Top Tips For An Organised Pantry (and life!)

Who else has looked at their kitchen and been completely overwhelmed by the idea of organising it? (we certainly have). Cupboards filled with old products and cooking equipment that you have never used, plus all those loose bits and bobs hidden in the top draw that you promised to 'deal with later'. Well, the good news is that you are not alone and there is help on the way! We sat down with professional home organiser Lucy Mansey from @organisedbylucy to get her top tips and advice on how to have a clean house and happy home...

Lucy Mansey @organisedbylucy Pantry Makeover Organiser

What first attracted you to home organising and made you fall in love with it?

 
As a child I always loved organising! Whenever we went on holidays the first thing I did was unpack my bag and make sure everything had its place. My bedroom was always really tidy and I used to always love finding the best place to put things - I feel like organising is sort of in my DNA.
  
My Nonna (my Italian granny) is the most Marie Kondo vibe you have ever met! You would open every drawer and everything would be folded beautifully and organised incredibly - so I think I get my organisation skills from my Italian side. I remember watching Marie Kondo and thinking 'Wow! I can't believe people get to do this for a job', then I watched The Home Edit and was like....
oh my gosh this can be my job! I can't believe people would pay me for doing something that I love so much.
I tested the waters with friends and family at first and that went really well. From there, word of mouth spread and then I was like right, I'm going to start my business. So, I started in October 2020 and it's just gone from strength to strength and now I'm booked out every month which I am so grateful for. 
Eco sustainable home

What is the most common mistake that you see people make when they try to reorganise their kitchen or home?

 
  1. Storage: purchasing the right storage for your space is really important. For example, in a kitchen it's always really helpful if you can actually see what you have. Now that doesn't mean that you necessarily have to have plastic containers, you can use more sustainable & eco-friendly storage options like wire baskets, woven baskets or glass jars with labels.
  2. Starting to organise when you don't have enough time: To organise a space properly unfortunately it does take time because you have to take everything out, make sure you've done a really good declutter and then organise. I have people call me in all the time who have started organising their home and then get overwhelmed and can't bare to finish it - so I think giving yourself enough time is really important!
  3. Being too attached to certain items: It's fine to have items or products that hold sentimental value (I have loads of sentimental items), but it's holding onto clothes and things that no longer make you feel good or no longer serve a purpose that is the problem. Those are the types of products that people find difficult to let go of. I know it is hard, but they are not serving you, making you feel happy or bringing you any joy it is time to rehouse them.

Sustainable Bamboo Storage Glass Jars

What are your top tips for organising your home and keeping it that way? 

  1. Take everything out of your cupboards and make sure you have a really good edit and declutter.
  2. Make piles - a pile for regifting, a pile for charity and a pile to get rid of. 
  3. Create a sustainable system - and by that I mean put things in a place that really makes sense and is intuitive to you. For example, if you empty the dishwasher most days, you should have your glass cupboard close to the dishwasher - it's little decisions like that which make a big difference! 
  4. Really think about how you use a space and how you are living in that area - ask yourself "what do I want to achieve in this space" and organise the space from there. 

Eco-Friendly Bathroom Sustainable Living

How does sustainability impact the decision you make when you are organising someone's home?

Sustainability is a really important one for me! I feel like we have quite a consumerist culture. I go into so many houses and sometimes I'm quite shocked by the amount of things that people have. I grew up in Africa and don't place great importance on having lots of 'stuff'. I am quite minimalist and would prefer to spend my money on delicious food, good holidays and experiences which is a very personal preference.

 

This idea of buying lots of cheap clothing and even cheap storage and house trinkets is quite damaging. These are all things that we don't need I really try to talk to my clients about this when we are organising their home. I really encourage people to only buy things that they really need and that serve a purpose. If you are going into a shop always think to yourself "do I really need to buy this". 

 

When you are decluttering and throwing stuff away it can feel quite wasteful and unethical, so make sure you are rehousing as many items as possible. If it comes to a kitchen, one thing I would say is that organising is actually a great way to reduce waste. For example if you can see everything and have everything in beautiful bamboo jars you can see exactly what you have and how much you need to buy. I have worked with clients where I have opened cupboards and things literally fall out onto me and i really try and get them to live in a way that is more sustainable. To think about "do i need to buy this extra food or is it just going to be waste at the end of the day". 

 

Organising and sustainability are really interlinked. The more organised you are, the more sustainable you can be. There is less waste, you're less likely to buy duplicates of what you already have and you are more likely to just live in a more streamline way. 

 Lucy Mansey @organisedbylucy

What is the process you go through when organising someone's home?  

Step 1: I will go in, open every cupboard, look inside every nook and cranny so that I see where there is space and what we can organise. I ask myself...
  • Where did everything use to live?
  • Does it make the most sense?
  • Can I find a better use for certain areas or certain items?
Step 2: Then we do a really good edit and declutter - I always ask my clients "does this item make you feel good?"
 
Step 3: Finally we work together to find sustainable storage solutions for each space and get organising!  

     

    You need to live in the present and feel good about where you are here and now. It's about taking a holistic approach to making your home a place you love to spend your time!”

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