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Your Guide to Pandemic Spring Cleaning: Declutter the Kitchen

There's never been a better time to take on the clutter inside your home

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If the pandemic has you searching for calm in a world where things seem out of control, tidying up your home may help.

"The clutter inside your home and your space is something you can look at and actively do something about," says Ashley Hatcher, a professional organizer and owner of the NEAT Method in D.C.

She spoke to News4's Erika Gonzalez about tackling what is perhaps the most used space in our home right now – the kitchen. Specifically, the fridge and the pantry.

Start by taking an inventory. Check the expiration dates of your goods because if you don't see it, you won't use it. Clearing out old products will also help you open up additional storage space.

Next, give each shelf a purpose. Maybe even designate one just for the kids stuff.

"So all the snacks are together on one shelf. All of your canned goods are in the same area. It really helps you to understand what you have and not continue to over-buy in areas that you're stocked up on," Hatcher says.

The same can be said for your fridge. Try reserving a shelf just for leftovers, another for take-out and another for drinks like soda and water.

Hatcher is a big believer in decanting your items – a fancy word for unboxing stuff and putting it in containers. Some store packaging can be aesthetically pleasing, but removing it means one less thing you have to wipe down after a trip to the store.

"Even if you can't take that bag out of the box and pour it into a container, even just having that bag is a lot more flexible, a lot more pliable. You could take it and roll it up as you're using more and more of the contents and stack it vertically in a basket to give you more space," Hatcher suggests.

Instead of buying storage, you can DIY decant by reusing glass jars.

And what’s a well-organized space without labels? Get crafty and get the kids involved.

"At the most basic level, if you have some blank paper and a marker, you can do a little cut out of a square and write a name on it," Hatcher says.

We've created a gallery of Hatcher's inspiration pictures. You can swipe through and figure out how you'll organize your space. Then, share your pictures with @nbcwashington on Twitter and Instagram and @Erika_News on Twitter and @erikanbc4 on Instagram.

Watch News4 at 4, 5 and 6 p.m. for Erika's full report.

Spring Cleaning Inspiration from Ashley Hatcher, Owner of the NEAT Method D.C.

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