When Kelli posted about this months Craft-along 2009 project, I knew I had to participate. My pantry is an ongoing battle for me. I have tried to clean it out a few times, and while it helps, within a few weeks it is always back to a sad state of mess.
So, this time I did a bit of planning. I asked myself what works and what doesn’t. Answers to what works included using jars to store dry goods, a basket to hold little things and snacks and another to hold foil, baggies, wax paper etc. Answers to what doesn’t work included trying to store my plastic-ware on the top shelf, having all my spice and oils scrunched into one shelf, throwing whatever doesn’t fit somewhere else on the floor and keeping all the food I probably wont ever use because I feel bad about throwing it out.
I spent some time online looking for solutions and decided a few little purchases were in order. These included a lazy susan for the spice shelf and two stacking bins for the floor. I really thought I could get away with wiping down the old shelf paper but quickly realized I was wrong and had to make another trip to the store. On Friday night, looking like a mess. Yes, sad, but I spent my Friday night cleaning my pantry.
While cleaning I made an effort to check dates, toss old food and bag up non-expired food for when I hear of a collection. Perfect timing because I just got one of those food collection bags tied to my front railing on Sunday! I wiped everything down and tried to be as neat as possible while restocking. After restocking, I realized I don’t to go shopping for pantry staples for a long time... And my addiction to little jars of Penzey’s spices may be getting out of control.
I ended up using the stacking bins for my plastic-ware – one for the containers and one for the lids. I am hoping this really works. And since I moved the plastic-ware, I was able to organize my cookbooks on the top shelf and had a little extra space for baking supplies I rarely use. My spice shelf is now less cluttered and I am hoping the lazy susan helps me find the things I use most often more quickly.
Inspired by the pantry, I deep cleaned the rest of my kitchen too. By Sunday it seemed so fresh and clean in my kitchen that I smiled every time I walked in. And I couldn’t bring myself to close the pantry door all the way, I just wanted to keep glimpsing my handy work : )
I really hope this makeover sticks.