Seana’s Sampler, Volume 5

Seana's Sampler of organizing and productivity tips and resources

It’s been awhile since my last “Seana’s Sampler.” In no particular order, here are some findings, thoughts, and discoveries that are making me smile. I hope you’ll enjoy perusing this content and come away with something you like!

Seana’s Sampler

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Solution I’m Loving

The issue of storing spices is surprisingly complex! They can be stored in a variety of locations:

  • In a drawer (loosely or on a rack)
  • Inside a built-in pull out cabinet
  • On a shelf in a cabinet or pantry
  • In a countertop organizer designed to hold spices

Further complicating matters is the fact not all spices come in a standard-sized container. For instance, sea salt or a spice blend might come in a giant cannister, while a few fronds of saffron might be in a decorative bottle. Then there is the question of whether to “decant” spices and put them in matching containers or leave them in their original packaging.

The good news is, there is no wrong answer. I work with individual clients to customize solutions that work for their space and cooking needs. Risers, inserts, and turntables can all work well.

Recently I became aware of this product from Vertical Spice. Their pull-out racks are designed for those who want to improve access to their spices within existing upper kitchen cabinetry. As someone who is “vertically challenged,” this is very appealing. These pull-outs come in differing sizes, and the company offers directions for how to ensure you order the right product to meet your needs. They require a bit of DIY installation but are pretty straightforward. A nice option!

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Podcast I’ve Been Loving

This podcast is hosted by a fellow professional organizer and a colleague of hers. It is called the “Be Brave” podcast, and they describe their podcast as follows:

“Welcome to The Be Brave Podcast where ordinary, badass, brave women speak their stories of courage and strength. We hope that by hearing the struggles and successes of women, just like you, it will help you BE BRAVE!

Their goal is to give a platform to women who have experienced and overcome very difficult circumstances, providing encouragement and practical strategies for others facing their own challenges. The podcast is geared toward women, but I honestly think the content would be of interest to audiences of any gender. The stories are serious, but incredibly inspiring. I have enjoyed listening in the car as I drive to clients. It is free, so check it out!

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Thought I’m Having

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I believe there is true freedom in getting organized. It feels terrific to know exactly where our belongings are, and to be able to find them easily and reliably when we need them. Putting items in labeled containers is one great way to bring order to a space. At the same time, a well-organized space is more than a collection of labeled bins. In fact, it is possible to have too many containers, which typically happens when we keep too much.

If you want your space to function well, remember to create and maintain breathing room. It is important to declutter before you organize; to reevaluate your items and decide what matters to you in the “here and now.” I encourage clients to seriously consider what they use, need, and love. Simply boxing items up and putting labels on them can actually crowd your space, making it hard to maintain order.

Before you go out and buy baskets, bins, or other storage supplies, do the work of matching your belongings to your priorities. Don’t waste your time, energy, and money on storage strategies for pieces that you would be better off releasing.

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Book I’m Loving

One of the offshoots of organizing that has become quite popular in recent years is genealogy.  Researching, detangling, and documenting family histories is quite an organizing task, so it is no surprise that many professional organizers have developed expertise in this area. My friend and fellow organizer, Hazel Thornton, has written a terrific book called, “What’s a Photo Without the Story? How to Create Your Family Legacy.” This book is a fun read, and the perfect choice for anyone interested in exploring family history. Hazel offers strategies for people who want to invest anything from a little to a lot of effort into the process. If you’ve got a box of old family photos you don’t know what to do with, or did an Ancestry.com test and want to delve deeper, this is a perfect place to start. After all, as Hazel says, “Everyone has stories to tell!”

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Tip I’m Sharing

This month I was thrilled to have my tips for organizing a linen closet included in a post on Porch.com. The article is entitled, “Designing and Organizing Your Dream Closet: Tips from the Experts,” and includes thoughts from multiple professional organizers on topics such as organizing baby clothes, organizing children’s closets, designing a new closet, and making good use of closet drawers. If your closets need a little help, head on over and check it out!

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Thanks for stopping by this latest sampler. Did any of these resonate with you?

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26 thoughts on “Seana’s Sampler, Volume 5”

  1. Seana, I love the spice organizer. Spices are one of those things that can clutter up a pantry or a kitchen cupboard really quickly. Having a way to keep them organized is wonderful! I keep my spices in a drawer but I am guilty of hanging onto them longer than I should. I’m a big fan of the very small jars of spices as I generally do not use too much at any one time. Congratulations on your article in Porch.com! It was a terrific read full of user-friendly tips.
    Diane N Quintana recently posted…How to Make Progress Towards Your GoalsMy Profile

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Diane! I also tend to hold onto SOME spices longer than I should. Some I use all the time and go through quickly, but a few I seem to use only once or twice a year. So smart to intentionally purchase small containers of these. I also think I ought to try and find some recipes and use those up – another method of decluttering, right?

  2. Love your “Sampler!” Those vertical spice storage pull-out racks are awesome. I love a good pull-out solution and these look sturdy and space efficient. Congrats on your feature in the Porch.com post! What a great process you shared for organizing a linen closet. I especially liked that you encouraged textile recycling.

    I just did a workshop about conquering clutter. And one of my points aligned with your “Thought I’m Having.” Before you give your things a “home,” make sure they are home-worthy. And if they aren’t, it’s time to let them go.

    1. I have recently come across a few people who are technically “organized,” but their space still isn’t working. Too much is just hard to access, use, and enjoy. It sort of seems obvious, but we can shift into autopilot and just buy more containers to store more stuff. This strategy feels like progress, but can actually lead to future struggles.

    1. It’s a great book, and I’m so glad that she’s been able to share her wisdom. Agree on spices. Having them organized just makes cooking more fun!

  3. Everything here is fabulous, Seana. You KNOW I love Hazel’s book, and of course I believe in purging before organizing — it’s like bathing before dressing! The Vertical Spice options are really appealing; I’m definitely taking note for clients. Meanwhile, I’m adding the Being Brave podcast to the lineup for myself! And it was absolutely a delight getting to be blog buddies with you in the “Designing and Organizing Your Dream Closet: Tips from the Experts.”

    Your Samplers always make me smile!
    Julie Bestry recently posted…Paper Doll Shares Secrets from the Task Management & Time Blocking Summit 2022My Profile

  4. Thanks for sharing what’s making you smile! 🙂

    I prefer to store my spices on a turntable/lazy Susan but those vertical pull-out spice racks are cool–a creative solution for preventing spice bottles from disappearing in the back of the cabinet. I checked out their website–they come in different sizes with the choice of one or two levels. Perfect for the active cook or budding chef!

    1. I think they offer a very nice solution. I have pull-outs and a lazy susan, as I tend to separate “large container” spices from my standard-sized ones. Having choices is always helpful, right?

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