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I am confused by “restocking” videos

So lately, either Instagram or Facebook has been dropping me some suggested videos that fall under the “restock” category.

Basically, they consist of people noisily arranging food/toiletries/drinks in aesthetically-pleasing storage containers or drawers, rather than storing them in the packaging they came in.

And often, they put labels on the containers, even though most of the containers are see-through.

(Probably no one was gonna be confused about what the Fruity Pebbles container has inside…)  

This genre of video is easier to understand if you watch, so…..

Here’s a snack-food example.

Here’s one for a guest bathroom.

Here’s a coffee-centric one.

And here’s a big compilation.

I have questions/thoughts about these.

Who buys this many products for a guest bathroom?

Who uses so much stuff that they have to do restocks like this all the time?

Who actually uses so many repeats of items, especially things like deodorant?

Are these people running a convenience store out of their homes?

If these people have children, how do their cabinets/pantry stay so tidy? (I’m guessing they don’t.)

fridge door.

My fridge, obviously. Nothing very aesthetic here!

But my main question is this: where do these people store the items that don’t fit in the aesthetic areas?

Like, I saw a beverage fridge restock, and I thought, “Ok, there’s no way this fridge magically holds exactly as many bottles as this person bought.”

So…where are the partially-full boxes of La Croix going?

Or when they refill their aesthetic glass jar with powdered detergent, where does the box with the rest of the detergent go?

Is there some dedicated area of their houses where they store all the partial packages? It’s not the pantry because apparently, the pantries look perfect too.


I do think this makes sense on occasion

When you have a huge container of something, it’s handier to pour it into a smaller container for regular use.

For instance, I pour Chiquita’s cat food into a smaller container so that I don’t have to deal with the enormous 50-pound bag every time I feed her.

cat on a wooden chest.

Same thing with my flour; I don’t want a huge bucket in my kitchen!

I also understand that some food containers are not meant for use over time.

For instance, I always pour my sugar into a plastic bin because sugar bags tend to leak little grains of sugar out.

sugar in a plastic bin.

And I pour my chia seeds into a little Mason jar because I feel like the bags chia seeds come in are way too easy to knock over.

I do not want to send chia seeds skittering all over my kitchen floor.

chia seeds in a mason jar.

But really, most food packaging is actually meant to be used until the food item is gone.

And a handy thing about food packaging is that it is already labeled; you can just glance and know what’s in it! No need to pay for a label.

I should add: obviously if you buy bulk foods from a packaging-free/low-packaging store, then it makes sense to put that food into containers.

I know at Whole Foods, you used to dispense bulk food into a thin plastic bag, which was clearly not meant for long-term storage. Labeled glass containers make a lot of sense in such cases.

This is an expensive hobby

I know some people probably just do this restocking for fun, which is fine. Or they’re just doing it to make money by posting viral videos for people.

But there’s no getting around the truth that these videos show a lot of spending.

The containers are pricey, of course. Even if you used inexpensive containers, buying so many would add up.

But there’s also the fact that most often, people are stocking expensive individually packaged/bottled items.

No one wants to see someone fill a fridge with things like a pitcher of tap water, a gallon of milk, a jar of mayonnaise, a jug of maple syrup, a quart of yogurt, and so on.

fridge door

I have to wonder if some waste happens when you operate this way, especially with food items.

If you are always keeping so much food around (like ten bottles of salad dressing or six kinds of crackers, or whatever is required to keep each container and shelf totally full), it seems like it would be an extreme challenge to avoid letting something go bad or at least go stale.

Restocking is definitely not for me

I’m not going to lie; I can see the aesthetic appeal of having such a beautiful pantry or bathroom or fridge.

But, I am:

  • too cheap to do this
  • too practical to do this

If someone wants to live this way, I think it’s a pretty morally-neutral choice. We all have our things we “waste” money on.

I do have some hesitations about how healthy it is to consume this content, though, mainly because of the effect it could have on people.

If we never saw a kitchen/bathroom/pantry/fridge that looked like a colorful, tidy store, we might think our very normal homes were fine.

fridge shelf.

But I kinda worry that these videos might be making people think they ought to go buy a whole set of brand-new containers so that they can attain the (probably fake) aesthetic these videos are presenting.

(To be clear, I AM a big fan of reusable containers! But I like to use them for things that aren’t already packaged, like leftovers, or homemade yogurt.)

Ready to be de-influenced?

I know I’m not single-handedly going to normalize a regular-looking house with regular-looking cabinets and shelves, but hey, here’s my contribution to level things out a bit.

Let’s start with my bathroom. I don’t have a medicine cabinet, so my regularly-used stuff just sits on my sink.

bathroom sink.

My bathroom cabinets have some baskets/bins in them, but they don’t match.

black bathroom cabinet.

And the things in my bins are just haphazardly thrown in there. I think that’s the point of a bin: to make it easy to corral things!

makeup bin.

My shower has brightly colored bottles in it.

shower shelf.

Next, the linen closet.

linen closet.

Chiquita was here, of course.

chiquita lying on the floor.

Not to brag, but some of my storage containers are old shoeboxes. ARE YOU IMPRESSED?

linen closet.

Here’s my coffee station, with coffee in original retail bags.

coffee station

This is my spice cabinet, in its natural condition. Which is, to be fair, a little messy.

spice cabinet.

So I tidied it up a bit. But this as good as it gets, people.

tidy spices.

Mismatched bottles as far as the eye can see. 😉

spice cabinet tidied.

My pantry has exactly one thing in a glass container: the discounted M&Ms I bought at Safeway this week, because the original bag wasn’t sealing easily.


Mostly, it’s just original packages in here. 🙂

pantry shelf.

And my laundry room just has laundry soap and stain spray in their original packaging.

laundry soap.

Ohhh, and we can’t forget the fridge. Mine is never aesthetically pleasing.

door with shelves of condiments.

The food I keep in my fridge lacks uniformity and individual packaging, generally. It’s always been that way and probably always will be!

interior of Kristen's fridge.

Sooo, that’s what my not-done-in-restock-style home looks like. I hope you feel de-influenced. 🙂

In conclusion…

If maintaining a home in the “restock” style makes a person happy, and they have enough money to afford it, I don’t really take issue with it.

However, I definitely don’t think this style is manageable or attainable for the vast majority of human beings.

So, if you enjoy watching people do restocks, awesome. Have fun!

But do remember that most of us live in houses that are way, way less aesthetically pleasing, me included. 🙂

Tell me what you think!

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Wednesday 15th of November 2023

That under-the-bed snack drawer - WHAT?!?!?!? Ridiculous.


Sunday 15th of October 2023

The wildest version of this I have seen is this influence who apparently makes (and presumably uses?!) a dizzying array of different flavors and shapes of ICE and films "ASMR" videos of her restocking her ice drawer. Again, morally neutral choice, but not something that I hope most people confuse for "normal" or a necessity. (Here is an example:

Side note: I do, in fact, find this pretty pleasing to watch...

Michelle H

Friday 1st of September 2023

I buy my dishwasher pods at the big box store, and the plastic bin they come in is my default storage bin. They're square and fit well on shelves as open storage, and have locking lids with an indent that lets them stack on top of each other and not move. I get fancy and scrawl the content name on the side with a sharpie in my horrible handwriting.

I also hoard good shoeboxes for storage as well!

But if its anything that can stay in its original packaging that's my default - I mostly use the bins to corral smaller items on shelves and in drawers.


Monday 28th of August 2023

This reminds me of a reel I saw on Instagram the other day -- and I am not a fan of reels. It showed a regular woman, cleaning a regular kitchen. And it had a caption that said something along the lines of: Stop thinking your house needs to look a certain way and focus on being a good steward of what you already have. This certainly applies to the restocking videos as well.

Also I also use shoeboxes as bins -- I especially like the children's shoe boxes!


Monday 28th of August 2023

I love this post. I've never even heard of these crazy sounding videos but I would far far read and watch about real life. Which is infinitely more interesting for its realness.

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