6 Tips for a Beautifully Organized Pantry

If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then the pantry is what keeps it ticking. It’s no secret that a well-stocked pantry simplifies kitchen productions. The trick is organizing it — and keeping it organized — so that it becomes a joy to use, rather than a chore. Follow these six essential tips for maintaining a pretty pantry.

How to organize your pantry

1. Go Vertical

Use wall or stackable shelves to make use of empty vertical space. Don’t forget stackable drawers for larger items and, again, think “up” — instead of nestling them side-by-side, stack them up high (and secured to the wall) to free up valuable floor space. If your pantry has a door, a door organizer hung onto the back can hold unwieldy items like your Swifter, mop and even larger BBQ utensils. Not only will they have a home, but they’ll be out of sight.

2. Match It Up

It’s worth investing in matching containers, which will not only serve a purpose as storage, but also create a sense of unity and visual harmony. Large mason jars are a quick and inexpensive way to corral baking ingredients, for example. Plus, you can see immediately if you’re running low on anything.

For larger items, baskets are an attractive and efficient way to group things like crackers and snacks into subdivided categories: salty snacks, sweet snacks, kids’ snacks, etc.

3. Label It

Invest in a label maker and never misplace anything again. Labelling everything is absolutely necessary in a place like a pantry where turnover is high, and especially if more than one person has access. It all seems like a perfect system until somebody adds sesame seeds into the quinoa jar. Matching labels, like matching containers, help give your pantry a cohesive foundation that you’ll be more inclined to keep organized. If you’re more into freehand calligraphy or doodling, explore sticker labels.

Keep your pantry organized

4. Take Inventory

Keep track of what’s in your pantry by maintaining a general list of what’s in it, especially for items that have a shorter shelf life. Update this list as you plan for your week, adding ingredients you need to buy to complete your snacks and meals. You can do this on a device with a spreadsheet if you’re digitally inclined, but a simple dry erase board or chalk board can be a fun and even entertaining way to communicate with everyone in your household what needs to be replenished in the pantry.

5. The Fun Zone

Organize your pantry into zones the way your favourite supermarket does: grains and cereals, sweets and baking ingredients, canned goods, crunchy snacks, etc. We already know this system from decades of grocery shopping, so applying this method in your home pantry should make sorting and retrieving items much easier.

Also, don’t use up all the available space; give yourself some breathing room for special occasions that will need their own prepping zone. For example, you might audit your pantry once a year so a special bin for “eat now” items that are soon to expire is handy to have. Or when you’re planning a big holiday party or prepping for a camping trip, you’ll want some extra space for containers that will accommodate this sudden but short-lived abundance in groceries.

Tips to Organize Your Pantry

6. Something In, Something Out

Your pantry is not the walled version of your junk drawer. Once you’re happy with your supply level, implement a strict “something in, something out” rule. Bring something new in, take something out (unless you’re replacing something already gone). That way your net products will remain the same, so you’ll never be surprised to find a half-eaten bag of potato chips buried in the back, only to have to throw it away.

Looking for more organizing tips? Here’s a look at how to organize your home office.

5 Tips to Organize Your Home Office for Success

If you have a home office, you’re probably familiar with the challenge of keeping it organized. As a room that typically isn’t the focal point in most homes, it’s often the recipient of piles of disorganized items that get tucked away there “for later.” Except that later never really comes. Next thing you know, your office is cluttered with papers, boxes, and power cords, and is the last place in which you want to spend time. Sound familiar?

Does your home office inspire you to be productive? Or does it evoke feelings of stress and overwhelm?

Whether you’re working from home full-time or using your office space to keep the family organized, these five helpful tips to organize your home office will make it more efficient and visually appealing, leaving you more time for yourself and family, as well as enhancing the overall beauty of your home.

5 Tips to Organize Your Home Office for Success


1. Create stations

 

Just as trying to do too many things at once creates overwhelm (one step at a time!), so does trying to accomplish everything you need to do in one space. Your mind needs space to shift from task to task, and you can help facilitate that by creating different spaces for each one.

Different task, different station.

These workstations will vary based on what you want to use your home office for, but some common ones might include:

  • Printing station
  • Mail station
  • Writing station
  • Crafting station
  • Supplies station

Even with a small space, you can make multiple stations by separating them using the tools in the next step.


2. Vertically organize

 

Whether you’re creating stations or organizing established ones, you can save space by vertically organizing them. We usually think about setting up the rooms in our homes horizontally, and rarely do we make good use of them vertically.

Using wire baskets, wall-mounted filing bins, stacking drawers, or even a good trusty filing cabinet, you can create space that otherwise would have gone underused.

Take this a step further and colour code each station and bin for maximum efficiency. Use colour coding labels and sticky notes to make it super clear what each station is for and keep your system tidy.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Red – bills and finances
  • Orange – appointments
  • Yellow – family and pet items
  • Green – business tasks
  • Blue – auto and home
  • Purple – manuals, warranties

In addition to colour-coded stations, don’t forget your recycling bin! You can easily set a beautiful recycling or supply station set up using these Neatfreak bins and stackable shelf.

Whichever stations you decide on, be sure to label them so everyone in the family knows which area is for what. This will help keep things tidy well into the future.


3. Only keep essential items that provide real value

 

5 Tips to Organize Your Home Office for Success

For many, decluttering is the hard part. And for most, the hardest part is starting. So, just start somewhere. We suggest grabbing two boxes — one for items to keep, and one for recyclables. You’ll be surprised to discover how many things you can recycle, rather than just throw away.

Then, set aside half a day to sort items into the boxes. If you haven’t used it in six months, recycle it!

For the items you do keep, you can then organize them further and by placing them in the categorized bins or drawers you created in step two.

Categories might include:

  • Stickies – post-its, labels, stickers, label tape,
  • “Attachment” tools – paper clips, staples, binder clips, thumbtacks, magnets
  • Writing tools – pens, pencils, markers, highlighters
  • Mail – stamps, envelopes, address labels
  • Office tools – hole punch, ruler, calculator, label maker

Again, make sure you label them so everyone in the family knows which container is for what. This will help keep things tidy and efficient well into the future.


4. Create a command centre or system for organizing notes, bills, business cards, or other small papers

 

5 Tips to Organize Your Home Office for Success

Some of the trickiest things to keep organized in your home office are all the notes, bills, business cards, or other small papers. This can easily be transformed from piles of random papers to successful filing system with the use of a cork board, magnetic dry-erase white board, or clipboards.

Using your colour coding system from before, section the board into quarters or thirds, and tack items together based on their assigned colours. Not only will they be grouped together, but you’ll easily be able to review what needs attention at just a glance. Easy peasy!

To take this a step further and keep the whole family organized — especially if everyone has their own busy schedules and obligations — use individual boards for each family member! Remember to use your trusty label maker to label each one.


5. Make it pretty

 

5 Tips to Organize Your Home Office for Success

Even if your home office is basically a glorified storage closet without windows, you can still make it into a space you want to be in.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Add a plant. Even a fake one. NASA has proven houseplants provide many benefits, including purifying the air, improving mental health, concentration, memory, and productivity.
  • Place a couple of inspiring books on a shelf where you can see them. During a long day you may hit a rut in productivity. To keep the motivation momentum going, grab one and read a few lines. You never know what inspiration may be discovered.
  • Hang your favourite artwork. Just like with organization, you can beautify vertically by using wall space to hang a photo or painting of something you really love.
  • Hide cords or bind them with zapstraps or elastic bands.
  • Paint one of the walls! Blue is often thought to relax the mind, while yellow invigorates it, and pink makes us happy. Either way, pick one wall, a colour you love, and have fun with it!

Efficiency is important for success, but so is loving the space you’re in.  If you find your home office feels too cold or is uncomfortable to be in, you won’t use it. So make sure whatever you do to get it organized, be sure to give it your own style.

 

If you need help or supplies to organize your home office for success, we can help! Stop by your local London Drugs and pick up your essentials — we’d love to see you!

Real Expert Interview: 6 Decluttering Tips from Organizing Junkie Laura Wittmann

Does the idea of decluttering your shoe closet or re-organizing the recycling area immediately cause you anxiety? You aren’t alone. Our lives are so busy with commitments and appointments, it can be difficult to find the time to make everything shine like a pretty penny.

For some, cleaning, tidying, and organizing the home is a chore to be dealt with. For self-proclaimed organization junkie Laura Wittmann, it’s a high she can’t get enough of! And she’s quick to share the fix.

Laura is a home organization expert and author of the book Clutter Rehab: 101 simple, practical tips and tricks to the organizational problems encountered everyday. She believes having a perfect home where everything is perfectly organized all the time isn’t what home organization is all about. Life happens, things get messy, and her practical tips help you manage it all in real life.


1. Everyone’s story is unique. Can you tell us a bit about how you came to be an expert in home creation and organization?

Real Expert Interview: 6 Decluttering Tips from Organizing Junkie Laura Wittmann - London DrugsI’m not the type of person who was born an organizer. But living in a small house with four people where moving wasn’t an option, we had to figure out how we were going to do it in such a small space.

Subsequently, my journey to living a simpler life really helped me see how life-changing organization can be. I started my blog to share my excitement in hopes of enticing others to get hooked on organizing right alongside me.

I love helping others experience the benefits of living a life with less clutter and chaos. From how to slow down in a crazy busy world, to practical tips like how to manage your paper piles, my blog tackles it all.

The best part is, you don’t need any special skills to reap the rewards of an organized life.

 


2. Getting organized is not a one-step process, and it can be challenging for many. Could you share any growth moments or revelations you’ve experienced while creating and organizing your home?

 

One of the first lessons I had to learn when I started out was discovering that being organized wasn’t just about throwing stuff into cute containers and calling it organized.

There is so much more involved which is why I created an acronym to help with the PROCESS. It starts with having a Plan and ends with a Smile. Decluttering plays such a huge role in the organizing PROCESS but it’s one people try to avoid. Yes it’s hard and requires some decision making; however, the more we practice it the easier it gets, I promise!

Another area of growth for me was learning how to say no. Organization isn’t just about organizing our stuff but also our time. For me, it was about learning how to slow down and recognizing that jam packing my family’s schedule was a choice I was making. My kids didn’t need to be in multiple activities and everyone was much happier when we weren’t running around constantly on overdrive.

It would be hard to go back to living that way now that we’ve experienced the incredible impact it has had on our home and our stress levels.

 


3. Do you have any guidance for those wanting to create a warm, relaxing, and organized home? Perhaps some preparation tips, tools, or mindset suggestions?

 

The problem with clutter and chaos is that it can be pretty overwhelming, that’s for sure.

One of the things I recommend is to break down projects into 5-15 minute tasks. It’s much easier to make the time for a quick organizing task than find the time to organize an entire room. Drawers can be done in a small amount of time for instance. Closets may take longer so it might make sense for you to start with shoes, then pants, then shirts, etc.

Get in the habit of doing one small organizing task a day and before you know it, you’ll be feeling much more at peace in your space. Removing the things that you no longer love or use or have the room to store will allow your home to become a beautiful sanctuary for you and your loved ones.

 

Real Expert Interview: 6 Decluttering Tips from Organizing Junkie Laura Wittmann - London Drugs

 


4. Do you have any products or tools you’re passionate about or find useful in your home creation and organization?

 

Oh yes I do!

Some of my favourites include cabinet shelves in my kitchen cabinets to add more space, and plastic stackable drawers for extra storage in my bathroom cabinets and linen closet.

I also absolutely love using the space on the back of all the doors in my house. This space is so often ignored but it’s prime space for hanging shoe organizers to house anything from hats and mitts to bathroom products. Over-the-door hooks also provide storage for purses and bags to even jewelry. The possibilities are absolutely endless.

 

Real Expert Interview: 6 Decluttering Tips from Organizing Junkie Laura Wittmann - London Drugs

 


5. We are strong advocates for living green. Do you have any environmentally friendly organizing ideas to share?

 

Absolutely!

Take a look at some of the product packaging that comes into your home. There are so many instances where these things can be reused to help you create organization.

For instance, tissue and tea boxes make excellent dividers in drawers. Simply cut off the tops and line your bathroom and kitchen drawers to create separation. This will help immensely when it comes to finding what you need.

 


6. What are a few unconventional, surprising, or quirky tips you have for creating and organizing your home?

 

People are often surprised when I tell them the goal of organization isn’t about having a magazine-worthy home where everything is perfectly placed. Instead, the goal should always be to create spaces that allow you to breathe easier, that don’t stress you out, and where you can easily find what you need.

The beauty of this is that what works for you may not work for someone else. So it’s important that we don’t compare our home to another. Make your space work for you and your family! You can start by storing stuff where you use it.

For instance, this may mean keeping dishes in lower cabinets so your kids can help themselves or put them away out of the dishwasher. Your home should function for the season of life you are in. Organization is not once and done; it’s a constant tweaking of systems to make life easier, not more complicated.

One of the posts on my blog that always surprises my readers when I bring it up is that I don’t sort my laundry. I know I’m such a rebel! Yet this area alone has been life changing for me and I highly recommend it if laundry is an area that stresses you out.

My basic advice: Simplify, simplify, simplify even if it goes against everything you’ve ever been taught, ha!

 

Real Expert Interview: 6 Decluttering Tips from Organizing Junkie Laura Wittmann - London Drugs

Laura Wittmann has been working as a professional organizer and blogger since 2006. She is the founder of the blog I’m an Organizing Junkie where she provides regular encouragement and education for organized living. By providing organizing advice and tips, a little bit of tough love, and citing her own personal experiences as a mother of three, she inspires her readers to move from chaotic clutter to sensible order. Laura’s advice has been featured in numerous magazines, including Woman’s World, Better Homes & Gardens, Canadian Living and Family Circle. She lives with her husband and kids in Alberta where she’s constantly on the lookout for her next organizing “fix.” You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram. For additional tips on how to organize your home, you can also drop by your local London Drugs and talk to any of our in-store experts. 

Real Expert Interview: 6 Decluttering Tips from Home Organization Expert Jenn Lifford

Home is where the heart is. Unfortunately, it’s also where all the stuff is, too.

Spring cleaning got an early start this year, thanks to Marie Kondo. But if you haven’t started yet, we’ve got some tips to help. After all, we can’t think of a better way to spend these dark winter days than cozying up in a tidy, organized, and peaceful space. Just add good company and a steaming mug of hot chocolate!

Let’s be real though: getting our homes organized is not always an easy process – both technically and emotionally. The old adage that the things you own end up owning you is true.

That’s why we’ve asked Jenn Lifford, Mission, B.C.-based expert organizer and author of the book The Home Decluttering Diet, six questions about how she gets organized and how you can use her methods to make your home a cleaner, leaner, and more beautiful space to live in.


1. Everyone’s story is unique. Can you tell us a bit about how you came to be an expert in home creation and organization?

 

Jenn Lifford - Home organizing tips influencer expert series | London DrugsI’ve always loved organized spaces, but as our family grew and our time decreased, it became harder and harder to keep up with the chaos. Our house generally looked tidy, but our drawers, closets, and cupboards were overflowing. It was hard to find what we wanted and I always felt so overwhelmed with everything.

At the time, my blog was more of a craft blog, but I started to add a few organizing projects here and there. I found that the posts really resonated with my readers and it helped encourage me to keep going with the organization process. Over time, I developed The Home Organization Diet, which is a year-long plan to declutter, deep clean, and organize the entire home. I still follow this every year (some years more faithfully than others!) to keep up with the ever-changing needs of our family.

I’ve learned that having an organized home is more about changing your mindset and adopting new habits rather than just taking some time to organize a space with pretty bins.

 


2. Getting organized is not a one-step process, and it can be challenging for many. Could you share any growth moments or revelations you’ve experienced while creating and organizing your home?

 

The decluttering process itself is often more complicated than just getting rid of stuff. There are often a lot of emotional reactions that go with it and it can be a hard task for many people.

I learned a lot about myself during this process in terms of what my priorities were and what was really important to me. I’m definitely a lot more intentional now with what I buy and bring into our home.

Throughout the whole organization process, I’ve also been working on trying to let go of the idea of perfection. In the past, I would often put off anything that I could not do exactly the way I wanted. I was always waiting for the perfect time or the perfect budget before starting. I’m now trying to focus more on just making progress and being happier with what I am able to accomplish.

 


3. Do you have any guidance for those wanting to create a warm, relaxing, and organized home? Perhaps some preparation tips, tools, or mindset suggestions?

 

Change of any kind always requires time and patience. Creating a relaxing and organized home is no different.

To avoid getting overwhelmed, focus on one space at a time and appreciate all of the little accomplishments you make along the way (even if you still have a lot of other things you want to do!) Commit to a certain amount of time each week that you will devote to getting things organized and stick with it!

I find that writing down a plan is always helpful and I like to put on a timer to keep myself focused when I’m working.

 

Organized Kitchen | Jenn Lifford - Home organizing tips influencer expert series | London Drugs

 


4. Do you have any products or tools you’re passionate about or find useful in your home creation and organization?

 

While there are a variety of awesome organization products on the market, it’s important that you have a really good idea of the space you have available and what items you need to store before running out and purchasing them.

I love using clear acrylic containers for organizing (I especially love the InterDesign brand). You can find them everywhere from our fridge and pantry to our bathroom cupboards.

I’m also a big fan of Command hooks and use these for hanging smaller items such as dog leashes, keys, and jewellery.

You can also try shopping around your home for everyday items that can be used for organizing. Mason jars, egg containers, pretty bowls, etc., can always be used for other storage purposes.

 


5. We are strong advocates for living green. Do you have any environmentally friendly organizing ideas to share?

 

When you’re going through the decluttering process, it’s important to minimize your waste as much as possible. Be creative with where you donate your items.

Vet clinics are generally happy to take old towels, women’s shelters will take clothing, bedding, and unopened personal care products, while schools are often looking for craft and school supplies or educational toys and games.

If the items are beyond repair, be sure to recycle as much as possible before deciding to throw them into the trash. Check your local recycling guidelines to see what items can be recycled.

Finally, as you’re going through the decluttering process, take note of what items you tend to overbuy or purchase when they’re not really needed. Learn from these past mistakes and be more intentional about what you purchase in the future. There’s no point in taking the time to declutter your home if you’re just going to fill it back up again!

 

Organized Kitchen Command Centre | Jenn Lifford - Home organizing tips influencer expert series | London Drugs

 


6. What are a few unconventional, surprising, or quirky tips you have for creating and organizing your home?

 

In general, having less stuff means having more time for the things you really love. Be sure that the items you keep are ones that you use, love, or make your life better in some way.

Get in the habit of putting items away rather than just putting them down. Taking those few extra seconds to do this will make a huge difference in keeping your home tidy. Make sure that every item in your home has a specific place to live and make sure everyone knows where this is.

The simpler the organization system, the better it will work. Items need to be easy to access and, even more importantly, easy to put away. Make sure everyone in your family knows where things go and stick with it! Over time it will gradually become more of a habit and easier to do.

 

Summer Front Entry Organizing | Jenn Lifford - Home organizing tips influencer expert series | London Drugs

Want to get more ideas on how to organize your beautiful home? Find Jenn at Clean and Scentsible, and on Facebook and Instagram. You can also drop by your local London Drugs and talk to any of our in-store experts. 

4 Tips for Beautifully Organized Drawers

It’s easy to let your drawers fall into chaos. They’re only open for a few seconds at a time, and they’re easy to hide. But you know they’re there–whispering behind your back, just waiting to explode. We’re here to help you wrangle the clutter with these easy and satisfying tips for beautifully organized drawers.

1. Tidy Your T-Shirts the KonMari Way

If you have a big collection of t-shirts, you know how quickly your drawer can turn into a mess. To save time in the morning, and prevent wrinkles, stack your t-shirts upright in the drawer instead of flat. Your drawer will hold more, you’ll be able to see them all at once for easy choosing, and they’ll stay neatly folded.

Folding skills a little lacking? Take a tip from Abby Lawson on using the KonMari method to fold like a pro:

2. Use Smart Compartments For Odds and Ends 

Your silverware drawer is pretty organized, right? Knives, spoons, and forks are all in their right places. That’s because of the organizer in there! You probably already have one in the kitchen, so why not get one for your other drawers that need some TLC? Cutlery trays and small bins are inexpensive, and great for keeping cosmetics, junk drawers, craft drawers and other small odds and ends tidy.

3. Contain Those Pesky Kitchen Containers

It’s your kitchen’s dirty little secret. It’s your… FOOD CONTAINER DRAWER! Don’t worry—you’re definitely not alone. Everyone’s is a mess. But it doesn’t have to be! Despite food storage containers being bulky, awkward, and mismatched, your drawer can actually be a soothing place of zen organization.

Recycle any tubs or lids that don’t have a mate. Ahhhh. Feels good, doesn’t it? Next add a drawer divider or two and separate items into size/shape categories. Start with the largest items in the corner and add smaller ones around. Lastly, stack your lids horizontally so you can ‘file’ them instead of digging through the pile every time.

Pro tip: Nest plastic containers together, and turn them on their sides if the stack is too tall for the drawer. Don’t nest glass containers together, as they could get stuck together and break. And store plastic containers and lids separately, since a seal can trap moisture and create a stale smell.

See more tips, tricks, and photos from Better Homes & Gardens

4. Upcycle Using What You Already Have

Upcycle Muffin Tin Egg Carton Organization Tips London Drugs

Images from zillow.com

We love a good upcycling tip! Keeping a messy drawer organized can be as easy as re-using old stuff from around your house. Have you got things collecting dust around your house like old gift boxes, egg cartons, muffin tins, or food containers without their lids? (Really, who doesn’t?) Well then, you have an organized junk drawer!


There, another spring cleaning item checked off your list! Share your best drawer organization tips in the comments below and find everything you need online at London Drugs.