Tips and Organization

Sharing some of our favorite hacks, tips and organization with you that keep life just a little simpler (if that’s even a thing when you have a large family like ours). Enjoy these ideas from our family to yours, with loads of love. These are affiliate links to Amazon in this post.

TIPS & HACKS:

VEGETA- One of the greatest seasonings out there is, drum roll,… Vegeta. If you haven’t tried yourself some Vegeta, I send you my heartfelt sympathy, ha! I take my Vegeta situation very serious. Not being able to add Vegeta to almost of my recipes was one of the hardest things I had to give up when I started blogging. #TwasHard #NoJoke. Though I still use it, we’ve really cut back – a ton, because many readers had no idea what that is and I’ve just learned to use other spices. For those of you that understand me, here are a few hacks I’d like to share for Vegeta. You know how some of the pieces are larger and really annoying, sure you do. I always like to grind them in a coffee grinder, goodbye uneven pieces and hello awesomeness. Then just transfer to a salt shaker. The coffee grinder works wonderfully if you ever need other herbs ground into smaller pieces. I have had this grinder as long as we’ve been married and it was so affordable, I use it on a regular basis. (UPDATE: I didn’t think this post would turn into a Vegeta debate, LOL;)! T’was not my intent. No worries, Vegeta packages with NO MSG, check out the one we have linked:). Please no more comments about Vegeta, haha. :). THANK YOU)!! 

life hack, vegeta

FREEZING MEAT- My sister shared this tip with me. Take your ground meat and put it in a Ziploc bag and flatten it and place in the fridge so it freezes flat. It’s easier to store and so much quicker to thaw. The same applies to freezing meat.

Also, we go through a lot of ground meat in recipes. We use them in soups, casseroles or Ukrainian meatballs. I found that ground meat is SO overpriced. So, I purchased the meat grinder attachment for my Kitchen Aid Mixer and it’s amazing. I no longer purchase ground meat and save so much money. I typically purchase meat once a month. I then divide everything into Ziploc bags and freeze the meat. I take some of the pork, beef and chicken and with my attachment, I just grind everything and freeze the ground meat in bags. Then just thaw as needed.

before and after of how to freeze ground meat

BREAD- Growing up in a large family, we were raised not throw food away. That’s something I would love for my children to carry on with them. If there’s a way not to throw food away and reuse it, do it! There are so many people hungry and don’t know where they will be getting their next meal and we are so blessed in this great country. One of the greatest challenges is having fresh bread in the home. I love this method of using bread going bad I’d like to share with you. If you start noticing bread becoming stale, please don’t throw it away. Slice it into slices (if not already sliced) and freeze in Ziploc bag (I use the Jumbo bags, it stores more). Then, as needed I make cheesy bread out of it. Frozen sliced bread is really easy to thaw, then just brush with melted butter, add some garlic powder with grated cheese and bake. The cheesy bread is phenomenal and you’d never know the bread wasn’t a fresh loaf. 🙂

Close up of homemade cheesy bread.

COFFEE CONTAINER– Empty coffee containers have the potential to be reused in so many ways. I’ll share one of my favorite. I took the coffee tin and spray painted it, then cut an opening at the top and we use it to store bags. Great, easy and recycled. #Winner

before and after of coffee tin hack

MINI TRASH CAN- My FAVORITE TIP! Keep a small basket or empty ice cream container and line it with a grocery store bag. Then, when you are prepping food, peel and throw all of the trash directly into it. No more messy counter with peels and trash all over:). Once you’re done prepping, just discard of the bag and line a new one for the next time you need. LOVE this! I just keep mine under my sink and closest to where I prep food. 🙂

Mini basket with grocery bag.

SHEETS- I love this trick I learned for sheets. (Sorry for the horrible photo.) We have 6 extra bed sheets I rotate for all of our beds in the home. The beds are all different sizes. So it got to a point when folding and removing it was so confusing to keep all the sheets that belong to the different beds organized. When you stack the fitted sheet, flat sheet and pillowcases it’s so easy to get them mixed up with another set and then it becomes frustrating. So, now, before the last fold of the flat sheet, I put into the fitted sheet and pillows for that set then close the sheets. Now it’s so easy to keep the sheets organized. 🙂

fold sheets

LAUNDRY DETERGENT ALTERNATIVE: So, we go through so much laundry detergent (large family will do that). I was always so scared of all the added chemicals in our detergent. I researched and researched and found these Laundry Detergent – All Natural balls. I purchased them last year and am IN LOVE! We have saved so much money using them and they are chemical free. I still use something a little stronger for my husband’s work clothing (he does construction), but for the most part, we only use these. I will just add some fresh lemon, or like a lavender oil for smell. Read up on them, they are AMAZING! Just don’t forget to recharge them. These are the dryer balls we use!

Two detergent crystal balls.

KEEPING IT ORGANIZED:

BASKETS- I really like using basket organizers for my onions, garlic and potatoes. They are easily accessible and stay fresh longer and look organized.

Potatoes and onion in basket bins.

CABINET TURNABLE- (AKA mini lazy Susan). This turntable is amazing. Used to store oil and cooking wines. Great to store cleaning products. It’s even great to use in the refrigerator for sauces. Just turn and get what you need without needing to take out half of the items in your fridge or cabinets.

CONTAINERS- One of the best ways to keep things organized in cupboards. I have these really container containers that I use to keep my rice, sugar, and flour in. I then use the smaller sized containers for the cereals, pasta or oatmeals

SPICES ORGANIZER– Not sure how I survived with my OCD and spices before I purchased this spices organizer for spices. A must-have for each kitchen, or so I believe.

REFRIGERATOR- Keeping the fridge organized is one of the hardest areas in the home to keep organized. It seems like no matter how often you clean it, the struggle is for real. Anyhow, recently I’ve invested in some organizer bins, and it’s so much easier to find items in the refrigerator as well as keep them organized. THANK YOU!

CLEANING POTS- Do you ever cook something and the bottom of your pots get yucky? Then it takes forever to try and scrub everything out? For a large pot add 1 cup water and 1/2 cup vinegar. Place onto the stovetop. Bring to a light boil and turn the heat off. Leave the pot on the stovetop. I just leave it on there until water completely cools. That’s it. Everything that is stuck will come right off. It’s amazing. I just use a wooden spatula to scrape the bottom, it’s easier that way. This even works on pans/skillets.

BROOM HANGER– This broom hanger is another great organizer.

DRAWERS- Great way to keep cabinets organizers are these organizers. Love them and use them everywhere in our home.

Do you have any TIPS or ORGANIZATION idea you love? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below. 🙂

Fondly,

Valentina

Valentina's Corner

Show 24 Comments
  • Olya 02/01/2018, 3:09 pm

    Hi. Great post. PleaSe explain how the detergent balls work? One ball per load? I throw in the whole ball? Im confused.

    • admin 02/01/2018, 3:25 pm

      Hello, Olechka.
      I’m so sorry for confusing you, do forgive me. <3
      So you add both of the detergent balls into the washing cycle with the clothing (and no detergent). That's it. 🙂 You just reuse the balls, they are good for up to 1,000 loads, isn't it crazy? We've been on our two balls since March of last year. Hope you love them as much as we do. =)

      • Olya 02/16/2018, 9:40 pm

        Wow. Amazing! Do you add any ganric softners? How do you know its time to replace your balls? Do they hacw a scent? Thank you

      • admin 02/19/2018, 7:32 pm

        Yes, I added a link to the dryer balls we use. I don’t use scented ones since I add scent to the washer balls and it works wonderfully.
        I will replace mine once a year. 🙂

  • Tanya 02/01/2018, 10:51 am

    Valya, thank you so much for this post! I fell in love with your bread idea and my kids just love it as well!! I really love garlic bread seasoning ( buy it in costco)and I think it will work really well with this cheesy bread!I just started making it yesterday and it’s good with borscht and even coffee and tea! Please, I would like to have a post also how to stay organized with 4 kids ( 4th is on the way!:)). Thanks for all you do and blessings! ♡

    • admin 02/01/2018, 3:05 pm

      Tanya, thank you!! I am so glad you enjoyed it, makes me so happy. Especially since we make them all the time as well:)!
      Congratulations on 4th, kids are such a blessing. I’ll try and work on a post with my favorite ideas! 🙂

  • Mila 01/30/2018, 2:35 pm

    Valentina!!! The mini trash is GENIUS!! What? My kitchen looks like hurricane Katrina with peels and trash, this is such a great tip.. Starting this asap. I even have an empty ice cream container. Can you kind of go over how you do things with kids, kind of your schedule. We have 4 kids and some days I feel like locking myself up in the bathrooms for hours cause that’s the only place I feel quiet. Please share tips. School stuff, clothes, church and keeping it all organized? (Feeling overwhelmed.)

    • admin 01/30/2018, 3:35 pm

      You’ll love this tip, Mila. Hhhm, okay, let me think about a post like that. 🙂 I love how real you are! So inspiring.

  • Kristina 01/30/2018, 1:25 pm

    Thanks so much for all the tips Valya, definitely will be looking into those crystal wash balls, we have a family of 7 so detergent does go quick that’s for sure!!!

    • admin 01/30/2018, 2:09 pm

      Kristina, you will love them! Tougher stains I still have to lightly soak but for the most part, it’s amazing. :O)

  • Natalie 01/30/2018, 12:10 pm

    Thank you so much for this post! I have learned that having less things has helped me personally,stay organized. Also having organizers and space really helps. Whenever I visit my Mom I go to the Slavic store there and get Vegeta that is MSG free. It comes in a cute container and is ground up pretty well.

    • admin 01/30/2018, 12:56 pm

      I love that, Natalie. Yes, less stuff= less to clean, less to clean= staying more organized! 🙂 Thanks for the visit! :o)

    • Natalie 01/30/2018, 5:17 pm

      Also, some really good Mom blogs that are about being organized with children are; cleanhousewithkids.blogspot.com. Tricia from clean house also has a book that’s a good price and I found it very very helpful for my home organization. It’s a small book but very to the point. I believe Tricia has 5 children.
      And andreadekker.com Andrea is a very organized mom with 4 children.

      It’s funny but just the other week I ordered the same spice rack but in a smaller size and I really really love it!

      Thanks again and again for your blog!

      • admin 01/31/2018, 12:12 am

        Never heard of those blogs, thank you. I’ll check them out, always on the lookout for ways to keep things together. I agree on the spice racks, just trying to remember how I stayed organized with the spices without the racks, haha, right? 😉

  • Oksana 01/29/2018, 8:55 pm

    Great post Valya! I love reading organizational things, so funny how I got or do so many things the same way. I even have the crystal wash balls… amazing thing… been using them for 3 years now and love the money saving. Lazy Susan’s are my favorite organizational tool. Use them everywhere in the house.

    • admin 01/30/2018, 12:58 am

      Really, Oksana? That’s awesome. Did I miss anything that you do and can share? 🙂

  • Olya 01/29/2018, 5:03 pm

    Valechka those are some great ideas and tips! Thank you for sharing! Quick question about boiling vinegar in a pot, is it safe to use in “kazan” you know the aluminum one used mostly for plov? Cause thats my one of the hardest pots to clean the burned on stuff on the bottom….

    • admin 01/29/2018, 7:22 pm

      Same goes with kazan, and I agree, those are the toughest to clean. You may need to add just a little more vinegar. Hope you love it as much as I do, Olya. 🙂

  • Irina 01/29/2018, 4:01 pm

    But Vegeta has MSG, doesn’t it bother you? Just curious ….

    • admin 01/30/2018, 1:03 am

      Oh no!! ? We don’t use it enough for it to bother me, no, and most all the newer packages don’t have it. ?

    • Sofia 01/30/2018, 1:23 am

      Be serious! There’s always that one…
      Valya don’t listen to her. I loved this post and LOVE your blog. Keep them coming. ? ❤

      • admin 01/30/2018, 1:32 am

        Awww, thanks soo much, Sofia. ? You’re so sweet. So glad you enjoy our family’s online home☺.

    • Kristina 01/30/2018, 1:21 pm

      They have actually started making some with out msg so I buy that one:)

      • admin 01/30/2018, 2:07 pm

        That’s the one I use:).

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