Fast forward to arguably the most valuable insight from my home organisation journey: how important it is to see things.
In case you aren’t familiar with the KonMari method, organising starts with de-cluttering by category, starting with clothing, with the remaining belongings then stored in dedicated places, and in a way that they are visible at a glance and easily put away.
For many of my belongings, like clothes, cleaning products and pantry supplies, that instantly made sense. No more hunting for single socks on a Monday morning, no duplicate surface cleaner bottles in random places, and no stacks of canned tomato in the pantry because I again couldn’t remember if I still had any while at the supermarket.By making everything visible, I was suddenly able to put together a shopping list with a single glance at the pantry.
While I was working through the categories and asking myself ‘does this spark joy’ (Marie Kondo’s single criterion for whether to keep or gracefully retire any of your belongings), I noticed that some things were still not running as smoothly as I would have liked. For example, I missed out on eating food that was already prepped in the fridge, because I couldn’t readily gauge what was in those opaque containers. Some of the things I frequently wondered about:
- How much rice (or musli, or coffee) do we have left (in the obscure storage container)?
- What is in that red plastic container at the back of the fridge, and more importantly, how long has it been there, and do I still fancy eating it?
- Where is the pink lipstick?
- Is that fruit salad or lettuce still fresh?
So little by little, I found myself replacing my storage containers with see-through options, for the fridge, lunch prep, the pantry, the bathroom… and pretty much anything in the house.
Here’s another lesson learned – it doesn’t have to be expensive to ‘work’.
While I had tried many fancy and expensive storage and food container options before, they usually served to hide the contents from me, leading to piles of wasted food and unworn clothes. By putting up a pretty front, the actual contents evaded me.
I started to look for storage options that work for me, particularly in the kitchen. Mason Jars (thank you for the inspiration Nikki) which are great for food prep and storage of fruit salads, leafy salads and veggies that would otherwise go limp in the fridge… And perfectly stackable, see-through food storage – I now have a cheap option for food prep, and a fancy option (backing a food prep start-up) for taking lunches to work.
So keeping in mind that ‘visibility’ works for me, I’m glad that I’m not a minimalist (just someone who likes an organised house), because there are many things out on display in my kitchen and bathroom – but no more hidden stashes slowly deteriorating int the back of the fridge or pantry.
What are your thoughts about storing things?