Game Day Food Never Tasted So Good.

IMG_0268It is Super Bowl Game Day! The day where some fans get together to root for their favorite team, others are looking for the best commercial, while an indefinable number are waiting for the halftime show to see if there will be a wardrobe malfunction. However, let’s be honest, every single Super Bowl watching or no non-watching person is gathered round for the FOOD! Here to help all of us win the best dish is Boca Grove’s Executive Chef Dominick Laudia with a Boca Grove Stuffed Braised Short Rib Burger on a Butter Toasted Kaiser Roll. Dig in and enjoy!

 

For the Braised Short Rib:

5 lbs.                     Short Ribs

As needed           Salt and Pepper

As Needed           Oil

1 cup                     Onion, Medium Diced

1 cup                     Celery, Medium Diced

½ cup                    Carrots, Medium Diced

1 lb.                       All Purpose Flour

5 qt.                       Beef Stock

2 cup                     Red Wine

8 oz.                      Tomato Paste

1 each                    Bay Leaf

1 sprig                   Fresh Thyme

 

Method:

Season beef with salt and pepper.

Sear both sides in oil.

Remove meat from skillet and place in a deep roasting pan.

In skillet add vegetables and brown, add flour to make a paste (roux).

Add beef stock, wine, tomato paste, and herbs.

Pour mixture over the meat.

Cover with foil and place in 350-degree oven for approximately 2.5 hours.

 

For the Stuffed Braised Short Rib Burger (makes 4 burgers):

2 lbs.                     Ground Sirloin or your preferred ground beef for burgers

1 lb.                       Pulled Braised Short Rib Meat, Chilled

As needed           Salt and Pepper

 

IMG_0266Method:

Take 8 oz. of burger meat and form into a ball.

In the center of the ball make a hole using your finger.

Fill the hole with short rib meat and form into a burger patty making sure the short rib meat stays in the center.

Season meat prior to cooking.

Cook burger to your desired temperature.

 

IMG_0262For the Toppings:

4 each                   Sliced Tomato

4 each                   Leaf Lettuce

2 each                   Avocado, Sliced

 

Method:

Place the burger in the Butter Toasted Kaiser Roll.

Top each burger with a slice of tomato, lettuce and some avocado.IMG_0265
Add a side of fries to complete the dish.

 

This burger is a touchdown, and the fries and toppings are the extra point! This dish will have your fans cheering for your food every game day!

From the Greens of Boca Grove.

South Florida has been having some interesting weather this winter, and by interesting we mean wet and not from snow. Boca Grove’s Director of Golf Course Operations Rafael Barajas wants to share what the USGA Regional Update has to say about this interesting weather that comes from El Niño.

 

El Niño.

For many months’ weather forecaster have been predicting a strong El Niño. It was hoped by many in the Southeast Region that the predictions would be wrong, unfortunately they were not and El Niño is here and causing some concern.

 

What is El Niño?
“The term El Niño refers to the ocean-atmosphere climate interaction linked to a periodic warming in sea surface temperatures across the central and east-central equatorial Pacific. Typically, the El Niño effect causes increased rainfall in the southern United States during the winter months. golfintherainIn fact, it has rained 32 of the past 45 days in the West Palm Beach area. For comparison, the 30-year average for this same timeframe in West Palm Beach is 12 days.”

 

How does El Niño affect golf course in southern regions?

There are several ways that El Niño affects golf course. Mainly, increased rainfall creates wet environments and softer playing conditions. Here are some other affects that were seen during recent USGA Course Consulting Visits:

  • Increased stress on greens and collars
  • Frequent plugged lies
  • Short roots and larger ball marks on the green
  • More “mud balls” in fairways
  • Less ball roll in fairways
  • Tire rutting from mowers and golf carts
  • Higher-than-normal water levels in lakes and ponds

“The combination of wet, cool and cloudy conditions can cause considerable turf stress. Turfgrasses need sunlight for growth. Prolonged cloudy weather causes turf to deplete carbohydrate reserves that are stored in roots, weakening the root system. Roots take up oxygen from soil and saturated soils make it nearly impossible for weakened roots to survive.”

 

How can we protect our golf course?

Ultimately, drier weather and more sunlight is needed. Here are a few tips the USGA recommends for improving our turf health and playability at Boca Grove:

  1. Monitor soil moisture and reduce overhead irrigation – Many clubs have not applied irrigation since before Christmas time, and root zones still remain saturated because of the large amount of rainfall. By keeping track of soil moisture and reduce watering as much as possible we will stay aware of the turf moisture.
  2. Increase mowing heights on greens – They recommend to not mow the greens low to keep them from getting stressed. By sacrificing a little playability and tolerating slightly slower conditions we are benefiting our turf health. “Turfgrass leaves are like miniature solar panels.” By providing greater leaf area with increased mowing heights will allow the turf to create more energy through photosynthesis, promoting turf health and deeper roots.
  3. Vent greens regularly with solid-tine aeration – “Venting with small, ‘pencil’ tines – e.g., 0.25-inch diameter solid tines – is recommended on a monthly basis during normal winter months.” Some courses are venting their greens as often as every two weeks. “Venting improves rooting by relieving soil compaction and increasing soil oxygen.”
  4. Use plant protectants – Fungicides are being applied at many courses to reduce disease and improve turf growth. “Leaf spot and Pythium diseases have been among the most common pathogens on golf courses over the past few weeks.”
  5. Manage golfer traffic – The ropes and stakes you see in wet areas on the course are there to reduce cart traffic stress on the turf. Also, more courses than usual have gone to “cart path only” policies during this past month because of these overly saturated soil conditions.
  6. Implement a fairway topdressing program – “Mud balls” are a common problem when fairway soil stays saturated and are caused by an undiluted layer of organic matter on the ground surface. This layer is thick and spongy causing more plugged lies and an increase of mud on balls. Fairway topdressing is costly, but it improves playability with adding to surface firmness which in turn helps reduce the occurrence of “mud balls” in the fairway from excessive organic matter.

 

Hole 1_10From the Greens at Boca Grove we hope you understand a little more about the weather conditions of El Niño and the effect it is having on our golf course, as well as the precautions we are taking to keep our course in the best condition possible.

I Do.

February is “National Weddings Month” so we here at Boca Grove are paying tribute the best way we know how – with weddings in a Boca Grove style photo blog.

The Ceremony:

Outside with a View!

Inside Intimacy!

 

The Picture Possibilities:

 

The Reception:

Intimate and Grand!

 

The Food:

The options from the first bite to the last are endless!

 

The Celebration:

Fireworks aren’t just for the first kiss.

 

Just another day living in the Boca Grove Lifestyle! Cheers to a happily ever after.

 

 

Heart Healthy for the Month of Love.

Heart HealthFebruary is known as the month of love, so it is only natural for it to also be “American Heart Month”. A lack of exercise, a poor diet and other unhealthy habits can hurt your “ticker” over time. With some help from the American Heart Association here are some things you can do to stay heart healthy, young or old.

 

All Age Groups:  Age is only a number and everyone, no matter that number, can benefit from a healthy diet and physical activity.

  • Choose a healthy eating plan. Did you know that the type of food you eat can decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke? “Choose foods low in saturated fat, trans fat and sodium. As part of a healthy diet, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, fish (preferably oily fish – at least twice per week), nuts, legumes and seeds and try eating some meals without meat. Select lower fat dairy products and poultry (skinless). Limit sugar-sweetened beverages and red meat. If you choose to eat meat, select the leanest cuts available.”
  • Be physically active. Get yourself up to at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity (brisk walking) every week or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity (jogging or running) or a combination of both each week. Add in 2 or more days a week of muscle-strengthening activities that will work all your major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest shoulders and arms). It is recommended that children should get at least 60 minutes of activity every day.
  • Learn the warning signs of a heart attack and stroke. It is never too early or too late to learn about these. Not everyone experiences the same symptoms of severe chest pain when having a heart attack or sudden numbness when having a stroke, especially for women in the case of heart attacks.

 


In Your 20’s:
Learning early on about your heart will put you far ahead of the curve later.

  • Find a doctor and have regular wellness exams. Healthy people need doctors just like sick ones do. Now is the time to start a relationship with your doctor and start “heart-health screenings”. Have conversations with your doctor about your diet, lifestyle and have them check your blood pressure, cholesterol, heart rate, blood sugar and body mass index. If you are pregnant, overweight or have diabetes you should have your blood sugar checked. By knowing what your numbers are early on you will be able to spot a difference should it occur later on.
  • Run-DMT-How-to-Live-Heart-Smart-HeartHealthBe physically active. It is easier to be active, and in turn stay active, when you start the routine when you are young. Now is a great time to keep your workout routine interesting by changing it up.
  • Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke. If you started smoking as a teen, now is the time to quit. Exposure to secondhand smoke also poses a serious health hazard. According to a U.S. Surgeon General report, non-smokers are up to 30 percent more likely to develop heart disease or lung cancer from secondhand smoke exposure at home or work.

 

In Your 30’s: Life is more hectic with work and family leaving many adults without extra time to worry about their hearts.

  • Make heart-healthy living a family affair. By creating and enforcing heart-healthy habits for your children you in turn are reaping the benefits. Start by spending less time on the couch and more time on the move. Go to the nearby park to play together as a family, or go for a walk or bike ride together. Plant fruits and vegetables in the yard that everyone cares for and then invite the kids into the kitchen to help cook.
  • Know your family history. Look through your family tree to learn about heart health. If you have had a family member with heart disease it increases your risk, more so if the relative is immediate (parent or sibling). If your family tree has heart disease in it than you need to focus even more on the risks you can control by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, not smoking and eating right. Continually keep your doctor informed as you learn about your family’s heart history.
  • Tame your stress. Long-term stress causes your heart rate and blood pressure to increase that can damage the artery walls. By learning techniques to manage your stress will not only benefit your body, it will also better your quality of life. Deep breathing exercises and “me time” each day will help lessen stress.

 

In Your 40’s: If you are just now catching on to being heart healthy. Have no fear. The choice to be healthier now will still help you for the future. Understanding the changes you need to make and having confidence to go through with them is all it takes.

  • Watch your weight. When you are in your 40’s you may notice your metabolism slowing down. You can avoid weight gain by keeping a heart-healthy diet and exercising. The trick at this stage is to find a workout routine you like and maybe even a workout buddy.
  • Have your blood sugar level checked. In conjunction with your routine blood pressure checks and other heart-health screenings you should have a fasting blood glucose test by the time you are 45. This first test will be your baseline for future tests that should be done every three years. Testing can be done earlier or more often if you are overweight, diabetic or at risk for becoming diabetic.
  • Don’t brush off snoring. Listen to your bedmates complaints about your snoring. “One in five adults have at least mild sleep apnea, a condition that causes pauses in breathing during sleep.” If sleep apnea is not properly treated it can contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

 

In Your 50’s: At this stage in your life you may be noticing outside changes to your body (more wrinkles, grey hair), however, you can’t see the impact age is having on the inside to your heart. Now is when you need to start taking extra steps in being heart-healthy.

  • Heart-health1Eat a healthy diet. Remember in the beginning of this article when we talked about healthy eating and what to eat. Now is the time to really start following it if you haven’t already. Get out of the unhealthy habits that may have crept in and get back to eating fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, fish, nuts, legumes and seeds and try eating some of your meals without meat.
  • Learn the warning signs of a heart attack and stroke. Now is the time to know what they are so you are prepared for any symptoms you may have. Remember not everyone experiences a heart attack or stroke the same way.
  • Follow your treatment plan. At this stage in life you may have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or other conditions that can increase your risk for heart disease or stroke. Lower your risk by following your doctor’s orders which can include medicine, as well as lifestyle and diet changes.

 

In Your 60’s+: As you get older your risk for heart disease increases. Your blood pressure, cholesterol and other heart-related numbers tend to rise as your age does. Keeping a close eye on your numbers and managing any health issues that may arise – along with exercise and healthy eating – can help you to live a longer and better life.

  • Have an ankle-brachial index test. Starting in your 60’s it is a good idea to get this test done as part of your physical exam. “The test assesses the pulses in the feet to help diagnose peripheral artery disease (PAD), a lesser-known cardiovascular disease in which plaque builds up in the leg arteries.”
  • Watch your weight. As you get older your body needs fewer calories. Excess weight causes your heart to work harder and therefore increases the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. Regular exercise and smaller meal portions of nutrient-rich foods may help you maintain a healthy weight.
  • Learn the warning signs of a heart attack and stroke. If you haven’t learned the signs and symptoms yet, now you really need to be aware. By knowing the signs, you are more likely to seek immediate help and in turn quick treatment can save your life and prevent serious disabilities.

 

Here is to keeping your heart pumping for many more February’s to come.

From the Greens of Boca Grove.

RafaelFrom the desk of Rafael Barajas:

What an honor and privilege it is to serve the Boca Grove family as your Director of Golf Course Operations. The employees and members I’ve had the pleasure of meeting have all contributed significantly to the warm welcome I have felt during my first month.

My primary goal during the first 30 days was to get to know the golf course and staff, meet the membership and gain an understanding of the club’s traditions and culture.  Although clubs are very similar in some respects, every club has a unique culture and environment. Understanding the club at this fundamental level helps bring clarity to the planning process and will be very informative as I move forward in working towards maximizing the member experience on the golf course.

 

In addition to creating consistency on the overall maintenance of the golf course and green speeds, there is a need to do the same for the Club’s landscape and attention to detail. There have been some challenges since my arrival, some we have control of and can make the necessary adjustments to minimize the impact to the golf course, but unfortunately there are others beyond our control, such as the current weather we are experiencing.

 

Bermuda-GrassBermuda Grass is a warm season perennial species adapted to tropical and subtropical climates. It grows best under extended periods of high temperatures, mild winters and moderate to high rainfall. Temperature is the main environmental factor that strengthens its adaptability to tropical and subtropical areas of the world. However, when average temperatures drop below 50°F growth stops and the grass begins to discolor. At the onset of low temperatures in the winter, Bermuda Grass begins to discolor. Discoloration comes from protein fractions changing in composition and reserved carbohydrates increasing in the stems and rhizomes causing the loss of the green coloring and turning the blades brown. When low temperatures remain below 50°F leaves and stems of Bermuda Grass remain dormant until average daily temperatures rise above 50°F for several days. The roots and rhizomes of Bermuda Grass continue to grow several weeks after the leaves and stems stop growth. This species of grass makes the best growth when average daily temperatures are above 75°F. Optimum daytime temperature for Bermuda Grass is between 95° and 100°F.

 

grass-diagram

Bermuda Grass has a high light requirement and does not grow well under low light (shaded) conditions. The duration of the light period (day length) also influences growth and development of Bermuda Grass. Both increased light intensity and day length escalates rhizome, stolon and leaf growth in Bermuda Grass. At low light intensities (less than 60% full sunlight) Bermuda Grass develops narrow, elongated leaves, thin upright stems, elongated internodes and weak rhizomes. Consequently, Bermuda Grass develops a very sparse turf under moderately shaded conditions.

 

It is normal for the golf course and greens to lose the green color due to the current unseasonal weather, however, this will be for a short time. As soon as the weather becomes normal with warmer temperatures the golf course will be lush green again.

Rafael Barajas, CGCS
Director of Golf Course Operations

“Popeye Day” Calls for Spinach Crusted Salmon.

IMG_3586Today is “Popeye Day” and “Scrumptious Sunday”, so what could be better than a spinach dish straight from the kitchen of Boca Grove Executive Chef Dominick Laudia? A Spinach Crusted Salmon with Beet Risotto, Lemoncello Hollandaise, Fried Artichoke Hearts and Spinach Arugula Coulis would have any spinach loving sailor’s mouth-watering, let alone everyone else.

 

For the Salmon:

4 cups spinach, blanched and chopped fine

2 each egg white

4 oz ground fresh salmon

As needed salt and pepper

4 each salmon fillet 6 oz

2 tbls oil

4 oz white wine and lemon juice

 

Method:

Combine spinach, egg white, ground salmon and season as needed.  

Sear seasoned salmon in oil.

Remove and coat top of each fillet with spinach mix.

Bake in a 350-degree oven with wine lemon mix for 8-10 minutes.

 

For the risotto:

1 cup roasted peeled beets, medium dice

1 tsp minced shallot

2 oz olive oil

1 cup risotto

4 cups vegetable or chicken stock

2 oz white wine

4-6 oz heavy cream

4 oz butter

As needed salt and pepper

 

Method:

Heat oil and shallot in skillet, cook till tender.

Add risotto and sauté for 5 minutes.

Slowly add stock in small amounts and continue to stir risotto.

Add wine and continue adding stock and stirring.

Cook till risotto is slightly firm.

Remove from heat and add cream, butter, beets and season to taste

 

For the hollandaise:

2 each egg yolk

1 cup clarified butter

1 oz lemon juice

1 oz Lemoncello

 

Method:

Place yolks and lemon juice in double boiler.

Whisk yolks until frothy.

Remove from heat and slowly whisk in butter till thick.

Season and whisk in Lemoncello.

 

For the artichokes:

4 each artichoke hearts, cut in half

 

Method:

Using three step method of flour, eggs and bread crumb, bread artichokes.

Fry in oil before serving.

 

For the coulis:

2 cups spinach

2 cups arugula

2 oz olive oil

2 cups vegetable stock

1 cup heavy cream

As needed salt and pepper

 

Method:

Heat oil in sauce pot, add spinach and arugula.

Stir quickly and add stock to cover.

Cook till soft and remove from heat.

Place in blender until smooth.

Strain and return to sauce pot with cream.

Reduce till half and season.

 

Here is to a delicious spinach dish for Popeye and spinach lovers everywhere.

An Organized Home Equals an Organized Life, So They Say.

organize-your-homeJanuary is the month to make resolutions, to become and stay motivated, and make you and your life better for the new year. This is the month to get us started on the right foot with inspirational days and weeks offered to those of us looking to make the new year better than the last. With that said, today is “Organize Your Home Day”, so here are tips from hgtv.com on getting each room of your home in tip top shape for 2016 and always.

 

living-room-mThe Living Room:  

  • Bring in the wastebasket. Did you know that most living/family rooms do not have a wastebasket in them? Now is the time to change that, especially if this room in your home collects a good deal of trash. Find a wastebasket that goes with the décor of the room, and if needed has a lid to help mask any food odors before the next emptying.
  • Keep coffee tables and end tables clutter-free. This room has the ability to attract clutter in the form of magazines, brochures, books and papers on all surfaces that serve a table-like purpose. Make a central location with a place to hold these items that will not lead into a junk spot, but rather a place to sort and purge of the collection quickly and easily.
  • Take control of your out-of-control cords. Do you constantly battle with tangled cords that go along with every entertainment center? Help take control of these woes with a Cableyoyo, a cable caddy or a cable zipper to get theses cords tamed.
  • Create a play zone. Homes with young children tend to have an overload of toys, especially in the living/family room. Take the time to make an unused corner useful. Corners are a great place to keep toys centralized and from taking over a space with storage containers, and such to keep everything organized and in its place.
  • Have functionality from your coffee table. Coffee tables, if you have one, need to serve dual purposes – a table and a storage area. Besides being a place to put your drink on, it also needs to be able to store what use to be your clutter someplace other than the top of it. If your coffee table is lacking in storage and buying a new one is not an option maybe baskets or bins that fit under the table are a valuable option.
  • Games Anyone? If you are a family who loves to play games, a game cabinet is ideal. It will put them in one place making it functional and fun. The gaming cabinet can be anything from a shelving unit, a bookcase or plastic containers that can fit under a sofa to be easily hidden (sofa needs to be tall and have a skirt).
  • Creatively Display Photos. If you have a large number of small, photo frames that are taking up space on tables it is time to display them a different way so you can get them under control. If you have wall space move them there, if not than photo albums, collage frames or a digital photo frame are possible options to help get all those frames and photos organized.
  • Use the open space behind a sofa. If your sofa is not up against a wall, then take advantage of the open space behind it. You can add a trunk, cabinet or low bookcase behind the back to help store extra blankets and pillows, or other loose items, plus it can give you an extra spot to add lighting or other valued treasures.
  • Movie Collection Sorted. Take some time to go through your CD and movie collection. Make two piles for each – one for keeping and one for donating/selling. If there is anything you haven’t watched or listened to in a while and have no plans to change that it is time to get rid of them. The pile you are keeping can then be organized to your preference and then stored in a media tower, bookcase, ottoman or the drawers of your coffee table.
  • Grow your houseplants. If you have a green thumb and an abundance of house plants the living/family room can become a jungle. Get your plants organized with a corner plant stand or decorative pots. Figure out where in the room you are placing them before you purchase a stand. Stands typically come in designs for a corner, as a pedestal or tiered configurations.
  • Curb Your Collection Enthusiasm. Collections can slowly take over valuable space in any room, especially the living/family room, and over time become harder and harder to organize. If your collection is large try displaying bits and pieces at a time and rotating them out to keep the décor fresh. Shadow boxes or shelves are a great way to display your collection. Collectibles not being displayed can go in a labeled box in a hall closet.

 

kitchen-squarecollage-withtextThe Kitchen:

  • Junk Drawers. Go through your drawers often and get rid of all that useless junk that is taking up valuable space.
  • Counter Space. Everyone wants more counter space; you can never seem to have enough. Help free up counter space by putting your canisters that hold your cookies, flour, sugar, etc. in the cupboards instead. They can be neatly organized and hidden giving you the space on the counter tops that you are always looking for.
  • Paper piles. Make it a daily habit to go through the mail, newspapers and other papers that have a tendency to accumulate on your counter. Throw away or recycle what is not needed, file what needs to be saved and put the other items where they belong, not on the kitchen counter.
  • Crowded Utensil Drawers. Dump them out and then get rid of all the utensils that never worked for you and anything you have multiples of that are not needed.
  • Cups and More Cups. Install cup hooks under a cabinet or shelf to help make additional space in the cupboards.
  • Expiration Dates. Open the cupboards and clean them out. Check the expiration dates and anything that has expired – throw it out!
  • The Cold Box. Go through your refrigerator and freezer just like you did your cupboards. Throw out anything expired.
  • Company Dishes. Go through your dishware and anything that is only used for when guests are over pack away so that the dishes you use on a regular basis are accessible.
  • Countertop Appliances. Any countertop appliances (Crock-Pot, wok, pasta maker) that are not used often need to be weeded out or stored somewhere else than the counter. If you haven’t used it and don’t have plans to use it – get rid of it. If you still use it from time to time than find a better place to store it than on your counter.
  • Plastic, Plastic Everywhere. Did you know that most households have enough plastic containers to fill six refrigerators and freezers? Go through your plastic drawer and decide how many containers you use on a weekly basis and throw out the rest.
  • Kitchen Sink Windowsill. Is there dead space on your windowsill? Get rid of what is cluttering it!

 

bathroomThe Bathroom:

  • Organize Your Medicine Cabinet. Start using your medicine cabinet for items you need and use regularly. Medicine cabinets are better put to use with everyday grooming supplies than medicine. Keep similar items in organized and labeled containers that are stored under the sink or in the linen closet that way when you need it you can easily access it. You may even decide to store your medicines in a kitchen cabinet versus the bathroom since moisture can ruin them. By creating “active” storage in the medicine cabinet you will end up spending less time in the bathroom giving you more time elsewhere.
  • Hair Product Supplies Under Control. Place those gels, sprays, curlers, straighteners, hair dryers and combs in one bin and store under the sink. This will give you back needed space and get everything you need in one place. As you are filling the tub, go through the items and if they are not used get rid of them. Now, when you do your hair you can pull out the bin and have everything you need, and when you are finished you can put it all back quickly.
  • Creative Towel Storage. Are your towel racks lacking in space for the whole family, or just the towels needed? Get yourself some towel hooks. They are inexpensive, easy to hang and give you the space you need to hang everyone’s towels. No more fighting on whose is whose and the towels are kept off the floor (hopefully).
  • Win the Battle with Your Makeup. Bathroom drawers can become catchalls for containers and products. Look into an organizer that can fit your drawer and easily hold your belongings without making more of a mess. As you organize your makeup, in your new drawer organizer, throw away anything that has expired or lost its normal consistency. Medicine that has gone bad can irritate your skin.
  • Re-evaluate the Shower Caddy. Shower caddies can be great if they are working correctly for you. If they are too small or too big they may be hurting instead of helping. Figure out exactly what toiletries you need in the shower and then decide what size is best for you to corral it all. Is it an over the showerhead container, one that suctions to the tile or something for the corner that will best work for you?
  • Over the Toilet Space. There is space for organization in every bathroom, big or small, you just have to know where to find it. Furniture for over the toilet is plentiful and useful. It can hold extra toilet paper, towels and toiletries, and can be found in any style to match your bathroom décor at most home stores.
  • Apothecary Jars Are Stylish and Functional. If you have counter space available to you and don’t mind having things out in the open than it could be valuable for you to purchase some stylish apothecary jars to hold your everyday necessities (cotton swabs, cotton balls, etc). They can help dress up your bathroom as well as make them accessible to guests who would otherwise snoop to find them.

 

Laundrey_RoomThe Laundry Room:

  • Corral All-Weather Gear. Does your laundry room also serve as a mudroom? Sort the items that get left there, purge anything missing its partner, assign a place for everything to go, contain specific gear together and finally go through every day and tidy up what got dropped again. With this concept all rain gear goes in one place, all cold weather gear goes in another and so on.
  • Contain Cleaning Supplies. Store your supplies in a carry-all caddy or an open top bin. Put partner cleaners together, so that you don’t have to search through multiple places to find something. Bins will also keep things from falling behind shelves or getting lost behind other supplies.
  • Contain the Pet. If you have a pet and their belongings are beginning to take over your home, the laundry room may be your answer. If your laundry room is inside and accessible it may be the ideal place to make your pet its own little home. This can be where the pet bed or crate go, all of the toys and leashes, as well as their food and water bowls. Just make sure everything is in a spot that won’t keep the traffic flowing in the room.
  • Dry Clothes Vertically. Do you find yourself hanging clothes to dry anywhere you can find a flat space or available door? Maybe now is the time to install a retractable clothesline or a freestanding drying rack to get back some much needed space and free up counters for something other than clothes drying.
  • Presort Clothes. Save laundry time and presort as clothes get dirty. If you can have three separate hampers: one for light, one for white and one for dark. When the hamper is full it is time to wash. Make it even easier by making each family member responsible for sorting their own dirty clothes into the respectively labeled hampers.
  • Create a Lost and Found. More than just socks get lost in the laundry. Have a special place for lost items to go. A basket for lost clothing pairs, a small bin for lost pocket items. At the end of each week go through the bins and reunite strays and return pocket treasure to the rightful owners.

 

Bedroom-Makeover-Blog-PostThe Bedrooms:

  • Under the Bed Storage. Allow the bonus space between your bed and the floor be a place to store items. The under the bed can be used as an extension of your closet, holding seasonal items that rotate in and out, or for bigger items like purses and blankets. Place a label on the outside of each bin so when you are looking for something specific you know exactly where to find it.
  • Shoe Pile No More. A quick fix to a bedroom closet overrun with shoes is a good shoe rack. Try and stay away from hanging ones as they will take up valuable space (unless you have the space to give) and go for the tiered shoe rack designed to go on the floor below all of your clothes. The rack will nicely display your shoes, it will use the space that can go unused and it will keep from dirtying any clothing.
  • Jewelry in Order. If your necklace collection has outgrown your jewelry box but is still too small for a jewelry armoire a hanging organizer may be just what you need. Most hanging organizers come with or snap onto a hanger and have a multitude of clear pockets, so nothing gets tangled and you can see exactly what you are looking for. These organizers will hold more than just necklaces as well, your earrings, rings, bracelets and watches will have a home too. An added bonus: By having your jewelry in your closet it encourages you to wear it more.
  • Set-up a Reading Nook. Make that chair in your bedroom a safe haven from dropped clothes and miscellaneous items by setting it up as a proper reading space. Next to that comfy chair add a side table with shelves or drawers to hold your books and keep them off the floor. To keep an uncluttered feeling in the space it is suggested to have fewer books displayed than what fits the space. If a chair doesn’t fit in your bedroom and you read in bed, make a small bookcase as your nightstand.
  • Make Your Bed Every Day. Organization is not all about “putting things away” it is also about getting something ready for its next use. The thought is to treat your bed “as the sanctuary it is by positioning it for use every day.” That three minutes it takes to re-make your bed will not only help create a habit of keeping your room in order, it may also translate into motivation for keeping the rest of the room clean and in order.
  • Proper Care for Specialty Garments. If your closest houses vintage clothes or even your wedding dress, take the proper steps in making sure they are cared for. It is best to get everything professionally cleaned and then choose proper hanger or box storage. If you choose to hang, make sure to get a proper hanger and wrap the clothing in muslin. If boxed is the option of choice, make sure the cardboard is acid-free and wrap each fold or crease in the clothing with acid-free tissue paper. Be sure to store out of the way of your regular wardrobe, and check every year for damage.
  • A Child’s Bedroom Toy-Proofed. To tidy up toys in your child’s room look into purchasing soft containers such as canvas clothes hampers or crunch baskets. They are soft enough for your child and good for concealing clutter. Use different sizes for different types of toys. Smaller items, like books, get small containers, bigger items, like stuffed animals, get larger containers. Get your child involved in the organizing process and they may be more likely to tidy up when they are done playing.

 

home-office-organizingThe Home Office:

  • Adequate Furniture is a Must. Home offices need a clear work area that provides adequate space for computer hardware and equipment, a place for reference materials, a file space and a location to keep supplies and frequently used materials. Office furniture needs to provide ample space for work and storage.
  • Activity Centers Need to Be Established. The most efficient home office should be zoned into activity areas: A Work Center, A Reference Center and A Supply Center. The Work Center includes clear workspace, the computer and all frequently-used office products. The Reference Center includes binders, manuals, reference books and resource materials. The Supply Center includes all of the office and paper supplies.
  • Hardware Placement. It is best to place your equipment based on frequency of use. Anything that is used daily, like a printer, should be placed within reach. However, anything that is used less frequently can either be placed under the desk or outside the work area all together. Also be aware of when setting up your hardware. You want to be conscious of any access to drives, trays and cords. Make sure to not block any access to drawers or take up your leg room with tangled up cords.
  • Hide Cables and Wires. Take the time to label your wires and cords by folding mailing labels back on themselves; and go as far as not only labeling what machine it is for but what side connects to what. Cut down on cord clutter by keeping like wires bundled together. Make sure to use a surge protector for all delicate electronic equipment. Stack your equipment to use your space more efficiently. Be careful though to not place top-venting machines on top of each other as it can cause them to over-heat, unless you use chair-leg protectors as spacers between them.
  • Create a Paper Processing Area. Within your Work Center make an area for papers that need immediate action. Make another place for storing papers that are associated with ongoing projects so that they are easily accessed and in view. Finally establish a permanent filing system for papers you need to keep on hand, but do not need regularly.

 

This checklist may take more than today to accomplish, but it is a starting point. Here is to “Happy Organizing Day” and a more organized home for 2016.