If you’d like to simplify your life and home, try cleaning out a closet this weekend. The clutter that you hide behind closed doors is still clutter. Just because you can’t see it in plain site, doesn’t mean it’s not there in the back of your mind, complicating your life.
(I know, I know – it’s really Day 10! So I owe you two today.)
I’m not going to lecture you about how I’m CHALLENGING YOU to get the closets cleaned out! That doesn’t work for me and I don’t’ expect it to work for you.
You have to be ready.
It’s like when someone asks you to start a diet with them. They may have reached the point where they’re tired of being 20 pounds overweight and are ready to do something about it, but it doesn’t mean you’ve reached that state of mind at the same moment.
You have to be ready.
In this Simplifying Life & Home October series, what I do want to help you understand is that the items in your home are just objects. We may like most of them, but we don’t NEED most of them. We can LIVE WITH LESS!
As a matter of fact, I can assure you that cleaning out the clutter is refreshing! Once it’s out of your house, you won’t miss it. You will be able to breath easier.
So when you’re ready, try cleaning out a closet. Or two. Or three. And see how you feel. I’m guessing you’ll feel pretty good. Lighter at heart and lighter of mind.
For a little inspiration, here are a few things I did to organize my own pantry. This took no more than an hour.
Pair down the pots, pans, and baking dishes.
We all have items in our closets that we haven’t used in over a year. Is there a really old pot that you don’t need? How about an extra cupcake pan? Are those cookie sheets so dirty that you really shouldn’t be cooking with them any longer? Choose a few cooking and baking pans that you never really use (or should no longer use) and put them in the “donate” pile (or trash pile depending on their condition).
Remove any expired cans of food and organize the remaining cans.
Get out those magnifying glasses and check those expiration dates. Chances are you’ll have a small pile of cans in your pantry that have expired. Open the cans, empty them, and recycle the metal. If you find cans that have an upcoming expiration date (but at least a month or two out) and you don’t think you’ll use them any time soon, donate them to the local food pantry. Then organize the remaining cans on the shelf by item so you can really see what you have.
Organize bagged food into sturdy plastic (or glass) containers.
Since going gluten-free, I’ve collected a lot of small bags of different types of nuts and flour (almond, tapioca, coconut, etc.). I purchased these medium-sized containers at the grocery store for only $2.00 per set of three. This one change has made the biggest difference in my pantry’s organization.
While I prefer to store food items in glass over plastic, I was afraid that the glass on these wire shelves would be too much weight. Plus plastic was far more affordable.
Contain the grocery bags.
Just inside my pantry sitting on top of a large plastic storage bin, I have a single large shopping bag where I house all of the brown paper grocery bags. They fold and fit perfectly in here and are readily available as I need them for recycling. The plastic grocery bags are also organized inside another larger bag and hang just over these on a hook.
Inside that large, blue plastic bin are some larger kitchen items that we don’t use very often but I’d like to keep – an ice cream maker, an antique vase from my grandmother, a few ceramic pots I use to decorate my back deck in the Spring, and a small pile of clean, old t-shirts I use for rags. The tub keeps them organized and available, yet out of site.
Use Baskets to Organize Groupings
Medium-sized baskets hold towels, tablecloths, plastic silverware, paper goods, and water bottles. Each grouping has its own basket. By placing them in the baskets, all I see when I walk into the pantry are the pretty baskets and not he clutter.
When you’re ready… mentally ready… consider cleaning out and organizing your pantry. It doesn’t have to be done all at once and shouldn’t take more than an hour. I guarantee you will feel better living with less clutter.
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Thank you & Enjoy!