Use these tips from Marie Kondo’s book, The
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Two years ago my husband and I combined our households into a smaller home with an open floor plan that seems to highlight every bit of clutter left out.
I read Marie Kondo’s book in April and began a bit of a home purge and the results have been amazing for this former hoarder and messy person. I’m loving the results of keeping only those items that spark joy and having an organized place for every item. Following this process has truly made my life more serene.
Here’s the challenge about my kitchen: it’s an open space along with the living room, the whole area is very small, and clutter in any part of the room makes the whole space feel messy and cluttered.
The kitchen took me so long to organize that I actually ended up posting a sneak preview of my kitchen cabinet organization. But I’m finally ready to share the finished results of my pantry and to offer you a few tips if you decide to embark on your own Marie Kondo inspired
Step One: Declutter the Pantry
Let’s start with the unvarnished truth, shall we? Here’s the before picture.
I’m really lucky to have this nice walk-in pantry in my home, but unfortunately having the space to fill meant that I filled the space and the result was that I couldn’t find anything when I needed it and ended up buying duplicates of items I already owned all too often. Does that sound familiar?
So, I started with the usual process: I took everything out and I discarded! As a child of a child of the depression, this made me deeply uncomfortable. Throwing out food! (In fact, I didn’t. It’s in my garage, waiting for the right place.) But here’s what I removed: Duplicate spices. (So many duplicate items!) Multiple boxes of popcorn. The cocoa we bought in Paris and then didn’t like, but we bought it in Paris! Basically, anything I touched and then said, “This does not spark joy.”
Step Two: Designate a Space for Everything that Remains
If you look at the before picture, you can see that I managed my pantry by bringing in the groceries and simply putting things away where ever I could find room, thus ensuring I would have a difficult time finding items when I needed them.
Marie Kondo recommends having a spot for everything so you always know where it goes and to store all items of the same type in the same place. Honestly, I can’t believe that never occurred to me before! Now the pantry is broken into zones: baking supplies and spices in the back, canned staples together, snack foods in one area and pasta and grains in another. Dinner is so much easier now and making my grocery list every week is a breeze.
Step Three: Store as Simply as Possible so You can Easily See What You Have
Marie suggests we store items so we can see at a glance what we have. After evaluating what I had left in my pantry, I decanted several items into acrylic jars with labels. Now, when I look for pasta, I can easily see which jar contains which shape
My containers came from Ikea but these are similar.
I added standing shelves so I could stack canned goods and see everything at once.
I added some bins with handles for items in boxes or pouches that didn’t transfer easily to containers and are accessed pretty frequently. These were things like sauce pouches, noodle side dishes and these containers were quickly elevated to the rank of “How did I live without you?”
I bought mine at Wal-Mart, but this is pretty much the same thing.
Finally, I took the door space and turned it into a paper towel/grocery bag/pen & paper holder through a lovely all-purpose kit from Ikea. It’s been possibly the most useful change of all, I never realized how often I asked myself, “Where is a pen and piece of paper?”
Here’s the Final Result
Here’s the final result. It sparks joy in me every time I open the door. And I’ve been cooking more since I’ve finished because I know what I have on hand. I’m going to throw out all that candy though.