Our house was not new when we bought it. We did not design it. Whoever did design this house should find a new job because architecture and design is definitely not their calling. Thankfully, we know an excellent architect and he has designed a house of my dreams which we are currently in the process of renovating this house into. At the moment I still have to use my itty, bitty pantry. It is one of those spots in the house where I have the best intentions of keeping it organized. This time of year is a bit ridiculous as far as the schedule goes. School has started back up. Fall sports are in full swing. Faith Ed sessions start. We literally have one night a week where there is not somewhere to run one of the kids. In the midst of all the chaos, somehow, food just gets shoved into the pantry (I have no idea how this happens! Haha). So about twice a year or so, I try to give my pantry a makeover. Thinking about it now, I feel as though a pantry clean-up should probably take place quarterly. I am putting in the calendar on my smartphone as soon as I finish this sentence!
NOTE: The calendar on my smartphone is a life-saver. I have gotten in the habit of putting in appts and such as soon as make them or think about them. Do not put off entering things into your calendar. You WILL forget to do it later. You’re ridiculously busy remember?!?!
A little something has come to my attention. I am not the least organized person in the world, as I once thought. I might be close to it. I had a young lady come into help me around the house and she attempted to organize my pantry for me. I was devastated at the results. I have never had anyone make more of mess by trying to clean and organize. Moral of the story: I believe there are people who just don’t know how to organize. I know how to organize. I may not be the best at it but I know how to do it. Implementation is not my strong point. Anyhow, let’s learn how to simply organize my itty, bitty pantry! First, I start by take EVERYTHING OUT!
Two things… I am absolutely amazed at how much can fit in my itty, bitty pantry. Second, I feel like a little bit of hoarder at the amount of food we pulled out of the pantry. I felt so wasteful. Learn from this and move on!
NOTE: Be more conscious of what you are bringing into the house and only buy what you know you will use!
My daughter didn’t think the mess was big enough so she dumped a box of crackers on the floor, and then stepped on them! Thanks, baby girl! So sweet.
NOTE: It is a good idea to have your vacuum on-hand when getting into cleaning and organizing the pantry… Especially, if you have a 20-month old helper.
After a little vacuuming, I sorted through all the items. Group the items together that go together. For example, put your baking items all together. Group the condiments together and the cooking oils all together, etc. Dispose of items that are past their expiration date! Did you know that baking soda can expire? I didn’t. Now I do. Good to know!
Once the items are grouped together and old items disposed of, start to develop a plan of action! Place the items that are going to be reached for more frequently in an place where they can actually be reached. Breads, snacks, etc. are going on the bottom shelves. Items that don’t get as much use, I am going to place on the top shelf. Unfortunately, my baking items don’t get used as much as I like, so they are banished to the top shelf.
The Top Shelf: Baking Items, Baking Mixes, and Oils.
NOTE: These little shelf helpers are AWESOME! I think you can get a 3 pack at Walmart for less than $10. They are so worth it when you are trying to make the most efficient use of your itty, bitty pantry.
Also, I tried very hard to make it so there is space between my item “groups” and that I am able to see EVERYTHING that I have. If I can’t see, I don’t remember that I have it and therefore, I will inevitably buy it again. This would be the reason I have 3 large containers of Hershey’s Cocoa Powder. Looks like I will be making a lot more homemade hot chocolate this winter then I planned on.
The Middle Shelf: Condiments, Broth & Soups, Mexican Ingredients, Pastas & Rice
I realize I have a few condiments, okay. Don’t judge. We just had a huge picnic. I always buy more then I need. Can you imagine if we ran out of BBQ sauce at a pig party? There would be a riot!
Door from Top to Bottom: Misc Jarred Items, PB & J, Vinegars, Snacks
Bottom: Big Items – Gallons of Vinegar, Milk, Bread, Snacks. I like to keep the kids snacks in the little plastic drawers because to keep them in the packaging just takes up so much more space.
And the complete finished product!
Ahhhh organization makes me feel so good!!