Shared Spaced // Dining & Kitchen

I fell in love with some counter stools recently and now we’re in the market for coordinating dining chairs to compliment them. Since our kitchen area is open with room for dining, I’m popping in to share options and tips on how to to create a cohesive and clutter free look for your shared kitchen/dining space.

Instagram @roxyhetz

1. Who’s sitting here?

Aside from the obvious tip of measurig the height of the stool, ask yourself who’s spending the majority of their time in this chair! For us, we needed a back so our children didn’t fall off. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked them to keep their hands to themselves while they’re eating here so this was a major must.

2. How big is the overall space?

Our kitchen area would look too cluttered with stools that you could see when not in use. Like I said above, we wanted a back for our chairs but I made sure they didn’t peek too high above the actual counter to avoid the clutter.

3. Have you found your aesthetic?

Get on those Pinterest boards and find your look! No, it doesn’t have to be matchy matchy but it should be cohesive. I can’t wait to find the perfect set to complete our space but until then, I’ll be searching for some inspiration all over the place! Tap here to catch a glimpse into the vibes I’m feeling for our kitchen.


5 Top Tips for an Easy Spring Refresh

Practicing being Safe at Home may have you discovering dark corners of your home that don’t get the T.L.C they deserve. Today, I’m rounding up 5 popular and frequently used spaces in your home that need extra care these days and how to accomplish a sparkling refresh without having to open your wallet!

1. Your Kitchen Sink

I’m starting with the area that is most important to me. Sometimes I notice it being the most neglected in homes. Simple tips to keep it always looking fresh are to:

– Sweep excess food down the drain with a sponge. Food and beverages can stain your sink surprisingly quickly and can leave a layer of gunk in the corners. Give your sink a quick rinse after you finish washing dishes.
– Frequently wash your dish draining racks. I’ve mentioned I like to keep a minimalistic drying rack on my counter – easy to clean and put away if I need extra counter space. I make sure I clean it once a week so my dishes are not resting over standing moldy water! Click here and here for my favorite dish racks! The second is intended for baby bottles but we use it for everyday items! So versatile and I highly recommend it.
– Keep a microfiber towel nicely folded by your faucet. It’ll help you remember to immediately wipe down the inevitable splashes from your dish washing!

2. Your Coffee Table

I’m so guilty of leaving coffee rings on my table. We had coasters – nice ones – my kids broke them. I know I can get unbreakable and universally chic ones like this but also, we could never remember to use them. Instead, we got an easy to clean removable tray to put on the table. If something spills on it, we just grab it by the handles and take it straight to the sink. It’s only purpose is to set drinks on (we have the coffee table books set elsewhere) so that space looks clutter free and tidy 99% of the time and it’s so satisfying. Here is one I absolutely love!

3. Your Bedroom

Make your bed every morning and hang your clothes back up when you undress at night!! We have an unspoken morning and nightly ritual between the two of us. No doubt, we break the rules on nights we’ve had too much wine or on mornings we had too much wine the night before… ;-). BUT anyway, here is our routine if you’re looking to add some simple tidying to your life.

AM: Wake up, open blinds to let some kind of light in, make bed and fold pajamas nicely to be set somewhere for the evening. If you sleep with a glass of water on your nightstand, take it to the kitchen to be washed.
PM: Remove clothes, immediately put dirty clothes in hamper, hang/fold and put away clean clothes, put on PJ’s. Do a quick scan of the room and put away any lingering pairs of shoes, accessories, articles of clothes. You’ll wake up the next morning feeling accomplished and a little more zen than if your room were cluttered with yesterday’s things.

4. Your Bathroom

Do you keep beauty/self care items on the counter? Get yourself a small organizer with compartments to separate by category. We have this one and it is sorted like this: My products on the left, things we both use in the middle, and his items on the right. Truth be told, I might use two compartments but… whatever. It’s space efficient and keeps things looking so much more organized during the day. The organizer is under $10 and an added bonus is that, since everything is in one container, we can pick it all up and wipe down the counter when needed.

5. Your Home Office

Last but definitely not least in this day in age. Where are you running your business while at home?

If you saw my post on Instagram, I wrote this post from the comfort of my sofa. What you didn’t see in the post was my notebook, multi colored pens and highlighters, and product print outs. After I’ve completed my daily blog or social post, I tuck away the assortment of desk clutter and sort it nicely in this bin. Sure, we have a home office as well but my husband is currently using it for his job and I’d much rather be feet up on a sofa with my laptop while he’s crunching numbers into Excel on his desktop. Either way, it’s so important to keep the paper clutter organized so you can stay on task during this period of staying safe at home. If you don’t have the budget for new accessories, simply take a stylish binder clip to your stacks of paper to keep them looking tidy. Bonus: This lessens the worry of your young children grabbing a pile of papers and throwing them across the room too!

New Year, New Home

Are you ready to get rid of the clutter in your life? Here I am, signing in to tell you what exactly to do with common items from the top places in your home that you may have overlooked.

10. Bathroom
TRASH: Did you know that your bath and body care has a use by date after you open it? RealSimple magazine breaks it down pretty simply here. There is a special symbol on the back of your product with a number on it. That is the expiration date! From now on, write the date you opened it on it so you know when to toss!
DONATE: Women’s shelters will take unopened products from hotel stays! Recent fun fact courtesy of my sister after I complained to her about my husband’s toiletry hoarding habit when he travels for work. I will be making an effort to do this in 2020. I made a pretty serious pledge last year to create less waste and one purchase that significantly helped with that was a reusable menstrual cup. After donating tampons and pads to a women’s shelter, go out and buy the Saalt Menstrual Cup. They last 10 years, are cost effective, and can be worn for up to 12 hours. Seems like a no-brainer and I’m so glad I made the switch last year!

9. Bedroom
TRASH: Stained pillows should go! I have a cost-saving tip for future pillows so you don’t have to toss them every year… Buy a waterproof/bed bug protection pillowcase. They will save your pillow from drool, greasy hair, and keep it fresh much longer.
DONATE: Old blankets and towels can go to animal shelters! They are usually in desperate need for these items to comfort the crated animals. Bonus: Take over a bag of food for them too while you’re at it!

8. Office
TRASH: Do you need 50 pens all collected from hotels, restaurants, your office? I really don’t think so and honestly, half of them probably don’t even work. Toss them now!
SELL: Did you promise yourself you’d use that fancy camera you bought last year but never did? List it on Facebook Marketplace for that lucky photographer. I’ve had some serious luck on that page.

7. Living Room
TRASH: Nothing. Seriously. You should be able to find a home for your furniture and/or storage bins & baskets. If you can not then….. SELL (again) on Facebook Marketplace. I really prefer this to craigslist btw. Think outside the box with rearranging your furniture and get creative with storage bins. I am constantly moving my bins from the pantry, to my closet, to the living room depending on need. If we get a new toy for the kids, likely I already have a perfect bin for it’s storage.

6. Playroom
TRASH: Toys that are broken. I also use this as a lesson to get my children to play with their toys nicely. If they break it and it can not be fixed, it goes in the trash and they know it. Sorry kids…

DONATE/SELL: Toys that are not age appropriate and video game consoles that have not been used in a year.

5. Pantry
TRASH: Expired food – duh! Also, plastic containers without lids and broken chip clips. You know, go through your cabinets real quick and toss useless items!

DONATE: Did you get extra canned corn for the holidays? I’m sure you can find a way to cook with it but you probably won’t. So go ahead and drop it off to a food shelter.

4. Wardrobe
FIX: Do you have pumps with a worn out heel? Take them to a shoe repair now! If you don’t know of a local one, there are also some dry cleaners that will repair these. Also, watches that need new batteries should be repaired. They’re going to waste in your closet and watches are very much so fashionable these days.

3. Garage
SELL: It’s been a while since I got on a bike and I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon. This means I should say goodbye and sell it to someone who can use it. Also looking at some surfboards that are collecting dust from our “just moved out here” days.

2. Backyard
TRASH: Moldy outdoor cushions! To save yourself some money in the future, buy yourself a nice outdoor cover. We bought these after our old cushions were ruined by pine sap.

1. Car
TRASH: Last but not least – do a quick scan of your car. Get rid of the gas station receipts and food wrappers (don’t worry, I’m guilty of eating and driving too). Toss those old detail wipes you kept in your car because you were >definitely< going to keep your car clean with them before they dried out.

Let me know in the comments below if I’ve missed anything or if you need any more help decluttering your life!

Deep Freezers the Right Way

Since I’ve started this blog, I’ve had a few good friend’s reaching out to pick my brain or even suggest future posts they’d like to see. Well, I LOVE that! It gets me excited for my next move in this venture.

The other day, my dear friend sent me a text requesting fridge organization tips. She has a deep fridge which can lead to wasted food since your it all just ends up mixed together with no order. She has just welcomed her second baby into their family and she’s working hard to stock up the freezer for her return to work. The bags were piling up and unfortunately forgot to do the lay flat while freezing trick so the bags were bottom heavy and taking up too much room. Her exact text to me was “it gives me anxiety and I feel like there’s gotta be a better way”.

There definitely was a better way so let’s get into it…

Luckily for her, I was returning some items at Ikea and found the perfect deep freezer tool! I found these lidded bins (picture below is a link to item) that would be great for stacking in her drawer. They keep her milk sorted by month and it’s ok that the bags aren’t all flat because she doesn’t need to see it when she opens the drawer. Only when it comes time for her little one to go through them. They come in multiple sizes so I’m sure you can find one that works for your dimensions. I stacked two of the larger ones in her freezer to store her milk.

Sockerbit Lidded Box from Ikea

As always, don’t forget to check out my Instagram page here for more motivation on how I used these Ikea bins to create a satisfyingly organized freezer drawer!

Stop Calling it Junk!

In an effort to give more purpose to the storge in your home, lets work together on eliminating the “junk spaces” in your home!

In all seriousness (and I’m hoping you can relate), I don’t only have one drawer dedicated to random finds… For example I opened our game night cabinet the other day to find a GRAVY BOAT in next to my puzzles, next to a pile of cookbooks, next to some deflated balloons. I have an entire cabinet dedicated to serving dishes and a bookshelf fit for those books but for some reason, I crammed them all in one teeny space. I’ve always had an eye for practical organization but we all take off sometimes so I’m not going to beat myself up about it. Recently I’ve been looking at these spaces and wondering if I can come up with a list of ways to keep them from turning into junk spaces again. Then it dawned on me that we don’t need a list.. we just need to remember to: CREATE PURPOSE!

Ok just kidding, this blog post would be boring if we didn’t have a list so let’s do the following:

  1. Think of where in the home the space is and whether you can categorize by the most common item found in that space.
  2. Take the basic rules of organization and empty, sort & TOSS. Does every pen in your drawer work?? Now’s the time to check and toss. Also, maybe you don’t need 20 black pens? Unless you’re a caligrapher, chances are you don’t… so TOSS!
  3. Create a new home for the loose items you find in the space. Can your batteries be moved to a utility closet? Is there a paperclip that can be put back in the office? Why is your gravy boat next to your puzzles? All questions I’ve asked myself in the past week.
A junk drawer turned stationary drawer

I didn’t start writing this post to tell you how to organize your junk drawer but to, better yet, eliminate it!

Doing so will help you take better care of your belongings. No more crumpled bills you forgot to pay. No more expired bottles of tylenol taking up space in a drawer… It’ll also alleviate some of the anxiety of not knowing where to find those things. If you open a cabinet or a drawer and it immediately gives you a headache, please do yourself a favor and empty it out now.

What’s your most recent junk clean out and what did you turn that space into? Leave a comment below!

If you need some good drawer organizers, click here.

Daily Rituals

Raise you’re hand if you have a roommate? Yes, I’m including children and spouses in the equation. Well, those roommates might not be on board with your resolution to keep the household organized. Try to get them on board with the below list of easy to perform daily rituals!

  • Make Bed – It is so nice to walk through a house full of made beds. If you have young children, get them used to the idea by encouraging them to at least put the pillows back at the head of the bed and arranging their stuffed animals in a fun way.
  • Empty Clean Dishwasher/Dishrack: It makes life so much easier when you can put dirty dishes in the dishwasher without wondering if there are clean dishes in there. Also, how are you supposed to keep the sink clutter free if there’s a bunch of dishes in the dishrack?? Just do it! It only takes 5 minutes out of your morning.
  • Plan Dinner – Make sure you have something defrosted or maybe even something ready to throw in a crockpot. I’ve linked my favorite one for you here. You can even brown meat in it before you set it to slow cook! If you take the time to plan dinner, you can make sure you have the ingredients you need ahead of time.
  • Pack Lunch From Leftovers – After you’re finished eating, assess the leftovers you have and see if you can make a creative lunch for your next day. I wish I could get motivated to meal prep but I feel like this is a more exciting way to change up your daily meals and it’s so much easier! Just take the protein you ate for dinner and throw it in with some salad or veggies and rice and you’ve got a tasty meal! Chris bought these containers and I made fun of him at first but we get so much use out of them.
  • Wash Dishes/Run Dishwasher – My last Instagram post was all about keeping a clean kitchen. No one wants to wake up to smelly food in the sink that can also leave unsightly stains!
  • Put Dirty Clothes in the Hamper – Either that or hang up the clothes you wore that day that didn’t get stinky. Don’t just throw your jeans on the closest armchair, find its home so it’s easy to get ready the next day.
  • Lay out Clothes – I’m not a morning person so when I was rushing to get to work or the gym early in the morning, it was so nice to already have everything ready to go. Do it the night before so you don’t start off your day feeling rushed.

Finding a Home

If this wasn’t your home, would you be able to figure out where everything was?

My mom came to help me with the house after I gave birth to our second child. Being that she lives across the country, we don’t see each other as often as we’d like but we always make the most of it when we do. Our homes are also constantly changing during the time we’ve spent apart.

If you know her, I’m sure you can imagine that she is amazing to have around during a major life change. My mom is terrific with kids, is the best cook in the world, and has this calm demeanor that I’ve always aspired to emulate.

One day, while she was being super mom in the kitchen, she looked at me and said “Rox, your kitchen is so easy to navigate. Everything makes sense.” I felt this wave of pride come over me. Why? Because I’ve never really looked at myself as an extremely organized person BUT for someone to feel just as at-home in your kitchen as you, yourself, does… Well, that is something to be proud of.

This brings me to my tip of the day:

Before you make a purchase, think ahead of where it’s home will be. Find a home!

I’m sure you’re thinking “OK, but what about gifts?” There’s an easy solution for this. Keep cabinets coordinated by category so you can immediately add your newest addition to your home.

Tips for smarter smaller kitchens:

  • Maximize space by mounting kitchenware.
  • Use expandable drawer organizers.
  • Place measuring cups in a drawer/cabinet closest to your prep area.
  • Place pots and pans near the oven.

Tips for smarter larger kitchens:

  • Do not force yourself to use all available cabinets. If budget allows, consider converting cabinets into beautiful and fresh open shelving.
  • Keep items off your counter and take advantage of extra drawer space. These spice drawer organizers are a must have!

What are your favorite ways to stay organized in your kitchen? Drop me a note below!