Three pictures. First picture is of matching spice jars in a drawer. Second picture is of a food cupbiard with baking and cereal decanting in clear containers. The third photo is nuts and seeds decanted into containers in a drawer.

Is Decanting The Organizing System For You?

Have you ever wondered why decanting is such a popular organizing system or if it’s right for you? If so, keep reading because I’m covering all things decanting today!

What is Decanting?

What is decanting - Is Decanting The Organizing System For You?

Decanting is an organization system where you remove items from their original packaging and store them in a different container. While most often associated with food storage in kitchens and pantries, decanting is a system you can use in all spaces for food, toiletries, laundry supplies, toys and games, craft and office supplies, and so much more!


But why would anyone bother? Well, let me tell you!

The Benefits Of Decanting

Benefits - Is Decanting The Organizing System For You?

1) Minimizes Visual Clutter & Stress: Decanting items into matching or complementary containers is visually pleasing, but it’s about so much more than appearances. Visual clutter increases our cognitive load, so streamlining the appearance of your spaces by removing all the different packaging can reduce stress and anxiety.

2) Maximizes Space: Removing items from bulky or awkwardly shaped packaging saves space, allowing you to use your space most efficiently.

3) Easier Access: You don’t have to deal with opening box lid flaps and bags to get what you need when you store items in open bins. Just reach in and grab it.

4) Better Tracking Of Inventory: A glance lets you see how much or little of an item you have so you can shop accordingly. This prevents running out of what you need and overbuying items you already have.

5) Keeps Items Fresher Longer: Using airtight containers for food and other items prevents them from going stale and keeps pests away.

6) Saves you Money: When it’s easy to track your inventory and keep things fresh longer, you have less waste and don’t overspend on items you already have.

The Drawbacks Of Decanting

Nuts and seeds - Is Decanting The Organizing System For You?

1) More Effort: Transferring items from their original packaging to a different container does take a little more time and effort when you come home from the store.

2) Upfront costs: There are usually some upfront costs of purchasing bins and containers to decant items.

But, keep in mind…

Decanting Doesn’t Have To Be All Or Nothing Or Expensive


idesign oxo dollar drawer - Is Decanting The Organizing System For You?


Decanting doesn’t have to be all or nothing. For example, you don’t have to decant ALL food items; you can just decant pre-packaged snacks.


It only takes a few seconds to open the box and dump it into a bin to get all the benefits. If you’re enjoying the benefits and maintaining the system after a few weeks, pick another category of item to decant and see how that goes. Through this process, you’ll find the balance that works for you.

Also, while you can spend a lot on containers, you don’t have to. Jars, containers, and bins come in different price points, including great options at dollar and thrift stores. There’s also the free option of repurposing jars from your groceries!

What If It Doesn’t All Fit?

Backstock - Is Decanting The Organizing System For You?

Ideally, you choose containers that fit your needs.  However, if everything from the original packaging won’t fit in the container you’re using, you can create a “backstock” basket where you put the partial packages.

What About Expiry Dates?

dates - Is Decanting The Organizing System For You?

If you’ve decided decanting is for you but are wondering how to keep track of directions or expiry dates, below are some options. Just choose the one that will work best for you.

1) Chalk or Acrylic Marker: Write the expiry date and/or instructions on the back of the bin/container. It easily wipes off with a damp cloth when it needs to be changed.


2) Dissolvable Labels: Stick these on like a sticker, write the needed information, and then dissolve them with water when washing.


3) Command Clothes Clip: You can adhere a command clothespin to the container and clip the instructions.


4) Adhesive Business Card Pockets: Tuck the instructions into an adhesive business card pocket.


5) Tape: Just tape the instructions to the back or bottom of the container.

So, Is Decanting The Organization System For You?

Spices tea kid snacks - Is Decanting The Organizing System For You?

Whether decanting is the system for you depends on your lifestyle, needs, and preferences. Decanting may be a good option if you have a low threshold for visual clutter, need more storage space, and/or are frustrated by waste or overbuying.

But you must weigh these benefits against the extra time and effort the system takes to maintain. If you will not realistically stay on top of decanting, it’s NOT the system for you. You will just end up with empty containers AND items in their original packing, taking up your valuable space.

Decanting Is For ALL Spaces!

other decanting - Is Decanting The Organizing System For You?

Remember, decanting isn’t just for food in kitchens and pantries. The benefits of decanting discussed above apply to taking items out of original packing in all spaces, including office supplies, arts and crafts supplies, cleaning and laundry supplies, games and puzzles, toiletries and so much more!



2 pantries - Is Decanting The Organizing System For You?

When it comes to decanting (or any organization system!), it’s ALWAYS about making your everyday life easier. Consider the pros and cons discussed above, your lifestyle and habits, and then decide what seems manageable. That could be decanting nothing, some things, or everything; it’s totally up to you!

Do you decant any items in your home? Let me know in the comments below.

If you like this post, please share it!  For 5 Easy Tips For An Organized Pantry, click here, and click here for 10 of my favourite kitchen organizing products. 

Happy organizing!


Happy Organizing!