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Deciding to DIY or Outsource Your Home Project

Deciding your home project

When you have a to-do list of home projects you need to complete, the decision to DIY or outsource is important. Whether the project is small (like replacing a porch board), or large (like adding onto your home), both DIY and outsourcing will present unique pros and cons. Before reaching a decision, thoroughly research what to look for in a professional. Also, carefully assess exactly what you’re getting into before you start a DIY project.

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Five of the Coolest DIY Sustainability Projects

5 of the coolest DIY sustainability projects

These days it’s as important as ever to find ways to reduce and reuse, and there are several sustainability projects you can do yourself that won’t take much time or effort but will make a big impact on the Earth…in a good way. The first step is to decide what you need, then look around your house, garage, or storage space to see what items you can use to make it happen. Get creative and force yourself to think a little outside the box in order to see things in a different way.

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Tackle Your Fridge With These Fresh Tips And Tricks

Tackle Your Fridge with these fresh tips & tricks

Not many people enjoy a cleaning exercise, but cleaning the fridge is important task to keep your home fresh and hygienic. If you do not clean your refrigerator regularly, it is likely to grow bacteria which can contaminate your food and cause some serious illnesses to your loved ones. Also, it will fill your kitchen or the entire house with a pungent smell and make it uncomfortable to live in. Fortunately, you can use some tips and tricks to tackle your fridge and keep it smelling fresh always.

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Spring Cleaning Benefits: More than clutter & dust

spring cleaning benefits

Do people still do the proverbial “Spring Cleaning” anymore? Or do we just hit the weekly checklist and hope that by maintaining the daily-do, we’re alright?

Spring Cleaning is for more than just clutter, or dust.  We hit those with the daily list, do we not?  Spring Cleaning will alert you that a mouse took up residence under the couch (cuz, well, you moved it–and when did you do that last?).  It alerts you that there is mold under the kitchen sink (cuz, well, you pulled absolutely everything out of that cupboard–and when did you do that last?).

Spring Cleaning is like a reset button.

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Last Minute House Guests? 6 Tips & Tricks

Produce, Prepare, & Preserve Your Harvest

I love having people over.  I detest the undue stress I place on myself when I have fair warning that guests are coming.  I actually thrive with the unexpected variety, because no excuses shall be made: yes people, this is how we live…well, sort of.  I do pull some last minute trickery, and I’m going to let you in on my secrets.  But then I thought that perhaps I am missing a few great tricks, too!  I put the question about last minute house guests to our facebook fans on the Pantry Paratus page…and wow–they’ve got some great advice I’m going to try next time.

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Small Kitchen Storage: Pots and Pans

Edna joins us again to share her tips for making the most of storage in small kitchens. 

If you have a small kitchen, you should organize it so that the utensils and tableware in it take less space. Let’s discuss some ideas on how to store your pots and pans so that they will be handy without taking up too much valuable room.  Use one of these ideas to make your kitchen tidy and functional. Once organized, cleaning your kitchen after use will take less effort and take less time.

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Storage Hacks for the Kitchen & Beyond

Pantry Paratus already has several blogs about maximizing storage space in your kitchen, but we know that the problem goes beyond it too. No matter how big a home we have, many of us wage a daily battle with finding enough storage space for all our belongings. So when we found this great infographic with 24 great tips to get more space out of your home, we just had to share it with you! From using hanging lights to create more space in your bedroom to using a magnetic make-up board to organize your make-up paraphernalia in a tiny bathroom, this infographic has answers to all your solution needs.

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How to Avoid Cleaning a Nasty Oven (& Why You Should Never Use Aluminum Foil)

How to Avoid Cleaning a Nasty Oven

How to Avoid Cleaning a Nasty Oven

I got you with the title, eh?  Well, if you are an absent-minded cook like myself, you might not be able to avoid it entirely.  Sometimes I overfill a pan. Sometimes I  don’t cover what should be covered, and splatters occur.  This is where prevention will make your life easier.  Continue reading How to Avoid Cleaning a Nasty Oven (& Why You Should Never Use Aluminum Foil)

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4 Days to a Spotless (& Efficient!) Kitchen

4 Days to a Spotless (and Efficient!) Kitchen

 By Kristin Hillery from 

Pots and pans on the stove with remnants of last night’s dinner, spices randomly stashed in three different cabinets, dirty dishes piled a mile high in and next to the sink — we’ve all been there, and it’s not pretty. Since the kitchen is such a busy place, it can turn chaotic pretty quickly. But, fear not: We’ve compiled this how-to that’ll get your kitchen spotless and organized before the week’s up.  The idea is to spend one hour every day on each step. Ready to have a kitchen you won’t want to hide from? Let’s do this.

Day 1: Cabinets

Spotless and Efficient Cabinets

We found this one charming and functional,photo by Yvonne Eijkenduijn, creative commons 2.0
Especially if you’re short on storage space, organized cabinets are an essential part of an efficient, functional kitchen. Start off by taking everything out of each cabinet and getting rid of items you don’t use (donate ‘em) and any expired ingredients (toss ‘em).  Clean the inside and outside of each cabinet while they’re empty.


Before you put everything back in, group similar items together. Cups should all be in one place, spices neatly organized together, bowls and plates together. Think about how you typically use your counters, and use that to determine where things should go. For example, you might want to have all of your cups close to your fridge, and you might want to keep your spices close to the stove or a spot you typically prep meals.

Spice Shelf

photo credit: paul goyette via photopin cc

Day 2: Counters


Read Chaya’s blog about maximizing counter space here.

You’ll enjoy cooking way more if you have a place to work, so take this opportunity to maximize your counterspace. Any appliances you don’t use often need to be stored in a cabinet or pantry, or donated. If you’re short on space, consider getting rid of your bulky knife block and putting up a magnetic strip on the wall to hold your knives.  Ever wind up with random mail or keys on the counter? Make a place for those items by placing a small mail organizer and catch-all bowl on the counter with hooks on the wall for keys and purses.
Day 3: Pantry


Chaya's Pantry
It’s so easy to just put cereal, snacks, and other pantry items wherever, but organizing that little space will make your life way easier. Remember how you organized your cabinets a couple of days ago? You’re going to do the same thing with your pantry today: Take everything out and toss any expired or stale foods. Use your pantry’s shelves to organize by type of food. It’s up to you to decide what’s best, but less frequently used ingredients or even appliances could go at the very top. Bonus points: Use clear, airtight containers to store cereal and snacks.


Day 4: Refrigerator and Freezer

Oh, man. Bad fridge smell is no good. You might have it, you might have had it for longer than you want to admit, or you might be on your way to having it. Regardless, now’s the time to go through your fridge and freezer and get rid of anything that resembles a science project gone wrong. That pickle jar with just the juice left in it? It’s gotta go. The shriveled up cucumber at the back of your crisper drawer? Bye-bye. The steak you put in the freezer 2 years ago? Nope. Take everything out and clean every nook and cranny. If your fridge has removable drawers and shelves, take those out and clean them in your sink. Organize similar items together on shelves.


Day 5: Enjoy

Four days of hard work calls for a celebration. Bust out the champagne glasses (you’ve stored them in the cabinet with your other glasses!) and enjoy the view — a kitchen this gorgeous is something to admire. And because you’ve spent time organizing, you’ll be able to keep it looking fabulous.


Kristin Hillery writes for Modernize.  We want to thank her for this motivating piece that breaks a big job down into bite-sized tasks.

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Time Management In The Kitchen: 10 Ways I Keep My Sanity

Time Management in the Kitchen

Time Management In the Kitchen

10 Ways I Keep My Sanity

 Is this not the bane of our domestic existence?

Time Management in the Kitchen


We want delicious, wholesome food.  We also gaze longingly upon the family playing a game together after dinner while we are….you guess it…decked out in Hazmat suits and hosing down the pre-dinner kitchen disaster. 

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