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5 Areas You Should Decant For A More Organized Home

House Digest logo: MainLogoHouse Digest 8/10/2022 Mary Cornetta
Person decanting dry food © SHUSTIKOVA INESSA/Shutterstock Person decanting dry food

An organized home is all about simplicity. No matter the amount or types of containers and labels involved, a system will only work if it's easy to follow. Believe it or not, there is such a thing as excessive organization, and it should be avoided at all costs if you want your home to stay neat. One of the ways to streamline your stuff is by decanting. In the organizing world, this means emptying contents from their original packaging into a more minimalistic container. The main idea behind it is to save space by doing away with bulky boxes and bags. Yet another advantage is the aesthetic look you'll have once everything is stored in transparent, matching jars with labels letting you and all household members know what's inside.

But the benefit that seals the deal is how decanting will help you save time in your daily routine. Seeing and reaching in quickly to grab what you need is important on busy days. Or, as The Orderly Space suggests, it's vital for inventory review. Scanning your stuff before a grocery or Target run can save you from unnecessarily buying what you don't need and cluttering up your home. Ahead, you'll find a variety of areas within your home that you can (and should) decant if you haven't already. Some might be obvious, others not so much, but hopefully, it will inspire and motivate you to get more organized in almost every room.

Pantry

Clear organized pantry jars © Paul Ayres/Shutterstock Clear organized pantry jars

This space is one of the most widely known areas to decant items in your home, thanks to the endless, picture-perfect pantry shots strewn across social media. If you follow professional organizers, from The Home Edit to Marie Kondo and everyone in between, you've seen clear containers with dried goods lined up in a pantry flawlessly displayed. Some of the most popular items to decant into airtight containers include baking powder, flour, sugar, pasta, and grain. You don't have to stop there, though. Other things to consider include granola, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, protein powders, chocolate chips, marshmallows, popcorn kernels, chips, crackers, pretzels, breadcrumbs, and, of course, spices. 

The main reason for decanting dried goods, according to The Aesthetic Organizer, is the ability to buy in bulk. The original, large, and awkward packaging can be tucked out of sight, leaving you with just what you need in whatever sized pantry at your disposal. Being able to refill without leaving your home is not only convenient but also budget-friendly. One of the most overlooked benefits of decanting food is how much longer it can stay fresh. It's hard for most adults to seal up the cereal box properly, and even kids can help prevent their beloved Cheerios from going stale with a click of the lid. By decanting items in the pantry, you'll be saving money, trips to the grocery store, and preventing food waste. 

Laundry Room

Laundry room counter with supplies © Jason Finn/Shutterstock Laundry room counter with supplies

Another Pinterest-ready favorite is an organized laundry room. Much like the pantry, this is just as much about aesthetics as functionality. Laundry powders or pods, liquid detergents, scent boosters, dryer sheets or balls, and even pre-stain treatment sprays are usually grabbed in a hurry in between Zoom meetings or soccer practice and dinner. Having the ability to reach and use them quickly and efficiently can save precious minutes in your day. As The Laundress points out, hodgepodge products strewn across the room can look chaotic and cluttered. Decanting streamlines items visually and allows you to access them easily; rather than using airtight containers as you would for food, try pretty apothecary jars with lids. For liquids, consider dispensers with a spout or pump. As a bonus, the more organized the room, the less stressful the chore may be for you.

This is admittedly an area of contention, although you should still consider it, especially when there aren't young children in the house. Per The Home Edit, the packaging for items such as laundry detergent has important safety information printed on it. Hence, they opt out of decanting anything that a curious kid could potentially get their little hands on. Whether you choose to decant in the laundry room, the items should be kept high and away from their reach. Or, as Healthy Children suggests, close and lock the laundry room door when not in use.

Bathroom

Clear jars with bathroom supplies © Marlon Lopez MMG1 Design/Shutterstock Clear jars with bathroom supplies

If there is one area where decanting should occur but is often overlooked, it's the bathroom. It's another space we spend limited time in, usually early in the morning or late at night. So, whether you're running late for work or can't wait to get under the covers, decanting some products will help you get out the door or into bed faster. Small items you reach for regularly, like cotton swabs and balls, floss sticks, hair ties, bobby pins, and feminine products, can all be removed from their original packaging and placed into clear containers. Use products such as a set of lidded jars on a shelf, clear inserts in the vanity drawer, and lazy susans on the countertop or under the sink. This avoids the arduous task of reaching into cumbersome packages to retrieve what you need. Like in the pantry, this allows you to stock up and refill from home, saving trips to the store.

However, there's an even better reason to decant items in the bathroom, and it's to save space. As Life in Jeneral points out, bathroom storage is usually minimal, so you can avoid overcrowding by decanting it into smaller containers. Don't forget about your shower products either. Oversized bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash may not sit comfortably on your shelves, caddy, or suction cup baskets. Smaller, streamlined pump bottles will, though, and may even make your shower feel more like a trip to the spa.

Craft Room

Craft supplies in clear jars © donatas1205/Shutterstock Craft supplies in clear jars

You may have decanted your kids' crafting supplies (or even yours!) already and not even realize it -- especially crayons and markers, as your little ones might have destroyed their original boxes in a blink of an eye. So you've probably placed them into an old jar, pencil bag, container, or carrying caddy for them to grab without making a mess. Sorry, we can't guarantee that they won't use the walls for artwork. You can do this with almost anything, from paint brushes to pipe cleaners and construction paper to colored pencils. For longer items, like writing or drawing materials, contain them to something tall such as a cup or lazy Susan on top of the craft table for easy access. 

Or, as The Intentional Edit prefers, use small and clear lidded boxes to lay them flat. These can be stacked on shelves which is beneficial if you'd like them to be out of reach from the kids when it's not craft time. For any paper, consider magazine holders to keep them upright and wrinkle-free. If you have multiple craft projects in the works or a variety of hobbies, The Container Store recommends using different colored bins to differentiate them quickly. Of course, whether the containers you're using are transparent or opaque, it's always a good idea to stick a label to them so there's no confusion.

Office

Binder clips in a jar © Erhan Inga/Shutterstock Binder clips in a jar

Yet another space you may find yourself decanting without realizing is the home office. If you have a desktop organizer or small containers inside the drawers filled with pencils and paper clips, congratulations, you're already on the path to decanting. Remember, the idea of doing this is to save time, space, and money and even prevent stress. Working from home comes with its fair share of struggles and distractions, so the more organized you can make your office, the better. According to Organized Living, giving simple storage options for your supplies will keep them tidy and ready to use. Your favorite pens should be kept front and center while the backups are stored in a drawer or nearby shelf. This way, you can refresh from the stash when you're out of ink.

A Bowl Full of Lemons suggests thinking outside the box when it comes to office supplies; they use a ceramic egg dish on desks to hold small, daily items, such as binder clips. It's a good idea to look around your home first, as Abby Organizes recommends, before buying anything new. While it's important to have airtight containers for food items or clean ones for bathroom and laundry products, office supplies can be stored in almost anything. Feel free to reuse jewelry boxes or shoe box lids inside your desk drawers, for example, to keep things organized outside their original packaging.

Read this next: 60 Laundry Room Ideas That Will Make You Think About A Remodel

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