31 Days of Decluttering, Day 17: Kitchen Cupboard (Food Storage)

Are you decluttering your home, too? I’d love to be able to share your success story with the KOAB community! Please submit the before & after pictures of your decluttering project.

pantry before

Ugh! Anyone else have a kitchen cupboard that looks like this?

January didn’t quite turn out the way I’d planned, so I wasn’t able to hit my target of 31 Days of Decluttering projects during this month-long series. Considering that I still have some spaces seriously calling out for decluttering (uh, see above!), I’ve decided that I’m going to keep on keeping on – if that’s alright with all of you!

If you haven’t quite finished your decluttering goals — or if you were just getting started — I hope you’ll be inspired by this message: Even when life throws up some road blocks (and when doesn’t it?!), as long as we keep moving forward, then we’re making progress and making our lives better!

Yesterday was my first official snow day in Cleveland (we had one other day off for cold, but yesterday’s cancellation was due to a massive 22 inches of accumulation in 24 hours!), so I spent a lot of time playing in the snow with my kids — and making them multiple cups of hot cocoa in our Keurig.

When the kids finally gave me a few moments to myself, I knew just what to do with them: Declutter our overrun food cupboard!

Whoa! I’ve talked before about how decluttering can save you money — and this little kitchen cupboard project sure did underscore that point! I found duplicates of so many items in there. At least this stuff is non-perishable, but how much oregano does one person need? (Answer: Definitely not so much that I should have two full containers of it!)

I pulled everything out and wiped down the shelves before I sorted through our food and re-organized it all. Aaaaah! Doesn’t that look so much better?!

pantry after

I also took a few minutes to create some new labels for my spices. On the bottom shelf of this pantry, I have two plastic baskets filled with spices. When I’m cooking, I just bring both baskets down and put them on the counter. When the spices aren’t labeled on the top, I have to pull each one out of the basket to find the one I need. This is a surprisingly frustrating process (probably how I ended up with two oreganos, two dills and two cinnamon sticks!) – and it definitely wastes time when I’m rushing to get dinner on the table.

label your spices

To solve this problem, I simply created labels for the top of the lids with my handy-dandy labeler. I once tried organizing my spices alphabetically, but that lasted all of about 2 minutes! Now I just stick the spice jars into one of two baskets — and as long as the labels are on them, it’s pretty quick to scan the lids and pull out the one I need.

Before and after Kitchen Cupboard (Food Storage)

Before & After Kitchen Cabinet Declutter

Do you, too, feel the need to get a better handle on the stuff in your house? Please join me for the 31 Days of Decluttering challenge! Everyone is welcome!

31 Days of Decluttering

Day One: Decluttering the Toy Storage Closet
Day Two: Decluttering the Top of a Bedroom Dresser (Finish What You Start!)
Day Three & Four: Decluttering the Master Bathroom
Day Five: Decluttering My Desk
Day Six: Join the Decluttering Challenge
Day Seven: Decluttering the Computer
Day Eight: Decluttering the Night Stand
Day Nine: Decluttering a Kitchen Counter in Less than 10 Minutes
Reader Share: Decluttering the Front Door Hallway Table
Day 10: Decluttering a Bedroom Closet
Day 11: Taming the Paper Clutter
Day 12: Decluttering the Coat Closet
Day 13: Decluttering the Linen Closet
Day 14: Reader Share: Decluttering the Play Room
Day 15: Reader Share: Decluttering the Front Hall Table
Day 16: Is Clutter a Sensory Issue?


  1. LOL I also just de cluttered my kitchen cabinets and found two bottles of oregano!

  2. I have one of those spice racks that hang on the inside of the pantry door. I actually alphabetized my spices a few years ago and it surprisingly stuck. I have to say it makes my life so much easier and definitely cuts down on duplicates (although it does occasionally still happen.) I love the idea and the labeling the lids though.

    • Mara Strom says

      I bet the alphabetizing works better on those racks, since they’re in natural rows. It’s hard to keep them in rows in the basket – or at least that’s what I tell myself to excuse my total alphabetical failure!

  3. shoshie steinhart says

    Wow, I am going to go and buy those little bins for my spice, thanks for the idea!!!!. It is such a simple thing, but I can see how it can make all the difference.

  4. I just decluttered my kitchen cabinets last week, and I’m loving the extra space and organization! I don’t have any “before” pictures, though–I had planned to clean out only the cereal cabinet–and momentum just carried me forward! I stored most of my nonperishables in the garage, got rid of loads of expired cereals, medicines, etc., and now I even have space for the overflow of my tiny Milchig pots & pans cabinet!

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