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To Decant or Not to Decant

I’m not against decanting, but not EVERYTHING needs to be decanted. Decanting does not have to happen in every room, every space, or for everything. It really depends on you, but I will get more into that at the end of this.

Pros of Decanting

  1. Less is More: Having the same containers makes a small space look and feel less cluttered and small.

  2. Time Saved: You can see what’s inside and how much. Lets you know when to refill or write it on your grocery list.

  3. Maximize Space: Some packaging tend to be bigger than the actual amount of what’s inside, so the right container saves space.

  4. Aesthetic: It’s pleasing to the eye when items are in matching containers.

  5. Kids: Great for items your kids need to grab and place back on their own.

Cons of Decanting

  1. More is More: It can make the space look even more cluttered.

  2. Time Spent: You have to take the time to decant the items, and clean the containers in between fills.

  3. Minimize Space: You may still be left with the original package, so now you have to have space for the original package and the new container.

  4. Aesthetics: The items in the container will have to be the same (think same item, or same color) for it to be pleasing to the eye.

  5. Wasteful: financially and ecologically. You’re spending more money buying plastic or glass containers vs using its original packaging and recycling when done.


In the end…

It is all up to you! There is no right or wrong here; you may want all of it decanted, or just some decanted. Personally, I am lazy... I do not want to do anymore work than I have to. I label drawers and bins, and I keep most of my food in its original packaging. However you choose to complete this project, keep in mind a few things:

  • It depends on the space, or lack thereof. For example, a bathroom will look cleaner and bigger if the soap dispenser, shampoo dispenser, and all other dispensers are the same, but don’t forget to label them! Otherwise, you can have the same bottle in different sizes, or same bottle

  • Setting it up takes the longest amount of work. However, once it’s done, it is all about the maintenance. You want to get the right containers for the item that is being decanted. Keep in mind how much or how little of it you tend to buy. If you buy in bulk, decanting may have to be approached differently by either getting stackable containers or, placing those containers in drawers and bins.

  • A space can seem more cluttered than what it is. Although, you may have everything fantastically categorized and in a container, the eye will jump from item to item to item and it will feel cluttered when it isn’t, especially in a small space. In that case, go ahead and place containers, of the same category, in a bin. For instance: markers, crayons, and colored pencils in a bin with coloring books.

  • Label it… maybe. You don’t have to label everything. If you know what it is when you are looking at it, why label it? (Read Con #5 again). Labels are good for spices if you have a lot of them and don’t know which is what. Or if you don’t use certain spices enough to remember what it is when you need it. Also, similar looking items like salt, sugar, confectioners sugar, flour, baking powder, and baking soda needs labels. Lastly, label bins and drawers.

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