What if I told you I was coming over in 5 minutes to take photos of your pantry and fridge? Are you beaming with pride of your Pinterest worthy kitchen or are you embarrassed because you know that Marie Kondo would love to tear it down to the studs?
As a cooking coach (yes, that’s a thing), I’ve looked into plenty of pantries and most of the kitchens have the same, common issues: a chaotic mess of expired items, overstocked shelves, and an excess of everything.
I detoxed and restocked my kitchen over a decade ago, and it helped change the way I cook and eat. It’s not an overstatement to say that an incredibly organized kitchen can change your health; when you actually enjoy using your kitchen (and can see where things are), you’re more inspired to cook and more likely to use every ingredient in your line-of-sight. With decanting, we can dramatically change not just the way our kitchens look and feel, but also change our lives.
So let’s go over a few things you can decant today to change your pantry & fridge and your self worth.
Whole Grain Crackers: These boxes are always health-store hideous, so put these in a beautiful, rectangular, clear container. They’ll still look healthy without looking TOO healthy, you know?
Whole Grain Pasta: Rid your pantry of all of those mismatched boxes of pasta! You will immediately feel better. Actually seeing your pasta organized together in clear containers is endlessly satisfying; and did we mention that they might even match your gorgeous display of pampas grass?
Brown and White Rice: Rice was not meant to live in rectangular boxes. It was meant to be displayed in round, cylindrical jars with a copper lid and matching scooper.
Eggs In An Egg Holder: There are hundreds, if not thousands, of egg holders in every shape and color imaginable (as well as ceramic or porcelain options), and most of them are incredibly affordable. If you’re trying to build a kitchen you love using (and isn’t that the entire point of this article?), matching your egg holders to your other decanters is one more trick to keep your fridge looking clean, organized, and aesthetically appealing.
Flour: Whoever thought to package flour IN A BAG clearly has never tried scooping it out in a measuring cup, which rarely fits comfortably through the bag opening, leading to frustrating amounts of spillage in the process. Instead, store your flour in a round container with a large opening and your baking woes will immediately decrease by 37%.
Raw Nuts & Seeds: Like whole grain crackers, raw nuts and seeds are also guilty of health-store-hideous packaging (can we trademark this phrase?). Decanting them into small containers is not only more aesthetically pleasing, but it makes snacking way easier when you can actually SEE all the different types of nuts and seeds you own.
Olive Oil & Vinegar: Some oils and vinegars already come in lovely packaging, but most of them have one serious flaw: their giant openings. How is one supposed to elegantly drizzle olive oil on top of a bowl of zhoozhed-up hummus if it glugs out by the gallon? Decanting your finishing oil or balsamic glaze into a bottle with a cute little spout gives you way more control over your drizzling. Plus it looks SO sophisticated.
Coffee: Everyone knows that the best part of coffee isn’t the taste— it’s the smell. Aside from the beauty of a container of full-bodied coffee beans (instead of a bunch of limp bags piled on top of one another in the pantry), a decanter is a great solution for those times when you want your kitchen to smell like a trendy, local coffee shop.
Vegetables In Jars: We’re all guilty of seeing the most gorgeous, hearty broccolini at the Farmer’s Market and buying a dozen bunches with the best intentions, only to leave them in their sad produce bags and forget about them until they’ve gone bad. So here’s a “hack”— most vegetables can be cut and stored in glass jars, which will allow you to actually see (and hopefully, use) all of those lovely fresh vegetables.
This will get you started and this will make substantial change in your kitchen. You don’t need fancy matching glass container collections from The Container Store, you can buy mason jars on Amazon or Ikea has some great options as well. Just make sure these jars can tightly sealed, to keep the bugs out. Now when you open your fridge or pantry, you will feel good. Really good, like you’re a real adult who’s got your shit together. The best illusion of them all.
Jenny is a writer, cooking coach, and host of Cliffs Notes Kitchen, where she shows how simple, bite-sized shifts with minimal effort, can create lasting changes in your health. You can find more of her articles here.