by Emeric Harney January 30, 2022 4 min read 5 Comments
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.
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??”
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:
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.
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!
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.
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!
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
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.
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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Enjoy getting to know Tsuyoshi Sugimoto, the owner and president of Shohokuenchten tea company in Kyoto, Japan, and a longtime colleague and friend of the Harneys.
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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.