Skip to main content

21OAK may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

This is our favorite way to reduce visual clutter

If you’ve ever heard the word decanting, it was probably in reference to fine wine. If you Google “what is decanting,” you will get the following definition, “gradually pour (liquid, typically wine or a solution) from one container into another, especially without disturbing the sediment.” Great. So what does this have to do with reducing visual clutter? Decanting is the term that has recently gained popularity because everyone is doing it with everything—everything except wine. Sick of never being able to find the paprika in your cluttered pantry? Decanting your spices can change your life. What are the best containers for decanting? What exactly are decanting cleaning products? If you’re wondering what this new craze is and want in on it, don’t worry, we’ve got you and all things decanting covered.

What rooms can benefit from decanting

So decanting is taking items out of the container they came in and putting them into another, more organizable container. Once you stop and think about what areas in your home can benefit from decanting, you may be overwhelmed. It’s a good idea to tackle one room, or closet, at a time so you don’t make the task harder than it should be.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Bathroom

Bathroom cabinets, linen closets, and shelves in the bathroom can all gather clutter rather quickly. Toothbrushes, cotton swabs, nail polish, band-aids, etc., all of these items are small and will end up scattered all over the place if you don’t keep it organized. Small jars with lids are great for things like cotton balls and bobby pins, while taller cups or jars without tops are suitable for toothbrushes and razors. Even emptying your shampoo into smaller containers with pumps can help them fit into a shower caddy to get the bottles off your shower floor or rim of your tub.

Laundry room

Clothespins, laundry detergent pods, and dryer sheets all come in containers of their own, so why would you bother taking the time to put them in different containers? First of all, it looks way nicer. Clear jars or plastic storage containers filled with scent beads look really cool on shelves. Also, it helps if you’re short on storage space. The containers that manufacturers use have no consistency, rhyme, or reason for their shape or size, making it difficult to stack or store them neatly. Taking the time to decant your laundry products will save you time in the long run and may even prevent a few spills. Just be sure to keep laundry stuff out of the reach of children no matter how you store it.

Kitchen

The kitchen is probably the most obvious place to begin your decanting adventure, and you may already do some decanting and not even realize it. Emptying cereal into plastic containers with snap-top lids makes pouring easier for kids and keeps it fresh longer—this saves time and money. Dried goods like pasta, rice, quinoa, and more store well in plastic or glass, and ground spices will stay fresh longer in small jars with airtight lids. In the fridge, clear squeeze bottles are the way to go for dressings, vinegar, soy sauce, pickle juice, and more. Deli containers are excellent for any other left-over or half-eaten jar. Label each bottle or deli container with the contents and date (masking tape and a sharpie work well for this), and you’ll never have to search for the ranch again. The possibilities for decanting in the kitchen really are endless.

The office

If your desk is constantly cluttered and you can never find a paperclip when you need one, you need decanting in your office. You don’t have to get fancy and buy new storage containers for everything on your desk. Something as simple as a large coffee mug can help organize all of your pens and pencils and get a lot of clutter out of the way. Small deli containers are great for tacks, staples, and rubber bands that somehow accumulate no matter how hard you try to stop them. Use large flat plastic bins to keep recyclable paper separate from documents that need to be shredded to get rid of piles of paper.

 What can’t be decanted

There really aren’t any specific items that you can’t decant—it’s more of a matter of preference. Typically, it makes sense to decant things like flour, sugar, and even cereal. The bags these items come in rip easily, so choosing a different container makes sense. Also, it’s nice to see how much of any item you have on hand at a glance. Pasta and other grains also come in storage containers that aren’t optimal—boxes take up a ton of room in the pantry and bags are hard to stack, and the bags rip easily. Most people don’t bother to decant chips, cookies, and crackers. These items usually get eaten quickly enough that the time it takes to decant really isn’t worth it.

Ultimately, decanting will come down to what you often use and how many containers you want to use. If you want to ease into the process, start in the bathroom or laundry room where there isn’t a ton of stuff. Once you get a feel for it, you can start to make a list of what you want to decant in other rooms and work your way around the house. Once you get started, it can be hard to stop —trust us, organization can be fun.

Editors' Recommendations

Topics
Kelly Kaliszewski
Kelly's work has appeared in blogs and on websites. When she's not writing, she is playing with her two dogs, cooking, or…
10 2024 kitchen design trends the experts love
One of these trends may be what your kitchen needs
cottage kitchen design

2024 home design ushers in bold, exciting features, but how will this look in the kitchen? We talked to the experts to get an idea of what we can expect for 2024 kitchen design trends. This year is all about turning the house into a home with quirky and eclectic touches. Here are ten design trends we can expect.

Texture is a must-have in the kitchen
Texture is also vital for pulling off an effective design. But this year, texture becomes the focal point and one of the must-have details to bring to your kitchen design.

Read more
How to make your kitchen design more functional, according to experts
Here’s the best way to make use of your kitchen most efficiently
Navy blue farmhouse-style kitchen design

The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where families gather several times a day, making it one of the most used rooms in the house. That’s why the kitchen design needs to be functional and multi-purpose, capable of adhering to your family's needs throughout the busy day.

To get some advice on how to best utilize the space, we spoke to Laurel Vernazza, Home Design Expert at The Plan Collection. Here’s what we learned.

Read more
Granite vs. marble vs. quartz: Pros and cons of kitchen countertop materials
We weigh in to help you find the right material
Women Placing Flowers on Kitchen Countertop

Owning a home is a big responsibility, and remodeling it can be a huge undertaking. Choosing the right look and then materials that work for you can be a daunting task. There are so many different materials you can use for kitchen countertops these days that the choices can be overwhelming. Once you figure out the look you are going for and what matches the other decor in your kitchen, you then need to figure out what materials you want to use. There are pros and cons to any material that you choose, and we’ve outlined them for you below to make the choice a bit easier.

Granite
Pros of granite
Granite has been a top choice for homeowners looking to improve the look of their overall kitchen for years and for many reasons. The pros of granite are plentiful, beginning with the fact that it is visually appealing.

Read more