Saturday, October 23, 2010

Using the Elfa System in a laundry room

During one of our latest jobs as professional organizers we were asked to re-organize a laundry/ pantry area in someone's home.  When organizing small spaces such as these it is important to maximize your storage space and find solutions that serve two purposes.  After assessing the space and identifying the zones in the room we came up with the plan to use a customized shelving unit. By doing this, we were able to provide shelving from floor to ceiling maximizing our storage space.  There are several different types of shelving out there that can meet any style or budget but the one that we decided to use for this project was part of the Elfa System from The Container Store. 

At first glance, I was immediately impressed with the quality of the pieces.  The walnut stained shelves looked solid and consistent in color and the chrome pieces were heavy.  Although the system came prepackaged with detailed instructions it was fairly easy to just see how the pieces fit together.  I highly recommend having two people work on this project together since most pieces need to be lined up exactly and have even pressure applied when assembling.   Once you have the basic frame in place, the system offers a wide variety of drawers, shelves, and other accessories to meet your needs.  These are easily added by clicking into the pre-existing notches.  With the combination of shelves and baskets we chose we were able to create a workable laundry area that also had plenty of pantry room for surplus food and supplies. 

Overall I would say that the Elfa system is a good pick for someone looking for a ready to assemble shelving system.  The end product not only looked nice but provided a functional workspace for our client.

Be sure to check out before and after pics of this project as well as other useful organizing info at my website

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Using for my meal planning

I have been looking for the perfect meal planning system for several years.  My problem is that I really like collecting menus from several different sites and let's face it, I am too busy to retype a recipe that I found on one site and put it on another.  When it came time to create my menu for the week I needed to look in three different "online cookbooks".  My other option was to print out everything and keep it in a notebook.  This was OK but I really like the idea of a "paperless" system and printing then sorting are just more steps in my process.   That is when I discovered  This great site compiles your recipes in one central location where you can then assign them to a day on your calendar and create a shopping list.   All you have to do is attach the "Save to Mealfire" booklet to your internet browser's toolbar and click it when you find a recipe that you want to save.  It is that easy! 

I love the way I can gather recipes from all my favorite sites with just a click of a button.  I looked into using Google docs, and while I love using Google for most things, I found myself still having to either cut and paste recipes to my docs or maintain a recipe book on each of my 3 favorite sites.  This was not working for me.  Now I collect and plan out my menu on Mealfire and view it on my Google calendar by linking to the URL in other calendars.

Once I have my calendar made I select the meals for that week and head to the grocery.

This handy little tool has saved me huge headaches and I hope it does the same for you.

Happy meal planning!