Showing posts with label kitchen organization. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kitchen organization. Show all posts

Monday, February 1, 2021

OXO Good Grips POP Container Review

 I have been searching for large canisters for my kitchen but none seemed to suit me. The cute canisters were too small or didn't seal. The large canisters weren't a nice shape or were far too expensive. I recently came across the OXO Good Grips POP containers and purchased just one for a test run. I was skeptical of the fit of the lid. But after filling the first container with flour, I quickly bought 5 more containers because I liked the first one so much.



I need more organization and better pest-proofing. In an apartment, with an extremely small kitchen space, I can never seem to store everything in a way that makes sense and allows me to access everything I need easily. Organization has become even more difficult during these times of social distancing and remote working. Between trying to make fewer trips to the store and stocking up when things are available, my kitchen has been bursting at the seams. In addition to the space issue, the pest issue has been more troublesome. Dry goods (especially flour, rice, and pasta) have potential for the presence of insects in the cleanest of kitchens. Then add neighbors and a rental situation on top of that and food loss is increasingly possible.

OXO Good Grips POP Containers

The OXO Good Grips POP containers are clear, hard plastic (BPA free) canisters with lids that have a softer plastic/rubber gasket. 

The lid has a push button that breaks the airtight seal and allows the lid to be opened. I love that it operates with one hand. Push the button, release the seal and the button pops up, and the lid can be lifted off with one hand. My other hand is free to continue stirring or doing other things. (Do not attempt to carry the containers by the lid button. If the button is up, the lid is not secure.) Press the button down, it is flush with the top, and the lid is sealed.

The containers are stackable which saves space.

The containers are clear - making it easy to see the contents of each one.

These OXO canisters can be found locally or on Amazon. I purchased mine first container at Target and  the remainder via Amazon. At that time - using Prime free shipping - they were several dollars less expensive through Amazon and arrived at my doorstep.

Living in a metro area, I fell into the habit of stopping at the grocery store every 2-3 days on the way home from work. I tended to buy what I needed for only the next few days. We our area closed down I could easily be out of flour after one or two batches of biscuits or loaves of bread. I would be out of pasta after just a few meals. During the pandemic shut-down, I occasionally had to stop at 3 different grocery stores to get the ingredients for a single meal. With these containers, I can keep a larger amount of food and be less reliant on multiple trips to the store. 

I am also happy to have found the OXO canisters as they are exactly what I want in my future kitchen. My home is under constructions. The kitchen there will be small but over two times larger than the kitchen in my apartment. In the new home, I will have both a pantry and open shelves. I have always imagined clear containers on those shelves; making it easy to spot what I am looking for and always know quantities without having to open containers and look in. In the pantry, I have always imagined containers that can stack. 



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It seems I am not the only Review This Contributor who trusts the OXO brand. Margaret reviews the OXO bread pan. She writes "I discovered the OXO Good Grips Non-Stick Pro Baking Pan line while researching options for replacing my old Teflon nonstick baking pans with ones that had newer, more durable, and safer PFOA-free coatings". Read her full review here.

I still love my biscuit jar. The jar is not airtight but is perfect for housing fresh biscuits or cookies on the countertop. There is nothing better than having A Jar Full of Biscuits. These biscuits are one of the reasons I need so much flour on hand. Yum!

A biscuit worthy of display in a jar on the countertop.






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Friday, November 27, 2020

Deluxe Spicy Shelf for Spice Organization in Kitchen Cabinets or Pantries Reviewed

Spice Organization
Two years ago, I added gripper clips to my cabinet pantry door for easy access to the spices I use most often. They are truly fabulous and convenient. However, I still had dozens of spices, seasonings, baking extracts, powders, etc. tucked away and often lost in the depths of my pantry.  

I've had a carousel tray on the top shelf of my pantry to at least keep the spices all together, but the small containers somehow managed to flip off the carousel and get lost.  Or worse, they would keep the carousel from turning and cause an avalanche of spice containers.  Of course, that always happened when I was cooking and trying to find something quickly.

My son often heard me complain about my pantry cabinet and spice organization.  This past Mother's Day, he surprised me with the Deluxe Spicy Shelf.  I was thrilled!  I had never seen one before, but the picture on the box looked totally awesome and perfect for my needs.  Then, I opened the box!  Yikes!!!  The number of pieces to assemble my new deluxe spicy shelf intimidated me immediately.  I set the gift aside to construct "later".  Even I didn't realize "later" meant 5 months later.


Assembling My Deluxe Spicy Shelf

Deluxe Spice Shelf
Knowing the holidays were fast approaching and I would soon be seeking out those least often used spices, I set aside an afternoon to assemble my much needed organizer shelf.  With no small amount of dread, I opened the box once again.

Imagine my utter shock that it took me less than 30 minutes to assemble the shelves, remove the content from my pantry, and set it all back in completely organized, easy to see and so much easier to find a specific item.  I was so giddy that is was all accomplished in so little time that I considered putting it all in alphabetical order.  I stayed my hand there though because I wanted the things I would need for Thanksgiving toward the front.  Extra, unopened spices went to the back, but I can easily see them!  

As you can see in the photo below, I even found a great use for my carousel.  It has been serving me for so long, I didn't have the heart to toss it.

Spice Shelf

Because my cabinet pantry is so deep, I set one shelf in front of the other, instead of stacking them.  As you can see, that is perfect for me.  My short spices now tower over the taller bottles.

Because I have a few economy size spice bottles, I set them just in front of my carousel.  They are very easy to lift out and grab what I need from behind them.  No more tearing the cabinet apart to find one small bottle.

Spicy Shelf Organizer




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Sunday, July 28, 2019

Simple DIY Hack to Help Organize Your Kitchen Drawers

DIY Hack for Organizing Kitchen Drawers
Yesterday was the day I tackled the massive kitchen drawer disaster.

It was Instagram's fault. An amazing organized drawer systems stole my attention and that was all it took. However, the Instagram post featured a stunning brand new kitchen with professional pre-installed drawer sorters.

So that got me thinking …. How can I DIY this with things I already own?

DIY organizational hacks are one of my fave things to do. For me, sorting and organizing is relaxing. Yah, I know, to some of you, that's crazy talk. It's the end result that drives me. I'll work my tail off to get to that finished look!

A Flower Vase to Hold the Important Cooking Utensils

First I had to lessen the amount of utensils in the drawers. So I put all the most useful cooking items in a vase, and placed it beside the stove. Very handy indeed. If you hate counter clutter, put it inside a cupboard or pantry.

Use a Flower Vase to Hold Cooking Utensils

Line the Drawers with a Piece of Carpet

No, not shag or thick carpeting. We used a piece of industrial hard twist with shallow grooves. They're actually extra rugs we have on hand. The most important part of this DIY hack is to ensure the carpet has a rubber non-slip backing.

Just measure the drawer and cut the carpet to fit. With a non-slip backing, even if it's not a tight fit, it won't slide around.

Carpet with Rubber Backing Keeps Utensils in Place

We open and close the above drawer multiple times a day and not one utensil slips or slides. Each item has a spot and stays put. When we need an item, it's clearly visible. No more digging!

The Carpet Prevents Slipping and Sliding

We already had an inexpensive silverware divider in the top drawer, however it kept sliding around. The constant opening and closing of the drawer would cause the items placed in front to get caught or slide completely under the sorter.

Take a look at the silverware drawer now. With the rug as a base, the plastic sorter doesn't slide and the few items we keep in the front no longer move.

With the Carpet as the Base
the Sorter and Loose Items Stay in Place

The same thing applies for the third drawer. The plastic sorter no longer slides and the items along the side and edges stay in place.

The nice thing about using a piece of carpet (with rubber backing), is that even if your plastic sorters don't exactly fit, they won't move around on the carpet. So you can put utensils in front, behind or on the sides, and they too will stay in place.

Line the Kitchen Drawer with Carpet

Since renovating our kitchen is on the agenda, I've been avoiding tackling any projects, because, well, I want the reno more! But this DIY hack was fun. Glad we did it. 

If you're planning a kitchen reno, check out these professionally design pantries! There's nothing DIY here, they're all 10s!






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Friday, May 4, 2018

Cabinet Door Spice Gripper Clips Strips Reviewed

Cabinet Door Spice Gripper Clips Strips Reviewed
Sometimes the simplest things are truly the best solutions! 

I have spent months trying to find a spice rack for my kitchen that would be pretty and convenient.   I looked at shelves, counter-top carousels, cabinet shelf risers and more.   I even considered converting one of my kitchen drawers into a spice holder.  But none of those ideas were the solutions I really wanted.

In our previous home, I had a gorgeous spice cabinet that I absolutely loved.  However, when we moved into our current house, that rack was too tall to hang on the wall between my cabinets and counter.  While I welcomed the taller kitchen cabinets, I really did hate to say goodbye to my lovely spice rack, but life moved on.  

At that time, I settled for an ugly, plastic carousel that would fit in my panty which was meant to be a temporary solution.  Now, nearly 20 years later, I am still using that carousel, except over the years it has been shoved further and further back into the pantry so I don't have to look at it every time I open the pantry door.  The spices I used most often sat on the front of the pantry shelf for easy access, but when I needed something behind them, it was a major pain to move everything around. 

This past Thanksgiving highlighted how desperately I needed a different spice storage solution.  With at least 4 cooks in my kitchen, too much of my own time was spent searching for the spices we needed back on the old carousel.  If anyone else tried to find a spice, they inevitably knocked jars off the spinning carousel.  

Truly, enough was enough!   And, so the search begin.  You can see my solution pictured on the right.



Pantry Door Spice Holder Installation


Pantry Cabinet Door Spice Rack Glipper Clips Strips
I resolved my problem with a set of Spice Gripper Clip Strips.  These strips were extremely easy to put up.  I cleaned the door with the alcohol pad that was included, removed the back tape protector strip and pressed my new gripper clips in place.  I did not use the included screws.  They were not necessary.   

My new spice holders are lightweight and plastic which means they will probably break eventually with daily use, but they are so inexpensive that I am not sweating that eventuality.  The convenience of having my spices hung on the pantry door is well worth any downside in the future.

Viola', instant spice rack inside my panty door and extremely convenient! 

I will be the very first to tell you how shocked I am that I love, I mean absolutely love my new spice gripper clips.  I should have done this decades ago.
 


Pantry Door Spice Holders Description


 SimpleHouseware 30 Spice Gripper Clips Strips Cabinet Holder - 6 Strips, Holds 30 JarsCheck PriceThe gripper clip strips have 5 clips per strip.  However, you can separate them into shorter strips if so desired.  The 5 clip strips are perfect for my pantry door, so I didn't need to shorten them.  

I was originally concerned that the space used when the door closed would be basically the same if the spices were still sitting on the shelf.  But, I was amazed to see that less than an inch of space is required to remain bare on the shelf in the front to accommodate the hanging spices.  Fabulous!  Not only do I have new convenient spice holders, but they are also space-savers.  Even better!!!

The strip package is a combination of white hangers and black hangers.  I used both.  Mixing them does not bother me even though I thought it would.  Perhaps, I am just grateful to have a spice holder solution. 

The only negative that I have found is that I will be required to replace each spice with the size spice jar on each clip once I use it the first time.  Since the hangers are plastic, they won't spring back to a smaller size once they are stretched out to hold a wide bottle.  Again, I can live with that.  After all, there are no nail or screw holes in my pantry door and I prefer that mild downside over holes in my cabinet door.

 
    


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Additional Kitchen Organization Suggestions and Reviews on Review This!
 
Kitchen OrganizationOrganizing Your Kitchen Cupboards - Where to Start?
Get organized in your pantry - let me show you how I overcame a couple of the problem areas in my kitchen cupboard.

Wall Decor 3 Ways to Add Color to Your Wall Without Painting
Check out these three creative ways to add color to your walls without having to paint. The metal spice racks are particularly stylish. They fit with virtually any d├ęcor style; modern, rustic, country, contemporary, and traditional.

Kitchen Cupboard Storage Ideas Basic Cupboard Storage Ideas to Consider When You're Doing a Kitchen Makeover
Planning a kitchen re-do? Check out these basic cupboard storage design ideas first.... 




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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Reviewing Plastic Bag Sealing Clips

 Click to Buy a Set of 38 Plastic Sealing Bag Clips
One of the cheaper, yet indispensable items in my kitchen are my plastic bag clips. We use these without even thinking about it and yet I don't think I've ever seen them reviewed - until now that is!

Have you ever tried them? They usually come in packs, often consisting of different size clips and they are an absolute godsend in my kitchen let me tell you.

I thought everyone used them until one of the young accountants I work with came out holding a small one and asked 'do you know what this is?' Even after telling him what it was used for he looked at me as though I was from another planet - so maybe NOT everyone has them!

Why Do You Need Plastic Bag Sealing Clips?  


To keep your food fresh of course!  Seriously I use these bag clips for lots of different things.  People who know me (or have read some of my posts on kitchen organization) would know that I do like to use containers to store things in, but sometimes that's not always possible.

plastic bag sealing clips
Photo by Lou of Lou's Designs
Let me give you two examples - if you look at the photo you'll see I have a bag of spiral pasta and a bag of brown rice with sealing clips on them.

I usually have dried spaghetti and dried penne at home and I keep them in containers, but I wanted to try a recipe using spiral pasta.  Now I could have found a container and used my favorite pink labelling machine to label it spiral pasta, but I didn't know if I'd be buying another packet so I just used a bag clip.

With the brown rice I had a container with basmati rice in it and one with long grain white rice.  I have just brought a new container to use for the brown rice, but for the last month (the previous brown rice I had came in a resealable bag) I've used a bag clip as you can see.

How to Keep Chips Fresh After Opening The Bag?


You simply grab some bag clips!  I love my bag clips when it comes to corn chips as when making nachos using corn chips I usually have some left in the bag.  Now we used to just snack on them until they were finished, but by saving them (we usually have nachos on the weekend instead of takeout) I find that I'm saving myself one bag of corn chips a month on my grocery bill!

We haven't been having nachos as much lately and I realized that I'd had a bag of corn chips in the pantry (sealed with a clip) for three weeks and you know what - they were still fresh!  Need I say more.

Now chocolate is my downfall, but my husband's weakness is potato chips and it's often cheaper to purchase large bags than smaller ones, but I really don't want him to eat a large bag - I also don't want to waste any.  Since we've found that our bag sealing clips work so well with corn chips we've tested them on potato chips and they keep them fresh too - win/win!

Can You Use Plastic Food Clips in the Freezer?


can you use plastic bag clips in the freezer
Photo by Lou16
Absolutely!  I don't know how you store your packets of frozen peas or frozen sweetcorn once you've opened them, but I use food clips.  I figured if they were plastic they would be fine and I was right!

Are There Other Uses for Plastic Bag Sealing Clips?


Probably, but these are the ones I use them for and I think that is plenty.  Let me know if you have other uses for them in the comments.

For an inexpensive 'gadget' this is one kitchen tool that everyone should have in their kitchens.  I know some people say well I use ziplock bags and I admit I use them too, but seriously if you can use the bag it came in why waste more plastic bags for storage?











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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Organizing Your Kitchen Cupboards - Where to Start?

Organizing your kitchen cabinets!
I don't know about you, but my kitchen cupboards get messy (and we won't even talk about the odds 'n ends drawer!).  I think in my mind I believe I should have a walk in pantry, but in reality I don't which means that it's not big enough!  Back in the real world I'm sure that my pantry is big enough for my household, I just need to review how to organize it better!

I did buy an expandable metal shelf for the cupboard that houses my mugs and teas and this was fantastic, but I didn't think it would work the best for my pantry.

Problem number one is herbs and spices.  Now the old spice racks that I used to have would be great except I have no where to put them and also I have a couple of herbs and spices that I buy in larger containers as I use more of them.

Problem number two is cans.  I buy quite a few canned goods especially when they're on special, but I have to stack them on top of each other to see what I have and if I want to use something it can no longer be stacked so it sits behind something else and get's doubled up.

A solution?  I came across a three tier cabinet organizer and thought yes, this could be it!  I tested it out with my herbs and spices and then with my cans and went back to get a second one.

Now I know you can get can organizers that you can fit lots of cans in and they just roll out, but I just didn't think that would work very well in my home.  With this three tier organizer I can pop on my cans and see at a glance what I have.  Now you might look at the image and think well I can't read what the label says, but I pretty much know what the cans I buy look like so I can see enough to know exactly what's there.

Click image to go to Amazon and check the price of this awesome organizer (and buy it if you want to!)

As far as my herbs and spices go I find it works well, but it may not be the best organization solution for you as you don't really see the names on the spices.

Photo by Lou16
Check out my image to see what I mean.  Now this is fine by me because I keep my herbs and spices in alphabetical order except for the the larger containers which aren't showing (they're to the right if I had a better photo to show you).

If that sounds a little OCD - it's not, I just worked retail for a decade and in my mind alphabetical for herbs is the way to go!

I also know exactly what herbs and spices I have - someone coming into my kitchen may have problems using my organizer, but you know what?  I don't care, I just want to have it organized for me (and my husband as he's a great cook)!

I have a few other problem areas that need to be organized and I'm working on them.   I need to organize my cake decorating stuff - I have an idea on how to do that so stay tuned!

Another problem area is all of the bulk foods that I have especially since my daughter turned vegan.  I also think I have a solution for this problem too so there will definitely be a follow up post on organizing your kitchen cupboards.

Do you use anything special to organize your pantry?

One thing that my entire home lacks is enough storage so I've tried lots of different ways to keeping things organized, I hope to share more with you in the future.


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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Reviewing My Favorite Hand Held Labelling Machine

My Favorite Hand Held Labelling Machine - The Dymo Letratag
Get Your Own Dymo!
I own a pink (yes I said pink!) Dymo Letratag label printer and it really is my favorite hand held labelling machine and not just because the color brightens up my day! I brought my Dymo Letratag when my daughter started pre-school which means it's about a decade old and it's still doing it's job really well so this is an investment that will last.

Now I'll be honest when I went to the shops to purchase a label printer I wasn't planning on getting this one, I didn't think I needed a hand held one, I was looking at one that would sit on my desk.

The reason that I got the Letratag was because it was marked down and the couple of pink ones that were available were marked down further (apparently no one likes brighter colors, they want a subdued label printer!). I'm so glad of my decision because a hand held one is awesome and the only sort I now recommend.

Not only is it a wireless, hand held label printer (it runs off batteries) which means it's portable it also fits comfortably in my hand. The way Dymo have shaped their Letratag allows it to nestle nicely in one hand as you type the label with your other hand. It is also a nice weight, altogether the most comfortable label printer I've ever held.

Dymo certainly know their business as they've been producing label makers for years - can anyone else remember the vintage Dymo label maker that had a dial on it and you had to click on each letter (or number)? My mum had a red one from memory. As kids we thought it was great fun!

Features of the Dymo Letratag label printer

The Dymo Letratag printer is super easy to use with no messy ink to worry about or hard to thread tape for labels, let's have a look at the components....

Dymo hand held label maker
The batteries are located in the back, you simply push down on the bottom of the machine (where there's an indent) to release and the back comes off.

As you can see it takes 6 AA batteries which I thought seemed a lot at first, but I've only changed them twice in about 10 years so in my mind that is pretty good!

I do use my label maker quite a bit so I'm glad that it's economical to run.

If you can change the batteries in your television remote then you can change these!

Now what are the labels printed on?  Well unlike some other machines you don't need to add ink and tape as Dymo have combined the two in a little cartridge.

Dymo Letratag Labels
At the top of the machine there's a flap that you simply flip up to reveal the cartridge.  When one is finished you simply pull it out and put another one in.

There's no threading or anything it just pops in - not quite as easy as popping a pop tart into the toaster, but not much harder!

Now I've always used the plastic labels as I use them to label containers that are going into the freezer and I'm not sure that paper labels would work that well for this job.

There are a range of different types of labels available from plastic to paper and metallic to polyester.   There are also different colors that you can choose from.  I've only ever used the plastic black print on white labels.

I have read that people use different types of labels for different jobs - I'm too lazy for that I pop my cartridge in and leave it until it runs out!

If you're looking to get organized and need a tool like this the Dymo Letratag is hands down my favorite hand held labelling machine and I can't recommend it enough.

Now I can't find a pink Dymo Letratag available anywhere at the moment, but I have found a few in other colors which I'm sure will work equally well for you.   These other colors just may not cause you to smile as you pick them up!





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