kitchen zone — the fridge

1. Miscellaneous condiments
2. Water bottles
3. Yogurt
4. Fruit cups
5. Fruit and veggies ready to eat (washed and chopped)
6. Meats and Cheeses
7. Juices
8. Veggies….salad, zucchini, squash, etc.
9. Fruit

 I like using these baskets for easy access to fridge items rather than having to pull items one by one.

I found the basket idea here and here is a great fridge organization and safety tip.

zone cleaning — kitchen

Everyday I clean 20 – 60 minutes on my current zone.  I keep it simple and easy to conquer otherwise I won’t do it and will wait until I can’t take it any more.  This system has worked wonders for my home.

Monday:  Clean out cupboards, organize and wipe down inside shelves.
Tuesday:  Clean cupboard doors and wipe down kitchen walls.
Wednesday:  Clean and organize the fridge/freezer.
Thursday:  Wipe down appliances and put away anything on the counter that I do not use weekly.
Friday:   Deep clean dining room, wipe down furniture and walls.
Saturday:  Decorate

I try to reward myself a little when I work on my zones……good music, a fun drink, and maybe I will throw in a snack after I am finished.

If I do not get to these each day I just move to the next job on the following day.  This zone will come around every six weeks (I have my schedule set up for six zones).  I really like to keep this simple with no guilt.  

Other zones:
Entryway and closets
Kitchen and dining room
Bathroom and laundry
Bedrooms
Living room and home office
Garage and automobiles

fantastic routines

i work off of a cleaning schedule. i started it years ago when i found flylady.net. over the years it has been modified to fit my life during each changing season. my favorite part about a schedule is that it is completely forgiving. if i do not get to a chore one day…it’s okay there is always tomorrow, next week, next month.

i clean by zones for my deep cleaning. i am not a spring cleaner. i break it up doing it in pieces all year. that way i am never overwhelmed. i take one zone each week and work 15-20 minutes on each zone each day.  if i am too busy to get to a certain zone that week i just wait until it comes around again.

zone 1–entryway and closet
zone 2–kitchen and dining room
zone 3–bathrooms and laundry
zone 4–bedrooms
zone 5–living room and home office
zone 6–garage and car

each time i work a zone in my house i think about improving my organization.  when it is broken down like this it is not so overwhelming to do. each room should never hold more than three purposes for me. like the craft/exercise room.  i try not to make that room storage or a bedroom or anything else. it has its purpose and i do not like to overwhelm that space.  it makes it easy upkeep.

morning schedule
-make beds
-feed dogs
-eat and clean up
-shine sink….classic flylady move
-put out hotspots….places that collect junk….another classic flylady
-look at my menu for the day and schedule
-throw a load in the laundry and fold a load from the dryer
-read scriptures
-15-20 minutes in focus zone….and i set the timer
-exercise
-get dressed and ready for the rest of the day
-check the mail and run errands

afternoon schdule
-20 minutes of my weekly clean schedule

evening schedule
-sweep floor
-empty garbage
-load and unload dishwasher
-spot mop
-wipe down counters
-shine sink
-check tomorrows menu and take out items from the freezer
-vacuum…i try to do this everyday because i have three dogs
-feed dogs

weekly schedule
-deep clean bathrooms
-dust
-vacuum
-clean blinds
-bedding
-bath or spot bath dogs
-pay bills and go through paperwork
-make calls that i hate to make
-send out cards
-plan my menu for the week….i normally have a month semi-planned and then finalize a week or two in advance
-make grocery list
-do nails
-exfoliate face and hands
-clean dog kennels
–go through magazines
–write a list of any supplies needed for next weeks zone

i found the home routine app that makes this so easy to follow and you can adapt it to your schedule. there is a $4.99 fee for the app but it is well worth it.

when i worked this schedule was significantly different. i work from home now so this schedule works for me.

when i did work my morning schedule was short and i had 5-10 minutes to do a few errands. my evenings and weekends took up most of the rest. it is whatever works for you. i started this schedule when my kids were young because things were slipping and i felt my home was out of control. i wanted to take back the control and leave the guilt.  this worked perfectly.

kitchen gadgets — popcorn love

i love popcorn.  i used to go to the theatre not to go to the movie but to sneak in and buy a bucket of popcorn.  i was lucky enough to live in a small town that would allow me to do that.  now that i am older and never live in a village/town large enough to have a theatre i am forced to make my own.

for years i have searched for the perfect popper and ended up throwing or giving away poppers that just did not cut it. then my friend introduced me to the stir crazy popper and my love for popcorn has been taken to a new level.

i use coconut oil for everything these days, another tip from another friend (if you are wondering if i have any original thoughts….i wonder that too). anyway i use coconut oil and gourmet white popcorn.  the coconut oil is better for me and the popcorn is delicious. when using gourmet popcorn you use less kernels if that matters to anyone? i just like the way it pops up better than a cheaper brand.

i add the oil and the popcorn and plug the popper in and then just watch the magic happen.  i normally wait for the pops to slow down and then unplug the popper. you just flip it over and you can use the lid as the bowl.  

clean up is easy.  i just take a clean sponge and wipe out the popper.  i wash the bowl in a little soap and water.

i do not add butter to my popcorn not because it tastes better without it but because it is healthier that way.  i do add some popcorn salt. the kernels are perfectly popped with very few solid kernels to get in the way of things.