By Alexandra Touliatos
I never thought I could be so disappointed in my pantry’s organization until the show “Get Organized with The Home Edit” showed me a pantry’s true organized potential. The show follows expert organizers Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin as they declutter and organize homes of celebrities like Khloé Kardashian, Reese Witherspoon, and Kane Brown, along with everyday clients. By no means am I as qualified as my idols, Shearer and Teplin, but after much planning and evaluation of the mess that was my pantry, I headed to the Container Store.
One of the most important takeaways from the show is to always make a plan and set a goal for your organizational journey. Being neat and organized is great, but if the organizational system doesn’t work for your routine, it will quickly return to whatever messy state it was in before. For my family, I knew my pantry needed to be organized in a simple and straight-forward way, with the more frequently used items in a person’s direct line of sight. I took inventory of the food and space available and made a list of how many containers and bins I would need.
Multiple trips later, my kitchen counter was cluttered with clear acrylic bins and airtight containers. The general rule of thumb that I learned from the Netflix series was that everything has to be in a container of some sort; nothing can be sitting out by itself. I planned on trying to transfer as many products as possible from the original packaging to the clear airtight containers, and any products that needed to remain in their original packaging would go in the acrylic bins.
The Home Edit preaches the importance of decluttering, so before I could even begin the organizing process, I knew a massive cleanout needed to occur. Multiple food items, bought in 2008, were thrown away.
I do not recommend transferring protein powders; my countertop became coated in a thick layer of protein powder that will probably remain for at least a year. After filling all of the sealable containers, I used the clear acrylic bins to house pastas, rice, sugar, and any other products that did not warrant being taken out of their original containers. Transferring products into containers was only half of the process; the next step was to figure out where in the actual pantry everything should go to be the most convenient. This would ensure long-term success.
The show also emphasized that items should be categorized if possible, so I created general categories for sugars, spreads, pasta and rice, breakfast, nuts, snacks, and soups. I found homes for items that didn’t have a category based on how frequently we use them.
The overall process was quite gruelling, but 100% worth it. In the words of Shearer and Teplin, “This allows you to take advantage of your shelf space in the best possible way, to provide efficiency in your daily routine, and keep your food items visible and fresh.”
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