Playing House

July 17, 2012

I really am serious when I say I’d like to have a home organization business. I don’t know if I could tackle houses as packed as on those HGTV shows (remember Clean Sweep?) but when it comes to the average person who has 100 cooking utensils and no where to store sheets, I love the challenge.

I’ve had a blast helping Karen with her kitchen!


She went to Bed, Bath and Beyond yesterday to pick up the last of the requested organizers and this morning I walked over to help her finish setting up her new (rental) house.



I used this vase as her utensil holder to get a bunch of them out of the drawer and add some color to her massive counters! Pretty blue.


We found a non-traditional but appropriate place for her mixer and cuisinart – they are like art on display.


She has no pantry, but plenty of deep drawers that we turned into a pantry space


Living room – in progress


Dining room in progress –


And her secretary is now filled with office supplies : )


After a few hours of putting on sheets, cleaning and unpacking, we headed to Great Harvest for lunch. I ate half of this HUGE Monticello Garden sandwich


Along with some Dill Route 11 chips


And desserts!


I just walked home (Hot hot hot!) and am hitting the showers. I’m now inspired to go organize something in my own house! Wonder what could use some tidying?

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{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

1 [email protected] July 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm

You totally should…I’ll be your guinea pig. Come throw out our 800 spatulas and untouched kitchen appliances from decades ago! Beautiful place, Ms. Karen!


2 KathEats July 17, 2012 at 1:43 pm

:) I really would if it would make more sense logistically. I just don’t think anyone wants to pay for my travel, plus a fee, plus invest in some organization bins/storage units, plus listen to me tell them to get rid of things :)


3 Zoe @ loseweightandgainhealth July 17, 2012 at 2:51 pm

I might :-) It would save me (neat, tidy and organised wannabe) endlessly arguing with husband and daughter (messy, untidy, never want to get rid of anything) !


4 jane July 17, 2012 at 3:05 pm

my aunt is a psychiatrist but loves organizing homes and spaces so much she does it in her spare time! she mainly helps people in her hometown and the surrounding areas so there isn’t much travel, but for family members she will fly :-) she lives in PA and we live in FL so my mom just buys her flight (in the winter is when she likes to come best!) and feeds her when she is here and that is the payment. she is tough with us though and makes us get rid of a ton of stuff. but it feels


5 Jen July 18, 2012 at 12:23 am

There’s a lot of people who do those businesses so yes it is very possible. Something to consider after the baby – and a chance to break away from the computer for a bit!


6 Richard July 17, 2012 at 1:53 pm

I love throwing stuff out, feels really cleansing.


7 Krissy @ Shiawase Life July 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm

I love Karen’s new kitchen!!


8 Brie @ Coxswain Dilemma July 17, 2012 at 1:43 pm

This post makes me really, really happy. I love organization.


9 Rachel July 17, 2012 at 1:46 pm

LOVE the color of her walls in her kitchen!


10 Andrea July 17, 2012 at 1:49 pm

She has such a beautiful kitchen! Look at all that counter space!!


11 Michelle (Peachy Palate) July 17, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Come to Ireland and tidy my house!I’m good with every room with the exception of my bedroom..TOO MANY CLOTHES!


12 Elizabeth July 17, 2012 at 1:57 pm

You are really nesting! When I was pregnant I was always rearranging random things like my Tupperware or spice drawers!


13 Sana July 17, 2012 at 1:59 pm

I love Karen’s new space :)! Is it baby proof for future sleepovers?


14 KathEats July 17, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Not yet!


15 Jennifer July 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Karen sure does seem to move an awful lot! Looks great though!


16 Alyssa (pb and oatmeal) July 17, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Looks great! (including the sandwich :) )


17 Lynn @ the actor's diet July 17, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Please organize my mess of a kitchen. I stopped by great harvest yesterday but 5 min after it had closed. D’oh/dough!


18 Erica { } July 17, 2012 at 2:02 pm

I always have grand organizational schemes but they usually end up with me getting 10 minutes into a 4 hour project and giving up to watch Netflix.


19 Susan H. @ The Food Allergy Chronicles July 17, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I use a beautiful pitcher and pottery wine coolers to store my utensils on the counter…love the vase you choose for Karen’s kitchen utensils!


20 Cait's Plate July 17, 2012 at 2:05 pm

I love Karen’s place!

You should seriously have your own HGTV show Kath! :)


21 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat July 17, 2012 at 2:06 pm

I want to a be the type of person who thrives on organization, I’m just not – my husband would love this though!


22 Rebecca @ Blueberry Smiles July 17, 2012 at 2:07 pm

I’d hire you! I’m not very good at home organization!


23 Angel7 July 17, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Karen’s new place is really nice — personalized by Kath :)

Great counter space in the kitchen!


24 Tiffany July 17, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Hey Kath,

I just bought the same rice cooker that you have except mine is in black.

Quick question, can you set a time for when you want something to be cooked at? For instance, if I want my oats to be ready at 7am…can I set the cooker to start at 6:30am?



25 KathEats July 17, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Yup! You just program it


26 Sabrina July 17, 2012 at 2:25 pm

My FIL’s beach house is a junkyard of random knick knacks everywhere. I had a field day this weekend when they were at the pool. They were not thrilled.

I love countertops to be empty and closets to be organized and sheets and clothes to be folded perfectly. It makes me feel good like I guess it makes you too (except for folding your clothes- which, when I think about still makes me shudder lol)


27 KathEats July 17, 2012 at 2:38 pm

I have watched Martha Stewart’s video like 5 times and still can’t fold sheets to my liking


28 Sabrina July 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Next time I see you I’ll give you a live tutorial lol.

Baby crib sheets are mini fitted sheets and they have to be folded just so in order to look nice. It’s such a pain in the butt!


29 Averie @ Averie Cooks July 17, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Her house looks amazing – she just moved in like 12 hours ago??! Where are the boxes, chaos, mess, and bedlam! Wow, this is the smoothest post-move organization in less than a day I’ve ever seen!


30 KathEats July 17, 2012 at 2:37 pm

No 2ish weeks ago :) Moving is a process


31 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More July 17, 2012 at 2:31 pm

I love moving for the mere fact of reorganizing. It’s always so fun to me!


32 Rachel July 17, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Nice! I had that same secretary when I was a kid! LOVED doing my homework sitting at it – I always thought it was so cool. Especially the little slide-out compartments on either side of the tiny “door” in the middle! I used to tuck “secret” notes in them!


33 Lisa July 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I love reading your home organization/cleaning posts. I’m making an attempt to improve in both of those departments and your posts are truly helping!


34 Beth July 17, 2012 at 2:57 pm

How fun & total deja vu for me as I have that very same secretary desk passed down from my Nana!


35 kristen @ verbs and vignettes July 17, 2012 at 3:01 pm

you are more than welcome to come organize my apartment. I’ll make you whipped banana oatmeal. :p seriously, I love to get organized, but it never, ever lasts.

last night I jumped into cleaning. I bought store brand swiffer wipes and dusted everything. I bought a mop! and my vacuum is out for delivery from FedEx right now. hahaha. organizing will come again after the mass few-months-late spring cleaning going on right now.


36 Nicole July 17, 2012 at 3:05 pm

I’m always amazed that you have the willpower to only heat half a sandwich! Especially the yummy ones from GH!


37 KathEats July 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Less stomach space :)


38 Cassie July 17, 2012 at 3:24 pm

I LOVE organizing and minimizing! I do it at work all the time! :)


39 Helen July 17, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Karen might want to line her pantry drawers with grippy shelf liner. Then the cans won’t slide around when opening and closing!


40 Jennifer July 17, 2012 at 3:31 pm

You’re CRAZY! I hate organizing. I’d fly you to Canada to organize my life 😉


41 Jennifer July 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm

You definitely have a talent for organizing. Plus, the fact that you enjoy it helps.

From the few pictures, Karen’s house looks really nice. :)


42 j3nn July 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm

I love setting up clean, new spaces, aka blank slates. But organizing dirty, grimy, cluttered spaces is definitely a challenge I’ll pass on, lol!


43 Hillary July 17, 2012 at 3:52 pm

I’m the same way with cleaning and organizing, especially once I get going on a spree!


44 Eileen July 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Karen’s new kitchen looks amazing! And I really need a utensil organizer exactly like the one in the 2nd pic…I guess I’m off to the store!


45 Megan @ Megan's Munchies July 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm

You did an amazing job!! I need to organize so bad!!


46 Annette @FitnessPerks July 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Want to come do my apartment?!! Please :)


47 RunEatRepeat July 17, 2012 at 5:06 pm

My entire life needs organizational help…


48 Michaela July 17, 2012 at 6:57 pm

I hope you are not very desperate! Just think “one step at a time”! Good luck!

And Kath, I would PAY you to organize my house and do some interior design. I like doing it, but I am not good at it, to be honest…


49 Julia July 17, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Organize my kitchen please!


50 Chelsea @ Chelsea's Lovelys July 17, 2012 at 6:59 pm

The kitchen looks fantastic. We are currently working on organization throughout our home. I find that focusing in on one area at a time is best, so that we don’t get overwhelmed :)


51 [email protected] July 17, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Beautiful home! Love what you did withe mixer and cuisinart.


52 Lee July 17, 2012 at 7:25 pm

I am an organizational nightmare. I would pay you to come organize my house!


53 Emma July 17, 2012 at 8:22 pm

I really love that blue vase for the utensils – it’s gorgeous!
I also love organizing – it makes everything so much better when it’s in the “right” place.


54 jen_alluisi July 17, 2012 at 9:00 pm

You can come organize my house ANYTIME. I am excellent at organization of the mental sort – spreadsheets, planning events, etc. I suck at actual physical organization, probably because I find it boring. I want things to be organized, but I don’t actually want to organize them. :)


55 alicia July 17, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Me too! I absolutely love to organize, clean out, throw away and minimize. All of my favorite things. It gives me such a good breathable sense of well being to unclutter my home. Love your blog.


56 Liz July 18, 2012 at 3:16 am

Karen’s new place looks great (especially with organization 😉 ). I especially love the kitchen cabinets.


57 Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy July 18, 2012 at 4:10 am

What a beautiful house – I would love a kitchen like that.

I am guilty of having way too many utensils. I only use about 1/3 of them. I must have a clear out.


58 Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count July 18, 2012 at 5:08 am

It’s such fun settling into a new space. Can’t wait till I get the opportunity in our house in NM!!


59 Kelly July 18, 2012 at 7:08 am

That kitchen is AMAZING!!!!!!!!! WOW!


60 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope July 18, 2012 at 7:14 am

Wow! I need you to come help me organize my house! I’m so jealous :) I need to take some tips from you. The kitchen is beautiful!


61 jen July 18, 2012 at 7:31 am

I love organizing too, but I have a semi-organizing-related problem I haven’t been able to solve and am wondering if you’ve ever run up against it. Closet/cupboard stink! In all three of the houses I’ve lived in within the past 7 years there have been closets and/or cupboards that have a foul/musty smell to them. They’re often the linen cupboards and as a result my sheets wind up with this musty smell if they’re stored for more than 1 week and I have to wash them again before I can use them (nopt very efficient or handy!). Have you ever run into this?

In my current house it’s the linen closet and the kitchen drawers we store tupperware containers in that stink. Both are painted wood surfaces, so we tried re-priming and painting the wood to seal in any residual musty wood stink, but that didn’t do the trick. We used one of those moisture absorbing bucket things in the linen closet for a while and that helped some, but didn’t completely do the trick. Anybody have any magic solutions?


62 KathEats July 18, 2012 at 7:33 am

Man smells are tough.

You might consider taking out the drawers and putting them in the hot sun for a day. Sunshine is magic.

Since you can’t do that with a closet, I’d break out the essential oils and/or maybe some cedar wood strips and see if you can replace one smell with another? I don’t have any experience with odor neutralizers – baking soda in the fridge comes to mind but I’m not sure if that would work in a closet? might be worth a try!


63 jen July 18, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Thanks for the ideas. You’re right, sunshine is magic and I’ll give that a try!

I read your first line as “man smells (as in… the smells of a man) are tough” at first, and had a good chuckle.


64 Jo Williams July 18, 2012 at 10:28 am

I would pay you & you don’t have to travel too far to southern West Va.! We moved 10 years ago and still trying to downsize from 3 households into 1. We’ve gotten rid of lots of stuff but still have more to go thru. I work full-time and that project is just not what I want to do on my weekends that zip by so fast! I would love to get rid of the stuff though!!


65 Jo Williams July 18, 2012 at 10:30 am

Oh & my biggest problem is that the house is old and has a few teeny closets & no basement so nowhere to store stuff!!


66 Millie Snyder July 18, 2012 at 10:38 am

What a cute house, I love it- great find! And I’m right there with you when it comes to organizational challenges, love em! You should see when I moved my daughter into her college dorm- what a FUN mess haha. You’re a nice friend for helping! (And that sandwich looks delicious)


67 Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See July 18, 2012 at 10:49 am

That kitchen is absolutely gorgeous! And that sandwich…with dill pickle chips?!? oh yum..


68 Marcia @Frugal Healthy Simple July 18, 2012 at 6:26 pm

I LOVED Clean sweep. Totally addicted to that show.

If you want to practice, and you are ever vacationing in Santa Barbara, feel free to organize my house. 2BR, 1 BA, 1100 sf, no garage, and now 2 boys. I need help.


69 Vanessa July 18, 2012 at 9:15 pm

It’s none of my business but I’m curious who Karen is. It seems like an amazing friendship you have!


70 KathEats July 18, 2012 at 9:32 pm

My mother in law!


71 Kristin at MommyPage July 19, 2012 at 4:33 pm

That kitchen is pretty! I hope you had fun organizing it. You girls did a great job! And lunch look amazing, especially the dessert!


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