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Home & Living

How To Turn Your Messy Kitchen Into Pantry Porn

Can a regular messy person achieve pantry perfection? I tried it myself.

#Pantryporn is much tamer than it sounds: A search on Instagram reveals intricately organized kitchen pantries, often proudly displayed by a celebrity.

As a messy person, I stare at these photos with envy. The color-coordinated, glass container-filled images starkly contrast with my own trash-filled kitchen pantry. Is pantry porn even attainable for ordinary, messy people like me?

I reached out to a professional organizer for help. Laura Cattano, owner of Organizational Design , explained that organized kitchens can lower anxiety around cooking. When you know what items you have and can easily find them, preparing meals becomes less of a burden and more of an enjoyable pastime.

Pantry porn is about control. And with my pantry the mess that it was, I wasn’t in control: My things were in control.

Sarah's messy pantry before the professional organizer arrived.
Sarah's messy pantry before the professional organizer arrived.

“Being organized is just about knowing what you have and where to find it,” Cattano said.

When I explained that my husband was most affected by the mess, Cattano said that was typically the case with couples. My higher tolerance for clutter was driving my husband crazy.

“In most couples, there is one person that cares more, or sees [the mess] more than the other.”

For Cattano, the home is a sacred space when you can finally be in control. The organization of the home can often reflect where you are in your life.

To help you achieve decluttered perfection, Cattano shared the following tips:

Edit anything that you’re not going to eat or that is expired.

“Generally speaking, when you’re touching a bunch of items and then you stop on one and go, ‘Do you think I should get rid of this?’ — you should get rid of it,” Cattano said.

Group things by categories.

When you bake, you are usually pulling out the same items, over and over again. Those ingredients should be grouped together. According to Cattano, “it’s really hard for anyone to remember more than one category at a time if you are looking at a bin.”

Use clear glass to display food.

“It’s nicer to look at and it’s easier to see in a glass how much you have,” Cattano explained.

Remember to clean as you go.

“Because why bother taking it all out and putting it all back dirty?” she asked. That might sound obvious, but for messy people like me, it’s a question you have to keep asking yourself.

In the end, we used bins for categories of food that we didn’t want to look at, like canned goods. Grains and pasta went into clear jars. And we put tea, which my husband and I drink a lot, down at the bottom. You should have the easiest access to the things you use the most.

Homemade pantry porn.
Homemade pantry porn.

“This is living better with less. Now that you see less, but you still have plenty,” Cattano said.

The best part? My husband absolutely loved it. For the first time in months, we cooked a meal together. I didn’t even have to ask him to go on a scavenger hunt for the pasta. For him, that’s the biggest turn-on there is.

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