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Decluttering Your Tea Pantry & Kitchen

by Emeric Harney January 30, 2022 4 min read 5 Comments

Decluttering Your Tea Pantry & Kitchen

With the exception of those unique individuals who were just born to organize, keeping things from getting cluttered and in disarray is a challenge! If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to open a cabinet without fear of things falling on your head, or having lids that match containers, you’re not alone.

While we don’t pretend to approach the Marie Kondo level of organization, we can offer some very basic steps to get started organizing and decluttering your tea pantry and kitchen, along with some help from Harney tins! We know it can feel like an overwhelming task, so here are some basics to help you get started on your way to opening a cabinet door without fear again.

Get Rid of Stuff

Take an honest look at your kitchen cabinets and pantry – do you have plastic containers with no lids? Stacks of plastic cups from various sporting events, fundraisers, amusement parks? A shelf full of cat-themed mugs? Five pie pans you’ve received over the years? Three partial boxes of oatmeal? Half-empty bags of chocolate chips and nuts? A partridge in a pear tree?

Throwing out, repurposing or donating items in your pantry and cabinets is the first step toward seeing the light at the back of the cabinet. Those pie pans, cat mugs, holiday cookie tins and other things you’ve accumulated but never use could be put to good use by someone else, or perhaps used for storage instead of just haphazardly stored and uselessly taking up space. And those chocolates and nuts really can go bad. Why you didn’t just eat them in the first place is a question that begs to be answered – I mean, it’s chocolate and nuts – but if they’ve been hanging out for a few months, they may be no good.

It may feel overwhelming at first, but just take it mug by mug. Decide what gets tossed, what gets repurposed as practical storage, like those cookie tins, and what gets donated. You’ll start to feel better faster than you can say, “Where the heck is the lid to this container??”

Invest in or Create Storage 

While you can make a trip to places like The Container Store, Target or Walmart to stock up on clear storage containers and organizational units – and doing some of that while not having to go completely overboard can be a really good idea – you can also start to look what you have on hand that would be useful in storing and organizing your pantry. 

Our Harney tins make great little compact and stackable storage units! Here’s two ideas to get you started:

  • First, if you have a favorite tea that you order again and again, we hope you’re ordering our bulk bags. They’ll save you money, help make sure you don’t run out, and you can use your existing tin to store them in (all 50 won’t fit in at first, of course, but you can keep the extra in a small airtight bag until you’ve used enough of the ones in the tin to transfer the others over). Tins are smaller and more easily stacked/organized than the bags, but the bags are a great way to stock up.
  • Use the tins to store other small items in your pantry that have a way of getting lost or are just downright difficult to store.
    • Those little tips that go on icing cans to decorate cookies
    • Birthday candles
    • Twist ties and rubber bands
    • Chip clips
    • Those pesky little bottles of food coloring
    • And you know all those tea sample packets we send with every order? Put ‘em in a tin!

Just label the tins with the contents and stack ‘em up. What was random chaos is now orderly and easy to find.

Be strategic but creative with how you think about storing things. If thinking about color coding and feng shui is too much for you, that’s fine! Don’t let over-the-top methods get in your way if you find them overwhelming. Simple things can make a huge difference.


Store Things in New Places

If you’ve been looking for pantry love in all the wrong places, now that you’ve gotten rid of things you can’t or don’t use – think of it as the kitchen equivalent of dumping a loser boyfriend – and you’ve tidied up how you organize and store things, it’s time for a fresh start! 

  • Look around your counters, shelves and other surfaces. Are there things you’ve got taking up space that can now be moved elsewhere?
  • Do you have space to install hooks under cabinets where you can hang your favorite tea mugs? Or purchase a simple, inexpensive mug tree to store and display those mugs, making them easy to grab when it’s tea time. 
  • What’s going on with the back of that pantry door? If you can, install racks to hold your spices. Not only do you free up a lot of space, if you want to go crazy and organize them alphabetically, this makes it easy. It’s just a suggestion!
  • Clear mason jars or acrylic jars with airtight lids can be a nice way to store dry pastas, beans, grains, pretty sugar cubes for your tea, etc. If you have room to store them on your counter or a shelf without looking cluttered, you’ll make more room for storing things inside your cabinets.

Sit/Sip Back, Have Some Tea and Enjoy!

The most important thing about decluttering your pantry and cabinets, whether it’s just your tea pantry or all of them, is to get started! Don’t let those stacks of plastic and sea of “World’s Greatest Fisherman” mugs put you off. Just put the kettle on, make a cuppa of your favorite Harney tea and get started. Then, when you’re finished, make another cuppa to have while you sit back and enjoy your newly organized kitchen. You deserve it.

Emeric Harney
Emeric Harney


5 Responses

Jax
Jax

February 24, 2022

I smiled at the tip to use your tins for storing other small items. I’ve been doing this for teas that I can either no longer get or didn’t like enough to buy again (not very many of those!) I have a ton of art supplies and the tins are just the right size for storing erasers, blending stumps, stubby pencils, dip pen nibs, etc.

Sonya
Sonya

February 08, 2022

I loved your idea about using an old tin to store small things, like your suggestion of food coloring bottles. The 4oz tin is just the right size to hold several bottles of extracts that are easy to fall behind the pull out spice rack in my cabinet. I lost an almost full bottle of Vanilla behind there that can’t retrieve! So, thanks!

kelly perry
kelly perry

February 07, 2022

what I really want is that beautiful cabinet you have in the pictures a special place just for my tea and pots it has made me want to remodel just to create a special corner just for tea

Kathy
Kathy

February 07, 2022

Great ideas! I do store my H & S tea samples in one of my tins. I have also filled the tea tins with items to give as gifts; chocolate and tea* are always appreciated. And I have a friend who uses her tea tins to fill with flowers to give as bougets when someone she knows is ill.

*I use the H & S wrapped teabags.

Chris
Chris

February 07, 2022

…okay, sounds good. I’ll buy in. Please share your advice, what is the best way to remove the sticky paper labels from your tins?
P.S. any chance of Harnry selling 2-3-4 ounces of your teas in bags as an option? This way I could opt to reuse my tins and not just continue to buy more? Might save you $$$ and cut down on recycling as well. Thanks

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