121721_PANTRY_NP_PHOTO

Tonya Vandermon decided to declutter and organize her entire house, beginning with the kitchen. She said that investing in baskets, clear containers and labels helps her and her three children stay organized.

Thanks to television shows like “Marie Kondo’ and “The Home Edit,” thousands, maybe even millions, of us are obsessed with organizing.

From purging closets and emptying the fridge to storage containers and those perfect labels, even TikTok has an entire scope of videos to satisfy the urge to be neat and tidy.

Just like with spring cleaning, winter is the perfect opportunity to get organized, said Tonya Vandermon.

The St. Joseph woman said she began the concept of hyper-organizing a few years ago and believes it has helped curb her anxiety and depression.

“People think I’m nuts when I say organizing changed my life, but it really did,” she said.

As a single, working mother to three kids under 16 years old, Vandermon said her house was constantly in a state of chaos. While her kids picked up after themselves, she said it still always felt like her home was cluttered.

“There always seemed to be bags of this and boxes of that everywhere and you couldn’t even tell what was in the fridge,” she said. “I’d look around my kitchen and could barely see the countertops and didn’t have a clue what was in the cabinets. It was ridiculous.”

Vandermon began watching some cleaning and organizing shows and then following the hosts on social media. She admits she was inspired.

“I feel like (the TV hosts’) explanation of why we should be more organized just made sense to me,” she said. “How we are all surrounded by too much stuff and tend to overspend and get stressed out by it all.”

Vandermon didn’t plan an extreme makeover. Instead, she took each room one at a time, starting with the kitchen.

She said the organization should be done in stages. While she adopted many of the lessons she learned online, she came up with her own along the way.

“I started by including my kids in the process,” she said. “Believe it or not, I actually learned their likes and dislikes of food and how they all organize. It was pretty eye-opening and I think it helped me at the grocery store later.”

The family took everything out of the cabinets and placed it on the counters, floor and even the dining room table, discarding expired and unwanted items. From there, each child was assigned a category. For example, her youngest daughter was in charge of putting all of the canned goods in like groupings. Her oldest took all of the boxed items and put them into clear containers while Vandermon added labels.

“The biggest part of it all was having them help me put it back up,” she said. “The organization of where things went made more sense to them based on how often the food is used.”

From the kitchen, the family gradually worked through other rooms using a similar process. The expense of clear storage containers and labels wasn’t too bad, she said, and has made a world of difference in keeping them on track.

“I found that we all are better about putting things away with the labels,” she said. “It kind of takes the guesswork out of where something should go.”

In all, Vandermon said it took them about two months to declutter and organize the entire house.

“I really wanted to do it all in one day,” she said. “But I had to be realistic. I found that once we got started, it wasn’t easy and took a lot longer than you’d think.”

She said the result makes it worthwhile and encourages others to take it one step at a time, even if it’s just one drawer or one cabinet at a time.

“There is something so satisfying about everything having a place and being lined up in a neat row,” she said. “But it is addictive.”

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.