Pantry Reorganization – Before and After

Hi everyone! How many times have you gone into your pantry or cupboard and looked for something that you know is there, but just can’t find? I’m sure the answer is many times! It happens to me more than it probably should. Then there’s those times when you surprisingly find what you’re looking for, but knock over five other items trying to retrieve the one. The old adage “out of sight, out of mind” was just not working for me any longer and I knew something had to be done. I had attempted to  previously clean out my pantry on multiple occasions, but decided that it was FINALLY time to do it properly.

I’m here to show you how for less than $40 (and a little bit of time) you can transform this space just like I did! This can be an overwhelming process for many, especially if your pantry is stocked with items like mine was. Just remember that it’s just that – a process. Take everything one step at a time (and breath!). I think that a lot of people equate an organized pantry to a large space, and this couldn’t be more far from the truth. My pantry is on the smaller end and I’m quite happy with the transformation.

For a Organizaed Pantry of Your own, Follow the Steps Below:

  • Take all of the existing items out of your pantry. You’ll want to ensure you have ample clear counter space for this step.

 

  • Review expiry dates. Review each item and toss out anything that is no longer good. You may also want to consider discarding items that you know (deep down) will go to waste in future. For example, that half eaten tray of cookies that aren’t expired but probably don’t taste so good and also aren’t in line with your new diet.

 

  • Group like items together. Think pastas, seasonings, cereals, granola bars etc.

 

  • Purchase or repurpose jars, containers and baskets. These will be used for storing pantry items such as rice, cereal, pasta, legumes and so much more. I say repurpose because you may very well have items around the house that you can use. I was able to locate and use two white baskets that we already had for our pantry. An added bonus of using glass containers and jars is that they make the items in them look more appetizing (think almonds) and you’ll know exactly what you have available for cooking, in a pinch!

 

  • Label all items. This is important because it will help you to easily retrieve items when you need to grab something quuckly. Labels are also helpful for the little ones in your home.

 

  • Create a list of “cooking times”. So you’ve emptied all of your items into jars and your pantry looks pristine. A week later you go to make some rice only to realize that you threw the box away. It’s a wise idea to create a list of pantry items with their cooking times prior to discarding boxes. This will come into handy for things like pasta or quinoa .

 

All jars and containers used in my pantry reorganization were purchased at the Dollar Store (yup, the Dollar Store!!).

If you have any questions or comments, please leave me a note.

Happy mommying,

Jennifer ❌⭕️

 

 

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How we Organized our Sons Nursery

 

So you’ve made it to the halfway mark of your pregnancy, or perhaps a little further and you’re ready to get this baby out of you! This can be an exhausting time, but there is fun to be had. Planning for your baby’s nursery, especially if you love decorating (and who are we kidding, shopping!) like I do, can bring lots of fun to an otherwise uncomfortable time.

If you’re someone who sits on the other side of the fence on this, then you may feel it’s quite a daunting task. Not to worry, regardless of your level of expertise, I’m here to help! Let’s begin with the basics – the items you will need to complete the room.


Basic Nursery Items:

  • Crib
  • Mattress (including sheets)
  • Change table (including pad and sheets)

Additional Items if Budget Permits, that are Really Useful:

Dresser. If you’ve accumulated quite a bit of clothing up to this point, a dresser is most likely necessary.

Change table and dresser combo. Yes, another dresser – because you can never have too much storage! It’s also quite common these days to find dresser/change table combinations. Talk about space saver? These are great for those of you working with limited space.

Glider or rocking chair. Although an investment, this is a life-saver. A glider will come in handy in the early days when baby is waking to feed multiple times throughout the night. You will want to set yours up in whichever room you will share with baby for the first few months. We originally placed ours in his nursery only to realize it’s much more practical to have it in our master bedroom. When you’re a first time mother waking up a handful of times through the night, the last thing you want to do is wander the halls to get to the glider!

Diaper Genie. This one is self-explanatory! You will want a diaper genie for easy disposal and management (keeps in any odors) of your little ones diapers. They are available in all types of colours and are more an accessory than anything.

Mirror.  This is also considered an accessory, but mirrors are staples in any room. Also a bonus, because as your baby grows you will find they love looking at themselves in mirrors.

Bins and storage baskets. Bins and baskets are another life-savers and can both brighten and elevate any space! They are the perfect way to bring in a sense of your personal style while also keeping all of baby’s most prized possessions organized!

Clothing hangers. Hangers can be used to display items such as outfit sets, pants, shirts, jackets and so forth. You will want to store most items such as sleepers, socks, towels and blankets in either bins, or a dresser.

Shelving. Shelves are an excellent space saver. If you’re limited with closet and dresser space, consider displaying books or toys on a floating shelf!

Accessories (wall art, stuffed animals, pillows, stools, picture frames, lamps etc.) Accessories will help to bring your theme together (if you have one) and make the space unique and your baby’s own. We added a picture board, mirror, stool and a few other items to pull our baby’s room together.


Also consider the following:

The size of the room.

This will dictate how many pieces of furniture you can fit in the room. Realistically, you will need a crib and a change table. Ideally two dressers would be nice, but this isn’t always visible, both cost and space wise.

The colour you will be painting the room. 

The colour you paint the room will dictate the colour or finish of furniture you select. White furniture goes well with pretty much any type of colour palette, so if you know this is what you’re going for then you won’t need too heavily on paint colours. For example, grey furniture with brown walls.

A theme you’d like to use when decorating (if any). 

Very similar to choosing furniture, a theme can also dictate what type of colour palette you will mostly likely gravitate towards. Think nautical or princess – I’m sure the colours that come to mind are blue and pink.

Your budget. 

Your budget will determine what products you’re looking for and where you will want to search.


Where we Shopped for our Nursery:

Crib – Leon’s

Change table/dresser combination – Leon’s

Glider – Baby’s Room

Mattress – Babiese R Us

Rug – Homesense (Queen West Trading Co.)

Stool – Homesense (Queen West Trading Co.)

Toy Bin – Homesense (Queen West Trading Co.)

Love you to the moon and back – Target

Hamper – Target

Storage baskets – Homesense and Winners

 

Happy mommying,

Jennifer ❌⭕️

Congratulations, You’re Pregnant! Now What?!

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Looking back on my pregnancy – it was both an exciting and scary time. Being a first time mother can be just that, scary. It’s the fear of the unknown. You want to share the news with everyone but at the same time have so many unanswered questions. You experience a bag of mixed emotions while all sorts of thoughts are running through your mind. “Is it too early to share the news? Will I make it past the first trimester? Am I actually pregnant? How will people react?”. Thankfully for me, I have sisters. Although both are childless, it’s nice to have someone to confide in other than your partner, because really, they’re most likely just as clueless and terrified as you are.

To help you through the intial shock of this overwhelming journey, I’ve prepared some tips below that will assist you with prioritizing your thoughts and honing in on what really matters. Keep reading as I’ve also included a list of things that can wait to be tackled and additional considerations that will serve you through your pregnancy.

What to Focus on NOW:

1. Clean up your diet (If you weren’t working on it before, now is the time to do it!)

I know, how is a newly pregnant person supposed to clean up their diet when all they want to do is give into those stubborn pregnancy cravings? Especially in the first trimester – cravings are a REAL thing. Not all women are so lucky though,  as many suffer from severe morning sickness (not just in the morning). None the less, it’s important for both you and your baby to establish good eating habits that will take you through to the end of your pregnancy. To me, this means including ample fruits, vegetables, fiber and protein in your diet. Limiting sugar, and anything “white”. Not too bad, right?

2. Begin taking a quality pre natal vitamin.

If your pregnancy was planned, you may very well already be taking a pre natal vitamin. This is great and gives both you and your baby a head start on your pregnancy. It ensures that your body already has all of the vitamins and minerals that are crucial to carry your baby through the next 9 months. If not, don’t worry – you can purchase prenatal vitamins from any drugstore (most grocery stores carry them as well). I personally used Pregvit for it’s higher dose of iron and would highly recommend this product if this is something you also lack. Remember to always read labels and follow the instructions provided. Most prenatal vitamins should be taken at the same time each day and often times on an empty stomach. This can cause some women to become quite nauseous. If you are one of them, I’d suggest having a light snack with your pill (any type of carbohydrate will be sure to tide you over).

3. Proper sleep and rest (let’s face it, after baby comes you won’t sleep for the next 18 years).

If you were never someone who woke throughout the night to use the washroom, you will be now. The first trimester and quite early on, will have you waking through the night and running to the washroom. The extra blood flow that your body produces as a result of being pregnant is to blame. Keeping this in mind, It’s crucial that you get ample rest and sleep well through the night. Your body is working hard and will be going through some major changes, that in itself can be stressful enough.

4. Contact your GP to make an appointment.

You’ll want to contact your family doctor to schedule an appointment. They will go through a routine check and take lots of blood work. To prepare for this appointment, you will need to know the first day of your last period. This will assist your physician with calculating your due date. Your doctor may also refer you to an obstetrician. This is also an excellent opportunity for you to ask any important questions you may have; so make a list of questions in advance of your visit.

5.  When you’re going to begin telling people and who.

This is something that is very personal and completely up to you and your partner. Often times it is said that after the 3 month mark is a good time to begin sharing your exciting news with friends and family. It’s a good idea to discuss this with your partner in advance so that you are both prepared, should you receive questions or are caught off guard.

6.  Download a pregnancy app like “BabyCenter”.

In the day of modern technology there are so many unique and amazing apps all about pregnancy. There are some that will calculate your due date and track your cycles, others that will track your growth and share with you how your baby is developing. By far my favourite is BabyCenter. It takes you through each week of pregnancy and shares developmental milestones. It also includes a forum where you can ask questions and connect with other moms who are due in the same month and year as you. It’s a safe place to reach out to others who are experiencing the exact same feelings as you.

What can WAIT (although extremely fun):

  • Shopping for clothing
  • Researching the latest baby products
  • Decorating the nursery
  • Buying baby furniture
  • Setting up a registry (for a potential shower)

You may also want to CONSIDER:

  • How your work schedule could affect your pregnancy. Do you have morning sickness? Do you work shift work? Have a long commute? A lot of things can come up mid pregnancy and having a back up plan or peace of mind is always comforting. You may want to make arrangements to work remotely or save some vacation time for days when you have medical appointments.
  • How long you plan to be away from work. It’s important to make arrangements for your maternity leave. Will you take a full year off? Will you take vacation time prior to your leave? Will you continue contributing to a pension? Although these decisions seem trivial, it’s a good idea to start considering them early on.
  • Reviewing your finances. This is always a tough one. By nature, many of us tend to avoid numbers at all costs. However, It’s important to begin planning for the additional costs associated with a baby. Have an idea of your monthly bills and create a budget – there are tons of free templates available online. The last thing you want to worry about when you’re trying to enjoy your new bundle of joy is money!

 

Happy mommying,

Jennifer ❌⭕️

Welcome!

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Putting a face to a name. Hi everyone! I’m Jennifer and I’m the face behind “Modern Organized Mama”. I live in the Greater Toronto Area (also known as the GTA), with my husband Michael, newborn son Alexander and dog Rocky. I’m a first time mother who’s loving every minute spent with my little man! Although I’m still fairly new to the journey of motherhood, I’m embracing it for all that it has to offer, one day at a time (challenges included)!

Now where does the organization come into play? Well, I’ve always had a knack for organization – dating back to my childhood, and it’s served me well into adulthood! My friends and family would say I plan a little too much, but I say they don’t plan enough. I mean, being organized is sort of the lazy way out anyways, isn’t it? Shortcuts, performing little tasks one day at a time, putting the work in now so that you don’t have to worry or bother with it in the future? Sounds good to me! So please join me on this journey as I take you into my home and share with you a glimpse into my “modern organized” life.

I’m always open to feedback and learning more about how organization can make motherhood and life easier! Please feel free to reach out to me here or on my Instagram account: @modern.organized.mama with any questions or inquiries.

Happy mommying,

Jennifer ❌⭕️