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How to: Organise your kitchen

A helpful guide to de-cluttering your kitchen.

Have you ever found yourself jumping back to avoid a rogue jar, container or bag of flour when you open your kitchen cupboards? Or have you ever wondered how much time you’ve wasted searching for measuring cups or food storage lids? If so, you’re probably in need of some kitchen organisation.

Organising your kitchen not only saves you time and bumps on the head from Tupperware avalanches. It also helps you keep your kitchen clean, as it’s much easier to wipe down and tidy an uncluttered space. Our home cleaning and organisation experts at Merry Maids can help. In fact, we’ve put our heads together to give you our four favourite kitchen organisation tips, all in one place.

1. Free up space with hooks and racks

Overall, the best way to maintain a clutter-free kitchen is to clear out cabinets and drawers and keep countertops clean. And hanging items to keep them off of counters is an excellent means of doing this. Here are several ways you can organise your kitchen by hanging cookware and other kitchen necessities:

Install a magnetic knife strip above your countertops to keep them free of bulky knife racks.
Use small hooks to hang coffee mugs and measuring cups under cabinets and shelves or on the inside of cabinet doors.
Hang a pot and pan rack from the ceiling so you have easy access to cookware and don’t clutter your cabinets.
Invest in a wall-mounted kitchen storage rack that can be used to hold everything from spoons and whisks to sponges and dishwashing soap.

This is a great method if you’re organising a small kitchen, as hanging items can help you maximize every square inch of the room.

2. Organise your kitchen with shelves

It may seem obvious, but shelves can work wonders when it comes to kitchen organisation, they can open up the valuable cabinet and counter space. One means of organising your kitchen using shelves is to install them to hold frequently used items. For example, you could hang a shelf with olive oil, spices, and even cookbooks over your stove so they’re handy when you’re preparing meals.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of shelving and kitchen organisation. What’s less obvious is where you can put, or even hide shelves. For example, you can add them to the inside of your cabinets as a quick way of increasing your storage space – which is especially helpful when organising a small kitchen. You can even purchase tiered shelves that make it easy to spot ingredients, eliminating the time-consuming emptying of cupboards to search for what you need.

3. Keep the kitchen tidy using containers

Never underestimate the tidying effect that containers and bins have when organising your kitchen. For starters, baking ingredients such as different flours and sugars can be poured into containers and stacked, freeing up precious space on your cabinets and counters. To take your kitchen organisation one step further you can label each container so you know what’s inside. Another great use for containers is to store items that tend to spill as a result of their original packaging, like dry beans, pasta and rice.

In addition, there are many different types of bins and containers that can be used to declutter your fridge, which can help keep it clean. These can be found online by searching for unique organisational finds from places like Amazon, or locally through a department store. You can expect to find numerous space-saving storage items including bins that dispense cans, thin water pitchers and organisers for your fridge.

4. Keep the kitchen tidy using containers

When organising a small kitchen, one thing that can really help is dividers. With that being said, they’re incredibly useful in any size kitchen.

How do they help? Well, picture the inside of your drawers. Aside from the silverware drawer, things are probably pretty chaotic in there. Measuring spoons tangled with whisks and mixer attachments. Silicone spatulas hiding under the cheese grater. Dividers can help keep all of these items separated. That way, when you open a drawer looking for something, you don’t have to rummage around to find it. It’ll be right there with similar items.

Vertical dividers can also be used to organise kitchen cabinets. They’re a great way to keep chopping boards, pan lids and baking sheets orderly.

If you’d like a little extra help with the cleaning and organisation of your home, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your nearest Merry Maids business to schedule a free quote from our of our teams of friendly cleaning professionals.  

Written by Tom Page, Digital Content Writer

Home organisation solutions: Unique Amazon finds

Unique de-cluttering solutions that you can have delivered to your front door.

Whichever way you slice it – clutter is not great for you. It’s unsightly, irritating, and has been proven to make it harder to focus. Not only that, but clutter can also have real and detrimental effects on your health, as proven by this study from Nicole R. Keith from the Indiana University in the United States that found that people who kept their homes clean were healthier and more active.

But keeping your home free of clutter is easier said than done and it can be hard to stay on top of it all on your own, especially in a busy home with kids and pets running around. At Merry Maids, we know that a little helping hand never goes amiss. That’s why we’ve put together a list of items that you can buy from Amazon UK to help you organise and de-clutter your home.  

1. Over-the-door pantry organiser

Is your pantry overcrowded with unused cereal boxes, expired pasta, bags, and spices galore? Maximise your pantry by utilising the space behind the door with this handy Smart Design over-the-door organiser. Retailing at £63.94, this handy tool can help minimise the amount of disorder in your pantry with fewer things stuck at the back or not in an easily accessible place.

2. Container lid organisers

An “out of sight, out of mind” approach is typical for Tupperware organisation (or lack thereof) in most homes. If you’re like us and are tired of looking at mountains of bowls and lids that don’t match, we recommend investing in a container lid organiser from YouCopia. For £52.05, this item will free up space and eliminate the threat of a container lid avalanche every time you open the cupboard!

3. Pot and lid rack

Speaking of necessary kitchenware disarray: your pots, pans, and lids are likely overdue for a significant organisation overhaul. Luckily, the cookware you use daily will be easily accessible and organised with this heavy-duty pan rack from CAXXA. For £55.42, you can make your cabinets much more manageable. And by maximising space with this vertical storage solution, you’ll also be protecting your delicate cookware long-term.

4. Cleaning supplies holder

If you’ve been looking for a way to organise your home and keep your essential cleaning supplies off the floor and out of the way, we’ve got just the home storage solution for you. For £44.17, Commandä Brand broom grippers are perfect for securing brooms, mops, dusters, and dustpans to the wall for easy access and ideal vertical storage.

5. Cereal containers

Parents, this home storage solution is for you! For cereal-loving parents tired of having to come behind children to close cereal boxes constantly, you’ll want to get your hands onsome plastic canister organisers from Chef’s Path. At £59.97, these airtight containers keep cereal and other snacks fresh for consumption. You can finally stop worrying if your next morning bowl of cereal will be ready to eat or for a bin bag.

6. Stackable water bottle holder

No matter what you use your water bottles for, with a stackable water bottle holder from MetroDécor for £65.64, your fitness and organisation goals don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Simply keep this home organisation product on your counter or conceal it in a cabinet or pantry and voila: no more water bottle clutter.

7. Carrier bag dispenser

Do you have that one piece of kitchen space that should be used for chopping boards and bakeware but instead houses months of plastic carrier bags? We get it. To recycle and protect the planet, you’ve accumulated a hefty collection of plastic bags that are now overflowing. Our home organisation remedy is the Simplehuman carrier bag dispenser. Costing just £13.95, and with a modern, stainless-steel face, you can mount this dispenser on your wall to get it out of the way but still have easy access to it.

8. Space-saving hanger

A sometimes time consuming but necessary job to do when organising is taking stock of the clothes in your wardrobe. But one sure-fire way to help streamline the process is to rid your wardrobe of unused items before you start organising. Not only that, but IEOKE’s space-saving hanger is a clever answer to the vertical storage problem. These hangers make multifunctional magic inside your wardrobe, allowing you to save up to 80% of your space.

9. Merry Maids

For a thorough cleaning and de-cluttering service straight to your door, find your nearest Merry Maids today to book a free quote for a one-off or regular cleaning service from our cleaning and organisation experts.

Written by Tom Page, Digital Content Writer

 

Top tips for organising your garage

When was the last time you looked at organising your garage?

Often, we use our garages for storing more than cars. Whether you use it to store the lawnmower, Christmas decorations, or tools, your garage can become a black hole for bits and bobs. And it’s rarely organised chaos. Studies have found that the UK stores over 5 times as much clutter as the rest of Europe! 1 in 2 of us admit to holding on to things for longer than we should, and 1 in 3 say don’t like the idea of getting rid of our possessions.

One thing is clear – the UK could use a good de-cluttering. In the past, we’ve discussed some tips for de-cluttering your home. But it’s time to get specific and flesh out some of our previous advice so your garage can become more than a utility catch-all. No matter the state of your garage, Merry Maids is here to help you start making some impactful changes to your garage today.

Start with Cleaning

Before you can organise your garage, you need to clean and declutter so that you can determine what can stay and what needs to go. This part might seem overwhelming, which is why we have some ideas to help the process go faster.

Setting aside an allotted day or (even a whole weekend) will allow you the optimal time to sort through your items and better understand your situation. After all, it took you more than a day to accumulate everything, so it’s going to take some time to clean and organise it all. It will also help you to get help from others. We love to use the phrase, “teamwork makes the dream work,” and in this case – it applies well. When it comes to a major undertaking like cleaning your garage, recruiting friends and family to help will make all the difference.

Items to Avoid Storing in Your Garage

Garages don’t usually come with instructions or dos and don’ts for garage maintenance. Most of us just emulate the habits we picked up as children once we have a garage of our own. However, several hazardous items are not suitable for storing inside your garage. Such as:

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Alcohol or wine
  • Vintage photos
  • Paintings
  • Irreplaceable documents
  • Delicate clothing

A good rule of thumb is to avoid storing materials that temperature fluctuations could damage, solutions that could be flammable, and belongings that moisture and humidity might destroy.

Organising your garage on a budget

If you want your garage to be more efficient and useful for your lifestyle, we have a few organisational ideas that are easy to do and won’t break the bank.

  1. Incorporate Open Shelving – Knowing what’s in your garage is one of the first things to help maintain your garage organisation. Items on open shelving will keep you from storing things without a designated home inside a cabinet and hoping it doesn’t all spill out later. Some open shelving options you can incorporate into your garage could include:
  • An overhead storage rack to utilize ceiling space
  • 3- to 4-shelf plastic units to get items off the ground
  • Wall-mounted ball storage to house sporting equipment
  1. Keep Items off the Floor – Your garage floors are never a good place to store things. There’s always the potential that valuable equipment could be damaged or broken. When you start planning out your garage layout (after the tedious cleaning is done), pick up items previously kept on the floor and put them somewhere safe and out of the way.
  2. Use Pegboards for Vertical Storage – Many homeowners have already jumped on this versatile wall organising hack. When you have oddly shaped items that won’t fit in a draw or storage bin, mounting them to the wall keeps them off the floor and easily accessible. You can use pegboards for various things, including power tools, sporting equipment, bikes, lawn care equipment, and more.
  3. Add Labels to Plastic Bins – While clear plastic bins are an ideal storage option for things you don’t use daily, sometimes, being able to see what’s inside a bin isn’t enough. Labelling boxes, bins, or buckets is a sure-fire way to help your entire family prevent cluttering up the garage again. Before you start, make sure to label containers with items you or your family use often. For instance, sports equipment or tools are great for labelled storage containers because they’re used often and have a designated spot in your garage that everyone is privy to.
  4. Purchase a Small Drawer System for Loose Items – Your garage tends to be the space for large tools and tiny objects like nails, washers, and screws. Home improvement and craft stores sell mini drawer units to store these small yet easily misplaced objects. When you invest time in organising these loose items, you make finding them easier and losing them virtually impossible.

Organising your garage will take some planning, but when it’s all said and done, you’ll be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy your newly organised space. For the rest of your home, your nearest Merry Maids business is here to help you clean up and declutter to make your home the pristine and well-kept sanctuary you deserve.

Back to school organisation tips

With Summer coming to a close and the new school term edging closer, getting back into a routine can be challenging.

The following tips can help you get your home ready and organised for the first school term.

Continue to follow government guidelines on COVID

While more than 47 million people in the UK have had at least one dose of the Coronavirus vaccine, it’s still vital that you follow government health guidelines to protect yourself and those around you. A few simple things you can continue to do include:

  • Washing your hands regularly
  • Wearing a reusable face mask when picking your child/children up from school
  • Cleaning high-traffic areas and high-touch surfaces regularly
  • Keeping a close eye on individuals showing symptoms

Create a Homework Station

It’s important for a small, quiet area, preferably with a desk, to be tidied and organised for your children to have their own space to do their homework.

You can organise all of the school/office supplies within this area, including pens, scissors, highlighters, pencils and anything else they may need.

Having everything in one place should discourage them from getting distracted and wander off to search for any items they may need.

Organise the School Bags

Always make sure that before and after school the kid’s bags are organised, as they will get out of hand if you’re not careful!

Our recommendation is to keep the backpacks hanging up near the front door, making sure homework and anything like permission slips are removed from the bag. Everything else, if not needed to stay within the bags.

Create a school bag checklist for you and your kids to go through every morning to ensure nothing is forgotten.

Have it All on a Checklist

We’ve all got out of routine by now after spending summer days out with the family, but now it’s time to get organised.

For younger school children have a point by point checklist, which should include things such as;

  • Make the bed
  • Eat breakfast
  • Clean dishes
  • Brush teeth
  • Organise bag etc.

The checklist should include after school chores as well, such as cleaning and packing lunchboxes, doing homework & taking care of chores.

Have Clothes Ready To Go

Laying out clothes for the next day is a huge time saver for you and your kids.

You could even be extremely organised and lay out clothes for the whole week, including clothes for the evening as well as school uniform.

Get your kids into a routine of doing this on a Sunday afternoon, and then check they’ve got everything they need for the whole week.

What to include;

  • School uniform for the week
  • Gym kit for gym day or any after school sports
  • Evening clothes to change into when they’re home

 

With the help of these back to school organisation tips, you’ll be back on a slick schedule in no time at all.

However, the increased amount of activities during school time can leave you begging for more time to complete your daily housekeeping schedule. That’s where we can help, get in contact with your local Merry Maids today.

Home Office Organisation Tips

With it being ‘Organise Your Home Office Day’ today and a lot more people working from home due to the pandemic, we thought we’d share with you how to organise your home office, so you can spend less time hunting for documents or wrestling with wires.

Organising your Bills and Post

Most people have to contend with paper bills and post in spite of the fact that today’s world is mostly digitized, and nothing seems to pile up quicker than paper. These home office organisation ideas can help you tame the chaos:

  • Place labelled magazine holders on your desktop or wall to create out of the way in and out boxes. You can also use these to store letterheaded paper, stationery and envelopes
  • Keep a recycling bin and\or shredder nearby to ensure your deck isn’t cluttered with paperwork and mail you don’t need
  • Devise a colour-coding system and file post, bills and important paperwork accordingly. Take this method to the next step by labelling each file so you don’t spend hours hunting for paperwork

Divide and Conquer

When you’re figuring out how to organise your home office, don’t underestimate the value of making sure all of your desk items have a place of their own. Here are some ideas for home office organisation that can help you keep that desk area straight:

  • Drawer dividers: These shallow trays are excellent for keeping everything organised, from USB drives, sticky notes to pens and staples
  • Containers: Containers can be used to hold everything you don’t need immediately, including files and backup printer paper
  • Filing inserts: Install one of these in a deeper desk drawer so you can keep those colour-coded files out of sight
  • Labels: Avoid wasting time opening and shutting drawers on storage containers by labelling each drawer front with the names of all the items stored within
  • Bunch together: Place like items near one another, for example, store envelopes and stamps together to make your workspace more efficient
  • Wall space: Install shelves to hold reference books, stationery and other home office odds and ends
  • Control your cords: Use binder clips or other clips to keep computer cords and cables wrangled. Tip: You’ll find plenty of ideas for this on Pinterest.

Do Some Quick Cleaning

It honestly takes more time to think about how to keep your desk clean than it does to actually clean it, make sure you take some time to do the following:

  • Put pens, pencils, USB drives and calculators back in their place
  • Take the time to shred or recycle paperwork you don’t need any longer so your desktop is clear
  • File any documents that you’ll need in the future and replace files neatly
  • Return coffee mugs or any snack dishes to the kitchen
  • Quickly tidy up your desk each time you finish working

That’s how to keep your desk clean, and it takes all but five minutes.

Now you’ve figured out how to organise your home office, you can contact your local Merry Maids to keep your office and the rest of your home clean.

Tips on using your time wisely

Do you use your time wisely or have you found that running around like a headless chicken, feeling rushed and crazed has become the norm?

Life can seem overwhelming on occasions, but knowing how to balance time between family, friends, work, housekeeping and yourself can decrease your stress levels, keep you organised and make life more enjoyable.

Work out how to manage your time, so that you can maintain a clean house while still doing the things you love. Check out the following tips on using time wisely.

Stick to a Cleaning Schedule

When thinking about how to organise your time and keep a tidy home, you need to start off by outlining a daily cleaning routine. This will help you add structure to your housekeeping, so that you can stay on track and also enable you to set small, manageable goals, so that you don’t get overwhelmed and abandon tasks.

Make a To-Do List

Get your week started off right by having a to-do list ready to go.

Include anything from items on your cleaning schedule and trips to the grocery store to your daily workout and reading for an hour at night. Batching tasks together — such as prepping lunch for the next day and cleaning kitchen counters — can help you be more efficient, so that you have a chance to do the things you enjoy.

In addition, being organised will allow yourself plenty of buffer time in between errands and chores, which will reduce any worries about getting behind.

Try Bullet Journaling

Bullet journals are all the rage these days, as they allow you a creative means to track your accomplishments. These notebooks can start out as simple logs in which you record tasks you need to take care of, such as drinking enough water, working out, cleaning, organising and so forth. Whatever you want to keep an eye on goes in your bullet journal.

Though they can be very plain, many people make them fun by using them as a means of artistic expression. Check out bullet journal ideas on Pinterest for some inspiration on making your own journal a time-saving masterpiece.

Practice Mindfulness

Being “mindful” allows you to use time wisely, as you’re focusing all of your attention and energy on a single task at hand.

For example, if you’re organising the fridge and/or freezer, you might get distracted when taking items off the shelves. The next thing you know, you’re unpacking the cabinets and your kitchen drawers to rearrange those, and your initial task has been forgotten.

If you were practising mindfulness, however, you’d complete the fridge/freezer organisation before moving on to another part of the kitchen. This not only makes you more likely to finish household chores, it keeps your mind tuned into one thing, so you do the best job possible and don’t get overwhelmed.

Take Some Time for You

There’s no point in using time wisely if there’s none left over for you at the end of the day. Don’t be afraid to turn down the occasional requests to have lunch with friends or even an invite to join your video chat catch-up with friends. When you bite off more than you can chew, you end up stressed out and wondering when you’ll ever get a chance to tidy up and have a moment to yourself.

Even when you know how to manage your time, there will still be occasions when you may need some backup.

For instance, you might find you’re too busy to stick to a cleaning schedule during the school year or around the holidays. If that’s the case, don’t waste a minute worrying: let the professionals at your local Merry Maids take care of the housekeeping for you, so you can spend time doing the things you truly enjoy.

De-clutter your wardrobe

With us currently having to stay at home now is the perfect time to clear out your wardrobe, and make space for your new-season buys.

If the thought of organising your wardrobe fills you with dread, fear not, we’ve put together some top tips to make sure it’s ready for the season ahead – a great excuse to get online and buy some more clothes!

Be ruthless

Bag any clothes you haven’t worn in over a year and take them to a charity shop when possible, if you’re finding some items too hard to part with, bundle them up and store them away.

If you haven’t missed them after two seasons, they’re already packaged for giving away.

‘Merchandise’ your wardrobe like a professional

Arrange your wardrobe so similar items hang together. When shorter items, like shirts, are grouped together you may have space underneath for a shoe rack or even a small chest of drawers.

Freshen up and economise

Reduce cleaning bills by airing an outfit for a few hours after wearing it instead of popping it right back in the wardrobe or washing.

Clothes will stay fresher for longer and you should notice a difference in your bills.

Maximise space

Check outa any space above the hanging rails in your wardrobe, as there may be room for an additional shelf for out of season shoes, bags or other items.

You can use the back of your wardrobe door for shelf supports. Extra hooks can hold robes, or you could use the space for a tie or belt rack.

Get the professionals in

If all else fails you can rely on us to get your home clutter-free and clean. Our maids are all professionally trained and have the knowledge and ability to make your house sparkle.

 

Back to School Organisation

With Summer coming to a close and the new school term edging closer, getting back into a routine can be challenging.

The following tips can help you get your home ready for the upcoming days of homework, and other school activities within the next few months.

Create a Homework Station

It’s important for a small, quiet area, preferably with a desk, to be tidied and organised for your children to have their own space to do their homework.

You can organise all of the school/office supplies within this area, including pens, scissors, highlighters, pencils and anything else they may need.

Having everything in one place should discourage them from getting distracted and wander off to search for any items they may need.

Organise the School Bags

Always make sure that before and after school the kid’s bags are organised, as they will get out of hand if you’re not careful!

Our recommendation is to keep the backpacks hanging up near the front door, making sure homework and anything like permission slips are removed from the bag. Everything else, if not needed to stay within the bags.

Create a school bag checklist for you and your kids to go through every morning to ensure nothing is forgotten.

Have it All on a Checklist

We’ve all got out of routine by now after spending summer days out with the family, but now it’s time to get organised.

For younger school children have a point by point checklist, which should include things such as;

  • Make the bed
  • Eat breakfast
  • Clean dishes
  • Brush teeth
  • Organise bag etc.

The checklist should include after school chores as well, such as cleaning and packing lunchboxes, doing homework & taking care of chores.

Have Clothes Ready To Go

Laying out clothes for the next day is a huge time saver for you and your kids.

You could even be extremely organised and lay out clothes for the whole week, including clothes for the evening as well as school uniform.

Get your kids into a routine of doing this on a Sunday afternoon, and then check they’ve got everything they need for the whole week.

What to include;

  • School uniform for the week
  • Gym kit for gym day or any after school sports
  • Evening clothes to change into when they’re home

 

With the help of these back to school organisation tips, you’ll be back on a slick schedule in no time at all.

However, the increased amount of activities during school time can leave you begging for more time to complete your daily housekeeping schedule. That’s where we can help, get in contact with your local Merry Maids today.