Organization as Art

I know what you’re thinking. Is this a post about the art of organizing? Well, no it’s not. I want to share my thoughts with you on organization as art. Yes, organizing, and well-organized areas can look like a piece of art and provide the same joy that artwork does.

The Beauty of Simplicity

I take aesthetic pleasure in so many of the spaces in my house. Whether it’s a well-organized drawer, spice cabinet, pantry, or an entire room, I love the peaceful serenity that an orderly space provides.

Elana Pantry Jars

Elana’s Pantry

The photo on the left is a quick snap of my pantry, the namesake of this website!

The jars in my pantry are full of herbs like dried ginger, licorice, and dandelion; spices such as cinnamon, star anise, and pepper; and assorted items including poppy seeds, dried orange peel, and whole stevia leaf.

I collected the jars over the years and it still amazes me that they were “free” and came with the food that was purchased in them. The jars shown on the left contained organic olives that my boys and I loved, but you could just as easily collect jars from almond butter or coconut oil. Anything that you use repeatedly will result in a full set when saved over a year or two!

Elegant Simplicity

The photo to the left is of my mason jar cabinet. Those are jars I paid for. I keep an entire cabinet of empty mason jars at the ready for food storage, leftover containment, and organizing around the house.

This shot is of the gorgeously simple pulls on the cabinet. They feel great in my hands, are easy to use and elegant in their true simplicity.

The first thing people say when they walk in my kitchen is why so many mason jars?! Some people have a dark cabinet with tons of plastic storage containers that they have to rummage through several times a day. I have an orderly cabinet of mason jars at my fingertips for quick and easy use!

Check out my post called, 10 Reasons Glass is Better than Plastic, to learn more about healthy living and to get another glimpse into my well-organized kitchen!

Elana Spice Drawer

Simple Spice Grid

This photo is of my spice drawer. That’s right, I keep my spices in a drawer. This way I can see the top of all of the bottles, which is where I place the labels that identify the contents of each jar of spice.

I use a label maker as specified above to label the jars, but if you have neat handwriting it looks beautiful to hand letter them.

A friend of mine built this organizer, but you could probably turn it into a wonderful DIY project or ask your handyman to make you one.

I find the rhythmic simplicity of this grid that holds the spices so aesthetically satisfying. This drawer system works better than any other that I’ve tried over the years!

Organizing As Art

Baskets for Laundry Room Shelves

These beautiful, yet totally functional baskets are for the shelves in our laundry room. I bought them over a decade ago and found similar ones for you here. I label the baskets with a label maker and store a variety of items in them from compost bags to stain removal items and much more.

My Kitchen

This shot is of my kitchen. If you look closely you can see that the kitchen counter is full of stuff! That’s the way a working kitchen looks.

The basic structures of the kitchen are incredibly simple and symmetrical. I find symmetry to be a wonderfully calming principle whether I’m designing a home (ours), or styling food for a photo shoot.

I think I have good taste, though I don’t know anyone who claims to have poor taste. I’m not sure if I was born with this or developed it in college taking Art History classes. I’ve loved styling our spaces and making them incredibly functional while visually soothing. I met Mr. Pantry in 1992, he has an amazing eye in terms of design and has taught me a lot over the years. His mother is a professional artist with works in the Metropolitan Museum. I’m incredibly lucky to be surrounded by these types of aesthetes.

Organization as Art

So now you see that art is everywhere in your everyday surroundings. Keeping your home organized is not only functional but creates a thing of beauty. What’s your favorite organizational technique that leads to artful simplicity in your home? Leave a comment and let me know!

As always, thank you for all you do in helping people in their quest for wellness. I simply LOVE your kitchen space! Gives me ideas for my new home. Thank you again!

Comments

64 responses to “Organization as Art”

  1. I was so happy to see you organizing with systems like mine Here I thought I was OCD . I also use jars for pastas, rice, and cereals. I also label my nut jars, only I use post it paper since I vary them. My husband gets confused sometimes and chooses the wrong nut of choice.

    Thank you for your many recipes. They are delicious and break monotony of my favorite old recipes.

  2. Hi Elena, I can’t find the link to bpa free mason jar lids. Can you repost please?
    My organizing hint: I keep the ingredients I use almost daily plus the measurer in glass jars in the drawers next to my stove and can make those dishes in a flash!

    • Gail, I do the same thing! I keep scoops and measuring cups in my almond flour, coconut flour, and other frequently used items. Here’s a link to some BPA-free mason jar lids for you:

      http://amzn.to/2noBnif

      Enjoy!
      Elana

  3. Thank you for the pics of your beautiful — and beautifully organized — home! You’re a girl after my own heart, but you’ve taken it to the next level! I love your recipes, your cookbooks, and your incredible knowledge about health. Thank you for so generously sharing all of them! ❤️

    • Hi Elana…as always, thank you for all you do in helping people in their quest for wellness. I simply LOVE your kitchen space! The color scheme, the furnishings and the lighting especially make it SO cozy yet inviting and workable. Gives me ideas for my new home. Thank you again!

      • Margarite, you’re welcome! It is my pleasure to be able to help so many people in their quest for wellness :-)

  4. Love those glass jars! My kids love olives, too. Can you link to the olives that come in those beautiful jars? Would totally buy them! I love your web site. Our Passover is an Elena’s Pantry Passover!

  5. Nice! I should have the middle name “organizer”. Nothing makes me happier than clean spacious rooms. Design is a more than slight obsession as well. Two years ago we gutted our kitchen and enlarged the storage…every single shelf slides out, lots of drawers and a wonderful spice area. Love your photos. Especially that work area. Have all your books…do you think of writing another…keto maybe?

    • Jill, thanks for your wonderful comment! Organizing is so fun, isn’t it?! I’m feeling better everyday so maybe one of these days I’ll get around to writing another book :-)

  6. I love organizing too and also see the beauty in it. I love that you have gone one step further and indentified it as art. That is such a great perspective.
    Your comments about a dark drawer full of plastic containers is so true. I’ve been getting rid mine (as well as reducing purchases of food in plastic containers) and now will fill the drawer with glass jars. Brilliant. Thank you so much. I’m off to create some art!

    • Sharon, thanks for your incredible comment! Creating art is so fun and we can do it in our simple surroundings every single day :-)

  7. Hi Elana, I have shared so many of your delicious recipes and ideas. I know your chocolate chip cookie recipe by heart! My words for the year are movement, simplicity and spaciousness. I have been taking 2 days a week to cleanse my house of things that no longer bring me joy! Thanks for your continued inspiration! Blessings and love your home!

    • Amanda, I love your words for the year! And cleansing your house is such a great practice, I love doing that with mine. Thanks for letting me know that you are enjoying my recipes :-)

  8. Elana, your kitchen is lovely, and I agree that functional simplicity is beauty. When things are mismatched or cluttered, I feel stress. I also love the whites and bright colors. Beautiful!

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