Posted in Pantry, Success Stories

More Birthday Present!

Mary’s birthday present was three sessions with De-clutter Me! What would be next? The pantry!

We spent our second session together on some of the shelves, tossing some foods past their “sell by dates,” and rearranged others, so that “like would be with like.” We consolidated Mary’s many candle supplies. A number of times, she asked how I would group items. The consistent answer – what would work for her, according to how her mind works, not mine.

In our third birthday present session, we finished the shelves, then turned our attention to the pantry counter. At the back, we removed the wok, which was hardly used. We decreased the water bottle stash, setting some aside to toss or donate. We placed in a bowl a small drill that Mary’s husband often uses.

Pantry counters and floor before we cleared their clutter
Before
Clutter-free pantry floor and counter
After

Moving along, we consolidated cookbooks, adding some from a lower shelf. We pulled some plastic bags from mostly-empty boxes, setting them aside to store with other bags and wraps. We put new plastic containers with others in an upper cupboard, and likewise found new homes for other items.

The crowded  and cluttered pantry counter
Before
The clutter-free pantry counter
After

Almost done, we focused on the last section of pantry counter. As with its other parts, we placed some items with similar others elsewhere. The “ginormous” box of cereal went to the side wall, with Mary vowing that she would never buy such a big box again. Revealed – a charming “Boulangerie” (Bakery) sign, a nice tribute to Mary’s former work as a school French teacher. I suggested that she might hang it on the opposite wall, where she would see and enjoy it more.

As we finished, we briefly discussed wall storage for the boxes of single serving coffee, “visual noise” currently taking up floor space. It might be possible to find a suitable rack or shelving that wouldn’t be too deep, while maintaining access to the cupboard next to the wall. Mary said that she would look online.

More counter clutter
Before
Counter clutter gone!
After

In the end, Mary was surprised that we accomplished all that she hoped. The pantry’s clutter cleared, it was more organized, its contents much easier to see and find. She happily smiled. Success!

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Pantry, Success Stories

Transforming the “Recycle Room”

The couple enjoys cooking a lot, and use a room to hold canned goods and other foods. While it’s really like a pantry, they call it the “recycle room.”

The husband of the couple and I started on the area just inside the door, a set of shelves with bins. They held a variety of foods separated into categories. We would go through each of them, including to toss or recycle anything past its “sell by” date.

Shelves with bins before we organized them.
Before

He suggested that we turn can labels up, so that he and his wife could easily see a bin’s contents. A great idea! Here are soups.

A jumbled collection of canned soups.
Before
The organized bin makes finding soups easier to find.
After

Next, varied vegetables “called out” to be organized.

Varied vegetables before we organized them.
Before
Soup's on! They're much easier to find now.
After

We repeated the process with pasta and rice, fruit, and gluten-free items.

The organized bins, now easier to pull out.
After

As they prepare for a vacation camping trip, finding foods to pack may be much easier.

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Closet, Pantry, Success Stories

Skinny Closet/Pantry Clutter Gone!

Etienne and Paul’s family kitchen is tiny. So is a closet that they use as a pantry. As usual, with my professional organizer’s method of working top-to-bottom, we rearranged it, putting “like with like.” We also kept closely in mind Paul’s professional background as a chef. The major cook in the family, we stored items where he would find them easily.

The following two “after” photos don’t do the effort justice, as the shelves are much more organized than they appear to be.

Before
After
Before
After

The next two sets of “before” and “after” photos show the lower part of the pantry, which held a mixture of foods and appliances. One is a waffle iron dating from the 1940s (yes!) that the family enjoys using.

Before
After
Before
After

Our time used up, and with Etienne smiling brightly, we discussed where to focus next. How about the mud room? Okay!

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Pantry, Success Stories

A Transformed Pantry

Tara and I met at a women’s business owners gathering. Introducing myself to the group as a professional organizer, she seemed interested, though was a bit tentative. Her pantry could use some help, but would be a challenge. The microwave and toaster oven were in it, since she prefers to keep the kitchen counters clear.

She works full-time, Monday through Friday. Would I be available on weekends? Sure! We scheduled a Saturday morning session. Her husband and daughter were both gone, so we could concentrate without interruptions; that is, except from the family dog, who wanted occasional attention.

What first? She wanted to clear and organize a storage unit hung on the pantry door. It had become an easy “dumping ground” for a wide variety of items. I suggested that we work top-to-bottom, reserving the “most valuable real estate” – the area at eye level and most easily reached – for the items used most.

At the top, we grouped together shoe polishes, glue, batteries and chargers. On the shelves below, small tools, sewing supplies, dog treats, tape and lint remover, cleaning supplies. We started a box for the basement. To use our time together well, later on she would go through three containers with pencils and pens, keeping those still useful and tossing the others.

BEFORE
AFTER

Inside the pantry, we pulled out reusable bags, including those that she and her husband keep in their cars for grocery shopping. We hung mops and brooms from hooks that were already installed. (Yay!) We grouped drinks, cleaning supplies, dog food and treats next to bird seed. We hung fly swatters and a dog “rake,” for smoothing fur.

BEFORE
AFTER
BEFORE
AFTER

The pantry transformed, with “chaos to calm,” Tara showed me the basement and garage, which will be future projects, when the weather will be warmer.

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Basement, Pantry, Success Stories

Some Results Seem Subtle

Newlyweds Judy and Robert asked for help. She moved into his house several months before their wedding. Since they’re middle-aged and avid cooks, they have all that they need. Some things, like spices, were in unneeded multiples.

As we discussed first working in their basement, Judy said, “Let the festivities commence.” All righty, then! Continue reading “Some Results Seem Subtle”

Posted in Pantry, Success Stories

An Organized Pantry

Lell and Rex have a lovely house within viewing distance of Lake Champlain. Our project was to organize the pantry. Its shelves were somewhat organized into categories (baking, condiments, canned goods, etc.), though some spill-over had happened over time. Lell, who is about five feet tall, couldn’t see all that was stored, even when using a step stool. Also, a tray holding precariously-balanced plastic drinking bottles was on top of the small fridge, and some items had “drifted” down to the floor.

First, I pulled everything on the floor out into the kitchen. Lell sampled crackers and other snacks whose bags were closed with clothes pins. We tossed anything “past its prime.” We added some still-good ones to a fabric-lined basket, already holding other snacks. At her direction, I rearranged shelves, using shelf extenders. Soups, tuna, olives, coffee, tomato sauces and cereals for Rex are now grouped. Paper plates and cups are on a low shelf. S’mores ingredients are together, sure to delight two 12-year-old girls who will soon visit from the South.

Sometimes, small details delight us the most. Lell is thrilled that the sugar is visible and easily reached! We worked hard, and she was pleased.

BEFORE
AFTER
BEFORE
AFTER

About De-clutter Me!

De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been “bringing calm to chaos” since 2013.