“From Frazzled to Freedom” author shares six tips for organizing your pantry

Let me preface this post with an admission…I am a clutterer. (Hi…I’m Perry…)

While my on-again-off-again O.C.D. nature can keep my kitchen organized to near-military precision, everything else in my life often bears an uncanny resemblance to the living room in Sanford and Son.

That’s one reason I picked up a copy of Julie Starr Hook’s “From Frazzled to Freedom” at a recent trade show. I need help, and I can admit it.

This is, of course, not my first book on the subject of getting organized, but what I like about this one (enough to finish reading it, even) is that it’s not another self-righteous tome full of high-road theory (like “never touch the same piece of mail twice”…if I could do THAT, I wouldn’t need a book on getting organized, now would I???)

No,”From Frazzled to Freedom” is a practical guide to getting (and staying) organized, filled with easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions that I can start putting in place right now… and without making a $2,000 trip to Home Depot first.

Best of all, after a brief chat with the author, I have permission to share some of the highlights, especially those related to turning your kitchen into a lean, mean, cooking machine. Here’s are a few of the first tip that caught my eye, on the subject of pantries…

If you have a kitchen pantry, you know that it’s one of the places in your kitchen that gets used often. A kitchen pantry can be a life-saver for storage. However, it can be an intimidating space to organize because there are so many different types of things you can store in this space. I know that when you open the pantry door to begin your organization, it can be overwhelming. Don’t feel defeated.

Getting the pantry organized and having it stay organized is possible by using good storage organizers and knowing how to be creative with shelf space. You can reach your goal of a beautiful pantry that is easy to use.

Where to begin when organizing the pantry.

  • Think in terms of categories and group like items together. The more space you have, the more categories you can include in your pantry. Some categories to consider: baking, breakfast, canned goods, snacks, pasta, rice and dry beans, picnic, etc.
  • Keep more frequently used items at eye level
  • Position items you allow your children to use on their own on a shelf accessible to them.
  • Instead of stripping down the entire pantry, try to work on a couple of shelves at a time.
  • Clear plastic totes work great for organizing baking supplies (cookie cutters, sprinkles, food coloring, and cake decorating items) and picnic supplies such as paper plates and plastic eating utensils.
  • If you have children, consider labeling the shelves so they know which items go where, this helping to keep the space organized.

The author goes on to offer another dozen practical, and easy-to-implement, tips for getting your pantry organized. Other areas of kitchen organization included in the book are: Glassware, Cookware, Kitchen Utensils and Knives, Under the Sink, Appliances, Dishware, Kitchen Storage Containers, Recipes and Cookbooks (um…yes, please!), Junk Drawer, Spices Oils & Vinegars, and Other Kitchen Placement Tips.

…and that’s just the kitchen!

Hook walks you through every nook and corner of your home, offering simple and effective advice for getting them ship-shape and organized.

One of my favorite things about From Frazzled to Freedom? The sections are short! 2-3 pages tell me what I need to do, right now, to fix a specific challenge area. I can read it in a minute or two, and get to work!

Here’s what the author has to say about her book:

Are you embarrassed when friends show up unexpectedly on your doorstep? Do you regularly misplace important items like your car keys or the bills you need to pay? Would you like to entertain more, if only you could keep your house cleaner and more presentable? Are you ready to stop making excuses and get yourself organized?

If so, then look no further. In this book, author Julie Starr Hook will take you on an encouraging journey from frazzled to freedom – helping you get organized room-by-room and teaching you how to maintain the organized life that currently eludes you.

You’ll discover:

  • How to identify the obstacles keeping you from having a more organized life
  • How to begin the process of organizing both your day and your home
  • How to organize each room of your house from your kitchen to your bathrooms, bedrooms, and even your closets

Whether you’re just starting out in life, downsizing after the kids have left home, or at any stage in between, the helpful hints in the book can help you achieve your goal of streamlining and simplifying your life. Read them, apply what you learn, and find the freedom you’ve been looking for!

I highly recommend this book, and look forward to sharing a few more of the author’s great tips. Thanks Julie!

Chef Perry


Julie Starr Hook resides in Salem, Oregon, with her husband, three children and two step children. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Rhetoric Speech and Communications from the University of Oregon in 1989. For six years, she worked as a sales representative for a food broker, where she learned space management techniques in the grocery industry. In 1996, Julie decided to become a stay-at-home mom and began exploring her interest in organizing homes.

In 2003, she formed Five Starr Organizing, and began writing a weekly column on organizing for a northwest newspaper. Julie enjoys speaking to various groups about the importance of organizing and is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). She has written over 250 columns on organizing and has finished her book, “From Frazzled to Freedom.” Use this link to purchase it online.

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