Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Organizational Quest #2: The Pantry

So, fail. 
I didn't take "before" photos... 
((maybe because it was so bad I was ashamed of it subconsciously???))

You'll just have to trust me that it was disorganized and a mess... 
that isn't too hard to picture.

My main pantry issues were: a lot of things that weren't being used, we are trying to store up a basic amount of food for provisions and we store other things in our pantry too (like small appliances, first aid items and some kitchen equipment). 

I found a LOT of lovely lovely pantries on Pinterest... 
But honestly most of them were just pretty... not really functional. 
Source: flickr.com via Marci on Pinterest

While this is beautiful, it seems sort of "Model Home" not "Real Home."
If you have a pantry like this please invite me over I want to see it and glory in its perfection... 
Then I'll ask you where all your real food is kept, because this isn't a practical pantry!

~How I Organized A Real Pantry~

Step 1: Take EVERYTHING out.

Step 2: Wipe down all surfaces with cleanser, for me it was water and a bit of bleach. (We had had a mouse a few weeks prior). Swept and mopped the floors. Got rid of about 3 trash bags of items we weren't using, both food and kitchen items. 

(Wow! That was like three days of work there, but it sets up all of the "good" stuff of making the pantry functional.)

Step 3: Sort items by food type, newest/oldest, and by need/use.

Step 4: I got ride of the round Lazy Susan type can holders. When I thought about it, not many cans fit on them and they waste shelf room because they are round. Since we only get about 10 different types of canned goods I put them in rows and stack on top and in front of the same kind of product. I now use the Lazy Susan's for bottled goods like vinegar, honey, oils and such.

Step 5: I put all small items in white handled bins. Things like nuts, seasonings packets, baking powder, soup mixes, dried fruit, and small bags of grains.

Step 6: All bake goods are now in large canisters with tight sealing lids. My sugar, brown sugar, flours, cornmeal are all now protected from pests or aging. The brown sugar is always staying nice and soft!!!

Step 7: On top of my baking shelf is all my nonperishable grains and legumes. I made one big blue bin all full of bags of beans. To the right of that is rices and other grains like polenta, lentils and barley.

Step 8: On the bigger (taller) bottom shelf I put cereals, oatmeal, oils, and storage bins for potatoes and onions.

Step 9: Below that, on the floor, I have 6 large ratcheting lid containers that I hope to store large quantities of the following items ~ Oatmeal, Flours, Granola, Seeds, Beans, Rice!

While I am not wanting to store for the end of the world, (because I figure I'd rather just "Go Home" anyway), I think it make sense and allows us to not go to the store as much for things that we uses often and avoid short term droughts or food distribution issues if that would occur. But, not having to go to the store as much is an idea I LOVE! You can buy similar containers HERE if you are in the Denver area, I HIGHLY recommend them!

So there is my simple pantry! 
I know it isn't pinterest worthy, it is not awe inducing and it doesn't have matching canisters and wicker baskets. Sad day.

But, it didn't cost me more than $30 and it is organized and serves our needs! 
That is success and one day maybe I will have a pantry just to impress people... 
I doubt it, but a girl can have dreams.

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