I Can't Get Behind this TikTok Organizing Trend—Here's Why
Welcome to Thrifty. A weekly column where assistant nutrition editor and registered dietitian, Jessica Ball, keeps it real on how to grocery shop on a budget, make healthy meals for one or two and make earth-friendly choices without overhauling your entire life
Have you ever thought, "Man, I wish that stocking my pantry and fridge took more time?" Me neither. But apparently, TikTok has struck again with a viral "life hack" that no one really needed. This time, it's called "decanting." No, we are not talking about wine—but I wish we were. This "decanting" is about stocking your pantry and fridge.
Essentially, people take their packaged snacks and groceries out of their store bought containers and place them in an aesthetically pleasing glass or plastic container, like this OXO Good Grips 10-Piece Canister Set (buy it: $104.99). I get that pop-top containers like these can be convenient for storing bulky items, but some people even empty their milk into a glass jug to keep in the fridge. Really? What a world!
I get it. It's supposed to help you stay organized and keep your home looking nice. But the more I think about this trend, the more issues I have with it. Here are a few reasons I cannot and will not get behind the TikTok "decanting" organizing trend.
This trend is based on the fact that store-bought packaging is so off-putting that people buy additional nicer packaging for their fridge and pantry. Talk about a first-world problem! I'm personally on a budget, so this trend would be out of reach even if I wanted to try it. Even if I could afford it, I feel pretty confident that I could think of a better use for my money. Honestly, it seems like buying the containers for your food could be more expensive than buying the food itself.
Buying additional containers for things that already come in containers (that might even be reusable if you clean them) is a waste. Not only is it a waste of money, but also it's a waste of the resources and energy it takes to make the eye-catching, unnecessary glass and plastic storage containers. The disposable packaging on store-bought foods—especially individually wrapped products—is bad enough for the environment on its own. Adding another product that will eventually also be disposed of doesn't help the cause. Not to mention, several of those plastic and glass containers probably come in disposable packaging of their own.
First and foremost, who has the time to "decant"? (Asking for a friend.) I don't have a family to feed and I work from home full time…and I still would not care to tack on several minutes to unpacking my groceries. Or spend the time bringing outside all of the extra bags of trash and recycling it would create. Even if you have the expendable cash and don't mind the wastefulness, the time commitment should be a deal-breaker in and of itself.
I get it, it's aesthetically pleasing. To be very clear, I'm not saying you're a bad person if you "decant" your foods and snacks. That said, this trend feels completely unnecessary to me. Frankly, it seems like a waste of money, resources and time. If you can't justify buying containers and taking the time to "decant" your entire kitchen, don't stress. If you were feeling generally confused by the whole trend, I'm with you. While I can watch the hypnotizing videos of people organizing their kitchen all day long, you won't catch my trying this trend any time soon.