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Sunday, November 29 2009

Here are a few suggestions to make your grocery shopping as organized as possible.

1. Get it on paper. As you use up the last of any item, write it down on a designated list under the name of the store where you would purchase the item. This will help you find what you need right away. Have this list handy so your family can add to it as the need presents itself.

2. Avoid making two trips. If at all possible, try and do most of your errands the same day you do your grocery shopping. Make sure you take that list along with you, so you can go on the errand run without forgetting anything.

3. Be prepared. When it is time to shop for your groceries, try and limit it to one day a week. Gather up the lists and any coupons you can use. Have a designated plastic folder or envelope to hold them all, and have it with you at all times. If you should unexpectedly stop at that particular store, you can use the coupon for the items you need.

4. Plan your route. Knowing where you're going, especially when you plan to make several stops, can save you both time and money with the high cost of fuel.

5. Map it out. Make up a list of the aisles in the store, and the grocery items in each. You'll be able to easily pick up the items on your shopping list aisle by aisle, instead of in a random, disorganized fashion. This will help you get in and out of the store in no time.


TRY THE "U CAN DO IT GROCERY SHOPPING CHECKLIST".  It enables you to simply check off the items you need, as they have already been listed for you, and categorizes the items together to make shopping simple and saves you time!  Go to the ABS Store tab for more info!


6. Get help from the teens. When you are shopping with older children, divide up the list and have them pick up items from the other aisles. If at all possible, leave the little ones at home. They almost always add to impulse shopping. Plus your focus then needs to be divided between the grocery shopping and making sure the kids aren't pulling things off the shelves, or putting items you don't wish to purchase in your cart.

7. Keep 'em cool. Keep a bag or cooler in the trunk that can hold your perishable items. This will ensure no melted and leaky ice cream packages. Generally shop for groceries last when doing the errands--this way the frozen things won't have a chance to melt.

8. Instruct the Baggers. Request that the Bagger pack all perishables together in the bags so you can grab them first when you return home. This also gives you the option of leaving the non-perishables to unpack at your leisure.

9. Think about your calendar. Look over your schedule for the upcoming week to see if there is something unusual you will be using in a recipe, or an event that may be coming up for which you need to purchase a card or gift. Put that on your list also.

10. Carry the recipes with you. Carry your family's favorite recipes with you on little index cards that have the ingredients listed. You can see what is needed on the recipe card and get the items you don't already have. Saves unnecessary stops at the grocery store during the week for that one forgotten item!

11. Do a bit of prep work. When you get home and unpack your groceries, do some preliminary meal preparation. Cook meat and then package it into meal sized dinners. Wash all your fruit and veggies. Cut the veggies so you can just put them into the dishes you plan on making. This can be a real time saver for your meal preparation.

12. Double up. Plan on cooking a double recipe for some meals. Eat one and freeze the other for a busy weeknight dinner.

13. Create a meal plan. By having a meal plan for the week, along with the items needed on a list, you should have a quick and easy shopping trip each and every week.

14. Think outside the box. There is also another solution for grocery shopping. There are various agencies and many supermarkets that can do it for you. If there is just not enough time in your busy schedule, using that service once in awhile, or all the time if you budget permits, might help you get caught up with your To Do list.

By using some or all of these tips, you will find that you are spending much less time preparing for and going to the supermarket.  Using the "U Can Do It Grocery Shopping Checklist" will be a big help also.

If you are overwhelmed with the thought of getting organized, please contact me at A BETTER SPACE.  I will be more than happy to help.

Enjoy your week!



Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 10:47 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 23 2009

In my last blog, I talked about how to organize the fridge in preparation for Thanksgiving.  So, now that the fridge and freezer are organized, another issue arises AFTER the Thanksgiving feast - what to do with the leftovers.

Sometimes we just keep eating them until they are gone or take them and prepare something else from them -such as turkey soup, etc.

However, sometimes, we want to freeze the leftovers (in our recently organized freezer!) but are not sure what the guidelines are for how long they will last.

When storing your leftovers, select a shallow, air tight meal-sized container that you can clearly label.  You want to put the date and the contents on the label for future reference.

Here are the guidelines for how long you can save your leftovers in the freezer:

Turkey meat (removed from the bone).............4 to 6 months
Stuffing.....................................................2 to 3 months
Soups........................................................2 to 3 months
Cranberry Sauce..........................................2 to 3 months
Vegetables.................................................1 year (if blanched)
Cakes, cupcakes and pies..............................2 to 3 months

I hope all of you enjoy your Thanksgiving with family and friends but don't eat too much!

Remember, you can freeze the leftovers!

If you need more assistance with getting your home organized, don't hesitate to contact A Better Space.  I will be more than happy to help.

Happy Thanksgiving!









Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 09:42 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, November 15 2009

I don't know about you, but I can't believe it's already the middle of November!  Wasn't it just Halloween!  Well, in order to keep pace with the upcoming holidays, there are some things you can do to make it go smoother.

In order to prepare for the large amount of food you might be preparing for Thanksgiving (including the storage of that pre-cooked turkey), I suggest that this is a good time to organize the inside of your refrigerator to accommodate the room you will need to store all that food.

Here are some quick tips for A Better Space in your fridge:

1.  TOSS - Go through your refrigerator and freezer, shelf by shelf, and toss out anything that has spoiled, has an expired date on it, anything you are unable to identify or that you know you no longer want. 

2.  CLEAN - Clear out one shelf at a time either by moving items to another shelf or temporarily removing them from the fridge or freezer.  You can lay them out on a towel on your counter or floor.  Wipe each shelf out with warm water and baking soda.  Scrape off any bits of food and wipe up any spills.  Don't forget the refrigerator door and drawers.  Then wipe down the items before they are returned to the fridge or freezer to remove whatever might be on the outside of them or stuck to the bottom. 

3.  CATEGORIZE - Designate different shelves for different categories.  By grouping things together, they will be easier to locate.  Some suggestions are to keep milk, juice and other drinks together.  Keep all left-overs together and towards the front so they are easily seen and used before they go bad.  Keep all breads together.  Keep all condiments together either on the door on in a low container on a shelf for easy access to the ones in the back.  Vegetables and fruits should be kept in their designated drawers with the correct setting to assure longer life.

4.  DON'T FORGET THE EXTERIOR - Clear the front of the fridge of all loose papers and toss anything that is outdated.  Coupons should be kept in a coupon organizer and recipes you intend to prepare should be placed in a recipe file.  Remove excess magnets to keep the front of the fridge free of clutter.

By using these simple suggestions, you will create more space inside and outside your refrigerator and freezer for the holidays and be able to find what you need more easily.

Don't let all that fridge clutter "gobble" up your space!

If you are overwhelmed with the prospect of getting organized, simply contact A BETTER SPACE.  I will be more than happy to help.

Enjoy your week!






Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 12:34 am   |  Permalink   |  8 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, November 07 2009

If you are not sure whether you are disorganized or not, see how many of the following statements apply to you - and then give me a call!    

  • You have been storing clothes for years hoping you'll fit into them again someday...
  • You already spent money on books to help you get organized and now you can't find them...
  • You've tried to organize your space and now you have less sace than before you started...
  • You've tried to purge and ended up with more reasons to keep your clutter instead of letting it go...
  • You know you have that item in your home somewhere but rather go out and buy another one rather than looking for it...
  • You think you actually have time to redeem all of your Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons that you've accumulated...
  • You took everything apart looking for something and now you an't seem to put it back where you found it...
  • Things keep appearing in your home or office but you're not quite sure where they are coming from...
  • You can't remember the last time you purged and have no plans to purge in the immediate future...

So, do any of these sound familiar?  If so, let's talk - I can help.

If you are unable to utilize my in-home services, I would suggest you check out my U Can Do It product line.  Some are available right on this website; others through Online Organizing at   They include the U Can Do It Budgeting System, The U Can Do It Grocery Shopping Checklist, The U Can Do It Room-By-Room Organizing Checklist and the U Can Do it Weekly "To Do" Checklist.  More on the way...

In the meantime, have a great week!



Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 02:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, November 01 2009

Do you have boxes of stuff and not sure whether it's considered a "collection" or just clutter?

I came across a short video that might help you figure it out.

If after watching this short clip, you determine it's clutter, just get rid of it.  If you are still not sure, perhaps you want to consult with a professional to find out, or, like the video mentions, go on E-bay and see how much your stuff is really worth.

Remember, in most cases, it's just "stuff" which translates into "clutter".  The memories they evoke are still there (in your head, not in that box). You don't need to keep all that stuff to keep the memories alive.

Before you let go of your precious collection of clutter, simply take a picture and preserve the memory.

Then, just let it go.  

If you are feeling ovewhelmed with the prospect of getting organized, simply contact A BETTER SPACE.  I will be more than happy to help.

Enjoy your week!



Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 11:18 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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