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Let’s Simplify Pill Management
Whether you are a caregiver to an older adult or a mom managing a family who values wellness, you might find that administering pills can become almost a full-time job. But here are seven steps to ease your pill pain.
I want to share a system that can simplify pill management and increase consistency in everyone’s taking meds and supplements.
Here are some tools you might need for this process.
Pillboxes with morning, noon, evening, and bedtime compartments are available here.
Label maker (optional)
A medium to large plastic bin or container – these Multi-Purpose bins work wonders. Also, here’s my favorite plastic box ever.
Follow These Steps
Place all prescribed and OTC meds and supplements that household members regularly take in the plastic bin or tote. The amount and size of pill bottles on hand determine the size of your container or box. This step only happens once because this bin will become the forever home of ingestible medicines and supplements at home. You may benefit from a second plastic container for all OTC medicines NOT regularly taken, like cough syrup, painkillers, allergy medicine, etc.
Write the name of each person (or initial) who takes each medication on the bottles’ lids. Include the intake frequency of that product. For example, “M 1-am / 2-pm” indicates that person “M” takes one of those pills in the morning and two in the evening. Repeat this process with all bottles for easy identification at a glance.
Assign each person taking medications or supplements regularly a pillbox and label both sides of each pillbox with their name.
Line all pillboxes on your counter or table and open their lids.
Work by person – Select all bottles with someone’s name and place all meds/supplements they need in their pillbox, according to timing and dosage.
Work by-product – If you’d instead work with one product at a time, distribute a medication or supplement into the pillbox of each person taking that product.
Repeat the process for each person or per product bottle (depending on your preferred method).
Close all pillbox lids when each box is complete with all medications and supplements for that individual.
**Devote 30 minutes to this task every week. Make it a commitment and calendar this activity!
Where and Why
Ingestible medicines and supplements are best kept in the kitchen, not the bathroom. The humidity in the bathroom might affect the product’s integrity.
Keeping medication and supplements in the kitchen makes sense because we ingest these, usually with water or another beverage. The pantry or a cabinet in the kitchen are optimal spaces for these pillboxes and the bin with the medication bottles.
On the other hand, things we apply to our skin, hair, teeth, or nails go in the bathroom. This group includes rubbing alcohol, H2O2, antibiotic creams, muscle pain patches, cotton, gauze, bandages, etc.
It is simpler to take medications and supplements when we do not need to sort the product, open several bottles, and make the same decisions repeatedly, several times per day. It makes sense to streamline this process.
When medicines and supplements are in a single place, finding what we need at any moment is easier.
A central location for meds and supplements also facilitates knowing what needs reordering and when.
It also eliminates having multiple open bottles of the same product.
This process has an inherent accountability built in; it’s easy to notice when someone forgets their meds and when it happens just by looking at the pillbox. Thus, this system also increases the consistency in taking medications.
Make It Happen
These five steps described above will make it easier for everyone to take their meds and supplements consistently.
However, to make the system work:
Devote 30 minutes to this task every week.
Place this activity on the calendar as a recurrent weekly activity.
Make it a commitment.
Pro-Tip:Consolidate medicine when it arrives at your home. Usually, medication bottles come half empty. There is no reason to have several half-empty bottles of the same product, which takes up a lot of space and leads to expired medication around the home.
What could be the mess the Organizer made? Allow me to explain.
People overbuy for many reasons and often end up with so much stuff they can’t see what they own. Other times, it’s a matter of not letting go. But whatever the reason, there’s usually a severe problem with space, although the problem lies in how much stuff we accumulate.
There is a need to fill every inch of space available. When there are available drawers in a spare room, they get filled with the most random collection of things because of open storage space.
What We Find
Too often, clients call us to organize a room in their home and insist there needs to be more storage space in the area they want to manage.
But upon assessing the project, almost invariably, we realize three things:
inefficient use of the space
the space contains unwanted things that have not left the home
much of what the project space includes does not belong there
No wonder there is no space for what does belong in that area.
Once unwanted items are out of that area, and we allocate and organize what is to keep, the client marvels at all the space they have.
But then they turn around and see the mess in their living room. 😂
Okay, So This Is How It Happens
No one expects to end up with a mess in other areas of the house when they engage an organizer to work on their home. That’s for sure.
During the organizing process, what we remove from an area of the home accumulates somewhere else while we work on the project’s primary goal.
Once we organize the project area, whatever is out of that space will require some decisions – what stays, what goes, and the best place to allocate what remains.
Often, we need to repeat the organizing process in areas of the home the client did not contemplate in the project initially. If things removed from one space are to be kept but belong to another area of the house, we need to find the proper space for them wherever they should go.
But when there is no evident storage space for these items where they belong, we must discover or create such storage space. And for that, the whole process repeats itself (remove what does not belong in the other areas and what might be unwanted/unused).
It Always Works Out
As Organizers, we want to delight the client, take care of everything, and leave their home looking perfect. And we know it will all work out in the end. (Because it always does!)
In the meantime, invariably, it’ll get worse before it gets better. So, take a deep breath and play along. The mess the Organizer made will go away.
A Real Case Example
See this example. The first picture is the living area “before.” The second picture is the living room after organizing the first three bedrooms. It might seem as if the pictures are inverted, right? That’s the mess we made! But here’s the other thing: often, a home’s chaos seems contained and controlled. You might not see it, but the clutter monster lurks behind closet doors and inside drawers.
The holiday season is usually the time of the year when we give and receive the most gifts.
This gifting situation can become overwhelming, not only the buying process but also the receiving.
Among the top reasons people find it hard to get organized is their guilt about letting go of unwanted gifts received.
Have you ever thought about what you give when you offer a gift?
More Than A Gift
When you give someone a gift, you might do it with the best intentions, out of a perceived obligation, or without a specific reason.
Regardless of the reason, you give that person responsibilities that might be more than the person wants or can handle.
Has this ever crossed your mind?
When you give a gift, you are passing the responsibility of another possession they did not necessarily choose for themselves.
They will be responsible for finding this item space in their home, storing it, cleaning it, and maintaining it.
An unwanted gift exerts negative pressure subconsciously on the gift receiver. The mind recognizes the item’s presence and why such an item remains hidden or unused.
If someone receives a gift from a person they dislike or the item brings sad memories, that gift brings compounded negative energy.
No Strings Attached
Offering a gift should be without strings or obligation from the recipient. Whether it is to display, use, store, regift, donate, recycle, or trash the item, the outcome of the present should not become a reflection of the relationship between the giver and the receiver.
When you feel slighted if you don’t see the beautiful crystal vase that you gave to your niece in her home, or if you’re hanging on to the pink fuzzy throw blanket from your sister because you don’t want to hurt her feelings, then the gift is no longer a gift, but an emotional burden.
Appreciate The Act of Giving Instead
Both parties should recognize that the gift recipient and the gift giver appreciate the gesture. But the best gift we can offer one another is the freedom from becoming a hostage to an unwanted gift.
It is only human to feel hurt when others do not fully appreciate our gifts. But if we genuinely care for the person receiving our gift, the last thing we should want is to burden that person with an additional problem or guilty feelings that will haunt them.
Let’s be mindful of the gift-giving process and less sensitive about the gift’s destiny. Then, when we finally understand this concept, let the gift recipient know how we feel about the whole process.
Enjoying the holiday season this year might be simpler than you think. But this is possible if we take care of a few essential things first.
It Starts on Halloween
Let’s see. It’s Halloween, and you have precisely the stuff you need to create the theme you are going for this year. You know this because you have that neat area in your garage dedicated to holiday décor where every box is labeled. So decorating will be a breeze!
This year, you are dressing up and having fun with the neighbors on Halloween!
You are enjoying it even more because you know how easy it is to put everything away (and while your kids are at school, you can eat all their candy!).
Then Thanksgiving Arrives
While putting all the Halloween décor away, you want to take out all the Thanksgiving stuff. Easy! It is all well-organized. What used to be a grumpy task is now an enjoyable thing to do.
And just like that, Thanksgiving has officially started in your home. It’s time to think of the menu, the guests, football, and all that comes with it. But guess what? You do have the time and capacity to think about all that now.
Your home is decorated, organized, clean, and ready for holiday guests. After that initial effort and investment last year, you maintained the place when we worked together to manage your home and all the storage.
On Thanksgiving Day, you can eat all you want and blissfully go into a food coma while watching football.
And Before You Know It
When recovered, it will be time to decorate for the year’s major holiday and put all Thanksgiving stuff away.
Everyone wonders how this process became so easy this time – everything is organized, accessible, and clean. You are in a jolly mood. It is a beautiful atmosphere.
You have time to shop or tackle all your gift shopping online in a few hours.
Since your home looks, smells, and feels like the holidays, you have fun gift wrapping. But, of course, it helps that you have a fantastic gift-wrapping station stocked with everything you need for this purpose.
Probably It’s Not You (Yet)
This is probably not your case. You need to contact My Space Reclaimed. Let’s start planning and organizing now so the picture described above will be your story.
People go frantic during the holidays. They have to clean and prepare the home for guests, decorate, plan special activities, shop for gifts, wrap gifts, mail cards, and cook.
But with a neglected house, seasonal decor shoved everywhere, and disorganization, it is hard to feel at ease or properly decorate, shop, gift-wrap, cook, or plan coherently. That does not sound much like the jolly spirit.
Shining A Light on Your Home
No time of the year shines a light on our home and family life other than the holidays. Our home is where we get cozy with friends and family to celebrate, cook, eat, and drink while cold outside. So make your home an inviting nest that speaks of love, gatherings, family, and joy.
All these holiday-related activities can be joyful if we first take care of the fundamentals. With things like home organization and the development of systems that make life more efficient, we create the foundation of an easier time amid everything happening around us. And this sounds like a joyful holiday time.
So be proactive this year! Start analyzing which home processes can be more efficient, what changes your home needs to feel and look its best, and what home areas need reorganization.
The holidays are approaching, and we would love to ease your burden. Contact My Space Reclaimed and see how we can help you.
I’m thrilled to take you on a shopping experience with me – introducing Shop with Us* – my website’s newest development.
But let’s be clear: I don’t recommend items because I sell them – I sell them because I’ve carefully considered them, loved them, and recommended them to my clients.
And what’s better is that Shop with Us is a carefully selected collection of those items that will elevate your daily life and home experience.
Products are organized by home area in the shop. Things you’ve never considered using in a particular space or for some purpose are the best for a different space or goal. (hey, got to love that out-of-the-box thinking!). So, you’ll find some product repetition across sections of this shop.
Also, I wanted to mitigate that deer-in-headlights factor at certain stores when people face innumerable options without knowing what works best for what or why systems go together. (Know that feeling?)
This shop is that helping hand some need. It’s shopping with purpose and direction.
Let me say this is an eclectic shop. From the mundane (like cleaning and home miscellaneous) to the sublime (design items and elements that create the sensory experience you deserve at home), each piece of the puzzle is equally important in developing the elevated lifestyle you crave.
Some clients ask me what is reasonable to have in a home without excess or deficiencies. This shop may serve as a guide or validation of their home’s inventory.
Others have jumped with me into the unknown (without a parachute) to start a new chapter in their lives. I witness the cleansing and healing power of starting anew whenever this happens. (Have you ever noticed it’s easier building something from nothing than fixing or transforming something else?)
Despite its benefits, this radical exercise of starting all over from nothing is only for some. But my experience with those brave souls led me to consider, source, and create new homes and lifestyles for them.
And in doing so, we learned about the elements that comprise that new, thriving, simplified, and upgraded life in a new home. That’s how my “Home Essentials” lists came to be (and these will be available for sale soon -Stay tuned!). This new shop is primarily based on those Home Essentials lists.
But remember that before acquiring organizing solutions or thinking about home design, we must let go of the burden, the excess, the baggage – physical or otherwise. That requires some pre-work.
Only after this pre-work will the items in the shop make sense. It’s not my wish for you to accumulate more stuff or shop for the sake of shopping. Buying storage solutions, containers, or design elements without the proper context will only result in additional clutter. And the goal is to transform your home experience into a streamlined, simpler, organized, exquisite, and fulfilling one.
So, if you have yet to eliminate the clutter in your home and life or look at my shop collection without the faintest idea of what to get or why, let’s backtrack the process.
I’m constantly learning and growing. And I would certainly appreciate your contribution to this shopping experience. Let me know of products that speak to you or diverse uses you give to some mainstream products. Please share your ideas for this shop with me for everyone’s benefit. I’d love your opinion on this new initiative in my business.
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Here are 15 tips to increase your pantry’s space, order, and beauty so you can love it again.
1. Edibles Go In The Pantry
Space permitting, contain all edible items in your kitchen in the pantry. Kitchen cabinets are for kitchen equipment, dining, and serving items. Include pet food and snacks in the pantry. Use pet food containers to avoid having open pet food bags and spills. Use the smaller versions of these pet food containers for treats. If you mix treats, snack time will always surprise your furry friends. Mixing their treats in a single container avoids having many bags and treat containers open at once.
2. Remove Cleaning Products
Avoid storing cleaning products in the pantry. Kitchen cleaning products should go in the cabinet space under the sink. All other cleaning tools and products have their place in the laundry room.
3. Use Floor Space Wisely
Fit your pantry floor with baskets or crates to store plastic and paper serving products, beverage bottles or cans, water gallons, water jugs, and other items like lunch boxes. The floor area is a good storage space, but we must make it appropriate for holding our stuff.
4. Zone Your Pantry
Create zones in your pantry so the various product groups are on their dedicated space/shelf. Creating areas for the different product groups makes the space more efficient.
5. Hook It Up
Include a hook behind the pantry door for aprons if you use them.
6. Contain Plastic Bags
Add a plastic bag dispenser behind the pantry door. Think Simply Human. Their Wall Mount Grocery Bag Dispenser offers a practical addition to your pantry space to contain those plastic bags while keeping them accessible.
7. Got Bulk?
Dog food containers are ideal for storing dry bulk goods in your pantry. Align these containers along the floor or the highest shelf.
Consider adding lights to each shelf underside and watch the magic happen! Lighting under cabinets adds an incredible vibe to the space but also the functionality counter space needs.
9. To Line Or Not To Line?
Some people consider lining their shelves and drawers a must; others don’t. If shelf-lining is essential, consider a product like Zip-N-Fit Premium Liner. This liner easily cuts to size by folding and tearing the pieces. It makes lining a breeze. There are great alternatives, but you should get a product that makes the job easy and makes you happy. Lining shelves (the right way) is a project and can be an investment. Whatever you decide, measure twice and cut correctly so your shelves and drawers look sharp and are appropriately protected.
10. What To Do About Cans?
Organize canned products using tiered can organizers. These organizers allow you to see all cans at a glance and save space on the shelves. Look for the expandable kind to maximize the use of space.
11. Pantry Corners (Do We Have To?)
Using Lazy Susans on pantry corners is a good idea to maintain access to those awkward spaces. For added convenience, consider those lazy susans with raised edges and divisions so that what you place in them does not fall off.
12. Snacks, Anyone?
Consider baskets or bins to place individually packed snacks. Remove them from their original boxes or packaging first.
13. Dry Goods: The Pantry Defining Item
Dry goods will define your pantry’s biggest question: Do you want a Pinterest pantry or a more functional one?
The Pinterest look is a high-maintenance alternative, as it requires consistently transferring all dry goods to containers each time you bring new products home.
The functional approach allows items to remain in their original packaging but clustered in bins or baskets.
Dry goods are cereals, rice, grains, dry fruit, crackers, cookies, pasta, flour, chips, and the like. These items should not be exposed to moisture and should last for some time after opening the package.
Pro Tip: measure each shelf to determine the space available and count how many different kinds of dry products are in your dry goods category. Whether you use the functional or high-maintenance approach, you must first know what to buy and how much.
Pro Tip: Stay clear of round containers, as they waste a lot of space. Go with rectangular or square, but stick to the same type of container to achieve a polished look.
14. Labeling Is Important
Labeling is a necessary step. It allows everyone to find what’s needed quickly. Labeling also reminds everyone where to put things back; thus, it is crucial to preserve the pantry order when many people share the space.
When using containers in your pantry, label these with a system that adapts to changes. Tastes and preferences of household members change over time. You want a labeling system that looks great but that can be modified easily.
If you use the cluster method to keep items in your pantry, label your bins or baskets with the product category.
But regardless of your preferred method, labeling the shelves also is a good idea. Label the shelf space where each item category should go.
15. Where Do Spices Go?
Unless you keep your cooking spices next to the stove, these should go in the pantry. As with any other pantry group, spices should be together and have specific space on a shelf. A tiered spice rack on the shelf is ideal for placing all the spices because it lets you see them all at once.
When pantry shelf space is not an option, the Elfa Spice Rack comes to the rescue! This clever solution goes on the inside of your pantry door – a true lifesaver.
These tips will help transform your pantry into a happier, more efficient place for the benefit of everyone involved.
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need some pantry help. We love pantries!