A Clean Manor provides fresh and simple ideas for a clean and organized home.

I feel fortunate to have a pantry in my kitchen to store food, especially since my last house did not have one. It is not large, but big enough to store food and baking items. However, I can't ever decide how exactly to organize it and what to put where. Therefore, I'm constantly moving things around in there! Here are a few tips on how I organize my food "space!"

Here's a picture of the pantry before organizing

I haven't gone through the food in awhile and don't really know where anything is!

Pantry    before

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Umm, chips everywhere and potatoes on top of containers...

bottom shelf

 

 

 

 

 

and no real organization here either...

pantry top

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I started with the top shelf and began taking everything out.

pantry clean on top

 

 

 

 

 

I put boxes of food items and the coffee on the third shelf.  I don't need these items as often and they fit nicely together.  I then placed extra cereal boxes (more on that in a second), peanut butter, unopened sauces, and cans on the second shelf.  I also purchases a small wire shelf to put on the second shelf.  This way I could put cans underneath and on top of this wire shelf!  The first shelf contains snacks, cereal, and flour/sugar.  I LOVE these Martha Stewart Tupperware containers I purchased to store cereal, chips, and baking items.  The entire bag of food pours right into the container and I cannot believe how much longer the food lasts!  No stale cereal and no flour bags making messes!  They also stack very conveniently. 

pantry containers

 

 

 

 

 

pantry  containers 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have room in my pantry to place a smaller shelf underneath the larger shelves.  I placed all other baking items on this shelf as well as lunchboxes and other miscellaneous items.  Here is the finished product!  Do you have any fun pantry/food organizing tips? Let us know!

finished pantry

 



Posted by Tami on Jun 24 10 | Comments (1)
Categories: Kitchen, Organization,

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Jun 14, 2010

Recently we were asked the question, "Is Borax Safe?"  We used Borax in our homemade laundry detergent and it worked well.  We had no problems with skin irritation or a strange smell.  However, we definitely took some extra time digging to check on the safety of the product.  Hope the following information helps!

Borax Decahydrate is manufactured by U.S. Borax, Inc. It is made from mining natural Borate deposits in the earth and has been used since the 1800s. It can usually be found in your local grocery store in the cleaning aisle along with the powder detergents.  There are definitely mixed messages about the safety of Borax. There are those that say that it is extremely dangerous and others claim that is a "natural" product and "safe."   Here is a quote directly from the U.S. Borax, Inc.,

 "Borates have an excellent record for safety when used as directed. Boron compounds have low acute toxicity - meaning ingesting small amounts is not likely to cause health problems. Laboratory studies show large   doses of boron compounds can cause reproductive and developmental effects in animals. However, similar effects have not been observed in humans. In short, there are no uses of borates - including mining and refining them that pose any risk to human health. When ingested, boron is readily absorbed into the blood stream by both humans and animals. However, 90 to 100 percent is excreted rapidly through urination. Boron is not metabolized by animals nor by humans. Boron compounds are poorly absorbed through intact skin in both humans and animals, although they can be absorbed through damaged skin. Boric acid and other boron compounds are approved for use in low concentrations in cosmetics and talc in the United States and Europe. Data also indicate that inhaling boron compounds does not pose a significant risk to animals or humans."

Therefore, after reading the product data sheet for Borax we believe that Borax can be hazardous if used or inhaled in VERY LARGE amounts or if it were to be swallowed in large amounts. Basically too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.  You should definitely keep it out of the reach of children and pets as you would any other cleaning materials.  As with most cleaning products that we frequently use in our homes, if used correctly you can use Borax for a variety of things without hazardous effects to you or your family.

There are actually many different ways that Borax can be used to clean in your home if used properly.  You can download a complete PDF of ways to use Borax from 20 Mule Team Borax.  Listed below are just a few:

  • We previously posted about using Borax in homemade laundry detergent.  Borax is not easily absorbed into the skin so therefore should not cause any skin irritations to you are your children if used in your laundry detergent.
  • Cloth Baby Diapers -Once you flush out the diaper, soak it in a bucket of hot water and 1 cup of Borax for 30 minutes before washing.
  • Toilet Bowl - put 1/4 cup in brush the bowl and let stand for at least 30 minutes.
  • Dishwasher - pour 1/4 into the bottom of your dishwasher along with your normal dishwasher detergent.
  • Window Cleaner - pour 2-3 tablespoons and dissolve in warm water.
  • Tiles and Grout - Pour on a little borax as you go along and add a bit of water!  For tough stains use a toothbrush.
  • Pots and Pans - sprinkle borax on tough stains and scrub with a damp cloth.

 





Posted by Tami on Jun 14 10 | Comments (2)
Categories: Laundry, Products,

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Jun 7, 2010

One of the things in the kitchen that we all want to put off cleaning: THE REFRIGERATOR!!  However,  I've learned that putting it off only makes it longer and more dreadful to clean when you do get to it. I know cleaning the refrigerator is a pain, but if you keep at it, it really doesn't take that long. 

I go to the grocery store every two weeks, so I find that's a good time to clean it out. If that doesn't work for you, then try and do it at least once a month...that's only twelve times a year! Another good time to clean it out is when I'm going to be in the kitchen cooking or baking for a couple of hours. While I wait on cookies, I'll clean it out.

I begin by going shelf by shelf. I take out and throw out. Then I clean each shelf with a damp cloth.  I then start putting the items back in the refrigerator. Next come the doors. I know the refrigerator door is the worst part, but it's amazing how many things on the door can be outdated - I tend to forget about them. Take a second to look for expired items and throw away. Then wipe the doors clean. As far as the freezer goes I like to quickly organize it and wipe it down when I'm putting new items in it. I think things like to hide at the back of the freezer!  I like to keep an open box of baking soda in the refrigerator to keep oders from creeping in.  One box will last about 3 months. 

Did you know?: cleaning out the coils underneath your refrigerator can actually save electricity?  Click HERE for a video on how to vacuum and brush your refrigerator coils. 

Quick TIP: I clean the top of the outside of my fridge once a week, but if you don't, when you clean out the fridge, wash off the top--it's amazing how dirty and dusty it gets up there!

BLESSING: Be thankful for self-defrosting!



Posted by Kim on Jun 7 10 | Comments (5)
Categories: Kitchen,

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Oreck Vacuum

I simply couldn't go without letting you all know about this GREAT giveaway from Domestic Debacle!  Check out this Oreck XL Platinum Pilot Cleaning system!  Just reading about it makes me want to vacuum my floors pronto.  This lightweight 10 lb. vacuum has it all.  Just a FEW perks are its direct suction, awesome attachments, 30 foot cord, dual speed, and TOTAL cleaning system.  It really is amazing so check out the Oreck and this awesome giveaway!!



Posted by Tami on Jun 3 10 | Comments (0)
Categories: Products,

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May 31, 2010

Our entire family is going on vacation together soon and its time to think about packing for vacation. There are times when this becomes a bit overwhelming to us! We have 6 adults, 1 toddler, 1 baby, and a whole bunch of stuff!! We loved being organized. Therefore, we took a moment to think about the best way to organize ourselves to prepare for vacation, which brings us to our LIST. Lists aren't always the most easy to make (more on that at a later date), so we began by creating categories for items we would need.  Here is what we came up with:

 First we started with the essentials: Clothing and toiletries

 Next we made a list for kids: Toddler/Baby items

 Then we moved on to technology. Yes, it is now an official item on the list. We have computers, cell phones, portable DVD players, GPS units, and chargers for each one! You just can't leave it off the list.

 There is always a need for this category just IN CASE: Other/Miscellaneous

Once we had our categories we just began filling them in like crazy!  We are also planning on cooking our meals while we are there. Therefore we planned our menu ahead of time.  Then decided what food we'll be taking with us and what we'll need to buy when we arrive at our destination.

 Below are 2 Google documents of our lists as well as blank lists for you to create your own!  Happy packing!

Menu and Food List

Vacation Packing List



Posted by Tami on May 31 10 | Comments (2)
Categories: Organization,

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