Organizational Concepts and Design

Spring Cleaning Month

Spring Cleaning/Kitchen De-Cluttering  March 2020!

Yes, it’s that time of year when you want to dust off the cobwebs, clean out the closets, drawers and pantries to let the sunshine in and find everything you need when you want it!  This can be a tall order for some, whether it’s just too overwhelming to get started or you just don’t know where to begin…never fear, help is here! There are several schools of thought around this topic.  Should you time block an entire day to attack a basement, garage, bedrooms, kitchen or living areas or start small in 15-minute increments to accomplish small tasks? Everyone is different, but in general for my clients, I like to set aside a three-hour block of time and assess the most heavily used spaces first. 

In busy families, the kitchen seems to be the biggest AA zone with the highest concentration for food preparation, cooking, meal planning, storage and dining/entertainment products and supplies.  

No Frills, Low Cost Cleaning/Organizing Hacks for Pantries:

If you rotate your inventories frequently and used up all those cans for soups and chili this winter, this is a perfect time to take a look at what you still have, check all expiration dates, clear everything out to wipe down and disinfect shelves.  I’m a big fan of using what you have versus buying more supplies! I always keep older stained towels after they may not be as fluffy/thirsty for personal shower use to repurpose for car washing and cleaning.  

Before you start, get a long pair of non-latex gloves, a few old washcloths or dish towels and a bucket half filled with room temperature water, cup of vinegar and lemon juice if available and surplus trash bags for any expired food.  Whether you have solid wooden shelves or wire racking systems, the process is the same and doesn’t take long.

In many cases, lighting may not be great, especially along sides—if available at all, so one of my favorite additions to any pantry is a tiered expandable shelf so cans and jars don’t get buried behind each other and you can maximize space vertically between shelves.  This way, if I can see what I have, I don’t have to buy more of something before using what’s already there! Various brands, materials, length expansions and width are available online at or

Another favorite storage solution to improve visibility and utilize an often-wasted vertical space is the Elfa Over the Door Pantry and wall rack  for frequently accessed condiments, oils, vinegars, small boxes and packets or some spices. It’s easy to install, secure, offers multiple height and depth dimensions plus the added benefit of additional storage to see what you need to replace when running low.

Happy Organizing and if you need assistance, contact Ellen McCarthy at Organizational Concepts & Design (OCD) at or 314-730-0283

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