Here’s something I’m realizing that maybe the rest of you well-adjusted folks out there in the world have already figured out:

Not everything has to be perfectly organized.

What?! Who is typing this post, you may wonder, and what has she done with Laura?

But it’s true.

Case in point: my pantry. (Well, my “pantry.” It’s actually a wooden cabinet that my mom initially bought over 20 years ago to hold my baby clothes. She passed it on to me a few years ago, and for awhile it held our extra dishes, servingware and such. But when we moved and lost a set of kitchen cabinets to the open island kitchen plan, I realized it would be perfect as a pantry!)


Thar she blows. When we moved in two months ago, I semi-arranged things in there. I inadvertently only bought enough cute shelf liner to cover two shelves. I always thought I would “re-visit” the pantry once I got the grid tower that I planned to put next to it for additional storage.

Well, I’ve got the grid tower now.


And I haven’t done much with either of them! Look, the extra hardware that came with the tower is still in its original packaging and connected to the shelf! I hung those aprons there one day just to get them out the way, and there they still are.

I did buy and label the pop containers you see there (and was ridiculously happy about them), but other than that it’s been a shelving free-for-all.

And what I’m realizing is: that’s kind of okay.

This is not my pantry.

Image source: The Container Store

I got a catalog from The Container Store featuring the above picture with the header, “Everything can be perfectly organized!” And yes, I had slight heart palpitations of visceral excitement.

Until I realized that it didn’t need to be.

Look, I don’t have so much stuff in my pantry that I’m losing cans of tomatoes that expired 15 years ago. I don’t have enough baking supplies that I need special drawers for them. Most of what’s in my pantry gets used regularly. The snacks get eaten, and dry goods get used up, and the pantry circle of life runs its course. I could spend an hour or so to make it look beautiful but all of a sudden it just doesn’t matter that much.

It’s organized enough that it works for me.

So feel your freedom–not everything has to be perfectly organized, as long as it works for you.

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman