I geek out about organizational projects in my home, possibly even slightly OCD about it 🤷🏽♀️. I think it comes from a strong desire to be in control, and this is one small way I can have control, without controlling people or situations that are out of my control (unhealthy). So I focus my desire for control on inanimate objects that are ok with being controlled (healthy, I think 😜).
Every square foot of a home can, and I dare say, should be used for something purposeful and beautiful. The home is now more important than it has ever been. Work and education happen in the home now, more than any other time this century. Your environment can create energy, peace and productivity, or a feeling of chaos, frustration and distraction. Momma is happy when the house is clean and put together, and when it is not, nobody is happy.
I know myself well enough to know that I operate at my best when my environment is orderly, clean, purposeful, beautiful, smells good and is simple to manage. I have created systems and have help in our home that allows us to create this reality (almost) everyday, even with four kids at home and a revolving door for neighbor kids. My goal is that we would always be ready to welcome visitors and show hospitality at any time. We do not reach this goal everyday, but it is the environment I want to create.
We removed the original wire shelving and had Closets by Design remodel our pantry and our entryway closet (completely unused space). We tripled the usefulness and organizational capacity of these two spaces by installing the new shelving.
(before picture with wire shelving)
After the shelves were installed I scoured The Container Store and transferred all spices, flours, sugars, dry food and miscellaneous items out of their bags and into clear containers with clean labels. The less wording and color that can be seen, the more clean and orderly a space looks. I purged and decluttered the space of unneeded items. It is amazing what builds up in a pantry over the years. I also used gray organizational bins and wire baskets from Target to store a variety of items in, while keeping a uniform look. Our spice cabinet was also apart of this transformation.
Side note…many people see our pantry and they are like, “Where’s the food?!” I purposely avoid being too stocked up on “pantry” food (typically quick & easy to grab stuff that comes with a lot of carbs and sugar, or at least it is not the most nutritional option). We are not perfect at it, but we focus primarily on eating “fridge” food that is fresh and perishable. When there is too much “pantry” food, the “fridge” food goes off before you get a chance to eat it. So we keep the “pantry” food low, which increases the likelihood of eating fresh “fridge” food. My kids do not like this philosophy, but I advise them to not “bite” the hand that feeds them.
We do two grocery deliveries a week (I rotate between Whole Foods, Costco & Kroger) and pick up our farm CSA (community supported agriculture) produce once a week. I have an amazing person who helps me in our home who soaks, rinses and puts all our produce in clear containers in the fridge (we will talk fridge organization at another time). There are a lot of fruits, vegetables and lean proteins in our fridge that need to be prepared. Yes, it is often annoying when you have to prepare all meals (we also do not have a microwave - I will save that topic for another time too), but food is medicine and your health is your wealth. The best choices are often inconvenient.
Your home is where you raise your family. It is where you take most of your pictures, where you celebrate holidays, where you work, where you create most of your memories, where you spend time with friends, where you sleep, where you eat, where you cry, where you laugh. Your life happens in your home. Create a space that gives energy and beauty to your world and those you love the most.