How to Remove RX Labels from Medicine Bottles

How to remove Rx labels from medicine bottles is the subject of today’s post.  Use this tip to protect your privacy and recycle empty medicine bottles quickly and easily.

How to Remove the Rx Label from A Medicine Bottle - Neat Nest Organizing

 

Rx medicine bottles have a way of piling up in your space, especially if you or a family member has a regular prescription to take.  Many people know that they should remove the labels before recycling or reusing the medicine bottles, and many people let them pile up because it is too difficult to remove the labels.  This can add unnecessary clutter to cupboards and counter tops.

Not anymore.

Here’s how to quickly and easily remove Rx labels from medicine bottles:

-Boil some water

-Carefully fill the medicine bottle with the water.

-Put the top on.  Again, use caution.

-Let the covered medicine bottle sit for 2 – 3 minutes.

-Carefully remove the label.  It should come off in one piece and leave you with a clean bottle.

-Destroy the label and recycle or reuse the medicine bottle.

 

:) Robin

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Make Ahead Tossed Salad

Make Ahead Tossed Salad is the subject of today’s post.  It’s an idea that was given to me by one of the participants in a Make Ahead Meals 101 home class I recently taught.  Special thanks goes to Doris for sharing such a great tip & technique!

 

Make Ahead Tossed Salad - Neat Nest Organizing

 

Start with these Ziploc Twist & Loc containers:

Make Ahead Tossed Salad Containers - Neat Nest Organizing

 

Layer ingredients in the following order:

-Salad dressing of your choice (my recent fave is Wegmans Southwest Ranch)

-Hard, crispy vegetables (celery, carrots, onion, sugar snap peas, red pepper)  Be sure that the dressing is completely covered by these veggies.

-Lettuce

-Protein of your choice (I chopped up some ham and added a sliced hard boiled egg- yum!)

Make Ahead Tossed Salad - Neat Nest Organizing

Store in the fridge for up to 5 days!  This means you could have a salad for lunch every day during the week.  No more drive-thru or expensive salads from the store.  Grab & go convenience from home.  Love it!

Happy Make Ahead Monday!  What will you make ahead this week?

:) Robin

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Extreme Makeover – Neat Nest Edition

Remember yesterday when I told you I’d have a BIG announcement regarding Neat Nest Organizing today?  Well, here’s the big news…we are currently working on a new and improved website design!  While I have totally loved my current site, my designer and I have decided that an update is in order.  Things move quickly in the technology world, so it’s important to stay on top of things in this area.  And though change is hard for me (I like stability!!!), it is a reality of life that I’m learning to embrace more fully as we move forward here.

Here is a sneak peek at what is coming soon, but keep in mind, it is an early draft.  There is still plenty to do and create!

New website - Sneak Peek

 

Designing a new website also gives me the opportunity to serve YOU better!  With that in mind, is there anything you’d like to have us incorporate?  Please let me know what you think. If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that I appreciate and value your comments and feedback very much.

I still plan to keep sending you organizing tips, ideas and encouragement through this version until the new one is up and running. I’ll be sure to let you know when it is!

:) Robin

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Make Ahead Cookie Dough – Another Way

Make Ahead Cookie Dough – Another Way is the subject of today’s blog post.  The idea comes from a participant in one of my recent Make Ahead Freezer Meals home classes.  I liked it so much that I decided to try it out and share it with all of you here.

Remember how I usually prepare make ahead cookie dough?

Make Ahead Cookie Dough on Sheet - Neat Nest Organizing

 

 

Here is another way:

Mix up your favorite drop cookie recipe.

Cookie Dough 1

 

Turn the batter out onto a baking sheet.

Cookie Dough 2

Form the dough into a square, about 1/2 inch thick throughout.

Cookie Dough  3

 

Score the dough with a knife; make equal sections.

Cookie Dough 4

 

Flash freeze for 1-2 hours until just frozen. Then, using score marks, remove squares of dough.

Cookie Dough 5

 

Or, remove columns of dough and break apart by hand.

Cookie Dough 6

 

Place cookie dough squares into a gallon-sized Ziploc bag.  Store in freezer until ready to bake.

Cookie Dough 7

 

I liked this method of preparing make ahead cookie dough.  It wasn’t as tiring as using my cookie scoop, and the results are similar.  It’s always nice to have another technique in my make ahead freezer meals bag of tricks.  I may be using this one again soon. :)

Happy Make Ahead Monday, everyone!

:) Robin

PS – BIG announcement for Neat Nest coming tomorrow!!!  I’m excited to share it with you :)

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Feeling Stuck with Clutter? This Tip Can Help

It's not just clutter, but also the way we view clutter that can keep us stuck in chaos and disorder. - Neat Nest Organizing

Are you feeling stuck with clutter? This tip can help.  It is one that I originally shared here almost two years ago, and in light of the Clear the Clutter classes I’ve been recently teaching, it seemed timely and worth repeating. I know that this tip has helped me and I hope it will do the same for you.

Here is the question I received from a reader and my response to it:

Dear Robin,

I find that when I’m feeling hopeless about ever being clutter free, I don’t even feel like it’s worth trying. When somehow I’m able to see that there will be the time or the way, I have the motivation.  I just don’t always know how to get from A to B.  What do you suggest?

Dear Friend,

Clutter certainly does have a way of stopping us in our tracks, and it’s not just the physical items or piles we might see.  It’s also the message we tell ourselves about the clutter.  That “story” can be the biggest barrier to doing something about it and getting some relief.  Because we often associate clutter with failure, guilt, dread, futility etc., we may find ourselves giving up and giving in to inaction or settling for a level of organization that isn’t helpful for us.

To get unstuck and help move myself from A to B, I use a powerful technique that I’ve learned from Margie Cole at The Shared Journey. (Margie is my life coach, mentor and dear friend.)

Clutter Clearing technique from Neat Nest Organizing

She has taught me to turn a story into a question. A “story” is a message I tell myself.  Often the story is based on a false belief or unreasonable expectation of myself and includes a sense of overwhelm.  Due to big tasks and time constraints in my own life, I can relate quite readily to the situation you described above.

Let’s use that as an example.

The story: If only I had a big chunk of time to really de-clutter…

The feelings that seem to go with it: I’ll never really have that kind of time, so I”ll never really be free of this burden.  It’s hopeless, why try?  I am a failure, ineffective, guilty, overwhelmed….

Turning the story into a question sounds something like this:  Hmmm, this cluttered [counter, desk, space…] is making my tasks difficult and causing me stress.  I don’t feel good about it.  What can I do […in 5 min? …10 min? …15 min? …right now] to bring myself some relief?

Stories have a sense of judgment.  They limit us and weigh us down, condemning us to inaction.  Stories keep us stuck in the same place, mentally, emotionally and physically.

Questions have a sense of assessment.  They lighten our burden, free us to create options and enable us to take steps toward our goal.

A story is self-defeating and stagnating.  A question is empowering and motivating.

To help myself de-clutter or tackle any task that seems too big for my time frame, I ask myself the above question and then set a timer for one of those increments.  As I work, I encourage myself by saying, Relief is just a few minutes away, so keep going and follow through.

And those little chunks of time really do add up to a lot, especially if done daily (or multiple times a day if the mood strikes and your schedule allows.)  Relief, even if acquired in bits at time, is so much better than no relief at all.

So it’s not just the clutter, but it’s also the way we view the clutter.  Shifting the view from judgment to assessment, from story to question, helps to get me unstuck and moving ahead.  I hope it will do the same for you.

And, if you still find yourself stuck, by all means call a friend (like I did) or hire a trusted professional organizer.  Give yourself permission to get the relief you need.

:) Robin

I am now also offering one-on-one sessions via phone, Skype or FaceTime. Contact me to set one up.  I would love to help you get unstuck!

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Spice Cabinet Solutions – Before and After

Looking for some spice cabinet solutions? Check out these before and after photos.

Organized Spice Cabinet - before and after - Neat Nest Organizing

 

Last week, I had the privilege of presenting my Clear the Clutter program to the Livonia Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS), a moms group in my community of which I was a member for seven years, and mentor for the past two years.  I LOVE this group of women, and it was such a joy to serve  them in my role as professional organizer, as well.  We all came away inspired, motivated and encouraged to clear clutter, open up space and add organization to our lives and homes.

This spice cabinet overhaul is a result of that program!

This mom knew that she wanted to address her spice cabinet, so we brainstormed ideas for taming the unruly bulk spices. Instead of keeping them in the plastic bags, I suggested that she use these mini oval containers.

Mini Oval Containers - great for organizing - less than 30 cents each at Walmart - Neat Nest Organizing(For more bulk food storage ideas, click HERE.)

Now she can easily stack the spices in an orderly fashion, see what she has at a glance and scoop out the spices by quickly and easily removing the lids.  (I also love how she labeled the sides of the mini containers with a permanent marker.) The extra spices are stored out of the way and can be used to refill the smaller containers as needed.

Organized spice cabinet - Neat Nest Organizing

Even reclaiming a seemingly “small” area makes a big impact on the way you feel about and function in your space.  Nicely done, MOPS mom!  Nicely done :)

Is anyone else inspired by these spice cabinet solutions?  How will you “spice up” your space? For more spice cabinet tips, click HERE.

:) Robin

 

 

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Make Ahead Freezer Meals – Taco Spaghetti

The subject of today’s post is Make Ahead Freezer Meals – Taco Spaghetti.

Make Ahead Freezer Meals - Taco Spaghetti

Click image for photo source & recipe

A friend of mine shared one of her favorite recipes with me yesterday, and I thought it would make an excellent feature for Make Ahead Freezer Meals Monday.  She uses Make Ahead Taco Meat from her freezer to pull off this delicious dinner in a snap.

Special thanks to So, How’s It Taste? for sharing the recipe.

 

Happy Make Ahead Monday!

:) Robin

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Benefits of Make Ahead Freezer Meals

March is National Frozen Foods Month!  In honor of that, we’ll focus on the benefits of make ahead freezer meals.  There are many benefits, so in today’s Make Ahead Freezer Meals Monday post, we’ll focus on five of them.

Benefits of Make Ahead Meals - Neat Nest Organizing

 

During the last week and a half  I had the opportunity to teach two Make Ahead Meals 101 home classes.  Along with teaching the basics of cooking ahead and sharing my quick start plan to fill your freezer fast, I always share the many benefits of having prepared meals on hand, in the freezer, ready to eat.

Benefit #1:  Cooking ahead saves time, energy and money.  When you make a large batch of a dinner recipe, you can take advantage of cheaper bulk prices at the grocery store. With ready-to-eat meals in the freezer, you’ll spend less money on eating out, too.  Energy is saved when you do the majority of the prepping, cooking and cleaning up in one session as well.  In the two hours it would take me to make one dinner from start to finish (including clean up), I can prepare up to TEN meals to add to the freezer.
 

Benefit #2: Cook once; eat multiple times. I just did that this weekend when I made Make Ahead Taco Meat and Make Ahead Meatballs.  With each recipe, I cooked one large batch that made FIVE meals each.  So cooking once produced TEN meals total!

 

Benefit #3: Enjoy homemade, nutritious meals without stress. When my meals are made ahead, it is much easier to simply reheat and serve them.  No fuss, no muss = less stress, for sure! And less stressful preparation means we enjoy our meals together more as well.

 

Benefit #4: Healthy meal choices and portion control become much easier.  We like to cook up a big batch of grilled chicken, and use that lean meat as part of a healthy dinner or lunch.  Sweet potatoes make a great healthy side dish as well, so we cook those ahead, too. It is also easy to freeze soup or vegetarian chili into single-serve portions for dinner or lunch. Why go through the drive-through when you have grab-and-go convenience right in your own home?

 

Benefit #5: Always know what’s for dinner :) I don’t know about you, but nothing adds more stress or irritation than being asked “what’s for dinner?” and not having a response.  After a long day at work or taking care of household chores, I don’t have the mental energy left to think about this let alone the energy to prepare it.  So when dinner is in the freezer, ready-to-go, it reduces this source of anxiety and we’re all much happier around dinner time!

 

We are so used to the benefits of make ahead freezer meals that I continue to use this method of cooking that I began using almost ten years ago. This past weekend was a “cooking ahead weekend” for me.  Here’s what I prepared:

Make Ahead Taco Meat

Make Ahead Italian Meatballs (recipe HERE)

Shredded cooked chicken for Chicken Pot Pie (watch my video HERE)  & Chicken Cacciatore

French Bread Pizza

Have you cooked ahead recently?  What did you make? 

Happy Make Ahead Monday!

:) Robin

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Spare Bedroom Organization – Before & After

Spare bedroom organization is the subject of today’s post. Here is a spare bedroom that I recently helped to clear and organize. My client and I worked together during a three-hour session and were able to achieve fantastic results!  Check out the photos below.

 

Bedroom before & afters - Neat Nest Organizing

 

Bedroom closet - after - Neat Nest Organizing

It is always a thrill to help someone in this way, and we were both so pleased with the progress we made in such a short time.  The donation items &  any trash items were taken out of the home by my client that day.  What a great reward for the time and effort that was put in!

 

Bedroom before & afters - Neat Nest Organizing

Special thanks goes to my client who allowed me to share these spare bedroom before and after photos as a way to encourage, inspire and motivate others to do the same. What do you think of this newly transformed space?  Please celebrate with us and comment below!

 

:) Robin

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Make Ahead Freezer Meals – Tomato Paste Tip

The subject of today’s post is Make Ahead Freezer Meals – Tomato Paste Tip.

Freeze extra tomato paste in 1 tablespoon portions.  Store in freezer bag.  Use a tablespoon or two as you need them later.  -Neat Nest Organizing

Freeze extra tomato paste in 1 tablespoon portions. Store in freezer bag. Use a tablespoon or two for soup, stew or chili as you need them later.

I use this tip when I make recipes that call for tomato paste such as Bean Burritos and Cheater Chili.  Each recipe only requires a few tablespoons of paste.  Rather than waste the rest of the large can, I freeze one tablespoon portions on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Once the portions are frozen, I place them in a freezer bag.

Tomato Paste frozen in 1 tablespoon portions - Neat Nest Organizing

 

When needed, I can grab one or two to add to a soup, stew or chili.  I love this make ahead freezer meals tip!

Happy Make Ahead Monday!

:) Robin

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Hi, welcome to Neat Nest Organizing! My name is Robin, former teacher turned stay-at-home-mom turned professional organizer. Here you'll find organizing tips, ideas and encouragement for your life and home.  Thanks so much for stopping by today.  My hope is that you will find inspiration here!

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