Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pantry reorganization

It never fails. You get busy and get your pantry organized and just a few weeks later it all a mess again. I hate my pantry. And it is a bit dysfunctional. So that means it gets messy sooner because it is too much of a pain to put things away in their right place. My pantry is basically a coat closet except it has shelves. is not that wide and is deep. Here is how it looked yesterday.
 Furthermore, while the pantry is 36 inches wide, the door is only 30 inches wide. Hence, I lose 3 inches on each side.

My grand plan is to expand the doorway so that I can use the full width. And I will replace the door with a sweet sliding barn door (I already have everything to make that part happen).  Then I will build pull-outs and every single darn inch will be super efficiently used. Unfortunately that day is not today. So I am just doing the standard reorganizing. But it still feels good, right?

So I took everything out.
 Cleaned the shelves. I use baskets to group a lot of stuff and when I pull them out they scratch the paint. Great.

So then I sorted everything, threw out stuff that was old, expired, never really going to be eaten, etc. A few things were banished to our bedroom-closet-food-storage-area. This is how it ended up. There was a lot more empty space. When using the baskets, I have to leave wiggle room or I can't get them out. Annoying.
One of the baskets holds snacks.
 This one holds cereal. I took a cue from blog land and took the bags out of the boxes. Really does allow me to put more in one place. The boxes look all nice lined up and all but at the rate we use cereal it is pointless!
 I have kept all my baking supplies in one basket for years and it works awesome. When I want to bake something, I pull out the basket and most everything I need is at my finger tips. It includes things like: sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, vanilla, powdered sugar, chocolate chips, cubes of shortening, etc. Only the flour is separate since it is in a large container.

 I reorganized my spices while I was at it. I had some in little spice holders but my collection was overflowing. It turned out the medium sized containers fit in one of my plastic drawers. I used painters tape and a sharpie (fine tip) to label the tops. Then I don't have to pull them out to see what they are. That imitation almond belongs in the baking basket!
 For some of the larger containers, I switched them to the ones you can pick up at winco. You can probably find them online too. My winco has a spice area in their bulk section! Which is nice because you can buy only a little bit and don't have to spend an arm and a leg on a huge container of a spice you may never use again! There were a few spices that I left in their larger containers. Those I just layed on their side in the drawer. There were only a few so it didn't take up a lot of space.
 They fit nicely in these two drawers! I had some room to spare so I put seasoning packets in the bottom drawer too...i.e. ranch dressing, italian dressing, onion soup mix, etc.
 Somewhere in blogland I read the tip about using painters tape. It is genius. It comes off cleanly, is easy to find at any store, is totally customizable, and is cheaper than label makers. Which I do not have the privilege of owning!

Hopefully one day soon I can tear the door frame off and make it what I want it to be. But for now, this pantry will have to do.

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