So What if you Have an Organised Kitchen? ? Part 2

So What if you Have an Organised Kitchen? ? Part 2

Nowadays, many kitchen models boasts of spaciousness: spacious cabinets, spacious cupboards, inexhaustible drawers. We just can’t get enough of space. And yet, what we didn’t know is that we have all the space we need in our kitchens if we only knew how to maximise them.

Here’s part two of things you can do towards a kitchen you won’t lose your way in.

1. Keep them Contained!

Admit it, the first thing that comes to mind: Tupperware. Although of course, there are now lots of sorts of resealable food containers in the market today, stackable, watertight, and airtight, and in a wide variety of colours to complement your kitchen.

Obviously, your pantry is where foodstuffs are kept, so your main goal is to store them in such a way that they last longer. But keeping them from spoiling is one thing; making them accessible is another. Often, we store foods so well that we eventually forget them, and only remember when they’ve expired and inedible already. This of course defeats the purpose of storing foods in the first place.

Store each item then so that it is easily visible and reachable. Group them together whenever possible (you can enlist your kids’ help on this one), and have their labels, especially for canned goods, up front so that they’re easily read. Finally, discard foods that have passed their expiration dates or are more than a year old.

2. Use Jars, Bottles, Nooks in Walls, Ceilings to Your Advantage.

Store gravy packets, seasoning packets, etc. in a small, clear plastic or glass containers for easy access.

Line up boxes with their sides facing front. If possible, store the most often used items at eye level. Store heavy items, such as boxes of ‘long life’ juice, milk, and cordials on a lower shelf.

Choose a lower shelf for paper storage, cling wraps, foil etc. If you have school-age children who take their lunch to school, create an area in your kitchen for lunch making. Stock it with lunch boxes and/or brown bags, plastic wraps/bags, thermos containers, drink bottles and small food containers. For after school and weekends, create a snack shelf of parent-approved treats for children.

If you have extra wall space, consider storage hanging hooks, a notice board, and other helpful organising items.

Purchase handy space saving products such as stacking containers, and sturdy baskets for onions, garlic, and potatoes.

Organise spices which you use most often in the front row. If you have a shallow drawer near your stove, consider laying all of your small spice jars in there. Place them label side up so it is easy to view them all at once. Most dried spices lose their flavour in six months.

Any miscellaneous items can be stored labelled shoeboxes and use them to store items such as biscuit cutters, candles, appliance accessories, matches, batteries, and smaller items. Square containers take up less space and fit more efficiently on shelves than round ones. Place hooks inside a cabinet door to small utensils on. This will help to clear drawer space.

Anything that is still in good condition and can be sold, auctioned, or given away. If you feel that you have appliances that are in ‘as new’ condition and too good to throw out, consider OzFreeOnline.com. Log on and check out their free classified section where you can advertise anything you no longer have use for. Feeling generous then donate all the stuff you are no longer using by giving them to the salvos.org.au, or auctioning them off at OzFreeOnline.com

Barbara Thorp recommends Ozfreeonline Classifieds, online ads posting site and more!

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Pest Control – How to Control Pests in Your Home

Pest Control – How to Control Pests in Your Home

The threat of pests is always present. Chances are, if it squeaks, buzzes, or has more legs than you do, you don’t want it creeping in your home. Eliminating unwanted pests with a potent poison is a temporary solution to your pest problem, but the same stuff that’s toxic to pests is often toxic to people, too — especially kids. Because most pesticides treat symptoms of infestation, and not underlying causes they often don’t work as well as prevention-based alternatives.

Here are some general tips for putting a lid on pests:

Step 1: Make Sure Your Home Is Clean and Dry

Many insects and rodents are attracted to warmth, darkness, spoiling food and standing water, so start off by making your home less hospitable to pests.

Empty your garbage can daily ensuring the lid fits securely. Clean up behind the bin as bits of food on the floor in dark corners are an attractive meal for rodents and pests.

Make sure all food and beverage containers outside the fridge or freezer are tightly sealed in glass or plastic containers.

Sweep and vacuum regularly (including mattresses).

Eliminate all sources of moisture. Fix leaky faucets and don’t leave dirty, wet pots in the sink. If leaving dishes over the day, rinse dishes with soapy water before placing them into the dishwasher.

If you have a pet, comb it regularly with a flea comb and wash its bedding frequently. Be sure to vacuum floors, rugs and upholstery your pet comes in contact with regularly.

Keep unused areas tidy, avoid a build up of debris, paper and laundry etc.

STEP 2: Seal Entryways

Pests enter homes through cracks, crevices and inconspicuous holes. Believe it or not, a mouse can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime! Block entry points to new invaders by making sure they are sealed.

Use silicone caulk to seal any cracks and crevices in baseboards, moldings, cupboards, pipes, ducts, sinks, toilets and electrical outlets.

Place screens in front of vents, and replace any damaged screens.

Use a quick setting concrete to seal entry holes in basements.

Keep vegetation, stacked firewood and other debris away from the exterior of your house. These may alleviate access points or nesting locations for lurking pests.

STEP 3: Try Chemical-Free Strategies

Now that you’re denying pests food, shelter and access, it’s time to put the squeeze on any lingering intruders. To solve your pest problems without using chemical pesticides, you can:

Vacuum for individual bugs or nests (bugs will usually suffocate in the bag).

Lay physical traps (fly traps, jar traps, pheromone traps, light traps, etc.).

STEP 4: Choose Lower-Risk Pesticides for Routine Maintenance.

If problems persist, try low-toxicity products, which will minimize the health risks to members of your household.

Sprinkle powdered boric acid on cracks and crevices, which slowly poisons crawling insects like ants, cockroaches and silverfish, but is far less toxic to humans and other mammals. Still, you should avoid dusting in areas that might result in human exposure)

To control insects and rodents, try tamper-resistant bait boxes — an effective and safer choice than sprays, powders or pellets, which all spread pesticide residues. Look for one that uses a nonvolatile chemical, like boric acid, and make sure to keep bait stations out of the reach of children.

Try insecticidal or fatty-acid soaps, which kill soft-bodied insects like caterpillars, fleas and mites on contact, and are virtually harmless to humans and mammals unless they’re ingested.

STEP 5: Safety

Effective pest control requires some knowledge about the pest and its habits. In many cases, it may be necessary to hire a professional exterminator. The good thing is many exterminators now offer affordable, low toxicity options suited to your family, pet and children’s lifestyles. Whether a professional exterminator or the do-it-yourself individual, it is important to ensure the safety of everyone in your household.

When using any pesticide limit the exposure of everyone in your household.

Avoid frequent, preventative applications and never exceed the application rate indicated in the instructions.

Follow all precautions listed on the label, such as wearing gloves, masks or goggles.

Make sure any baits, traps or pesticide residues are kept out of reach of children and pets.

Above all, be vigilant. Remember, not all about pests is bad. Surprisingly pests are part of nature’s clean-up crew. They scavenge for decaying or organic material and help recycle it back into the earth. Like us, pests need food, warmth and somewhere safe to live. Simply by changing some of our regular habits, we can keep pests out of our homes and in nature where they belong.

 

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Farm Fountain is a system for growing edible and ornamental fish and plants in a constructed, indoor ecosystem. Based on the concept of aquaponics, this hanging garden fountain uses a simple pond pump, along with gravity to flow the nutrients from fish waste through the plant roots. The plants and bacteria in the system serve to cleanse and purify the water for the fish. This project is an experiment in local, sustainable agriculture and recycling. It utilizes 2-liter plastic soda bottles as planters and continuously recycles the water in the system to create a symbiotic relationship between edible plants, fish and humans. The work creates an indoor healthy environment that also provides oxygen and light to the humans working and moving through the space. The sound of water trickling through the plant containers creates a peaceful, relaxing waterfall. The Koi and Tilapia fish that are part of this project also provide a focus for relaxed viewing. More info: www.farmfountain.com
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Smart Storage Solutions For Your Kitchen

Smart Storage Solutions For Your Kitchen

More than ever before has it become essential to be organized, as kitchens become more of a living and entertaining space, and with just about everyone getting into cooking and entertaining.

In any kitchen, especially a small one, day to day living becomes more of a pleasure if you have planned your kitchen and dining areas well. In a large kitchen, it is equally important to optimize the space to realize its potential. If your kitchen is already fitted, you can rationalise and implement extra touches to your storage even more effectively. If you are putting in a new kitchen, then you have no excuse not to be really putting into practice the ‘science’ of storage.

Here are my ten essential tips for smart kitchen storage:

1 ] Utilise redundant space.

This is important if you already have a fitted kitchen to add personality to bland units; a small area of shelving with your own quirky objects combined with practical kitchenware. If you are installing shelving, think laterally with your installation – you can go floor to ceiling for example. Use insides of cupboard doors for hanging, quality hooks are good if well installed, however, be ‘clever and don’t crowd’

2] Display rather than conceal.

Be creative when storing your utensils, pots and pans and ornaments and make it fun. Create open and closed storage by combining closed cupboards with open displays units, these can be bought or custom made.

3] Get rid of the fitted kitchen look.

Free up the walls, use freestanding antique dressers, [glass fronted ones let you see everything at a glance] rails for hanging, metal industrial shelving units, or bakers racks from catering suppliers – store the least used things at the top!

4] Organize Draw space.

You can get an array of different drawer dividers, my favourites are the wooden ones which add a bit of interest and don’t mark like their plastic counterparts, make sure you measure accurately before purchasing

5] Thoughtfully load your larder.

If you are lucky enough to have a larder [or pantry as it is also called] you should use the space thoughtfully, mainly for storing groceries. In our house we have shelves in the upper half, with containers at the back with less used ingredients and the good looking jars, containers, packets and tins at the front which are a display in their own right. The lower section has two wire basket trolley units which are pulled out for ease. The design of your pantry should be a bit like the inside of your fridge – with all the surfaces utilized.

6] Group items by function.

Whether it’s an interesting ceramic pot with your wooden spoons in, or bake ware in a dedicated drawer – it is always far easier to find things in logical places.

7] Circulate your gadgets.

We are all proud of our latest gadgets, but more often than not we build up a space hungry collection – too much to display all at once. So put away the sandwich toaster in the summer and get out the zinc beer cooler ready for that bar be que.

8] Get  Containers for every use.

Clear plastic containers are good for cereals, but best stored in a cupboard and bought out only at breakfast, whereas tall elegant glass ones containing pastas and pulses in great shapes, textures and colours can go on display in large glass containers. Square containers are good in cupboards for space savers, although we use a collection of wooden square Cuban cigar boxes, Victorian enamel bread bins and flour containers can be found at your local bric-a-brac/antique shop and make a great authentic addition to any kitchen.

9] Be Clean and safe.

Long gone are the days when you had a plastic bin hidden under the sink unit, where dirt and germs collected – this space is now freed up for cleaning and utility product as bins and recyclers are designed to be space effective and look great. Corner bins are often practical where space is limited.

Make sure you have a good range of clips, pegs and fasteners to keep food fresh and plan a cycle of storage cleaning to ensure everything hidden is kept regularly spic and span. Think of kids and pets when planning to keep certain things like cleaning product out of harms way.

10] Cut out the distance.

Utensils, cutting knives are best near their place of use, there are now a diverse range of storage products for knives from work top freestanding units to wall magnets.

Also consider practicality of where things are, i.e.it is good to have your large dinnerware quite close to the dishwasher to save time and effort.

With a bit of planning and enthusiasm you will be able to treat kitchen storage as a creative project – not just a functional chore.

Mike Furniss has worked successfully in the retail design and marketing sector in the UK and Europe for the last 20 years. He is a practicing artist and designer with many blue chip clients and awards. You can find out more insights and inspiration for your kitchen at; http://www.kitchendesires.com

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Explaining all of the changes to your new recycling collections.
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Are Plastic Water Bottles Eco Friendly and Can They Harm My Health?

Are Plastic Water Bottles Eco Friendly and Can They Harm My Health?

Are plastic water bottles eco friendly is a more and more common question today as we become aware of their impact on the environment and our health. Let me show you how.

If you can believe it, around 60,000,000 plastic bottles are used and discarded every single day in the US, adding to the already overflowing landfills full of toxic waste.

The sad fact is that the answer to, are plastic water bottles eco friendly is no. Only a few these days are as it costs more to manufacture them and therefore it lowers the company’s profits.

In addition, bottled water is no better for you than the tap variety, both being full of hundreds of toxic chemicals and often coming from the same source, yet costs anywhere from – a gallon for the privilege!

There are a few exceptional eco friendly plastic water bottles to be found, with the best being made of glass or a special stainless steel. You should ensure they are BPA free which means they will not leach out any chemicals into your water.

The best stainless steel ones have no chemical lining or plastic caps as these can still present an opportunity from chemicals to get into the contents. This is the problem that affects many of us today when we use ordinary plastic bottles.

The long term health effects are not fully known but it is not safe to leave any liquids sitting in your fridge or cupboards in a plastic container as the risks are too high and you are contributing to the landfill problems too.

The ultimate way to go is to install a home filtration system to remove all the harmful contaminants that exist in our supplies today and bottle your own healthy water for your trips out!

I always used to buy drinks out, especially for the kids and invariably in plastic bottles but now use glass bottles at home and chill them in the fridge ready to go out with.

It’s just simple and small changes to our habits that we need to do in order to become more earth friendly and promote our health as well. I hope I have helped to answer the question are plastic water bottles eco friendly and that you will try to only use eco friendly glass or stainless steel containers for the future.

Visit my website below if you would like to learn more about the types of eco friendly glass water bottles that I personally recommend and use.

 

Discover the best home water purifier today.

 

Ray Hamilton is a dedicated advocate and researcher of the incredible benefits of safe, clean healthy filtered water. Discover which products Ray recommends after extensive research.

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