I hopped on the Marie Kondo “Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” train a while back, and am constantly amazed at how it continues to shape my housekeeping practices. One key idea behind the KonMari Method is that once everything has been tidied into its proper place (ideally where you use it, and group like items with like), you will never need to tidy again. While the before image of my pantry isn’t terrible, it also was a bit of a hodge podge that didn’t make sense, and wasn’t a joy to use. We’ve all seen the Pinterest-perfection pantries where everything is decanted and perfectly color coordinated, but for someone like me who loves to cook and bake, that’s just not practical for my real life. The following techniques helped me to achieve a happier and better-functioning pantry:
Meaning pull everything out and gather into one central location. You need to assess what you have, what duplicates exist, and what you no longer wish to keep (or in the case of perishables, what you shouldn’t keep). Once you can see what remains, you have a better sense of reimagining a new organizational scheme within your space.
Meaning you should work on one category, or sub-category, at a time and then these items will all be grouped together. Previously, I had only a loose scheme for pantry placement, which would mean it would take me extra time to retrieve an item in my search for it, or I would miss it entirely. Now, I can see everything with a quick pass.
Meaning, don’t head straight to The Container Store before you’ve even started your project believing a cartful of organizational goods will be the answer. While in this particular situation, I already had a number of these goods, what KonMari teaches you is to be creative with your storage and look first at what you can repurpose from what you already have (like sturdy boxes for drawer organization). Storage should be the last thing you consider in your tidying project because it will only be serving the items you end up keeping.
Which means you should frame this task in a positive light, and more importantly, not something you will continue to do each day (an endless chore). I had a wide-open Saturday morning, a cup of coffee, calming music and a candle lit which made the process even more enjoyable. Knowing that once I had completed my task, I would have a much more functional space that would “spark joy” each time I opened the cabinet doors.