Recently I read the book, “The Japanese Art of Tidying Up” in which Marie Kondo discusses her methodology for the best way to tidy your home, and live clutter free.
I decided to go against her rules somewhat, and start with my pantry (rather than clothes). I have lived here for about three years, and have NEVER even TOUCHED the pantry. Could you tell??
The first thing I did was remove everything from it. I mean – everything. I cleaned it out, threw away everything I didn’t use, and examined what I had left.
I decided I was going to follow the Mason Jar Method of organizing the pantry. I chose this because 1) It looks nice and 2) It seems functional and a great way to make sure I’m eating a balanced diet. I also cleaned out under the sink area, so under my kitchen sink can now be used to store large bulk quantities of Grains, Pasta, Flours, and Beans/Legumes. I can refill the jars, or simply buy more of something when it runs out.
I also splurged and bought a label maker, and I am SO GLAD I did! It really makes the pantry feel professional, and is also keeping me on track to keep the same items in the same jars (which ensures I keep a balanced diet). For example, I will always have a mason jar for beans, a mason jar for granola, a mason jar for almonds/peanuts, and for pasta, etc.
So here is a quick road map of what the finished product entails:
- The top two baskets are for to go drinks. The first basket holds all of the K-cups I rarely use or have for guests (i.e., coffee since I cut out coffee this year!) and the second basket is filled with teas for work, emergen-c packets, and crystal light packets which I use for company.
- The two French chefs were a Christmas present and I am SO excited they fit so perfectly in here! One is for flour, and one is for sugar, and extra supplements are in the center. However, I may take out the middle jars of supplements considering I NEVER take supplements!
- The fourth shelf has a really great level shelf I found at target. It is perfect for my canned goods, honeys (is honeys a word?), Vanilla Extract, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Witch Hazel, and other odds/ends for baking and cooking.
- The fifth shelf is likely to change drastically very soon as the more I look at it, the less I have a need for almost all of the items. On this I have Mason Jars of Coffee grounds (light and dark) which again, I’m not drinking coffee! I also have Marsh mellows left over from my Christmas party’s hot chocolate bar, and popcorn, of course. The popcorn will probably be the quickest to go!
On the bottom I have all of my cooking oils, a large bucket of peanuts that I use to make peanut butter for granola bars, and some other extra items that were too large for the shelves.
The whole idea of the KonMari method is to throw away anything that “doesn’t bring you joy”. I know it sounds dumb, but what she is really saying is “throw out everything you don’t use on a daily basis” or “will need at different points in life” haha – like Baking Powder!
Another reason I love the mason jar method is that it is a great money saver. This method allows me to buy items in bulk and store them under my sink, and simply refill the mason jars as needed. I always make sure to have brown rice, some other protein packed grain, nuts, flour, pasta, granola, rolled oats, peas, and beans on hand so this is a great way to keep me on track and cut my monthly grocery bill by having bulk storage.
So, let’s recap:
Step 1) Remove EVERYTHING from the pantry. Make sure you collect EVERY ONE of one item (if you have olive oil in your pantry but also in your cabinet, take out the olive oil from the cabinet! Everything should be laid out on your floor together by category. If you have a cleaning spray in your pantry – put it with the other cleaning sprays in the house! Take it out of there! OR, take all the cleaning sprays and put them in the pantry – everything should have a place!)
Step 2) Sweep and Clean the Shelves of Your Pantry and Line them with Clean Liners
Step 3) Group Food Items Together, and Discard/Donate any Old, Unused items (DON’T FEEL BAD)
Step 4) Remove EVERYTHING from the store bought packaging and transfer to your own storage methodology (i.e., mason jars or Tupperware bins, etc.)
Step 5) Develop a System that You Know You Can Follow. Discarding Unused Items Helps This Process!!
Step 6) Place Items Back in Space, and Make the Space Cute & Inviting so You’re Inspired to Keep it Nice!
Step 7) Label Your Storage Options to Promote Consistency in the Future
And Voila! It’s been about 2 weeks that I’ve lived with this Pantry, Cooking every single night and weekend, and it’s working out BEAUTIFULLY. I have also used this method on my kitchen cabinets, linen closet, bathroom medicine cabinet/storage, under my bathroom/kitchen sinks, on my “Junk Closet” which has now become designated spaces, and on my bedroom closet/dresser. So let me know which spaces’ makeover you want to see next and I’ll be sure to show you more!!!
Spring Cleaning has never been more Life Changing!!!