Love it or hate it, decanting is still deemed as the 'ultimate' in the organising world.
I've been exploring the pro's and con's to help you decide if it would fit in your own lifestyle.
If you've spent anytime on Instagram or Pinterest, you'll no doubt have seen some beautiful kitchens and pantries with matching containers and beautiful labels and whilst it does undoubtably level up the look of your kitchen, it isn't absolutely necessary for an organised kitchen as it needs, first and foremost, to be able to fit in with your lifestyle.
Shows such as 'The Home Edit' have shown millions of people how beautiful things can look when it's done right. I mean it really is perfection right? You see these beautiful pantry's and fridges all in rainbow order. It literallly makes me drool just thinking about it.
In fact, from personal experience, when my own kitchen was recently renovated, the most exciting part for me was receiving over 20 cardboard boxes filled with organising products. (yes, I know I'm sad) But did it really help me to get and most importantly stay organised?
Firstly, I'm going to share some of the benefits of decanting so you can see that it's not just about the aesthetics (although there is no denying, it does make things look fantastic!)
1) 𝗠𝗔𝗞𝗘𝗦 𝗕𝗘𝗧𝗧𝗘𝗥 𝗨𝗦𝗘 𝗢𝗙 𝗬𝗢𝗨𝗥 𝗦𝗣𝗔𝗖𝗘
Using stackable containers means you can use the full vertical height of your cupboards. Rectangular options are great for spaces short on space, and you can buy different sizes depending on what is being stored inside whilst maintaining a streamlined look.
2) 𝗦𝗣𝗘𝗘𝗗𝗦 𝗨𝗣 𝗦𝗛𝗢𝗣𝗣𝗜𝗡𝗚 𝗟𝗜𝗦𝗧𝗦
Using clear containers allows you to easily see what you are low in stock on, making shopping lists that much quicker.
3) 𝗥𝗘𝗗𝗨𝗖𝗘𝗦 𝗩𝗜𝗦𝗨𝗔𝗟 𝗖𝗟𝗨𝗧𝗧𝗘𝗥
Getting rid of un-neccessary and often bulky packaging means that you not only save space, but that you improve the look of your space by reducing the amount of visual clutter you see.
4) 𝗙𝗢𝗢𝗗 𝗦𝗧𝗔𝗬𝗦 𝗙𝗥𝗘𝗦𝗛𝗘𝗥
Using airtight containers means that your dried goods stay fresh and have a longer shelf life.
5) 𝗘𝗔𝗦𝗬 𝗧𝗢 𝗦𝗘𝗘 𝗪𝗛𝗔𝗧 𝗬𝗢𝗨 𝗛𝗔𝗩𝗘
How frustrating is it when you open a cupboard and have to rifle through looking for that 1 thing you really need. When your goods are decanted, not only does everything have a place but you can easily see where everything is without searching around.
Some of my favourite decanting projects from last year!
As a professional organiser, my job is to make sure that the systems I create for people not only look beautiful, but are functional and most importantly, sustainable to my clients lifestyles.
For instance, I will always ask a client about their habits first. If your time is very precious and with the best will in the world, you know you're not going to find the extra time needed to decant - then save yourself the hassle and don't do it.
I've already spoken about the benefits, and surprisingly, it's not all about the aesthetics, so let's speak about the cons.
1) TAKES LONGER TO UNPACK
So this is the biggy, and this is where a lot of people will be put off. There is no doubt about it, it does take longer to unpack your shopping. The amount of time it takes will depend on your own circumstances, but from my own experience, as a family of 4 with 2 fur babies, it takes me about 10-15 minutes longer than it used to do to unpack my shopping. For me, it's totally worth it. But it's not for everyone, and if your time is already scarce, ask yourself if you will really have enough time.
2) IT CAN TAKE EXTRA ROOM
Unless you are very specific about the containers that you buy (i.e. buy the exact size for what you will be putting in) or you go to a zero waste refill shop, then the chances are, you will have some leftovers from your original packaging.
In this case, I always set my clients up with a backstock basket. This is where I suggest you put the excess that doesn't fit into your containers. When you run out, check the backstock first and refill from here. You will need room to keep this though, so bear this in mind.
3) IT CAN BE EXPENSIVE
Containers are becoming more affordable now with shops like Home Bargains, Aldi, The Pound Shop etc all having their own versions.
However, the initial outlay for buying the containers is still a consideration.
Although there are cheaper options, I would always recommend making sure your containers are air tight to ensure the food doesn't spoil.
4) YOU LOSE THE INSTRUCTIONS
And the expiry date on that note.
If you rely on the pack for the instructions, you'll need to make sure you write this down elsewhere. The back of the container will do.
There are tons of benefits to decanting, but the biggest negative is having the budget for the initial outlay and then having the time to maintain it.
I've worked in tons of kitchens where we've not decanted but the end result is still a wonderfully organised, functional space. So if you decide decanting isn't for you, don't fret. It's all good.
And as for me, I have to say it does work for our home. It has helped me to keep organised because I know everything in my kitchen now has a place. I don't overbuy as I know how much room I have and I don't resent the extra time I spend unpacking my shopping as I know it'll save me time later on by not having to search for things.
So how about you? I would love to know your thoughts.