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One person’s towel is another person’s resistance band! Use a towel to help with stretching or for a killer arm workout. Looking for a leg challenge? On a smooth floor, assume the plank position with a small towel under each of your feet. Then, in a very slow and controlled manner, try gliding your legs apart and then back together again. Feel the burn!
You won’t find a home without at least four of these! Walls provide stability when you’re practicing some stretching, or working your quads and glutes by doing some
. wall-sits Stairs
Why invest in a StairMaster when you’ve got a perfectly good staircase at home? Walking or running the stairs is a great way to get your heart pumping and glutes burning—without spending a cent.
Soup cans, water bottles or laundry detergent jugs
Gallery: 18 Kitchen Organizing Mistakes Everyone Makes (Reader’s Digest Canada)
You group by item, not by need
You might keep your masher and microplane grater by the stove with other long-handled items, but that’s not the most convenient setup. “There are three things that happen in the kitchen: prep, cook, and serve,” says Laura Cattano, professional organizer and founder of Organizational Design. “The best thing is to zone out your kitchen by those categories.” You might keep your spatulas by the stove, but your potato masher belongs near your countertop and big bowls. Take it a step further by asking exactly when you use each item. For instance, there’s no reason your mugs need to be by your water glasses, but putting them next to the coffee maker will save you from running all over your kitchen in the morning, says Cattano.
You think only the counter is convenient
To keep from digging through stuffed cabinets, you might leave items like sugar and oils on the counter. But as long as your cupboards are clear, it doesn’t take much effort to open the door—and you’ll see the payoffs in how clear your counter looks. “It doesn’t have to be on the countertop to be easily reachable,” says Jodie Watson, founder and president of Supreme Organization. “If you purge out the cabinets in your kitchen, you can keep sugar in the cabinet. You open the door and there it is.”
Here are the
. items you shouldn’t store on your kitchen countertop
You leave big appliances out
Feel free to leave appliances you use daily, like a coffee maker or toaster, on the counter. But anything you aren’t using every day should be stored in a cabinet to make more room on the counter. “Nobody likes to have to put the appliance away, but balance that against the precious countertop space,” says Maeve Richmond, founder and coach of organizing company Maeve’s Method. “There’s the convenience of having it out, but it’s more convenient to be able to chop more vegetables or have a cleaner space.”
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. ways you’re shortening the life of your coffee maker
You don’t adjust your shelves
Don’t let your shelf height define how you use your space. People tend to put cereal on a top shelf because that’s the one with the most space, but it’d be easier to reach on a lower shelf, says Watson. On the other hand, too much space for canned goods and you’ll probably start stacking items into an ugly, unstable pile. If your shelves aren’t already adjustable, buy shelf dividers to split one shelf into two, says Richmond. “Re-spacing the shelves takes away the messiness because things aren’t stacked,” says Richmond.
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. things professional organizers never buy
You’re digging through bottom cabinets
“Who wants to crawl on the floor like a monkey looking in the back of a cabinet?” says Cattano. If you’re lucky enough to be redesigning your kitchen, opt for drawers at the leg level so you can reach the back easily. Otherwise, you can buy drawers to easily install into a cabinet so you can pull it out and see everything inside, rather than sticking your whole head in the cabinet.
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. Bryan Baeumler’s kitchen renovation tips
Your fridge looks like a collage
If you leave messages or coupons on your fridge as reminders, they won’t serve any purpose if they’re lost in a sea of photos you’ve had up for years. “People stick things over things and it becomes a crazy montage of stuff that’s overwhelming,” says Watson. She recommends limiting fridge space to a couple nice pictures, inspirational quotes, a grocery list, or emergency phone numbers. Record any other reminders in your phone, and stash coupons in the car so you have them when you need them.
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. ways you’re shortening the life of your refrigerator
You leave your cooking utensils out
A container next to the stove might seem like a convenient spot for your spatulas and serving spoons, but don’t pack all your unattractive utensils into one container. “Not every single cooking utensil needs to be right by the stove,” says Cattano. “Keep out the nice-looking pieces so it’s not overstuffed.”
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. kitchen appliances you’re using wrong
Your junk drawer is, well, junk
“Junk drawers need to be intentional,” says Richmond. “They’re intended to be for quickly grabbing things we need access to, but if something is not used for a while, it literally becomes junk.” Once or twice a year, go through it and take out anything you don’t use regularly. Leave smaller items in little boxes or ceramic dishes to keep it organized, she suggests.
Use our guide to
. de-clutter every room in your home
You’re holding on to your past
Maybe you loved the idea of a juicer but only ever eat toast for breakfast. Or you used to be into baking but now you’ve put your focus into healthy meals. “The first step to organizing is not thinking about the stuff, it’s thinking about your life and how you want to live,” says Cattano. “If it’s not adding to your life, it’s directly taking away from it because it’s taking space away from something else.” If you rarely use an item, it might be time to let go and get rid of the clutter.
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You hang your purse on your chair
“The kitchen is still one of the first places we go when we enter a home,” says Richmond. “All the stuff of life that comes in the door accumulates in the kitchen.” To keep your meal space from becoming a catchall for your purse, wallet, and gym bag, Richmond recommends setting up a “drop zone” by your door to set those things as you’re walking in. You might make it a permanent home for your wallet and keys, and a temporary place to drop your workout gear while you’re putting away groceries.
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. organize a small closet to maximize space
You leave mail on the table
Taking just five minutes to go through your mail daily or every other day will keep that pile of papers under control so you don’t lose documents in the shuffle when you actually do need them. “The mail just keeps coming,” says Watson. “Keep trimming it down so you’re not losing items in the mix.” Instead of leaving it by your eating space, designate an area that has a basket for papers, and hang a bulletin board to write messages and reminders, she says.
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for free. secrets personal organizers would never tell you
Each shelf is left to its own devices
Richmond recommends using trays to subdivide shelves, grouping together items that are frequently used at the time. “[Trays] are helpful because they show a visual blocking of space,” she says. “It makes it easier to go in and get what you need.” She likes acrylic ones because they’re easy to wash, but she says they come in all kinds of colours and materials to match your taste.
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that will change your life in minutes. Marie Kondo organization tips
You have more tools than you need
When you find your kitchen drawers overflowing, take stock of which items you actually use, and if any do the same job. If you rarely dig out your melon cutter or zester, it might be time to let go. “A knife does all of those things,” says Watson. “It’s about being intentional, knowing that if I can do this with something that won’t take up space, is it something I need to have?” With fewer tools, you’ll cut the clutter and stay more organized.
Here’s how to instantly
by purging these six items. declutter your kitchen
Your spice rack is a mess
If you find yourself picking up every single spice container on your hunt for the one you want, a lazy Susan could keep you from shuffling everything around. “They’re a no-brainer because then you reach with one finger in front of your cabinet, swirling,” says Cattano. Alternatively, she recommends categorizing your spices and putting them in individual bins—say, one for spicy peppers and another for herbs.
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Your groceries don’t fit in your pantry
If you find yourself leaving food out simply because you don’t have room in a cupboard, it might be time to start cutting down. “We want to save money, and it’s good to buy in bulk, but if you don’t have the space for it, changing the way you shop might be more helpful,” says Watson. She recommends first going through your pantry to take stock of what you already have. Then head to the store less often so you have a chance to use up what you have before refilling your cabinet.
. how to organize your pantry
You pile up bagged goods
Packets of rice and grains, and pouches of kids’ juices get turn into an unsightly pile. “Those are tiny and annoying—but great in a bin,” says Cattano. “You can fit more in the cabinet, and when you’re looking for one thing, you just pull down one bin to find it.” Don’t let your “stuff” own you.
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You keep salt and pepper on the table
If you often bring out the salt and pepper when you’re serving food, they might deserve a permanent place on your table. But people often leave them out of habit instead of necessity, says Richmond. “Most people tend to cook with salt and seasonings to their likings, so it’s an old trend,” she says. “If you’re not actively using shakers for daily use for seasoning, tuck those away.”
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that will save your sanity. kitchen organizing ideas
Your oil is going bad
Exposure to light can make cooking oils go rancid. If you like having them on the counter, put them in opaque containers and stylize them so they don’t just look like clutter. “Put a tray under them so it looks intentional,” says Cattano.
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you’ll wish you knew sooner. home organizing hacks
Treat any of these household items like hand weights or dumbbells. Give your arms a major workout by doing some
, front raises or tricep kickbacks . overhead presses A broom
Besides sweeping, a broom can also give your core, hips and glutes a workout. Next time you’re sweeping the floor, shake things up by adding some
or oblique twists to your usual routine. hip hinges A chair
A sturdy chair (without wheels) can make an excellent addition to your workout routine, whether you’re trying to perfect your squats or practice some
. Throw a second chair into the mix and practice some leg raises . For an even greater challenge, check out this tricep dips that incorporates strength, cardio, and flexibility. 5-5-5 Chair Workout A countertop
Strengthen your arms and chest by practicing several sets of countertop push-ups. These are a great activity to sneak in while you’re waiting for water to boil or the oven to pre-heat.
Now that you know how to work out using household items, find out 11 easy
. ways to make walking more fun
7 Household Items That Are Fitness Equipment in Disguise appeared first on Reader’s Digest.