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Solutions for Everyday Kitchen Mistakes

Solutions for Everyday Kitchen Mistakes

You can learn from your mistakes, but it may result in ugly cakes, calorie overloads, and even singed arm hair (ouch!). Learn from our cooking, nutrition, grilling, and baking mistakes instead!

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These 8 &ldquoSustainable&rdquo Habits Aren&rsquot as Green as You Might Think&mdashHere&rsquos How to Fix Them

Are your efforts to help the planet secretly hurting it? It might be time to rethink a few things.

The prevalence of greenwashing—the marketing tactic of labeling something as environmentally friendly for a better profit—makes it hard for eco-conscious consumers to navigate everything from grocery stores to beauty counters. It’s becoming increasingly harder to act and shop responsibly for our planet, especially when the gatekeepers of the green revolution might actually be misinformed—or only providing half the story.

Simple, everyday activities we thought were helping the planet may actually be costing it, due to incorrect labeling, presumed benefits, and shortcomings in scientific research and/or its public availability. So we asked industry experts to weed through some of the most common sustainability myths and mistakes, and to share their top ways to improve our habits for a greener future.


Mistake #1: Keeping Too Many Appliances Out on the Counter

Be honest, when&aposs the last time you used that rice cooker that&aposs taking up valuable real estate on your kitchen counter? If you haven&apost used an appliance in the past month, it probably doesn&apost need to be out on the counter. If you haven&apost used it because it&aposs seasonal (you use your KitchenAid mixer during the holidays, but experience a lull in the summer), see if you can find it a storage spot in a cabinet or in the kitchen island.

Otherwise, decide if you need to keep the appliance at all. If you invested in that juicer during a long-abandoned juice򠾭, it may be time to resell or donate the appliance. Rather than focus on the loss of the appliance, just think about all the precious counter space you&aposll gain. 


The Ultimate Guide to Homemade All-Natural Cleaning Recipes

Cleaning products are one of the first places that Keepers of the Home look to eliminate toxins and chemicals from our households.

For me, making homemade all-natural cleaning projects was a logical first step, because I love to follow recipes, which is all that is really involved in making your own cleansers!

I spent hours scouring the internet back in the day for ideas, suggestions, recipes, and useful hints on the topic of homemade cleaners. After lots of trial and error, I have found a few that are my go-to faves, and I’m sharing them today so that you don’t have to do all of the leg work!

Before I get into the specific recipes, though, let me just say this: white vinegar and baking soda clean Just. About. Everything. You’ll see it’s the main combination in a bunch of the recipes below, but there are oodles of other things it can clean, too! (You’ll get a chuckle out of all the ways my daughters have learned to use it, too!)

So, with that said, let’s start in the kitchen.

Maybe you’ve seen my post with Must-Have Homemade Kitchen Cleaners. Out of those, my most-used cleaner is an all-purpose cleaner, great for all kinds of hard surfaces:

Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner

  • 1/2 c white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp baking soda
  • 10 drops tea tree, lavender, or lemon essential oil (for their disinfectant properties)

Mix the vinegar, essential oils and a little water before adding baking soda in a clean spray bottle (glass is best). Then fill to top with water. I use about a 12 oz bottle. Gently shake to mix ingredients, and then spray, wipe with a cloth, and allow it to dry.

Here are some other cleaners to use in the kitchen:

Homemade “Soft-Scrub” Cleaner

  • 1 ½ cups baking soda
  • ½ cup environmentally safe liquid laundry soap (ECOS, for example)
  • 10 drops tea tree, lavender, or lemon essential oil

Mix baking soda and laundry soap in a mixing bowl, stirring vigorously to combine into a paste. Add essential oil and mix well. Store in an airtight food container.

If the mixture begins to dry out, add a small amount of water and mix well.

Homemade Disinfectant Wipes

  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup with vinegar
  • 8 drops tea tree oil
  • 8 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 8 drops lemon essential oil
  • Empty “wipe” container (baby wipe, for example)
  • 15 – 20 squares of cloth (old t-shirts work well, as do old dish towels or similar material)

Fold and place the cloth squares into the empty wipe container and set aside.

Combine in a mixing bowl the water, vinegar, and 3 essential oils, stirring until well mixed.

Pour this mixture over the cloths in the container where they will soak in and be ready for you to pull out and use!

Launder and repeat as often as the cloths hold up!

Homemade Liquid Dish Soap

  • ½ cup warm distilled water
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Lemon essential oil (optional)

Combine distilled water with salt, stirring until the salt is dissolved.

In a separate bowl, combine the vinegar, Sal Suds, and lemon juice. Stir this mixture into the salt water mixture, and stir until thickened.

You may wish to add 10 – 15 drops of lemon essential oil both for scent and for disinfectant properties.

Pour mixture into a recycled dish soap container for storage.

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 2 cups Borax
  • 1 cup of Lemi-Shine (non-toxic, found in the detergent aisle)

Mix all ingredients together. Transfer to an air-tight storage container. It will last a long time: each load uses only 2 tablespoons of detergent! (I recommend keeping white vinegar in the rinse agent compartment, too.)

Homemade Oven Cleaner

In a small bowl, mix ½ cup of baking soda and stir in 2 – 3 tablespoons of water, adjusting as needed to get a spreadable paste.

Spread this all over the walls of your ovens, rubbing it in for a scrubbing effect.

Let that mixture rest overnight.

In the morning, you will put some vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz everywhere you see baking soda, which will create a foaming action. Wipe clean with a damp cloth, rinsing until clean.

Homemade Drain Cleaner

Sprinkle baking soda down the clogged or smelly drain, and follow that with the vinegar. Let the bubbling mixture sit for an hour or so, then pour boiling hot water down the drain to rinse.

Depending on how smelly or clogged the drain is, you may need to repeat the process again. Once you do it regularly, you’ll find that one time usually takes care of it!

Moving out of the kitchen, let’s talk bathroom cleaning.

A lot of the same principles that apply to cleaning the kitchen carry over into the bathroom.

For example, vinegar and baking soda still play a large role, and the disinfectant power of certain essential oils is key. Here are some of my favorite ways to tackle one of the most-used rooms in the house:

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Did you notice I didn’t write “Homemade” in the title of this one? That’s because technically the ingredient I’m about to tell you about isn’t homemade – and it’s going to blow your mind!

Yep, the nectar of our childhoods is an amazing toilet bowl cleaner. Specifically, the lemonade Kool-Aid. Here’s the poop, er, I mean scoop:

Lemonade has citric acid, which helps clean the toilet bowl. (So does the old Astronaut Orange Beverage TANG, but does anyone actually have that anymore?)

All you have to do is flush your toilet, sprinkle a package of Kool-Aid lemonade around the sides and scrub with a toilet bowl brush. Let this sit for several hours (overnight is best), and then flush in the morning.

Homemade Mirror and Glass Cleaner

  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 cups water
  • 8 – 10 drops essential oil of choice, optional

Combine everything in a spray bottle. Shake to mix well. Spray onto glass surface and wipe clean.

Be sure you shake well to fully integrate the cornstarch, which is the ingredient that reduces streaking. You’ll want to shake before each use.

Homemade Air Freshener

  • 12 – 15 drops of pure essential oil (grapefruit, lemon, orange, lavender are favorites)
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 1/12 cups water

Combine in a spray bottle, shake, and spray to freshen the room! (Shake before each use).

You can experiment with higher ratios of vinegar to water and upping the essential oil if this is not strong enough for your preference.

Moving into the Laundry Room now…

Homemade Non-Toxic Liquid Laundry Detergent

  • ½ cup Borax
  • ½ cup washing soda (i.e. Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda Laundry Booster)
  • ½ cup of Dawn dish soap (every mother of baseball-playing, grass-stain gettin’ boys knows this!)
  • 4 cups hot water
  • Clean, empty gallon plastic jug (i.e. recycled juice/milk jug)

Combine the first three ingredients in the container (you may need a funnel to get it in there) and then pour in the water to dissolve the ingredients. Fill the container to the top with cold water. Shake before each use. For a standard-sized load of laundry, ¼ cup should work. Use a little more for a more heavily-soiled load.

(Note: This has worked in HE washers with great results!)

Homemade Stain Remover

There are a few ways I like to tackle stains in the laundry room. First, let me just say that a 3% Hydrogen Peroxide solution is a super stain remover! I’ve used it on lots of stains where I spray it on, let it soak, and then launder as normal. (Note to moms of girls just getting their first periods: there is nothing better to deal with the “Aunt Flow” stains in the underwear or on the sheets!)

There’s also the mixture of washing soda and white vinegar. You simply sprinkle the washing soda onto the stain, spray with white vinegar that has been diluted in a 1:1 ratio with water. Scrub the paste into the stain and let it stand for about 20 minutes. Launder as normal.

For really tough stains, like grass stains, the magic of Dawn dish soap comes in handy. This one calls for a bit of a recipe:

  • 2/3 cup Dawn dish detergent
  • 2/3 cup ammonia
  • 6 Tbsp baking soda
  • 2 cups warm water

Mix together all ingredients, and then pour into a spray bottle. Spray onto the stain, let it rest a bit, then launder as normal.

Because of the ammonia, you should NOT want this in chlorine bleach!

Homemade Fabric Softener

  • 5 ½ cups water
  • 15 oz bottle of your favorite hair conditioner
  • 2.5 cups white vinegar
  • 20 drops of essential oil for fragrance (optional, especially if your conditioner has a nice scent)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour into empty storage container (such as empty fabric soft container).

Use approximately ¼ cup per normal washload prior to the rinse cycle.

Homemade Dryer Sheets

This is super easy to do! Find a bunch of hubby’s old t-shirts (not his beloved old t-shirts, but the others!) and cut them into washcloth sized squares.

Next, you will take some of the homemade fabric softener from the recipe above, and fill about ½ of an airtight, lidded storage container with this. Place the t-shirts in the container, and press them down to soak up the fabric softener.

Squeeze out excess before tossing a square into the dryer with your clothes. These are obviously recyclable, and don’t have to be laundered between uses!

And finally, to the living areas of the house.

Homemade Dusting Spray

Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and shake gently to combine. Use as you would any typical dusting spray, either spraying onto a clean cloth and wiping, or spraying on the surface and wiping. (I’d start with the first option, or test a small area of the furniture first).

Homemade Wood Polishing Spray

  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 30 drops essential oil, optional (I like lemon, orange, or lavender best)

Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and shake vigorously. Spray directly on wood furniture and buff with a clean, dry cloth. Shake before each use.

Homemade Carpet Freshener (With Added Benefits)

In addition to freshening the smell in a room, this combination of ingredients can disinfect, kill fleas and their eggs, and act as a rodent deterrent.

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. Store in an air-tight container. When you’re ready to use, just sprinkle around the carpet and let sit for about half an hour. Vacuum up, and you’re good to go!

Homemade Carpet Stain Remover

Sprinkle the stain with baking soda and let it sit for about 10 minutes, then vacuum it up.

Next, mix 1 Tbsp Dawn dish soap, 1 Tbsp white vinegar, and 2 cups of warm water.

Sponge this onto the stain and blot with dry cloth, repeating until stain disappears.

So, those are the go-to recipes that I find most helpful around the house. Here’s another great article with some additional natural cleaning tips if you’d like some more ideas. Let me know if you’ve got a recipe or potion that works wonders in your household!

What are your favorite homemade all-natural cleaning recipes?


5 of 14

Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner

Put this natural cleaning recipe to work as an all-purpose cleaner for bathrooms, kitchens, and more. Plus, the natural cleaning recipe reduces germs and leaves the whole room smelling fresh and clean.

What You Need:

  • 3/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon unscented liquid Castile soap ($16, Target)
  • 10 drops tea tree oil
  • 20 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 cups water

Add all ingredients to a 24-ounce spray bottle shake before use. Use for general cleaning needs. For an extra boost when removing mildew and soap buildup, spray first, then sprinkle on baking soda and scrub with a sponge.


Commonly used to disinfect minor scrapes and scratches, hydrogen peroxide also makes a great household cleaner. The blog One Good Thing by Jillee offers up a huge list of in-home uses for 3% hydrogen peroxide, including many spring-cleaning targets: cutting boards, dishwasher, and refrigerator, for example. Kids' toys and lunchboxes can also be wiped down with hydrogen peroxide.

11 / 32


Not taking an operating plan seriously.

"A partnership in business is like marrying someone, and an operating plan should really clearly outline how you are going to work with them," explains Michelle Cairo, CEO and cofounder of Olympia Provisions. And yet, when it came time for Cairo to create an operating plan, "I looked at [the plan] as a paper exercise that you would do in school, rather than taking it seriously."

And that mistake had a few consequences: "It ended up having clauses and explanations in it that didn&apost even make sense to me," Cairo admits. "It led to a lot of problems between my partners and me, and made it even harder for us to get through them." Of course, Cairo eventually rewrote the operating agreement once the dust settled, and now, she has this advice for other business owners with partners: "When creating your operating agreement, don&apost focus on other people&aposs examples too much," she says. "Use them as a guideline, but actually work with your partners to figure out what works best for you. Take them through the worst-case scenario—like, you all end up hating each other𠅊nd figure out what would work best for all of you. And then have a lawyer read it to ensure it&aposs not missing anything. Just make sure it&aposs written in your language."


Solutions for Everyday Kitchen Mistakes - Recipes

Here are 10 simple and easy purchases that will make your kitchen greener.

Finding time to make smart choices in the kitchen can be hard. Busy schedules and responsibilities will inevitably put more time consuming projects at the bottom of the list. Everybody would like to make choices that reduce their impact on the environment, but sometimes those decisions require time and research that is not always available. To make some of your decisions easier, we have compiled a list of 10 things to make your kitchen greener.

Doing your part for the environment is easier than you think. There are affordable, household tools and equipment that have less environmental impact than others. Instead of using plastic or paper bags for school or work lunches that are either non-reusable or non-biodegradable, try a stainless steel lunch box.

Certain polycarbonate products, in particular the ones used to manufacture tupperware, are known to contain a chemical called BPA. According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, these chemicals can leach into foods and be absorbed into the body. If you are concerned about chemical bi-products making their way into your food, try one of these BPA-free tupperware sets.

It's always smart to start small. There are everyday purchases that have less of an impact on the environment in their manufacturing that you can easily swap out for generic brands. Many household products are manufactured with or contain the abrasive chemical chlorine bleach.

For those concerned about the negative impacts of using abrasive synthetic chemicals or products that use those chemicals in their manufacture, try purchasing coffee filters made from recycled materials or buying cheesecloth that doesn't use bleach. There are many practical solutions to help you "green" your kitchen that doesn't require tons of research and headaches. Click on the slideshow for quick and easy solutions that are good for both you and the environment.


27 Quick and Easy Ways to Organize Your Kitchen Pantry

These organization tips will help you keep your kitchen clean year-round.

If you cook in your kitchen, chances are you've experienced that moment when you simply cannot find what you're looking for. You'll be reading a recipe, come across a key ingredient, think, "Well, I have that around here somewhere. I think," then go on to spend 45 minutes trying to find that item. It's that well-known, frustrating moment that makes you realize that your kitchen pantry organization may need some work. Again.

Whether you consider yourself a master chef or a cooking novice, learning how to organize your kitchen pantry will help you keep your kitchen functional. And yes, an organized pantry means that each ingredient is labeled and has a home. It means you don&rsquot hesitate when searching for a certain ingredient, or have to dig it out from under a mountain of expired or unused items. It means that you never forget where something is, or leave an item to go to waste at the bottom of a bin or cabinet. It means you actually use the items you do have.

An organized pantry also saves you money &mdash and the stress of kicking yourself when you buy an expensive item that you later realize you already owned. And thankfully, organizing your pantry doesn&rsquot have to mean hiring experts or buying the fanciest organizational tools. Sometimes, it&rsquos as simple as investing in a label maker or reusing certain spaces in your home. If you&rsquore looking to get started sometime soon, here are 23 quick and easy ways to organize your kitchen pantry.

&ldquoUpdate and declutter your spice rack with a luxurious Spice Jar Set and Labels from the Neat Methods new product line,&rdquo Anne Gopman of Organized by Anne tells Woman's Day. &ldquoSwapping out all your spices to similar canisters creates a clean and edited look, which will make finding your favorite flavors a breeze."

&ldquoCans are notoriously difficult to see in your pantry or cabinet and can get lost in the back based on their height,&rdquo Gopman says. &ldquoSolve the problem and maximize space by implementing The Home Edit 3-Tier Shelf. Not only will you be able to see everything, but your cans will become the center point of your pantry. As a bonus the shelf is expandable to best fit your space.&rdquo

The easiest way to reclaim space in your kitchen pantry is to add a door rack. "Elfa&rsquos Utility White Mesh Pantry Over the Door Rack creates additional space for all of your favorite items,&rdquo Gopman says. &ldquoWith various basket sizes and clear box additions you can store everything from popular snacks, cleaning supplies and even create a designated baker&rsquos area.&rdquo

Even if you&rsquore lucky enough to have large cabinets, that doesn&rsquot mean you&rsquore using them efficiently. &ldquoGain control of every nook and cranny by adding an Extra Large Clear Lazy Susan to your deeper cabinets,&rdquo Gopman says. &ldquoNow you will be able to access all of your treats with just the turn of a table, rather than knocking everything over as you look for that sweet treat.&rdquo

Gabriela Mekler, co-founder of mumi Design, says one of the most common organization mistakes people make is displaying food items in their original containers.

&ldquoWhether it&rsquos cereal, nuts and seeds, cookies or dry pasta, most of the packaging is not designed to preserve the product inside once it&rsquos opened,&rdquo Mekler tells Woman's Day. &ldquoThis is why it is so important to use reusable zip up bags, made of food-safe PVC which is also lead free and BPA free to store food items in a hermetic baggie made to preserve the original qualities of the food item."

Using labels to organize is always a good idea, and that goes for your pantry, too.

&ldquoBeing able to assign a color to each item is also a great plus, this way kids can recognize the color for cookies, cereal or oatmeal at first glance," Mekler says. "In the process we will be avoiding any accidents and unnecessary messes."

Discover brilliant ways to get organized, declutter, and make over any room. These downloadable digital guides make it easier than ever to give your home a refresh. Visit our store to find dozens of ideas from Woman's Day and our sister brands.

If organizing every nook and cranny of the inside of your pantry isn&rsquot an option, then consider camouflaging the outside with cabinetry. This also might come as a benefit if you ever plan on selling your home, as Bonnie Heatzig of The Luxury Real Estate Authority explains.

"Buyers are looking for walk-in pantries right now. But, they don&rsquot want pantries to be eyesore,&rdquo Heatzig tells Woman's Day. &ldquoThe current trend is to have them camouflaged with the cabinetry, so the pantry door is covered with the same paneling as the cabinets. It&rsquos like a secret, hidden room.&rdquo

In other words: If you can figure out a way to hide the pantry, you might save yourself the stress of looking at a mess and boost your home value a little bit.

Shannon Krause of Tidy Nest says it&rsquos just too easy to fill a pantry with items that aren&rsquot really supposed to be in the kitchen at all. If you want to stay organized, though, avoid this at all costs.

&ldquoWe tend to see pantries becoming a catch all for items that don't belong in the kitchen &mdash batteries, cleaning supplies, hardware, bug spray, etc. Ideally, the pantry will only contain food and cooking supplies,&rdquo Krause tells Woman's Day. &ldquoIf you're tight on space and you need to house utility items, like batteries and hardware, it's important to keep those items in their own designated area not next to the macaroni and cheese. Cleaning supplies and chemicals of the like should not be stored with your food. &ldquo

&ldquoThis may sound obvious to some but location of food is key. If a client is trying to cut back on sweets, we encourage them to store healthier snacks at eye level and store that candy supply in a harder to reach location,&rdquo Krause says. &ldquoAlso consider the frequency with which you visit the pantry for cereal versus something like canned pumpkin. There&rsquos no need for the latter to take up prime real estate.&rdquo

If you don&rsquot know where to begin when it comes to your pantry, you can always lean back on labeling as a surefire way to get things in order.

&ldquoIf you're going to do one thing in your pantry, labeling is it. Labels show the household and guests where to find things and more importantly, act as a reminder to store things in their proper homes,&rdquo Krause says. &ldquoThe labeled areas can also help you identify when you&rsquore running low and need to replenish. Labels don&rsquot have to get complicated or expensive - simply use masking or washi tape both on the container/basket and on the shelf.&rdquo

Even though many experts recommend removing items from their boxes to make things look more streamline, also known as "decanting," this may not be for you &mdash and that&rsquos OK.

&ldquoDecanting is not for every household, so it's important to identify what your lifestyle can handle. While decanted foods have a longer shelf life and are more aesthetically pleasing and uniform, it takes time to prep and maintain so have that honest conversation with yourself before you try to replicate that Instagram pantry,&rdquo Krause says. &ldquoSet yourself up for success. That Instagram-worthy panty may not be the best for your household and that's OK!&rdquo Instead of decating, considering storing the items in high-wall bins to hide the labels, but still keep them in the usual containers.

If you forget your reusable grocery bags every now and then, odds are you&rsquoll end up with a pantry full of balled-up plastic bags at one point or another. The best way to store them all in one place and eventually recycle them is to have a place where you put all of them, every time.

If you have space for it, a white board in the pantry can serve a few different purposes. You can keep track of a meal plan for the week, write out a grocery list, or even write reminders about when certain items expire in the pantry. You could also use it to easily schedule pantry clean-out sessions or family chores.

If family members, friends, or roommates (or you) end up destroying the pantry in their hunt for a snack, consider creating a communal snack station. One centralized spot for snacks eliminates this problem altogether (and helps you keep better track of when you&rsquore running out of snacks).

Do you have a chaotic drawer or cabinet filled with mismatched food containers? First, go through everything. Throw out anything without a lid, and invest in solutions that allow you to find the items you need for leftovers or to-go meals ASAP. You&rsquoll be that much more likely to actually eat your leftovers when they&rsquore stored in a container with a matching lid rather than a balled-up piece of aluminum foil.

Whatever area you&rsquore organizing, it&rsquos always a good idea to keep items off the floor. This includes reusable grocery bags, dish towels, aprons, or any other items you could otherwise hang. Using small hooks on the back of a pantry door is a great solution for this, and costs almost nothing.

Gayle Gruenberg of Let&rsquos Get Organized says the door is a great, frequently underutilized space for organization in a pantry. &ldquoMount Command hooks to hold aprons, pot holders, or utensils,&rdquo Gruenberg tells Woman's Day. &ldquoIf you have a budget, the Container Store sells what I call &lsquothe spine&rsquo &ndash an Elfa standard with baskets and accessories that fits over the door.&rdquo

If you have kids, it may be worth creating not only a snack station, but a specific kids-friendly area. &ldquoCreate a grab-n-go area for kids of all ages,&rdquo Gruenberg suggests. &ldquoUse a bin or basket to store easily accessed snacks, like single-serve applesauce, granola bars, crackers, chips, pre-filled zip-close sandwich bags with your own trail mix, juice boxes.&rdquo

When you&rsquore beginning your pantry organization, consider if you really want to keep your vitamins and supplements with your food and cooking supplies.

&ldquoMany clients store vitamins, supplements and medications in their pantries," Drew Harris of Drew Harris LifeSTYLE tells Woman's Day. "While I discourage this (that's what medicine cabinets are for!) if it's more convenient here for them, I suggest a multi-tiered lazy susan to keep the items contained and easy to grab."

Celebrity Chef Spike Mendelsohn, who is using his experience to design luxury kitchens and pantries with Van Metre Homes, suggests people consider turning their pantry into a prep kitchen, if they can.

&ldquoTurning your pantry into a prep kitchen creates a solo space for the chef to focus on their craft. How many times have you wanted to hide stuff, or have a little hide away space, before or even while having people over? Adding a sink and countertop to your pantry allows you to have a clean kitchen while you are entertaining, keeping your entertaining area looking awesome,&rdquo Mendelsohn tells Woman's Day. &ldquoUse it as a prep area to cut vegetables or use it as a utility sink, you&rsquoll find having this added space to be priceless. Even when you&rsquore cooking for yourself, you deserve to sit back and enjoy your meal without looking at the mess you made preparing it.&rdquo

If you don&rsquot have the ability or budget to add a sink to your pantry, a small rolling island may allow you to create a prep area that&rsquos hidden away in your pantry, too.

Danielle Heinrichs of Clear Space, LLC says a great way to begin your pantry re-organization is to take everything out and group it by category, like cereals, baking supplies, canned goods, and snacks. Next up? Checking those expiration dates.

&ldquoThis is a great time to remove items that are no longer usable from your groups,&rdquo Heinrichs tells Woman's Day, suggesting that people use clear bins to organize the categories. &ldquoA good rule to follow when organizing &mdash if you can't see it, you won't use it.&rdquo

Heinrichs suggests assessing pantry space by level, noting that putting bins and baskets on lower shelves and spices at eye level on tiered shelving is always a good idea.

&ldquoThe top shelf is great for small appliances and items you use the least. This space can also be used for extra paper towels,&rdquo Heinrichs says. &ldquoThis pantry real estate isn't as valuable. Because, back to the golden rule, if you don't see it &mdash you won't use it.&rdquo

Organizer and designer Caryn Greenberg of CG Design Solutions says that her process with organizing clients&rsquo pantries is to find out what makes the most sense for their lifestyle. It&rsquos important to do this with yourself, as well.

&ldquoThe key thing is to interview the client and provide for their needs and what works best for them,&rdquo Greenberg tells Woman's Day. &ldquoFor example if they cook a lot to make sure spices are at eye level and within easy reach. Keep non-essential items in the back which will allow the everyday products to be used with ease.&rdquo

Do you use oatmeal every day? Put that front and center. Do you find yourself constantly digging around for bags of flour? Decant those and put them on an easy-to-reach shelf.

Obviously purging the pantry of any items that have already expired is always a good idea. But when it comes to those items on the edge that you want to use, don&rsquot be afraid to put them front and center so they don&rsquot go to waste, suggests organizer Michele Goldsmith of Live Love Organize.

If you want to make your pantry organized for the long term and not just in the moment, leaving some space to grow.

&ldquoAlways keep extra room for growth,&rdquo Goldsmith explains. &ldquoYou never know if a big snow storm is coming, a holiday is coming up or maybe even a pandemic. Don't fill just to fill, that will only cause clutter and make you anxious whenever you open the cabinet.&rdquo

Maybe consider designating one or two empty bins as space to grow, if you think you&rsquoll be too tempted to clutter an empty shelf.

If you&rsquore on a budget, sometimes a thrift store is the best place to go to find organization solutions that will actually last. Keep an eye out for large glass jars that will last for years and years. They&rsquoll be a fraction of the price as new ones, and you can make them your own by adding labels.

If you can&rsquot reach something easily, you won&rsquot use it as much as you want to. You might even forget you own it altogether. Neither of these are good options when you&rsquove invested time and energy (and money) into buying something at the store. Lazy susans make sure that you can easily access items at every corner of a shelf.

Subscribe to Woman's Dayy today and get 73% off your first 12 issues. And while you&rsquore at it, sign up for our FREE newsletter for even more of the Woman's Day content you want.


Natural Homemade Astringent For Skin: Easy Recipes And Ideas

Are you planning to lay your hands on some expensive bottle of astringent to take care of your daily beauty needs? Well, you do not necessarily have to hit the cosmetics shop to ensure that your skin gets its dose of astringent you can easily prepare it at home with ingredients readily available.

How Does An Astringent Work?

However, before you start using your homemade astringent, here are the top five astringent facts you need to be aware of:
1. Normally, you are expected to apply astringent after you have cleansed your skin thoroughly.
2. It can be used two to three times everyday.
3. Astringent application can be followed up with a light moisturizer if necessary (you can use a natural moisturizer too).
4. An astringent breaks through the skin pores to constrict them, remove dirt and thus, it counterbalances surplus oil and tightens the skin.
5. It has a revitalizing effect it imparts a healthy glow and minimizes the possibility of acnes, pimples and blemishes.

Top Five Easy Homemade Astringent Lotion Recipes

1. Lemon-Witch Hazel Astringent: This astringent works wonders for oily skin types. You just need to mix lemon juice (1/4 cup) with witch hazel (1/2 cup) and apply the mixture to you face and neck with a cotton ball.
2. Rose Astringent: You would require some rose fresh petals and distilled water to prepare this astringent at home. Make sure that the petals are free from any kind of pesticide and you can definitely depend upon your own little garden to supply you the best quality of roses. Heat water till it starts boiling and pour it slowly over the rose petals placed in a bowl. Keep it for around thirty minutes and filter the petals in such a way that the rose water comes out. Pour the solution in a bottle and store it in the refrigerator.
3. Lemon-Orange Astringent: You would need thinly sliced pieces of half-a-lemon and half-an-orange along with ethanol alcohol (3/4 cup). All the ingredients need to be combined in a blender and mixed until the fruits are thoroughly crushed. The liquid should be strained and applied to your face. The mixture is very effective in tightening pores, refreshing the skin and removing excess oils. It can be stored for up to six months in a refrigerator.
4. Chamomile-Mint Astringent: This astringent is particularly nice for oily skin to make it, two tablespoons of dried mint, two tablespoons of dried chamomile flowers and four cups of water are required. All the constituents should be combined in a saucepan and allowed to boil for ten minutes. Wait for five minutes and then, the liquid has to be strained. You can store it in a refrigerator for about two weeks.
5. Sandalwood Astringent: You would want eight tablespoons of sandalwood oil, two teaspoons of almond oil, one tablespoon of honey, four tablespoons of rosewater, four tablespoons of orange flower extract and five grams of sodium bicarbonate (commonly known as baking soda). All these components have to be mixed and the mixture can also be stored in the fridge. Apply it on your face with a cotton wool.

Top Five Simple Homemade Astringent Tips

1. Cucumber juice is an excellent natural astringent that is good for every skin type.
2. Rose water is an effective astringent, mild and gentle, and it can be used even if your skin is sensitive.
3. Apply the juice of tomato directly on oily and combination skin to reap great benefits.
4. Lemon juice can be mixed with water and used as a natural astringent. Lemon is easily available in almost every Indian kitchen.
5. Mix apple cedar vinegar with water and apply it on your face and neck for effective cleansing and toning.

There are many reasons for you to opt for homemade astringent lotions. They can be easily made with things which are freely available in your kitchen or your fruit basket. Since they are prepared with natural ingredients, they do not have negative effects and they are gentle on your skin. Often, they are cheaper than the astringents obtainable in reputed shops dealing in beauty products but, at the same time, they can effectively meet your daily beauty requirements.


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