back of the cabinet is by adding a large lazy susan. It almost fills the space and allows me to reach three sets of dishes without going on tiptoe. That made it so much more convenient!

The Look Up Principle. A storage idea if you don’t have enough space: whenever this happens look UP to find more space. And by this, I mean: look at your blank walls and even the space above your cabinets. These can be used for seldom-used items like a punch bowl or large vases.

A good general organizing rule-of-thumb is: if you use an item often, it needs to be closer to the hub of action. If you use it infrequently, it can be stored farther away from the action, even in a garage, basement, or attic. Just make sure to label it so you can find it when you need it!

To create a storage system for a kitchen, I always take a look at what I have for cabinets, then figure out a general idea for where to put things. Sometimes that plan is based on the size and shape of the cabinet.

Then I measure each drawer dimensions, including vertical space. I measure each cabinet too. Then I think about what kind of —– I can add to make my space as efficient as possible. To store as much food or kitchen tools as possible.

Either taking a short video or some photos helps with this planning process. Or if you’re really into it, make a sketch of your kitchen and label the drawers and cabinets with the dimensions.

Space-saving Idea 1: Use a lazy Susan for awkward areas

For example, I have a large corner cabinet which is very deep. I can’t reach all the way to the back without climbing on the counter or getting on a stepstool. As I mentioned before, I solved that by adding a large 18-inch lazy Susan, and by putting things in the ‘way’ back that I don’t need to access often (I put some canned food there). By the way, I put bowls, plates, and paper plates on the lazy Susan.

Space-saving Idea 2: Create a shelf

One thing I noticed right away in the camper: there is too much vertical space between the kitchen shelves. And the shelves are not adjustable. My solution for this dilemma is to create a shelf using a wire cabinet shelf. They can hold a surprising amount of weight, and I usually opt for the ones that can stretch to be multiple lengths. Mine stretches from 14 inches to 24 inches long if needed. These are available at organization stores or some big box stores.

Space-saving Idea 3: Maximize counter space

If you like a clear counter, you’re going to have to work hard to get it in a small kitchen. One way I do this: hang stuff up instead of using your ‘prime real estate’ counter space. This is part of the Look Up Principle. When you need more storage, look up.

  • Under-cabinet paper towel holders keep paper towels off counter.
  • Try a ‘hammock’ for bananas, they won’t get bruised in transport! This genius idea was already installed in my former camper. Its just 2 hooks, a dowel with grooves at the end to hold the hammock, and a cute hammock made of string that attaches to the dowel with 2 loops.
  • Place a small catchall basket to containerize the little things. My basket usually holds a sleeve of crackers, flashlight, small tools, and tea bags. This keeps clutter contained and keeps emergency supplies handy should the power go out. This basket has to be regularly unloaded and we are careful not to let the amount of stuff expand and become clutter the kitchen countertop.
  • Use 3M hooks on the wall above the counter for small, light things you use frequently, like potholders.

Think double-decker. I have used two-tiered storage under sinks and on counters before. They come in a few different sizes, and most of them slide in & out. Many of them are intended for the fridge, but would work great on a small kitchen counter (or inside a skinny cabinet). Most of them have a chrome framework and 2 plastic drawers. Some are about the size of a dozen eggs, and other units are bigger. It’s a bonus if you can find some with clear or opaque drawers.

Space-saving Idea 4: Clear boxes

Just ask my kids, I love boxes. I especially love clear boxes because they allow you to see what’s inside. You almost don’t need to label them . . . almost. 😉

I have 2 very thin cabinets that aren’t a very useful size. They’re about 8 inches wide each, and again, the vertical distance between shelves is HUGE. The upper shelf is so tall I can only reach the very front of it on tiptoe.

To solve this storage problem, I use 2 narrow clear open-topped boxes. One on the lower shelf and one on the upper shelf. This enables me to easily grab the clear box from the top shelf, retrieve something I need, and put it back.

Clear boxes are a great idea for just about everything! you almost don’t need a label.

. . . ALMOST!

Safety Tip: Make sure the one on the high shelf contains things that are light enough for you to easily lift above your head. Canned soup is NOT a good idea, in case one falls on your head while you’re tipping the container to lower it!

Helpful Shopping Hint

Many times, Ross or TJ Maxx will have great prices on organizing products. The only downside is they have a lot of ‘orphans,’ so if you want all your organizing products to match, pick a color or theme and buy only those. (I haven’t found matching containers all at once, I end up piecing my collection together over time.)

I opt for clear or white to have a more uniform look. But your style might be retro colors or black and chrome. Pick a style or color that makes you happy!

Conclusion

With small-space living, in a small apartment, tiny house, or RV, it is especially important to have a plan because space is at such a premium. Don’t just throw a bunch of random stuff in a cabinet and expect it to work. Take time to analyze your space and use it intentionally. Your space will seem bigger when you are organized and things are put away. This will keep you from feeling claustrophobic in your own home

You’ll be much happier with the design and more comfortable too!

Tips to Simplify the Holidays

Christmas wreath

Do you enjoy the holidays, or do you dread them?

Is this a typical thought for you: “I’m starting to get overwhelmed already, and it’s only Thanksgiving!”

And don’t you love to hate those friends who tell you on November 15 they already have all their Christmas shopping done? It’s not even black Friday, for Pete’s sake!

What can you do about holiday overwhelm?

Learn to KISS.

No, I don’t mean not kissing under the mistletoe, I mean learn to Keep It Simple, Silly!

If you’re a fan of the ‘be calm’ sayings, the holidays are a great time to embrace the ‘be calm’ attitude!

Don’t fall into the trap of trying to do everything just because the concerts, Christmas bazaars, in-person shopping, holiday parties and ALL of it is back on the menu!

From my vantage point, each aspect of Christmas can be simplified. And why not? Many other aspects of life have been scaled back. After 2 Christmases in COVID-19 isolation, be careful not to go hog wild!

If you’d like to enjoy the holidays this year instead of being stressed, KISS instead.

Simplify Shopping

Christmas presents for the holidays

After 10 years of being parents, my husband and I finally got wise. We created a simple budget, the same amount for each child’s Christmas gifts. Not only that, but we kept the budget quite low—under $50 each. Then we focused on the experiences as a family instead of the commercial aspect. Hiking into the forest and getting a tree, having a scavenger hunt Christmas day, performing a Nativity play together, and sledding & ice skating are all part of our family holiday traditions that stretch over the school break.

I’m not trying to tell you to keep your holiday budget as low as we did, merely to share the concept that once you set a realistic budget, you will avoid overspending and save time on shopping. Both staying within a budget and saving time will ease your stress at the holidays!

Another way to take the stress out of shopping is to have a list of ideas for each person on your list.

Also, shop as early as you can. I like to get most of my shopping done on black Friday weekend, and to KISS, I utilize online shopping as much as possible.

Simplify Social Engagements

Holiday concerts, parties, church events, luncheons, Holiday Bazaars, plays, and other social engagements all take up your time and can rob you of time and rest if you’re not careful.

I recommend listing all the events or social engagements you could go to and then prioritizing which ones are the most meaningful to you. Prioritizing will help you cut down the events you commit to, which will lead to peace of mind about your schedule if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Remember to KISS so you have time for the important people in your life!

Simplify Decorations & Cards

family making Christmas cards

For years, I sent out over 100 cards, and used an automated card service which stressed me out and didn’t save me any time! My holiday wish for you is that you will simplify your card list to save yourself time and stress. Maybe you’ll even decide not to send cards this year, to simplify your life.

If you feel guilty when a card arrives from someone you didn’t send a card to, do what I do, and have some cards handy to fire off to them.

Simplify Food

baking Christmas cookies

To me, food is one of the best parts about Christmas! I make cookies, pies and special dishes on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and New Year’s. Food becomes a cherished family tradition.

How to simplify Holiday food prep

  • Make cookie dough the first week of December and freeze it. You can actually create dough balls and freeze them on a cookie sheet so they don’t stick together. Genius idea I received from my sister-in-law, April!
  • Make not one, but 2 roasts at the same time. I do this because I serve pecan-encrusted pork roast, which has a time-consuming sauce. I’ll have a second roast to pop in the oven Christmas week.
  • Do anything you can ahead of time, especially dessert prep like baking the pies a day or two ahead of time. And don’t be afraid to use frozen pie crust. I do!
  • For Christmas morning or to save time at Hanukkah, try a casserole like French toast apple sausage bake, which is prepped the night before. Just pop it in the oven in the morning.
  • Enlist dinner guests to bring side-dishes to dinner!

I hope these ideas help you to simplify the holidays. I know it’s easy to get overwhelmed, but when you KISS, you’ll spend less time being stressed and more time having fun and creating memories!

Follow me on FB or Instagram, where I’ll share the 2 recipes I mentioned between December 13 and December 20!

(Pecan-encrusted pork roast and French toast apple sausage bake.)

Woman with cluttered clothes closet

The Great Closet Edit

Clothes Closets, especially walk-in closets, are a problem area in many homes. If this is you, help is on the way!

Even though I am a professional organizer, I admit, purging my own clothes can be hard!

The problem with closets is they are out of sight, out of mind. No one else sees the master bedroom closet but you, your family, and maybe your cleaning person.

It’s all too easy to let clothes and accessories accumulate over time in your walk-in closet. And before you know it, you are having to shove the hangers in because your clothes are packed as tight as sardines!

One common result of this is that you cannot see or remember what you have.

So, you end up buying duplicate items because you cannot find what you’re looking for.

Which means you’re spending hard-earned money to buy duplicate items! This is especially true for people who have more than one closet where they store clothes and accessories–they forget what they have in the other clothes closet.

And yes, I have had several organizing clients who have 2 or even 3 closets or a room full of clothes!

Questions to Ask Yourself

Before you even get started, it’s a good idea to remind yourself of the WHY, why are you doing this?

(That way, you’ll be in the right mindset to let go.) Next, let’s look at this important  question:

What is your WHY?

What motivates you to organize your closet?

  • I want to get ready faster.
  • I am tired of not being able to find what I need.
  • I know half the stuff in there doesn’t fit.
  • I’d like to feel calm, not stressed, when I walk into my closet.
  • I want it to look pretty!

You are not alone! Thousands of women and men in the US want these things too. Did you know that clutter has a “negative impact on our subjective well-being”? It’s true.

messy walk-in closet

Did you know, messy homes leave us feeling anxious and overwhelmed?

Also, messy homes and workspaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed, according to a recent Huffington Post article.

If you’d like to feel better, purging and organizing your packed walk-in closet is the way to go!

The Great Closet Edit: Motivation

It’s time to dig deep and find the strength to let go. Purging your own clothes is hard! So, get yourself into a tough mindset by using the questions in the last section.

In addition, a loving heart can motivate you to purge your clothes. Here’s how.

I promise you’ll have an easier time giving away clothes by visualizing the look of joyful surprise on the face of the person who finds just what they needed at a thrift store (thanks to your generous clothing donation.)

Professional Organizer Jenny Morin with black coat from a thrift store, 1990

This is me on my mission, shoveling snow & wearing my warm thrift store find!

Circa 1990.

      I remember when I was a poor college student in Provo, Utah. I needed a warm dress coat for my upcoming mission. I browsed at TJ Maxx and the coats didn’t look very warm, so I decided to search some thrift stores to find a warm coat. (I had plenty of time, just not much money back then, so I didn’t mind combing the city for a coat!)

          I ended up finding a super-warm dress coat that buttoned all the way up and covered my neck—I was so happy! (Most women’s dress coats have a V-neck.) It was constructed of thick black wool, lined with thick black satin, and lasted many years!

So, it will help to picture all the poor or low-income working people who can use some of the clothes you never wear—especially if that motivates you to let go.

The Great Closet Edit: The Purging Phase

The purging phase is the most important part of the closet edit.

I’ve come up with some questions for you to make the process easier. My hope is these questions will help you make good decisions you’ll be happy with.

One caution: Do this when you are in a tough, not a lenient state of mind. If you under-purge, you’ll regret it because you’ll have to do this again in 6 months or live with a packed closet.

Helpful questions to ask as you purge your closet:

One: Does this fit?

That’s a simple yes or no. If it doesn’t fit right now, let it go. In some cases, I do allow a client to keep 1 small box of clothes which are too small. I call it the “skinny pants” box. 🙂

Two: Does it look good on me?

Definitely have a full-length mirror and some good lighting while you try clothing on! There will be some no-brainers here, but some clothes you are going to need to try on. Don’t be daunted. Do it!

Last time I did this with a client, she tried on a whole walk-in closet full of clothes in just two hours, with my help.

Don’t skip this step!

Piles of clothes during closet organization

A woman is never sexier than when she is comfortable in her clothes.” ~Vera Wang

Three: This _______ has a past with me, does it have a future?

You may have had some great times wearing that sequined dress, but if all your kids have married and you don’t go to swanky New Year’s parties, are you really going to wear it again?

Four: If I saw this in the store today, would I buy it?

If the answer is an emphatic YES, then keep it. If you’re waffling, or rationalizing why you should keep it, let it go, that’s a nope!

Five: Am I letting the original cost of this item get in the way of letting it go?

Be sure not to let the cost of the item keep you from letting it go. It won’t do you any good to let that fur coat sit in your walk-in closet taking up prime real estate for the next 10 years.

Sell it if that makes you feel better, but DO take it out of your closet and say goodbye!

The best thing to do, which takes the least amount of time, is to just let go.

boxes for decluttering and donating

I recommend just giving things away so you can move on.

Here’s a caution, though, take care not to make the donation process too difficult, or you won’t do it. For example, some people have 5 bags of stuff going to different friends. That is too complicated, too much work! Much better to take it to one thrift store so those bags don’t clutter up your house for months.

Make it easy on yourself and you’re much more likely to do it.

Six: Am I being honest about wearing this ____ again?

Be careful not to make up big, unrealistic scenarios for when you might use an item in the future. Example: “I’ll wear this one-piece hot-pink and yellow snowsuit from the 80s if I ever ski again.” See how silly that sounds?

Be brutally honest with yourself in this process of purging and organizing your closet.

As I like to say: be ruthless, not reckless when you purge.

Conclusion

Purging is a MUST to have the pretty, organized closet you desire.

And just think; once you purge all the stuff you never wear, it’s going to be so much easier to find what you want and get ready every morning. Not to mention, much faster!

Best of all, you can dress for work (or play) with a feeling of confidence now that you know everything in your closet makes you look and feel good.

Resources

“Why Clutter Can be So Bad for People With Anxiety (And What To Do About It,” Huffington Post, 4/8/2021

The dark side of home: Assessing possession ‘clutter’ on subjective well-being. March 2016, Journal of Environmental Psychology, 46.

woman on the phone

Working at Home During Covid and Rockin’ it! 10 tips to get more done in your home office

Has setting up your home office during COVID-19 virus been a headache? If productivity has been an issue for you, I’ll share some organizing and time management hacks that will make a huge impact on your work.

What people working at home don’t realize: everyone has an inner productivity circle.

In fact, if you think about your home office as a series of circles radiating away from you (like the parallel ripples that radiate out when you drop a rock into a still pool of water), you’ll realize that what you keep close to you is important.

Concentric Productivity Circles

I first learned about this concept from my organizing mentor, Porter Knight. She talks about it in her book, Organized to Last. In it, she coined the term ‘concentric circles’.

I recently taught this productivity principle at a lunch and learn for a large local company. Several people were blown away by this principle; the idea that your work output increases when you only keep frequently used items within arms’ reach.

It makes total sense to me, if you spend less time getting up to use tools in the office, your workday will be more efficient. I will illustrate.

Circle 1: For me, the tools I use every day several times a day need to be in my inmost work circle of my home office. I should not have to roll my chair or even swivel it to get the items I use more than twice a day.

Items in my inner productivity circle: computer, mouse, planner or to-do list, pens, Post-its, stapler, tape, tool drawer, timer, hand lotion, drawer of important files, and trash can.

You may need additional tools like a 10-key, calculator, or specialized items for the work you do.

Circle 2: The next layer for efficient work at home would contain tools and resources you might use once a day. For example: file drawers, your tissue box, projects file, business card binder, cork board or whiteboard, speakers, etc.

Circle 3: The Third layer, the one farthest from you, would have things like resource books, archived files, office supply storage, camera equipment, supplies you travel to clients with, a briefcase or bag for networking events, etc. This layer holds supplies or archives used occasionally or rarely.

When I work with a client, we concentrate on creating open space around them in their home office, The problem with most work spaces is they have TOO MUCH STUFF cluttering their inner circle. this is true for many who are working at home.

Stuff that clutters up our desks: papers that need to be filed, projects, ideas, mail, Post-its, business cards, books, food, and personal items unrelated to your work or comfort are some of the clutter.

Did you know that clutter actually distracts from your work? Visual clutter, like stacks of paper, magazines, or too much in your inbox contribute to a state of low-level anxiety for some people.

Watch what happens when you clear off all the clutter from your desk and floor in your home office. I know every time I put all my papers away in files or project binders, I feel a rush of energy and am motivated to tackle the most important task of the day. Try it, you’ll like it!

Some people I’ve worked with are comfortable with one pile of work on their desk or a large inbox, and that’s fine. The important thing is to find what works best for you.

Everyone has their clutter threshold.

To help you even more, I’ll share a list of tips for staying productive while working at home. Time management tips like these are sorely needed in these unprecedented times when all the kids are home attending virtual classes because of COVID.

10 Secrets to Get More Done in Your Home Office

Tip 1: Focus Time

Figure out what your best focus time is. Do the work that requires the most brainpower then. If you’d like to pinpoint the time of day, email me and I will send you a quiz that will show you when you do your best work! jennym@efficientspacesco.com

Tip 2: Limit Distractions

If your spouse or kids are home during work hours, make sure they know not to disturb you. Close the doors if you need to.  Put on headphones with some music that helps you focus. This has a dual job: to let people know you don’t want to be disturbed, and it keeps you from hearing background noise.

Ambient sounds, especially with words, occupy about 5-10% of your intellectual bandwidth.  By wearing ear protectors, you acoustically isolate yourself.  This freed up bandwidth can now be focused on the desired task.

It’s a great deal.  Just put on some earmuffs and you become 5-10% smarter.”

~ Peter Rogers, Straight A Stanford and on to Harvard

Tip 3: Plan

To be effective, make a plan for your week and then break it down by the day. I I start out with a ‘dump list’ then transfer the tasks to my planner, which uses a funnel-down system to help me choose which day to put each task. I use my planner for my to-do list, but a notebook or a sticky note works well to identify the most important daily tasks. For most people, having a daily purpose is a huge motivator. It’s satisfying to check those items off when they’re finished! I would be lost without my to do list. Most professionals who excel at time management use some form of a to-do list, whether electronic or paper. *I use the Planner Pad Organizer.

Tip 4: File Emails

With emails, you can take one of 3 actions: File, respond, or delete. Try not to think about it too much!  It doesn’t have to be complicated.  The general rule of thumb: if it takes 2 minutes, do it now.  (From Getting Things Done by David Allen)

Also, have folders for emails or email categories. Organize them by topic, project, or individual names. A person wastes 6 weeks annually searching for lost documents or because of unorganized folders for the one project they need. Be consistent about filing them. It helps so much when you need that information later!

Tip 5: Clear your inbox

Have an inbox for paper, and clear it daily.

Tip 6: Prioritize projects

Have a “hot spot” for today’s most urgent project.  Personally, I prefer a clear file folder standing up in a vertical file sorter.  My home office file sorter holds 5 files.  Also, put your to-do list in plain sight and review it each morning before you start.

Definitely prioritize projects based on their ROI and on the deadline or due date!

Tip 7: Set a timer

If you tend to distract yourself:  ahem… yes I do that!  I find that setting a timer is very helpful.  This works well if you are easily distracted by “bright and shiny” new emails.  Say your purpose for opening your email is to write one necessary email and then close the email so you can focus on a project.  Set a timer for 15 minutes before you open your inbox to avoid getting “sucked in” by your email.  This really works! (I keep my timer within arm’s reach in my home office.)

One way to boost our will power and focus is to manage our distractions instead of letting them manage us.” ~ Daniel Goleman

Tip 8: Turn off alerts

If texts, incoming emails, Zoom pop-up, or calendar notifications have alerts that distract you when you are trying to focus in your home office, make sure to turn off those alerts for the hour or 90 minutes when your project needs your full attention.  (Before you do this, check your calendar to make sure you don’t have a meeting or scheduled phone call.) If you are not sure how to do this, ask a tech-savvy friends!  Or link to the article I provide at the end of this post.

Tip 9: Delegate

Delegate email deletion and unsubscribing from sites to your kids or grandkids (it works great!).  Also, make sure to limit spam by having good firewalls in place to limit what gets to your inbox. 

My daughter Kate creates a time management map for a client.

Tip 10: Scan

For information you want or need to keep, have it scanned by someone you can delegate to (an assistant, tech-savvy son/daughter, grandchild, high school student) and file or organize it into files. Make sure and have the helpers to do it at a time when you’re doing something low-focus, like responding to emails. That way the interruptions with questions won’t affect your productivity in your home office.

Use these 10 tips to achieve more and reach your business goals!

Related posts: 5 ways to keep distractions at bay: https://efficientspacesco.c.wpstage.net/2015/02/5-tips-distractions-bay/

New Habits: you can do anything for 30 minutes: https://efficientspacesco.c.wpstage.net/2014/05/30-minutes/

How to get an extra hour of productivity daily: https://efficientspacesco.c.wpstage.net/2014/02/extra-hour/

How to turn off distracting notifications:  http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/5-distracting-desktop-notifications-turn-windows/

How to Organize Food Storage – So Nothing goes to Waste!

 5 Food Storage Basics

“Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing.” *

The point of food storage is to have food storage in place BEFORE an emergency strikes.

I just made a trip to a warehouse (owned by my church) to purchase a bunch of staples like flour, sugar, wheat, salt, etc. Back in February, I had the thought: I need to beef up our food storage! Organizing your food storage is so important for peace of mind when disaster strikes.

The reason: partly inspiration, partly because we had used a lot of flour and sugar last December. My son Jacob and I had baked and sold cookies to raise money for a school trip. So, I thought we were running low. (Turns out, we still had enough flour for 6 months in our storage.)

That brings me to the first step in organizing your food storage.

One: Know what you have.

Have you ever gone to the grocery store and bought ketchup because you thought you were almost out, only to find you have 3 bottles of ketchup in your pantry?

It’s crucial to know what you already have stored. Not taking an inventory before you go to the store or get online leads to waste, because your family won’t be able to consume it before it spoils.

On the other hand, when you DO take an inventory of how much flour, sugar, yeast, oil, milk powder, salt, etc. you have stored, you won’t end up with waaay too much of one item. Or too little of another staple food. You might be surprised how fast you’ve used up the flour, for example.

Here’s what I do when I purchase food to put in storage: I put the date of purchase on the container. It’s helpful to keep records and to inventory your storage at least once a year.

Two: Track how fast you consume the food.

If you want to know how fast your family uses up 10 pounds of flour, for example, there is an easy way to figure that out.  Simply label the container with an “open date,” which is the date you started consuming the flour. A piece of masking tape or white duct tape works well.

Then, when you use the last of it, note the date on the tape. It’s a great trick. Just make sure to plan for extra usage during holidays like Christmas, when you’ll do a lot more baking.

Three: Figure out what your gaps are.

What do you still need to “round out” your food storage?  Do you have everything you need to make bread, for example? What about soup? How many different meals could you make with the food you already have on hand? If you only have the ingredients for 3 different meals during an emergency, you will get mighty tired of eating those 3 meals!

One thing we like to do for variety: purchase hiking meals and MREs. It provides us great choices without having to purchase a bunch of perishable ingredients for our food storage. And they last about 10 years! They are packaged in a pouch and quite light, especially the hiking meals. Everything you need to cook the meal is inside. Super efficient!

6 Month Food Storage Supply

Four: Research how much food and water to store. 

 “If you are prepared you shall not fear”. *

Being prepared will save you from fear, because you will rest easy knowing you have enough food, water and fuel to provide for your family.

I have not worried about food, or even toilet paper, since this pandemic struck the world. Why? Because I had prepared for a disaster. I was surprised it came this soon, but that didn’t matter. The essential matter is to be ready for anything.

If an emergency like the Covid-19 virus comes around again, plan for married children returning home to wait it out with you.  Currently, we have 2 adult children home with us, plus one teenager. And we have plenty because we have enough food storage to feed 5 people that will last 6 months.

Definitely plan for the worst-case scenario. Purchase the food that will fill in your gaps. You can do this bit by bit, purchasing some supplies every month. Or you can buy it all at once.

Five: Finally, prepare in advance.

You saw what happened during the COVID-19 scare when everyone tried to get their food storage at the same time. It’s chaotic and a bit scary. Stores started running out of many items like toilet paper, paper towels, bleach, flour, sugar, survival foods and foods with a long shelf-life.

Q: When is the time to get your food storage together?

A: Gather food storage BEFORE disaster strikes—not after!

Be part of the solution, instead of part of the panicking masses.

Resources:

President Gordon B. Hinckley, “If ye are Prepared ye Shall Not Fear,” Oct. 2005.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2005/10/if-ye-are-prepared-ye-shall-not-fear?lang=eng

*Doctrine and Covenants 109:8 https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/109.8?lang=eng#p8  D&C 109:8

**Doctrine and Covenants 38:30, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/38?lang=eng

Providentliving.org: https://providentliving.churchofjesuschrist.org/?lang=eng

Building a 6-month Food Storage Supply (with table listing foods and amounts) https://actionecon.com/building-a-6-month-food-storage-supply/

1 Year food Supply for a Family of 4 http://seasonedcitizenprepper.com/feed-a-family-of-4-for-1-year-for-less-than-300/

How Much does a Professional Organizer Cost, anyway?

This is the BIG question everyone wants to know: how much does hiring an organizer cost, anyway? Do I have to be wealthy to get organized? Here’s some tips and tricks!

That very much depends on the size of the project, how fast the organizer is, how quickly you make decisions, and the amount of clutter and backlog in your home or office.

Potential Organizing Cost 

A new organizer may charge a lower hourly rate because she (and it’s almost always a she) doesn’t have much experience, so you’ll pay less per hour. For example, a 10-hour job may cost $500. A more experienced organizer will charge more and get the work done faster. She has thousands of hours of experience. Therefore, you might pay between $750 and $1000 for 10 hours of organizing. In large metropolitan areas, the organizing cost will be higher.

Also, most organizers give a discount for a package of hours, which is paid for after the initial meeting (the assessment). Most organizers give a 5 to 10 percent discount for paying up front, either at or before the first organizing session. This could save you hundreds of dollars in organizing cost over the life of the project. Link to similar article here.

Cost/ Benefit Analysis

Here’s a suggestion: do a cost/benefit analysis to see if a less experienced organizer is worth the savings. If your time is valuable, weigh the benefit of hiring a faster, more experienced organizer versus a slower, less experienced one. Since time is money, and money well spent saves time, the organizing cost is worth it.

When you ask a lawyer how much money it will cost to win your case, he doesn’t know because he cannot predict the research, how long the case will take, etc. Likewise, a professional organizer will not be able to tell you how long your project will take until she has finished the assessment and done at least 1 work session with you. This is not because she is inexperienced. A lot of variables come into play to determine the length of work: her speed, your decision-making speed, how much clutter you have to work through, and the level of organization you desire. Similar to presenting a court case, organizing is a process of preparing, making a plan, and working through all the clutter in your home and in your brain. 

Organizing is a process, not a one-time event. As any professional organizer will tell you, she is often a coach as well as an organizer. She coaches you through the often-difficult process of letting go. Therefore, the number of hours she states as an estimate is just that—an estimate. Think about it this way: you wouldn’t say to your therapist—I’m only going to work with you for 10 hours, even if my PTSD isn’t fixed. S/he wouldn’t agree to see you as a patient.

Now apply that to organizing; if your project isn’t finished, the work with the organizer is not done either. The process of getting organized is logical. It is a multi-step project based on a proven method and an orderly completion of all the steps. So, if you skip a step, you sabotage the results. Complete the steps and you complete the project. And you have a lasting result. For tips on hiring an organizer, click here.

Two ways to structure payment

First, the pay-as-you-go option. In this model, you pay for each session at the time of service. This is easier to budget for because it will be a certain amount per week or per month. Also, the organizer cost will be full price; no discounts.

Second is the package option. In this model, you pay up front for a set number of hours. This requires a larger initial investment and commitment. The organizer will usually give you up to a 20 percent discount. As you can see, the package discount makes the professional organizer cost more doable.

An organizer prefers to sell a package because she knows a client is more likely to finish the project when they have paid for the whole package. It shows a level of commitment to finish. With the pay-as-you-go model, distractions or other monthly expenses may crowd out the organizing goal. Often, this is the case.

Organizing is a Service

Keep in mind the reason organizers do what they do is because they like to help people. She is not in this profession because she wants to get rich. She is service minded and loves to see you successfully reach your goals for organization. You know the thrill you get when you serve someone who really needs it? Well, that how your personal organizer feels when she helps you improve your life. Especially if you tell her just how powerful an impact getting organized has had for you.

Recommendation: Set a Budget 

Most organizers, in the first meeting or intake, will ask what your budget is for the project. If you don’t know, she will share her rates with you and you decide the speed which you’d like to see results. Personally, I work with people’s budgets and have been known to give discounts to those who truly have limited resources.

When setting a budget, keep in mind the cost of not getting organized. What is the emotional and productivity cost of being disorganized? How much do you pay for storage units per month? How many bills have you missed due to lack of a system, which incurred late fees? Or, how many duplicate tools or other items have you purchased because you cannot find the one (or two) you already have somewhere? When you think about the cost in this light, the organizing cost is a bargain. Link to How Organizing saves you Money here.

Recently, a new client came to me, eager for my expertise. She told me she had read in an article that the cost of hiring a professional organizer is worth every penny. I agree. Link to article here  

Need help? Contact me! I provide a free 30-minute exploratory call.

Resources:

How Organizing saves you Money: Read Article

Want to be happy? Buy more takeout and hire a maid: Read Article

Reasons to hire a professional organizer from NAPO NJ: Read Article

5 Tips for Hiring a Professional Organizer: Read Article

3 Surprising things I learned from Hiring a Professional Organizer: Read Article

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