Do You Need to Buy New Stuff to Tidy the Old Stuff?

Photo of clean, tidy, glass mason jars containing dried staples such as popcorn, soy puffs, rice, dried mushrooms, MSG and more.

Last Updated on 06/01/2022

Ever since Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up went stellar bestseller in 2014, it seems an entire industry has cropped up around home organisation. Going hand-in-hand with this is the notion that you have to go out and buy new stuff to house the old stuff you are trying to declutter and organise. In the kitchen, for example.

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GIF shows a hand decanting dried staples into empty glass mason jars. This is being done in a white kitchen. The jars look new so it seems like they buy new stuff to organize these staples.

Utilising mason jars or tuppers to rein in unwieldy packages of foodstuffs that refuse to stay closed makes sense, yes. It can also look very tidy when everything has a uniform look.

Before You Buy New Stuff

Before you spend money on new baskets and jars and buckets and trays though, do your decluttering first and see what you have already.

In all likelihood you won’t need to purchase two hundred smackaroos’ worth of clear plastic containers. Unless perhaps you have a McMansion-sized pantry which always needs to be kept stocked to feed an entire football team over a long weekend. (I’m looking at you, The Home Edit.)

So weed through your stash and toss any expired items first. Determine what you use, what is still good, and what needs to go. You likely already have suitable containers at hand to then organise everything. Tuppers, a repurposed cosmetic tray from the bath, empty pickle and mustard jars. All of these can be put to use in the kitchen to neatly divide up the contents of drawers or de-canter staples.

If you do need to make some purchases in the home org department, consider picking sustainable materials to organise with, such as raffia or glass, instead of plastic.

I purchased these preserving jars to store dried staples in the kitchen over 20 years ago. They were inexpensive, are easy to keep clean, absolutely durable, and still look good:

Image shows close up of clean mason jars holding dried staples such as rice, soy puffs, popcorn, dried mushrooms, coconut, MSG.

Have you bought into the plastic container craze to tidy your stuff? Drop a comment and share your thoughts!

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