“Decanting” – Not just for wine

When we think of “decanting”, what do you think of 1st? RED WINE! That’s right! And, of course, that’s possibly the best one ;).  Buuuuut there are many other things we can move from one package, into another container. People have many different reasons for doing this – mine are ‘to make things look prettier’ and mostly for ‘organization.
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I was inspired to do this post after having Thanksgiving dinner at my husband’s, aunt’s home. While standing in the kitchen, as food preparation is being finalized and cupboard doors are left open, I noticed something spectacular. Without the help or push of a professional organizer, this is how she keeps her cabinets:

Labeled canisters make finding items convenient

Labeled canisters make finding items convenient

And check out how she keeps her spices!

Beautifully organized spices

Beautifully organized spices

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I was more than, pleasantly surprised. In fact, extremely impressed was more like it.

Here are some things you can decant or containerize:

In The Kitchen Leaving bottles on the counter, whether its spices, oils, vinegars, etc., can make things look messy and have you feeling like you are still in the aisles of the supermarket. By decanting the items into other glass bottles gives your kitchen a “richer” look and even more “gourmet”. Containerizing other items in the cupboards helps you to access the item quickly and without spilling stuff like flour, sugar, etc. It also keeps out any unwanted bugs, mice, or other pests(not that any of us have that problem – just sayin’ 😉 ).

*OilsI decant my olive oil in the kitchen as you can see in the very top picture. I leave it on a glass plate near the stove for easy access while cooking and making salads(and, of course, it looks pretty).

*VinegarsBasically the same reason as the oil above.

*Dish SoapIt’s so much prettier to have nice ‘pump’ container to put dish soap into, rather than the plastic bottle sitting beside the sink or having to go under the cupboard every time you want to, quickly wash a dish. Keep the store brand bottle under the sink and just refill as needed.

*Pastas and RicesThese are the easiest – just plop them in a container that you like and that fits. Mostly just “boiling” are the instructions for these, but if there are directions you can tape them to the back of the container like the picture below. You can leave these items in the pantry, or even on the counter. Either way they will be convenient and look much better. Also, you won’t find pasta spilling out on the cupboard shelves from those inconvenient plastic bags.

Cut out recipes and attach to the back of the canister for convenience

Cut out recipes and attach to the back of the canister for convenience

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*CerealsThis keeps them fresh, looks much nicer, can take up less space than bulky boxes and if the kids are the ones eating them, put them in a nice container and leave their favorite out on the counter. They can serve themselves in the morning. 🙂

The kids can leave the cheerios on the counter when they look like this! :)

The kids can leave the cheerios on the counter when they look like this! 🙂

*Baking ItemsI like to keep flour, sugars(white, brown, icing), rolled oats, etc. in Tupperware-style containers. These make it so easy to scoop out the amount you need, at any time.
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*Crackers and SnacksFlip top lids are the ones I like to keep these ones in. Or at least something easy for the kids to access. This way you can also keep healthy snacks within reach and not worry about the kids getting into them. Also, keeps things fresher, longer.

The list goes on of course. But really, there are many other things we decant and containerize without even thinking about it. Spices are a popular one to put into a different, labeled container after it’s purchase. Also, Most people have a smaller container for their sugar – easy access for coffee, tea, etc. Salt and Pepper is “a given”. I tend to take my daily tea bags and put them into a container for easier access. The possibilities are endless in the kitchen. If you want to put it in a container, DO IT! 🙂
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There are certainly more places in the home besides the kitchen where you can do this.
For a more luxurious look – in the bathroom you will find all kinds of things you can replace into more convenient jars, or containers. And you can find these containers in many stores. The local Dollar store has many options, IKEA, etc… You can find fancy and/or cute containers to suit your look and leave them on the counter for items you use often – Q-Tips, Cotton balls, , etc. You can get a pump for hand soap that is more esthetically pleasing than the store brand. Whatever type of decanting that makes life more convenient for you, and looks better, you should do it.

Oh, and lets not forget the Pets! Dry dog or cat food can come out of the bag and into a larger plastic container and be scooped out easier. I like to put the treats in a ‘flip-top’ style so my child can get them easily in the morning, and throw them to the pooch before we head off for the day. Some people keep them in ceramic jars, glass, etc…

At the end of the day it’s all about making your life easier. It may take some time to set up these systems, but once you have done it, you will save plenty of time in your future. And just think, if others in the family can see your labeled and extremely “easy to locate” items, they can do things without calling you, “WHERE’S THE RICE FLOUR?!!!” Ahhhhhh, just imagine – everyone finds things on their own, serves themselves, never bothering you to….. Ok, so maybe that’s a little too far-fetched, but even if it saves you doing SOME things and saves you time when looking for items, that’s awesome!

And, of course, if you don’t have time for this – call meeeee 😉
Thanks for tuning in. 🙂

Tanya

Tanya@cleaningdeclutter.com
Professional Organizer
416.428.5929

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