It’s both exciting and rewarding to hear someone’s success story. Not only your success in helping a friend, but her success in getting organized and making her home life a little easier.
Sue, I want to thank you for all the methods and strategies you taught me over the years, both from attending your seminar and in one-on-one sessions in my home. I thought you and your readers would appreciate hearing a success story about the lasting benefits of being organized.
Several months back, my friend Chrystal came to my home for a party. As the evening progressed she happened to look into my large pantry. She was very impressed by the organizational methods that I had used in the space.
A few days later she wrote me an email requesting help with her own pantry. She said her pantry was a mess. When she opened the doors to the pantry, things would fall out and get stuffed back in, with the hopes of later returning the offending items back into their proper spot. This would not happen with regularity due to the busyness of being a young mother and having a toddler.
So with a happy heart I headed over to Chrystal’s house to tackle the pantry.
First, we took all of the items out of the pantry. As we took each item out we placed it with its “like” items. All the pastas went together on the table. Same with cans and snack items, all in their own groups.
Second, we took out of the pantry anything that did not belong there. We found the cake-topper from her wedding cake placed down on the floor, taking away precious space from more used items. So, the cake topper was packed away into a closet.
Third, I asked her to tell me which of these “genres” of food she used most often in her day. Her answer was the determining factor of where in the pantry the different types of food were placed. Her answer was snacks. So, all the snack items went on the main shelf; this easy-to-reach solution was the first of many victories that day. We placed all the snacks, such as raisins, crackers, and chips, on this main shelf ready for quick and easy access.
Next, we continued to prioritize the foods depending on how often Chrystal used them. All breakfast items were placed on the next easy-to-access shelf. This continued with the canned goods, the baking ingredients, the oils, coffees, teas, and such.
Another important strategy was that we “containerized” like items together. Nice Tupperware containers and baskets are important items to have when you are organizing a pantry. We were able to containerize all her wax paper, aluminum foil, and baggies into a long decorative tin that fit nicely on the top of the refrigerator. Chrystal could easily reach the tin, pull it down, and access all the items inside as she needed them.
Finally, we containerized all the scattered cat food cans into a large Tupperware bin and placed it in an easily-accessible place.
And voila — we were done! We stepped back and gazed with amazement at the change that had taken place in just one hour!
The most important closet in Chrystal’s house, the pantry, once unorganized and messy was now organized and functional. Every item had its place, and every place was clean and purposeful.
Four months later her new system was put to the test — her new baby had arrived! And when her extended family came to help, in just a few days her pantry devolved into messy disorganization. At the very same time, a home repair necessitated two of the kitchen cupboards to be emptied, with most of the contents being stuffed in the already messy pantry.
In just five minutes — yes, five — she applied her new system to the mess and transformed it back to its purposeful functionality. Chrystal experienced the practical beauty of learning and implementing an organizing system.
When, not if, a chaotic season descends upon you with a major life-change, having your cabinets, closets, and rooms organized makes for a quick turn-around from chaos back to order.
Chrystal loves her pantry and looks forward to even more organizing in the future.
– Jennyce Garber