#64 Clean Out Your Kitchen Cabinets

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


Clean Out Your Kitchen Cabinets

As the new year approaches, it’s a great time to consider taking a good look through your kitchen cabinets for all of those things that you may not have used in the last year. Unlike cleaning the pantry, this entails sorting through your plastic storage containers, matching lids and bowls; cleaning out the junk drawers that have accumulated more than the pens, paper clips, and batteries, and tossing anything at all that has rusted over the year.


My kitchen is a mess after the holidays with all the cooking that gets done and a number of different helpers putting away dishes. I’m lucky if I can find the most basic items usually. Everyone has a way that they like their kitchen staffed and the new year is a great time to reorganize your cooking tools so that they are in the places that make sense to you. It’s also a good time to reassess if things work where they are. Do you need the Vitamix on the counter day after day or do you use your mixer more? Do you like the toaster out or would you like a cleaner line for 2019?

Pots & Pans

Cleaning the cupboards means taking stock of your pots and pans. How worn are your cookie sheets? Do your muffin pans have rust spots? Are your cake pans warped?  How scratched is that frying pan that gets used everyday? Even if you aren’t in a position to replace what’s tired, you can make a list so that you’re aware the next time you stop in at TJMAXX or you see a great sale (May is a good time to purchase cookware).

Everyday Dishes

Several years ago (ten maybe?) on Black Friday, I purchased two boxes of white dinnerware that was deeply discounted. In all, it was service for 16 – which, I’ve never needed to use. I put 8 place settings in the cabinet and then each year as I do inventory for chips and cracks, I dip into the box of extras. White was universal and has been a stable in my kitchen, no matter the changing decor. When I clean out the cabinets, I check for cracks and discoloration and then replace damaged or missing items to bring my stocked selection back up to a serving for eight.

The same goes for my silverware. Each year it seems that I still have all the knives and tablespoons but for some reason, the forks and spoons are always down one or two. In my younger days, I had a haphazard collection of whatever pattern my parents were discarding and a few Goodwill additions. When I could, I picked a pattern and waited for it to go on sale – then I bought two. I use the same strategy as I have for my dinnerware.

Drinking containers

One look at the cupboard that contains glasses and cups demonstrates how eclectic I really am. I’ve attempted to fix this over the last couple of years, finding mugs that I like and getting several; updating the glassware so that there is more than one of any one kind, and ditching all the kiddie plastic cups that were collected from restaurants.

The wine glass and to-go cupboard is the same… somehow I adopted all the containers my children made at birthday parties and graduations over the years and there are more than a couple depicting sorority letters. The fact that they are still there indicates my reluctance to purge that particular cabinet but time is running short!

I’ve decided that 2019 is a year to take charge and I’ll be starting in the kitchen. Won’t you join me and …

Clean out your kitchen cabinets!

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#87 Attend a Concert

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


Attend a Concert

I’m sure many of you have – at least once in your lifetime – been to a concert of some type. There’s a wonderful element about music that helps us feel better, no matter the genre. And there are so, so many options. No matter your preference, Country, Rock, Opera, Acapella, Easy Listening or Jazz and there may be almost as many different type of venues.


My personal favorite is attending a concert outdoors, preferably at the beach where I can combine the sensations of both the sun, sand, and music all at once. Summer concerts in big outdoor stadiums can also be a blast, albeit crowded. The acoustics there may make the sardine effect totally worth it however. Smaller outdoor venues can be a lot of fun as well and it’s there that we often find new bands that are just getting started on the circuit. Often, outdoor concerts won’t have a seating capacity – especially at locations like the beach but you are always vulnerable to the weather.


Indoor venues vary from small and intimate to covered Superdomes. There are venues with front stages, stage-in-the-round, and others with no stage at all. Indoor venues generally do have limited seating and there’s a special energy to a ‘packed house’, especially because special effects generally have more of an impact inside. Of course, weather isn’t an issue indoors but crowds can be.

Old and New

I’m always a bit surprised when I see bands that I loved as a young adult still pull in packed houses entertaining an entirely new generation of music lovers. Bands like The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, and The Who are still touring. Mick Jagger, from The Rolling Stones is 74 years old and still entertaining millions of people. If you’re a Stones fan… You’d best catch their next tour. Some of the newer music artist are drawing great audiences also and we’re never too old to enjoy good music.

Perhaps you’ve discovered a new genre that you’d like to see in concert. Don’t forget colleges, casinos, and State Fairs when considering concerts – they often book new artists that are gaining momentum.

Go ahead and take a look at TicketMaster, VividSeats, or StubHub (rated #1) and see who’s going to be in your area – or consider traveling to see a much loved band and make a weekend of it. The best holiday gift may be tickets that allow you to …

Attend a concert.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#166 Organize a Food Drive

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


Organize a Food Drive

Perhaps one of the best feelings ever is that sensation that settles in when we do something selfless that benefits someone else. It seems as if there is some type of disaster annually that strips communities and its residents of resources and even without, there are always people in need for a variety of reasons. Food pantries exist for this very reason yet during disasters and especially near the holiday’s, their contents dwindle to levels that make it difficult to meet need.

Feel good feelings

As an individual, it seems that there is often little we can do other than contribute money but that means someone else does the grunt work. This suggestion is aimed at increasing your sense of Eudaimonia (a deep sense of well-being) by initiating, organizing, and following through with a food drive in support of a local pantry or a larger effort at providing supplies to disaster relief.

Getting started

After connecting with a charity that will accept the donation, it may be necessary to establish a collaboration with your work, school, or spiritual organizations to get energy, committment, or permission. Generally it’s as simple as placing collection containers in an obvious place and inviting people in that environment to participate by contributing to the cause. Unexpired canned or boxed food items are always appreciated as are paper products that any family could use. Some drives are specifically aimed at children or infants. What a blessing it would be for a food pantry to be inundated with a supply of diapers it can offer its patrons!! (I know, diapers aren’t food but they are often desperately needed).

Start now

This is a common effort during the holidays and we’re entering that season so it may be something you want to add to your to-do list or your ‘holiday intention’ yet I would offer “why wait?”. Perhaps now… before we’re all inundated with people asking, it would be more effective! It doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy… a phone call to a pantry or charity to get needs and details… an email or flyer distributed to your cohorts… the actual collection… and then delivery. It could be one box or ten.

Motivate the gang

This may be a great activity for your family, your bible study, your business team, your department, your bowling team, or your book club. It’s bound to boost your gratitude level, your sense of belonging, and your overall well-being and that’s just the benefit to you! Your energy will most definitely help others and make life easier for someone who need their own boost. I hope you’ll consider…

Organizing a food drive.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#182 Do ONE Thing You’ve Been Putting Off

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


Do one thing  you’ve been putting off

This particular tip will satisfy all three objectives in terms of making your life 1. Easier, 2. Happier, and 3. More Productive.

When we procrastinate, our inner voices often become critical. Criticism is a negative modifier to happiness. Procrastination complicates our life more often than not because it clogs the flow of productivity – contributing to negative self talk – fostering dissatisfaction overall.

If you’ve activated some of the earlier tips about organization and productivity then you may have a master to-do list. What item on that list has been there the longest? What is preventing you from accomplishing that task? What would happen if it were no longer on your list? If you still can’t find the motivation to tackle that task consider the reason it is there in the first place. Perhaps it’s important to reconsider the task in its entirety.


I used to have a separate file for each bill that I paid throughout the year in case I needed to access it at a later point in time. I detested the task of filing and the pile would often grow to an unmanageable height – creating another layer of complexity to the concept of task completion. Eventually I realized that in all the years I’d been spending those hours carefully organizing – I’d never had a reason to go back and pull something from those files.

Today, I simply have a box dated for each year and all the papers go into the box – fully unorganized – completely random and IF… I ever need to find something I will spend the hours necessary to find what I need. I’ve saved 20 or more hours with this new – chaotic – but time efficient – system. The best part about this ‘system’ is that I don’t have a pile of papers waiting to be sorted – that pile haunted me every year!

Feel Better

Any time we can promote a personal sense of accomplishment, we instantly feel better about ourselves and about the world in general. It erases feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. It fosters a sense of control and personal power so take a look at your master ‘to-do’ list and identify the item(s) there that you’re procrastinating about most. Decide if the item needs to stay on your list or if there is a different solution. For the items that remain, make a decision today to…

Do ONE thing you’ve been putting off.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#215 Organize your ‘tupperware’

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


Organize your ‘tupperware’

I am using ‘tupperware’ to represent all food storage containers which, I think is a generational thing but you know what I mean. Like yesterday’s post, this suggestion is more about a tiny thing that will make you feel better each time you open the cabinet than some grand design to promote happiness. Ironically however, you may find a sense of ‘feeling good’ overcome you because your level of annoyance will be reduced each time you open the cabinet where you keep food storage containers.


There’s an entire industry aimed at helping us keep these plastic or glass dishes with their accompanying lids under control. It’s interesting because one would think it’s much easier than most of us make it and I’m not sure where it goes so wrong. It’s true though, unless you live alone or you have anal tendencies, it seems to be a major challenge to keep any consistent organization to the food saving containers we accumulate over time.


Maybe it’s because this is the place we grant our hoarding desires a pass. We may tend to keep every container that is REusable – adding it to our already sufficient supply. Eventually they accumulate to the point that they overrun any good intention. And… what happens to the lids? Do they meet up with the socks that disappear? Ideally, we keep the lids and bowls together but then we run out of room quickly and so the nesting of bowls takes place and maybe, the lids get disgruntled because some of them disappear for good.


So, the challenge is to get in there again. First rule – discard any container that does not have a matching (and well fitting) lid. Next, consider how often you will use said container. If it’s a keeper, set it aside – if not, recycle or repurpose it and get it OUT of the cabinet. Once you have all the keepers together, make the choice to nest them and stack the lids or store them with the lids attached; either is perfectly acceptable.

Feel Good

Organization helps us to feel a sense of order – to feel in control of our lives. It’s great that we keep general appearances in good shape but superfluous if each time we open a cabinet or drawer, the chaos screams hello. This is one small step you can easily take to keep disorder – and mayhem – at bay. Next time you put away the dishes, take a few minutes and…

Organize your ‘tupperware’.

I love hearing your thoughts and idas. Please share in the comments below.

#283 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


Savor a memory

The science of ‘savoring’ is relatively new. It’s a component of Positive Psychology and it has received a fair amount of attention in recent years for its ability to increase feelings of well-being (happiness). The act of savoring is known to most of us. Just sit back and think of the last time you ate something that you exclaimed “was the best thing you’ve ever had!” or the last time you saw “the most beautiful sight you’ve ever seen!”… Chances are you savored that moment.

You probably picked out a part of that experience that was pleasurable and focused on it with intensity. You may have completely absorbed yourself in the event, noticing each little pleasant detail with a feeling of delight and/or enjoyment. THAT was the act of savoring.

Now, to engage in this tip, I am suggesting that you choose a pleasant memory. Take yourself back to that time and space – in your mind, your thoughts. Take some time to imagine yourself reliving an experience that brought you peace, delight, or contentment. Breathe in.

With your mind’s eye… review the memory and all the specifics – noticing each element in great detail. Notice the colors, the sounds, the smells, and the textures. Remember the good feelings, try and recreate the way it felt in your body; the smile, the butterflies, the movement.

Remind yourself of the emotions experienced during this pleasant experience; joy, gratitude, love, appreciation, hope, or awe for example. Breathe in again, imagining that you are able to simply inhale emotion of it all again and again – whenever you wish. Take your time and feel it completely. As the sensation fades, recall another memory and begin the process again.

This process – savoring – is gaining popularity for improving symptoms of depression and has been indicated in the immediate improvement of stress responses when completely activated. It is frequently associated with mindfulness but they are different processes.

When you need a little boost or you’re in a pinch and need an immediate positive distraction …

Savor a memory.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.