Ahh the kitchen...most of us use it every day. It gets messy and we clean it only for it to be messy a couple of hours later. A kitchen is a magical place and for many, it can be the heart of the home. Is your kitchen filled with things you should have gotten rid of ages ago? Could your kitchen be more organized? Could preparing meals be simpler? We’re here to give you some tips on how to declutter and bring new life to your kitchen!
Drawers, Cabinets, and Counters
We are going to start with your counters and cabinets. You can skip your pantry or cabinets that solely house food for now (we will get to that later.) We suggest doing this type of deep clean at least once a year, but every 6 months would be ideal.
Pull everything out: this may seem to be counterproductive, but you have to know what you are working with. Empty your cabinets and drawers and separate everything into piles on the counter. If you don’t have enough counter space to do it all at once, start with one section at a time.
Inspect: now that you have everything out and you can see it, check all the items to make sure:
- they are clean - if the item has gathered a lot of dust, wipe it clean or set it aside to be washed. This includes dish towels, oven mitts, and cloth napkins.
- they are in good condition - if an item is cracked, chipped or broken toss it out.
- they are actually being used - did your in-laws give you a salad spinner you never took out of the box? Do you have a crepe pan you used twice before realizing you were better off going out for brunch? If you have items that are not being used, donate them. Chances are if you haven’t used it in the last year you aren’t going to use it in the next year.
Declutter: now that broken and unused items are out of the way, it’s time to jump into the decluttering. If an item is older and worn but still usable, or you have duplicates consider donating it.
- Check over your dish towels, cloth napkins, and oven mitts. Discard the ones that are old, dingy or have holes in them. Tip: you can also keep these towels for rags. Store them in a container under your sink for easy clean up without ruining your dish towels. Pick up new dishtowels and oven mitts here.
- Check tupperware and make sure everything has a lid that fits. Toss out or donate any extra lids or lidless containers.
- Sort through your mugs. Most of us have a bunch of random mugs we never use. Donate any mugs you don’t use regularly.
- Look through your cookbooks, if you have them, and donate any you no longer use. If you have magazines in your collection, rip the recipes out and place them in a binder for easy access. If you have loose recipes, consider writing them on 3x5 cards and storing them in a recipe box.
- Check all of your kitchen gadgets to make sure they work properly. Discard any that do not and donate any you no longer use.
Clean: your drawers and cabinets are empty and it's the perfect time to clean them. Wipe out all the cabinets and remove drawers to dump any crumbs or debris. Wash any drawer inserts.
Organize: now that you only have what you need and use it’s time to get organized. Look around your kitchen and decide what makes the most sense to you. Often people like to keep cookware close the stove and knives near where you plan to prep food. Nest things like mixing bowls and cookware to maximize your space. If you aren’t already using drawer inserts for your silverware and utensils, get some. Here are 25 tips on keeping your kitchen more organized.
Clear your counters: now that everything is back where it belongs, look at your counters. Are small appliances taking up a lot of space? If you have room in your cabinets, consider storing small appliances away and taking them out only when you need them. Things like toaster ovens, blenders, mixers and coffee makers may be cluttering your counter. If you have spices cluttering your counter, consider a spice rack or storing spices in a cabinet near the stove.
One last cleaning: your counters have been cleared and it’s time for one last cleaning. Remove everything you plan to keep on the counters and give them a good wipe down. Wipe down your sick and cabinet fronts as well as any large appliances.
We are going to clean your food storage similarly to our counters and cabinets. The places you store food should be maintained more often than your regular cabinets because spoiled food can make you sick. We suggest doing your pantry and nonperishable food cabinets at least once and month and your fridge and freezer every time you go grocery shopping.
Pantry/Food Storage Cabinets:
- Pull out everything and inspect: Check expiration dates and toss anything that is expired. If you have foods that are going to expire soon, separate them out and make a plan to use them before they go bad. If you find foods that are not expired, but will not be eaten by your family, donate them. Be sure to check with your local food bank to get a full list of the items they accept.
- Wipe down the shelves: Pantries and food cabinets tend to get dusty. Wipe down all the shelves and wipe down cans if they have collected dust.
- Organize: instead of just placing everything back on the shelf, organize according to usage. We suggest keeping similar items near each other and placing backups behind each other for easy access. Consider getting storage bins for bulk items and sorting snacks out so they are easy to get to. Separate your spices into sweet and savory and label any unlabeled items. Here are some awesome pantry storage ideas.
- Inspect: check all your food and toss out anything expired. One of the most important things to check is sauces and condiments. We often don’t realize these items have expired and can get very sick from eating them. Make a grocery list of the items you need to buy.
- Clean: wipe down the inside of the fridge and the freezer shelves. Pull out vegetable drawers and clean those as well.
- Organize sort your fridge and freezer, however, makes the most sense to you, but keep like items together and always keep thawing meats on the bottom shelf of your fridge to avoid contaminating other foods. You can find some tips for organizing your fridge here and check out this article on where to store fruits and veggies.
Now that the bulk of your kitchen has been cleaned, organized and decluttered, let’s do a few little things to tidy the place up.
Junk Drawer: if you have a junk drawer, pull everything out and toss anything that’s broken or you don’t use. Make sure you have all the necessities and consider using storage trays to organize.
Under the sink: check under your sink (or wherever you keep your cleaning supplies, garbage bags, and dishwasher pods) make sure nothing has spilled and wipe off any dusty items. We suggest not storing cleaning supplies directly on the shelf. Consider using storage baskets in case of a leak. Make sure you have everything you need and put backups on your shopping list.
Appliances: clean out all of your appliances including your stove, dishwasher, and microwave.
Get Organized and Stay Organized
Your kitchen is looking amazing. You’ve decluttered and cleaned and now you want to keep it this way. Here’s a few tips and tricks, some of which we mentioned before to keep you organized and make things in the kitchen go smoother.
Plan meals ahead of time: planning meals ahead of time is a huge time saver. Pick a day every week to do the bulk of your grocery shopping (tip: most grocery stores are relatively empty on Friday evenings) prior to going shopping map out all the meals you want to make and make a list of all the ingredients needed for each one. This will be the base for your shopping list. By planning all your meals ahead of time you will be less tempted to get takeout and you won’t have to come up with meals on the spot. We suggest getting a little menu board to write them down on.
Get a whiteboard for the fridge: utilizing a whiteboard in your kitchen is a great idea. It can be a place to add grocery items, write down bill due dates or leave notes for the family.
We hope these tips and tricks have helped you create a more organized kitchen. If you have any tips or tricks you want to share, be sure to leave them in the comments below!
Deciding on a color palette for your home can be one of the most tedious things. Sometimes the inspiration comes from a beautiful jewel toned couch that you love or the soft oatmeal blanket you have to have. When inspiration comes from an item, you are then able to build around the item. You find complementary items and choose your neutral palette all based on this one piece. What happens if you don’t have a piece you’re working around? What happens when your staple items are already neutrals? Well luck you...the world is your oyster! You can go any direction you choose. Check out these 7 Inspirational Color Palettes centered around a neutral base.
These burgundy ottomans create a beautiful pop of color in an otherwise neutral room. A light carpet and light pattern pillows help the room feel open and airy, while the deep wood and metal coffee table creates a warm and cozy look. If a non-neutral sofa feels to bold, go for smaller furniture that costs less and can be swapped out more easily. // Photo from The Everygirl
Beautiful blush accents transform this otherwise neutral bedroom. Blush pairs well with grays and whites and can help a room feel youthful and fresh. The gold accents and dark wood flooring in this room create a regal look. Headboards and throw pillows are a great place to add accent colors. They won’t overwhelm the room as bedding might. // Photo from Bows & Sequins
The pop of periwinkle on these lower cabinets bring this otherwise white kitchen to a whole new level. Paired with a beautiful Persian inspired rug and deep wood accents, this kitchen is stunning without being overwhelming. Adding color to pieces with a vintage feel is a great way to spruce up something that feels drab and outdated. // Photo from Imagine Great Living
The indigo wall in this bedroom is a bold choice, but it really pays off. This blue bedroom really comes together with the while bedding and metal bed frame. Deep blues are soothing and can make the space feel regal without feeling overwhelmingly dark. When going full force with a color scheme, make sure all of the shades complement each other. // Photo from Mad About The House
This gorgeous bedroom screams luxury and style. The teal accents pair nicely with the white to brown color gradient and the patterned rug adds a fun flair to the room. The amazing gold chandelier makes this room feel elegant yet modern. Don’t feel like you must stick to one shade of a color, adding lighter and darker variations can really bring a room to life. // Photo from AVE Styles
This room is filled with neutrals, and while they are beautiful, on their own they can feel boring. What really ties this room together is it’s bold rug and oversize plant. Greenery can brighten up any room and is a pop of color that goes with every color scheme. If you don’t have a green thumb, try fake plants or succulents. // Photo from The Glitter Guide
If colorful furniture or accent walls aren’t your cup of tea, don’t worry...having a neutral color palette doesn’t always equal bland. This stunning neutral living room is brought to life by a gorgeous gallery wall, fun printed pillows and plants. Play with patterns, you might be surprised how well they can complement each other. // Photo from The Everygirl
Throw blankets are a staple in every home. They keep you cozy while you read and they are perfect for snuggling up on a cold day with a cup of coffee. As much as we all love throw blankets, it seems like they never have a permanent resting spot. Here's 5 ways to showcase those beautiful blankets and still have them accessible when it's time to binge your favorite show.
1. Casually Draped
Casually draping blankets over sofas or chairs gives your living space a "no fuss" vibe while keeping your throw off the ground and in easy reach. This look is great with smaller sized blankets and those with a chunkier knit. Topping the blanket with a contrasting throw pillow will pull the whole look together. // Photo from Rooms For Rent Blog
2. Blanket Ladder
Blanket Ladders are perfect for the blankets you want to show off, but also want to keep up off the furniture. Pick a ladder that matches you aesthetic and it will be decorative and useful. Ladders range from wood to metal and can be used for a single blanket or for your whole collection. // Photo from A Burst of Beautiful
Folding and stacking blankets may seem like a plain solution, but it doesn't have to be. Mix and match patterns and textures for an artful stack of cozy blankets. Choose blankets of similar color palettes and varying sizes to create a cohesive look. Stacks also make blankets easily accessible while getting them out of the way. // Photo from Rebecca Atwood Designs
4. Neatly Folded
You can't go wrong with the classic neatly folded throw blanket. It's simple, it's chic and it ties the room together. Thinner blankets, with or without fringe, look best styled this way. Using this technique puts the blanket in easy reach of anyone lounging on the couch or chair but isn't as bulky as a casual drape. // Photo from A Burst of Beautiful
5. Blanket Basket
Blanket baskets are the perfect for storing multiple blankets, and especially blankets that may be to large for draping or a blanket ladder. Pick a basket (or other container) that fits your style and then roll, fold or drape the blankets. Baskets are also a great place to toss extra throw pillows when you need to get them out of the way. // Photo from Poor Little It Girl
Spring cleaning...nobody really likes it but we all have to do it. The hardest part is always figuring out where to start. We want to help you with your spring cleaning this year, so we have compiled the ultimate spring cleaning checklist!
- Dust in ceiling corners, framed decor, plants and any other places dust has accumulated
- Clean light fixtures and switches
- Wipe down baseboards and walls
- Clean windows, window sills, blinds and curtains
- Donate any unused items
- Toss out broken/old items
- Wipe down bookcases, end tables, shelves and any other surfaces in each room
- Wash, dry and put away all dishes
- Clean inside fridge + freezer (remove all food, toss old food and reorganize)
- Wipe down outside fridge + freezer
- Clean oven inside + out
- Clean stove top
- Clean microwave inside + out
- Clean dishwasher inside + out
- Wipe down counters + sink
- Clean out cabinets (toss out old food and reorganize)
- Clean out drawers (remove items, empty crumbs and dust)
- Wipe outside of cabinets and drawers
- Toss out or donate any kitchen gadgets you no longer use
- Replace sponges and wash dish towels
- Empty and clean garbage can
- Sweep/mop floors
* For a deeper clean, move appliances away from the wall and clean under/behind them.
- Clean toilets inside + out
- Clean tub and shower walls
- Clean sink
- Clean mirrors
- Wipe down counters
- Clean out drawers and cabinets
- Wash or replace shower curtain liner
- Wash all bathmats
- Toss out or donate any expired products
- Empty and clean garbage can
- Sweep/mop floors
- Wash all throw blankets
- Wash any throw pillows with removable cases
- Wash any removable sofa cushion covers
- Rotate any removable sofa cushions
- Move furniture and clean under
- Vacuum sofas and chairs and any throw pillows without covers
- Clean off television and any other electronics or remotes
- Donate any unused items
- Vacuum area rugs or carpet
- Sweep/Mop any wood/laminate flooring
- Wash all sheets, blankets, pillow cases and mattress toppers
- Flip or rotate mattresses
- Clean under bed, behind dressers and nightstands
- Clean lamp shades and dust any exposed lamp light bulbs
- Vacuum area rugs or carpet
- Sweep/Mop any wood/laminate flooring
- Donate old clothing
- Put away winter clothing
- Organize closets
- Wash, dry, fold and iron (if needed) any dirty laundry
- Clean lint filter
- Wipe out inside of washer and dryer
- Clean up excess lint that has fallen
- Wipe down washer and dryer inside + out
- clean purses, backpacks, briefcases or bags
- clean cell phones and other devices
- clean keys
- clean pet feeding dishes
- clean out expired medications and vitamins
- clean/detail cars inside and out
We hope you have a successful spring cleaning!
Whether you're planning a dinner for your Valentine, Galentines, or sweet little kiddos, here are some tabletop looks that will get you inspired!
#1. Pops of Black Valentine's Day Tablescape
This is a trend we see sprinkled all throughout home decor, and a Valentine's Day table is no exception! Subtle pops of black bring contrast and visual interest to your tablescape. A great way to do this is by incorporating black & white striped table linens.
Get the Look:
#2. Soft Touches of Gold Valentine's Day Tablescape
Nothing is more romantic than hues of blush pink and soft touches of gold. Subtle touches of metallic elevate your tabletop and bring visual interest.
Get the Look:
#3. Fun & Flirty Floral Valentine's Day Tablescape
We're personally obsessed with this look! Fun & flirty floral patterns incorporated with bright colors. Invite your girl friends over for a Valentine's Day tea, clip your favorite blooms from your yard, find fun floral printed napkins and you're all set!
Get the Look:
#4. Just for Kids Valentine's Day Tablescape
Valentine's Day is a special holiday to tell your kids just how much you love them. Surprise your kiddos before school with a Valentine's Day breakfast! Have fun with heart shaped pancakes, strawberry milk and festive red strawberries.
Get the Look:
#5. Tried & True Classic Valentine's Day Tablescape
When in doubt, go classic. All you need on hand are red & white table linens, a bouquet of (classic) red roses, hearts cut out with construction paper and a little pasting glue! The perfect nod to a romantic holiday, letting the loved ones in your life know you care.
Get the Look:
Photos courtesy of Pinterest
It's the most wonderful time of the year and decorating comes with the territory! So Thanksgiving was a hit, but now it's time to start thinking about how you want to decorate your holiday table. The options are endless here at Design Imports! Today, we've rounded up a few of the best holiday tabletop decorations and we're dishing on how to get these in your home.
#1. Get Cozy with Layering
Deep forest greens and lodge styled placemats transport you to a cozy cabin with our A Walk in the Woods Collection. Utilize multiple layers in your dishware to create a visually pleasing array of textures and contrast. This collection is perfect for the holidays, but also for everyday use--truly a practical and festive collection.
Shop the Look:
#2. Step up Your Game with Detailed Place Settings
It's all in the details. These place settings bring the entire table together and add a little extra charm. The pine cones perfectly complement the contrasting plaid napkin in alignment with the gingham table-runner. For an extra touch, add a place card for each guest and completely personalize the experience.
#3. Make Magic with Sparkling Accents
This shimmery tablescape is all sorts of magical. The holidays call for sparkles and this arrangement doesn't disappoint. Keep things simple with a classy placemat and a snowflake napkin ring that will have guests dreaming of a white Christmas (if they weren't already).
#4. Add Warmth with Cozy Napkin Rings
Shop Tree Napkin Ring:
#5. Brighten any Table with Plants
Make any table look more lively with fresh, unique plants and an accent centerpiece. The centerpiece pulls everything together and the greenery adds serenity and ease. Light accents finish off a subtle and elegant table.
We hope these tips have helped you. Now let's get celebrating!
To shop our entire holiday collection, click HERE.
Ahh Thanksgiving, a holiday for feasting, gathering, giving thanks, and drinking wine. If you're hosting Thanksgiving at your place this year, we understand the stress and overwhelming preparation that comes hand in hand with the month of November. To help keep you sane, we've put together a few tips and tricks to feel less stressed for the big turkey day.
We know, you've probably heard this a million times, but we can't stress the importance of it. Planning ahead will save you so many headaches the day of and the days leading up to the big day. First, plan recipes you want to prepare. We recommend sticking to the basics, especially if this is one of your first times hosting. Then make sure you have all of the serving utensils, napkins, tablecloths, placemats, center pieces, cooking tools, etc. that you will need.
Make dishes that can be stored in the fridge a few days in advance. Most of the sides can be made early and save you time. If you're dreading cooking the turkey and waking up at 4 in the morning the day of, consider making that in advance as well. Many cooks swear that making the turkey one day early does not affect the taste if done right. You carve the turkey and place it in a crock pot with a coil of tinfoil.
Don't forget to designate time to clean the house and make sure it is ready for any overnight guests. This is a great thing to do the week before so it's not another thing to worry about the week of. Pull out the guest towels and linens, get the dining room into shape, and put a candle in the bathroom. On the night before, give yourself a clean slate in the kitchen and empty out all the trash cans, unload the dish washer, pull out all the serving dishes and platters you'll need, and set the table.
Don't be Afraid to Ask for Help
It is okay to feel a little overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done so asking for help is more than okay. The biggest trick to pulling off a successful Thanksgiving is delegating! Family and guests are usually very willing to help out. Even asking a few guests to bring a side dish or dessert can be super helpful.
Don't feel like everything you make has to be homemade. There is no shame in running to the store for desserts, dinner buns, etc. If everything was made from scratch, it would take far too long to get dinner on the table and you don't want to compromise your sanity. Instead, opt for the helpful store bought items and add a little variety to them by throwing in a few extra ingredients.
Stock up on Beverages
If your guests are indulging in wine and cocktails, they won't even notice if dinner is taking a little longer. Overall, having drinks and refreshments makes everything feel more relaxing, light, and special. If your guests have kids, be sure to get some fun, non-alcoholic options as well. They can choose from sparkling cider, hot apple cider, punch, etc. And don't forget to offer coffee and tea with the dessert for later on in the night. You may also want to consider picking up some games for the kids or having a few crafts and activities for them to do while they wait to eat.
Start The Day Early
And by early, we mean early. It always takes more time than you think. We also recommend making a checklist of everything that needs to happen for the day and allotting estimated time slots to each task. And of course, someone always ends up showing up early so plan to have all the essentials done an hour before guests are scheduled to arrive.
Here are a few of our top picks for decorations and table decor for the big day.
Hopefully, these tips have helped you plan your Thanksgiving gathering. Have a wonderful holiday and remember to enjoy!
Approximately one month until Halloween so now is the time to perfect that spooky yet charming mix of products for decorating and entertaining! We've crafted together our favorite Halloween products for you that have just enough fright and delight.
These clever wine totes will leave customers laughing and deciding that they can't get through Halloween without a little liquid magic in the form of wine. Click here for a better look.
Stock up on the basics with dish towels, tabletops, and classic treat bowls. Click on the photos for a closer look.
Looking for something else? Shop all things Halloween here.
Fall has arrived and for retailers that means it is time to put our creativity and love for decorating to use! If you're having trouble coming up with a truly inspiring merchandising display, fret no more! We've got you covered. We rounded up the best fall displays for this retail season that will be sure to have customers rolling through the door.
Warm flowers add a pop of color to these whimsical, vintage suitcases!
Cozy in with this detailed and rustic fall display that utilizes ambiance and space.
Embrace all things autumn!
Pine cone garland--effective and cost efficient!
Go classic with this festive pumpkin and wheelbarrow combo.
Still not satisfied? For more inspiration, visit Design Import's Pinterest page!
I think we all can agree, succulents are the cutest addition to any kitchen, office or living space. They're easy to care for and add the perfect touch of greenery!
Stand out with your succulents by planting them in a Glass Candle Holder. Choose from a rainbow of colors to best fit with your decor and plant away!
These little succulents make the perfect hosting gift, party favor or birthday gift.
Personalize with chalkboard stickers and tie with ribbon to complete the look!