Kitchen Organization Hacks

Moving to a new home? Try out some of these tips to set up your kitchen in the most efficient ways possible!

Proper food storage

Know which foods must be refrigerated, don’t need to be refrigerated, and which should be frozen. This will help give you a guideline of where your food should go. Store your meats in the bottom of your fridge where it is coldest and where any leaks would avoid contaminating any other food. Dairy can be stored on the top shelf, where temperature is most consistent. Don’t store items with a short expiration date in the door, as this is the warmest part of the fridge.

Use up the empty space on the back of doors

The space on the back of your pantry or cabinet doors is going to waste. You can use a shoe organizer, pegboards, or mini shelves to hang up extra items on your door space such as pans, measuring cups, food, and more.

Uniform containers

In your pantry and cabinets, things can get messy quickly. Use clear, rectangular storage containers to keep your food sealed fresh and pest-free. This also allows you to easily see all your food items with no need to dig through cardboard boxes or bags.

Organize zones

Organize all your kitchen items by what they are used for. Create different zones for storing items such as food, cleaning supplies, cooking tools, and silverware and dishes. This will make your kitchen more organized by having related items all in the same location.

Declutter

Kitchens are one of the biggest clutter magnets. It’s not hard to get sucked into purchasing gadgets that you think will get a lot of use, when they will collect dust for years. Some of these helpful decluttering tips can get you started for when you don’t know what to get rid of first.

Have Zippy Shell Help

If you are moving to a new home, have Zippy Shell help move all your items for you! We will safely deliver your belongings to your new home and even help you move everything inside to allow for an easy set up.

7 Essential Grilling Tips You Need to Know

1. Clean your grill

Before even starting to grill anything, you must make sure your grill is clean. Scrub the grill grates with a grill brush to remove any leftover debris. Make sure to clean out the grease tray too.

2. Marinate

Marinate what you are cooking. This simple step doesn’t require much time and will bring out the flavors in your food.

3. Keep it closed

It is very tempting to check on your food while it is cooking but try to avoid doing so. Opening the lid lets the heat escape which will make it take longer to cook as well as possibly dry out the meats.

4. Perfect burgers

When grilling burgers, make an indentation in the middle of the burgers with the back of a spoon. The center will rise as it cooks, allowing the burger to puff up perfectly.

5. Soak your skewers

If you’re making kabobs, soak your wooden skewers in water for an hour prior to grilling to prevent them from burning on the grill.

6. Tin foil

Wrap your food in tin foil when using a saucy marinade that you do not want dripping down into the grill. This will keep the flavors centered around the food and will allow the taste to be at its full potential. This also makes for an easy cleanup.

7. Remove from heat

The food will continue to cook briefly after removing it from the grill. Take your food off the grill slightly before it is cooked to perfection.

10 Hacks for More Refrigerator Storage Space

Make your tiny fridge feel a lot bigger with these tips!

Install a lazy Susan

Have easy access to all the food in the back of the fridge without having to move everything around to find what you are looking for.

Label your drawers

Label your various drawers with what is in them to make it faster to find what you need.

Install a snack stack

Slide a small drawer stack to store snacks, cheeses, and more.

Use drawer dividers

Place drawer dividers to separate your different food items such as vegetables, fruits, etc.

Cover your shelves in plastic wrap

When spills happen, you can just peel off the layer of plastic wrap and put a new one down.

Cylinder holders

Use any cylinder container to hold cut up vegetables. Many recyclable containers can be very useful for this.

Masking tape labels

Label your containers with masking tape and a sharpie to write the date you made it and/or when it expires.

Add a condiment holder

Use a six-pack holder or an empty egg carton to organize all your condiments.

Plastic freezer bins

Put plastic bins in your freezer to separate your big bags of frozen items.

Use mason jars

Store your leftover food in mason jars. They will keep your food fresh longer and are not are bulky as Tupperware.

10 Refreshing Summer Drinks

Enjoy a hot summer day with one of these invigorating cocktails!

  1. Mango-peach Sangria

In a pitcher, combine 1 cup orange liqueur, 1 bottle of white wine, 2 peaches cut into thin wedges, 1 chopped mango, and ice.

  1. Classic Mojito

Combine 8 mint leaves, 2 ounces white rum, ¾ ounces lime juice, 1 ounce simple syrup, and ice in a cocktail shaker.  Finish with a splash of club soda.

  1. Strawberry-lemon Mojito

In a cocktail shaker, combine 2 ounces rum, ¾ ounce lemon juice, ½ ounce sugarcane syrup, 1 strawberry, 2 lemon wedges, and ice.  Top it off with more strawberries, lemon wedges, or mint sprigs.

  1. Watermelon Sangria

In a blender, puree 1 pound of watermelon until liquid.  Transfer the puree into a pitcher and add 1 bottle of white wine, 6 ounces vodka, 4 ounces Triple Sec, and 4 ounces citrus syrup.

  1. Blackberry Cabernet

In a pitcher, combine 20 blackberries, 12 ounces orange liqueur, 4 ounces Cabernet Sauvignon, 8 ounces orange juice, 2 ounces lime juice, and ice.  Top with fresh orange or lime slices.

  1. Cucumber Margarita

In a cocktail shaker, add 2 ounces cucumber-infused tequila, 1 ounce lime juice, 1 ounce simple syrup, and ice.  Garnish it with a slice of cucumber.  Dip the margarita glass in water and line the rim with salt.

  1. Pineapple-raspberry Refresher

Combine 1 ounce coconut water, 1 ounce pineapple juice, 2 ounces light rum, 2 tablespoons raspberries, and ice in a cocktail shaker.  Top off with a mint sprig.

  1. Long Island Iced Tea

Fill a cocktail shaker with 1 ounce gin, 1 ounce vodka, 1 ounce white rum, 1 ounce tequila, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, ½ cup iced tea, and ice.  Shake well and top it with a lemon wedge.

  1. Pina Colada

Combine ½ cup diced pineapple, 2 ounces pineapple juice, 2 ounces coconut cream, 2 ounces white rum, 1 ounce dark rum, and 1 ½ cup ice in a blender and blend until smooth. Place a pineapple slice on your glass to finish it off.

  1. Spiked Root Beer Float

Combine 2 ounces bourbon with 2 dashes of orange bitters in a tall glass.  Fill the glass halfway with ice.  Add ¾ cup root beer.  Slowly add 1 ounce heavy cream and watch it float to the top.

The Best Food Hacks You Didn’t Know You Needed

1. Protect your Bananas

Put plastic wrap around the tops of your bananas to block the gases being released from your bananas which causes them to ripen.

2. Ripen your food

In the case of having food that is not ripe enough, put it into a brown paper bag. Trapping the fruit in the brown paper bag will concentrate the ethylene gas that is released from the fruit which will cause it to ripen faster.

3. Avoid the egg shell mess

If little parts of the eggshell have broken into your mixing bowl, use the already cracked eggshell to scoop them back up. This frees them from your bowl all while keeping your hands free from the eggs.

4. Deskin potatoes

Don’t have a peeler? No problem! Boil your potatoes in water then transfer them to an ice bath after. The skin will separate from the potato and you can peel it right off.

5. DIY strawberry cutter

Simply stick a straw through the bottom of a strawberry to break through the top to remove the leaves as well as removing the white center.

6. Brew your own coffee

You can still have coffee even without a coffee maker. Boil coffee in a pot of water with the same amount of coffee and water that is directed for a coffee maker. After about five minutes you can drain your coffee from the coffee grounds and drink up!

7. Reheat without drying out your food

When reheating food such as baked goods or pizza, place a cup of water in the microwave with the food to add moisture to the air and prevent the food from getting dried out.

8. Stop watering down your drinks with ice

When drinking juice, wine, etc. stop adding ice and drinking a watery drink. Freeze fruits like strawberries or grapes, then pop a few into your drink to cool it off without adding any water. If you’re looking to cool off your coffee faster or have iced coffee, fill an ice cube tray with coffee and use these cubes to keep your coffee nice and cold.

9. Avoid freezer burn

Put a sheet of wax paper over your ice cream when you put it back into the freezer to stop it from collecting freezer burn.

10. Measure out sticky foods without the mess

When measuring food like honey or peanut butter, put the measuring spoon under hot water for a few seconds prior to measuring the food so that it will slide right off with no trace.

The 10 Most Profitable Home Improvements of 2017

Don’t just update your home for the sake of updating. It’s important to make informed decisions about which updates you should make. Not every renovation on your home will help build equity. For example, converting two smaller bedrooms into one larger bedroom will lower the value of your home. Something that you really want in your home might end up being the opposite of what someone else really wants in their home. So, if you are planning to do some renovating in 2017, what should you invest in?
Continue reading “The 10 Most Profitable Home Improvements of 2017”

The Most Profitable Home Improvements of 2016

Not everything you update in your home will actually increase the value of it. For example, converting your garage into a second family room can detract from your home’s value because it doesn’t appeal to all buyers. Something that you really want in your home might end up being the opposite of what someone else really wants in their home. So, if you are planning to do some renovating in 2016, what should you invest in?
Continue reading “The Most Profitable Home Improvements of 2016”