Quarterly Newsletter
Sixteenth Edition




It's hard to believe that the holidays are just around the corner! So it's no surprise that this quarter's newsletter is about organizing the kitchen, a room that many of us can expect to spend a lot of time in in the coming months.


These days, kitchen's aren't only for cooking. Because they have become the hub of our homes, you can expect friends and family to congregate there, as well as help you to clean up after a celebration. This newsletter aims to help you get your kitchen in shape so that it's functioning at its best and is a place you can feel good about when your guests join you there.


Also, you will find a link (you can click here) to Altogether Organized's new and improved website. Please send me an email letting me know what you think of it and I will enter your name in a drawing for a $25 gift card to The Container Store.


Best Regards and Happy Holidays!











functional kitchen

Making Your Kitchen

"Work" for You


How do you make sure your kitchen functions at its best? By following these steps, you'll have a kitchen where everything you need is at your fingertips!


Be Honest

Most of us have collected more kitchen items then we actually use. And anytime you are storing something you don't use, you are reducing your options for storing the items you do use and want to access easily.


So if that waffle iron, salad spinner, cake plate or electric wok, are just taking up space, now is the time to let them go! Also, ask yourself just how many of each item do you really need. For example, do you actually need the 6 pasta serving bowls, 10 spatulas, 30 pieces of Tupperware and 25 coffee cups that you have collected over time? Keeping too many of a useful item can also eat into your available space and storage options.


Make Good Choices (For You)

Clients often tell me they chose where to put their kitchen items based on where they seemed to fit best or "just because." THERE IS A BETTER WAY! Follow these 3 guidelines to ensure you are purposefully choosing places that make sense for how you use your kitchen.


Put Things you Use Most Where They are Easiest to Access

Think about which kitchen cabinets, drawers and shelves are the easiest for you to access and then identify the things you reach for on a regular basis. These items should go in those spaces! So if you bake only occasionally, you don't need to keep your bake ware in your "best" space. Likewise, if you have certain serving pieces which you use several times a week, you'll want these to be stored where they are easy to get to.  


Keep Things Near to Where they are Used

For example, keep cooking oils, pot holders, pots and pans near the stove. Put drinking glasses near the fridge and/or the sink and keep your mugs in the cabinet right above your coffee maker.


Is your utensil drawer huge and hard to sift through to find what you need? Try splitting these items into 3 categories: Cooking utensils should be placed in a drawer or in a counter top holder near the stove; Food preparation utensils (potato masher, peeler, garlic press, etc.) should go in a drawer nearest the counter top where you prepare food; and Serving utensils (serving spoons and forks, ice cream scoops, pie servers) should go in a drawer near your serving pieces and/or dishes.  


Keep the Things you Use Together in One Place

When you keep things together that go together, it's easy to assemble what you need. For example, if you put all the dishware that you use on a regular basis together then it's easy to set the table and empty the dishwasher. When you put all of your entertainment serving pieces together, it's easy to choose what pieces to use. By keeping the food wrap near the Tupperware, putting away leftovers is a snap and by keeping your mugs and coffee supplies together, you can make your morning coffee even if you aren't fully awake!


You may find that you have to pull your kitchen apart to put it back together in a way to makes the most sense for your needs -- but I promise the results will be worth the effort!  


Our Favorite Organizing Products


Here are some of our favorite organizing products for the kitchen.


  shelf divider

Shelf Dividers are great for making the most of a cabinet shelf.



expand a shelf  

Expand-A-Shelves help you see everything on a shelf.




drawer organizer  

Drawer organizers are great for separating silverware and utensils and  

Expand-A-Drawer organizers let you utilize the whole drawer.


knife dock  

Knife Docks let you store your knives neatly and safely in a drawer.





Bake Ware Holders help avoid having to store flat items on top of each other.



spice drawer 2 

 Spice Drawer Expand-A-Drawer organizers let you easily see your spices



 Check in on Altogether Organized's Facebook Page!

We have been posting "before and after" pictures, organizing tips, advice and links on a weekly basis. Thanks for all the positive feedback from those of you who have been receiving them. 

Just click on this link www.facebook.com/altogetherorganized  to "LIKE" the Altogether Organized Facebook page.



news flash  

Introducing Our New Website

Altogether Organized has updated our website! The new site better highlights the many services we provide. You will find more information on Home Organizing, Office/Paper Organizing, Organizing to Show and Sell your Home, Moving/Relocation Services, Design Consulting, Estate Organizing and how we work with Hoarding Clients.


Please check us out at www.altogetherorganized.org . If you send me an email to let me know your thoughts, I will enter your name in a drawing to win a $25 Container Store Gift Card. (The winner must be willing to let me publish their name in my next newsletter.) I look forwarding to hearing from you!




Spice drawer



 Spice Up Your Kitchen



Do you ever find yourself rifling through a sea of spices to find the one you are looking for? Or, maybe you were sure you had a spice only to find that you actually don't - while you are right in the middle of a recipe that calls for it!


Organizing your spices can change your life! Well, that may be going a bit too far...but it is really good!



Here's How:



  • Pull all of your spices out onto the kitchen counter


  • Alphabetize what you have (and don't be surprised if you find multiples)


    • Decide if you want your spices in a drawer or on a shelf. If your drawer is at least 2 inches deep, you can use a drawer insert, which allows you to lay your spices down. This makes it easy to see their labels. If you are using a shelf, you may want to use an Expand- A-Shelf, which allows you to see behind the spices in the front row.


    • If you have a lot of spices, consider splitting them between the ones you use most often and those you seldom use. Then keep the spices you use most near the stove or where you prepare food. Store those spices you seldom use in a bin (on a less accessible shelf) so that you can easily pull them out when needed.


    Whichever place you choose, make sure your spices are alphabetized, so you can retrieve them easily.


    kitchen pantry

    Organizing Your

    Kitchen Pantry


    Pantry's often times become the "black hole" of the kitchen. Just like one of our client's, who realized she had 5 jars of mayonnaise, people are often very surprised to find they repeatedly buy food items they already have at home.


    It is so much easier to shop if you can see what you already own and an organized pantry allows you to buy only what you need. The easiest way to do this is to separate your food into categories, which allows you to "shop" in your kitchen, just like you do in a grocery store.


    Here are the categories that I suggest:

    • Breakfast Foods
    • Canned Goods
    • Condiments
    • Rice and Grains
    • Pasta
    • Soups
    • Baking
    • Beverages
    • Snacks

     You may want to label your shelves to keep everyone in your household on track. I also often recommend using organizing supplies in the pantry, as they can make it even easier to see what you have. For example, Expand-A-Shelves are great for canned goods and condiment bottles; Bins are good for containing seasoning packets; And shelf dividers are great for making the most of your space.


    Happy Shopping!



    Organizing your Home to Show and Sell

    February 22, 2013 

    9:30 - 11:30 am

    New Trier Extension

    7 Happ Road, Northfield 



    Organizing Your Home

    March 18, 2013   
    9:30 - 11:30 am

    New Trier Extension

    7 Happ Road, Northfield


    Organizing Your Paper

    November 2, 2012     

    9:30 - 11:30 am

    New Trier Extension

    7 Happ Road, Northfield


    April 5, 2013  
    9:30 - 11:30 am

    New Trier Extension

    7 Happ Road, Northfield




    ...For any Altogether Organized clients' (prior to 2012) to use your Ten Year Anniversary Discount.


    As we announced in our January 2012 newsletter, Altogether Organized turned 10 this year and we are showing our appreciation to past clients by offering a special coupon to be used in 2012.  


    Here's how it works:

    Every calendar year that you've worked with us is good for $10 off your next appointment. In addition, you will receive $10 off for each person you have referred to us that used our services.    


    Not sure which years you've worked with us or who you referred that became a client? No problem -- we can quickly tell you. Just call our office at 847-266-9166 or email us at linda@altogetherorganized.org  


    Contact Us