Organizing Your Pets

My husband and I have three fur babies, all beagle lab mixes, which means we have quite a collection of doggy items. As you are organizing your house, it’s important not to forget to keep our furry friends organized as well. Here’s a few tips for how we keep our dogs straight.


Store pet food in an air-tight, easily accessible space. Two of our dogs, Jax and Lexi, spend most of their time outside, so we keep their food where we can quickly get to it once we get home from work: under the carport. A large metal trash can with lid is the perfect storage container to keep animals out and freshness in. Next to the food can we have a little shelf which hold the rest of their things. A basket holds their toys,  water cup, and brush. A clear storage container, like what you would use for your flour and sugar, hold their dog treats so I can not only easily access them, but also tell when it’s time to go to the store. On the hook by the door we keep their harnesses and leashes.


Our younger dog, Guinness, spends most of his time inside, so he has a food station in our kitchen. We have a smaller bin for his food, since he’s the only one inside and goes through it slower. Next to the bin is his water bowl and food bowl, all of which are on a nice rubber mat in case he makes any messes. Any extra treats and the nail clippers stay in a cabinet in the kitchen. I know that sounds like a weird place for the nail clippers, but it works for us, since we have to give treats as incentive for the “horrors” of having their nails trimmed. All of Guinness’s toys are kept in a small wooden bin in the living room, so he knows exactly where to look for them. We keep the dog shampoo and other cleaning supplies under the bathroom sink, so when it’s bath time we don’t have to run all over the house with dogs that are already stressed at the word “bath.”


None of these things are tricky. The biggest thing is to find what works best for you and your pets! Create little spaces for them as well, where they can feel safe. These little things should make your life easier, so you can spend more time loving on your fur babies. Need a little extra boost to getting your life organized? Reac out to me!


Peace and love,

Jessie

Clean Cabinets

A kitchen cabinet can be your best friend or your biggest nightmare, depending on how you use them. Have you ever opened a cabinet to grab a Tupperware container and found yourself an avalanche victim? It’s terrifying! The kitchen is the known by many as the heart of the home, as food is a central part to our culture and mealtimes a place of relationship building. We gather there to cook, to eat, to visit, to do homework. With so much time spent in one space, it’s important that it function in a manner that serves us...not crushes us!


One of my biggest tips is to keep items where you use them. If you are a big coffee drinker, keep the mugs in the shelf above the coffee maker or on a hook beside it. Keep the oven mitts in the drawer by the oven. Keep extra dishwashing supplies under the sink. You want it to be a no brainer when you are cooking where you stash stuff. For example, I have one section of the kitchen I have deemed “the baking section.” In the cabinets I keep all my flours and sugar together, while in the large drawers below are my baking sheets, cake tins, and Pyrex dishes. This helps me keep from pacing back and forth across the kitchen gathering supplies that I don’t use as often.


It’s also helpful to keep the things you use the most within reaching (and eye) level. Items you use less frequently can be stored higher up, or lower down. For example, I keep my Crock-Pot and dutch oven in a low cabinet, since they are heavy and I don’t get to use them often. On higher shelves I put lighter items like the hand mixer and seasonal ware. Everyday use items, such as canned goods, bread, and dishes should remain easy  to access. This is especially important if you are short like me! If you have little ones, make sure you also take this into consideration when organizing, so they don’t get there hands on anything that could hurt them.


Another thing that I have found helpful is finding a dry goods storage method that works for you. I personally love my Tupperware Modular Mates. They are clear, clean, stackable, and come in varied sizes. I use mine for everything from flour, to sugar, to cereal, to coffee pods. They are easy to open, but sealed up tight to keep food fresh and critters out. They are a great way to get rid of awkwardly shaped  packages and make the most of your storage space. If you do a lot of baking, you could also opt for some pretty countertop canisters!


I hope this helps you through your kitchen clean up! Have any questions about keeping your kitchen neat? Drop me a line!


Peace and Love,

Jessie

When My Heart Is Overwhelmed

“...when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2, KJV

 

What overwhelms you? Is it your seemingly endless to-do list or the piles of paperwork waiting to be filed? Or is it how you will take the kids to soccer and ballet, and still find time to go grocery shopping?

 

When our life or home is cluttered it is incredibly overwhelming, sometimes to the point where we become frozen, unsure how or where to start. Often times, it seems that this feeling of overwhelm is actually not caused by the clutter, but the clutter is actually a response to feeling overwhelmed. How frequently I have let my to do list pile up, because other things in my life were causing stress! Usually, clutter and procrastination are symptoms of larger problems.

 

When I was in college and had an exam coming up, I would clean my room. I wouldn’t even touch my textbook if something in my dorm room what out of place. Because cleaning is a good thing, right? Wrong!- At least in this instance. I was nervous and overwhelmed by what I needed to study, so I just ignored it and pretended that cleaning my room was more important.

 

In the same way, sometimes it feels easier to let our possessions pile up and become clutter than to go through the process of deciding we don’t actually need or want something. Sometimes we are stressed by the thought of disappointing someone when we don’t actually have a use for a gift. Rather than confronting that stress, we let it create more stress in the form of piles of junk.

 

These are just two examples. I want to challenge you this week to reflect on what is really overwhelming you. Reflect on how you arrived where you are, and also on where you would like to be. God is the great rock in the midst of our chaos, to whom we can cling to firmly. Seek his peace in the storm. He will guide you through it. And if you need a little help with the physical mess, I am here to help.

 

Peace and Love,

Jessie