Wk 3: Organize pantry, spices and food storage areas

23 Feb

Week 3 of the 52 Weeks To An Organized Home was for organizing pantry, spices and food storage areas. We don’t really have a pantry in our house. We have a closet in our dining room (which next to the kitchen) that I think is supposed to be a pantry, but it sucks. It wasn’t well thought out when the previous owners put the shelves in and we haven’t made any changes to it. We only really used one shelf for food stuff (crackers, cookies and other snacky items) so I didn’t bother including it in this part of the challenge (although it IS on my to-do list).

We now have 3 of the larger cupboards in our kitchen that we use for food stuff, one small one for drink stuff, and two smaller ones for spicy stuff. First up to bat is the drink cupboard.

I hated this cupboard. HATED IT. It’s so narrow that it was hard to fit anything in it! Before it held our pasta and L’s plates and bowls, but it was always a tight fit. It made no sense to me why the builders would put that small of a shelf as an upper cabinet in a kitchen.


Then we moved the coffee maker over, and it dawned on me – drink stuff! I cleaned out our shelf of coffees, teas, hot chocolates, etc and fit everything in there! SO much better!


Here is one of our food cupboards. As you can see, there’s NO rhyme or reason to anything in there. Pasta sauce is on two shelves, drink mixes are on the top and bottom, soups aren’t together. Ugh.


After clearing out a TON of expired food (wow!), moving the drink mixes to another cupboard and picking up some glass canisters, we now have an organized cupboard! Sauces are all together, pastas lined up in pretty canisters, extra pasta on the top shelf with other “extra” food. It’s great.


These two were our baking/canned good cupboard. I had already sorted out some of the baking stuff using disposable loaf pans I no longer needed, which helped out quite a bit. But as you can see, that was barely a drop in the bucket of what needed to be done!


I went though everything and turfed stuff that I only had a small amount of (unless it was bought recent) or stuff I know we’ve had for a while. The many bags of flour and oats were taken right out and placed on top of the cabinets. All the bagged or bulk stuff (like raisins, choc chips, were put in a bin to keep them all together, and all the canned goods were sorted and reogranized.


Now…the spicy stuff. This cabinet was a MESS! Empty jars, bagged spices – some of them were even duplicates! And Lord only knows how long that Kahlua bottle has been around (and better yet – why it was put back in the cupboard when it was nearly empty!!


Bulk spices and duplicates were sorted – empty jars were filled and the rest was either put into a plastic bin or tossed out. Epicure spices were pulled out of the box and put in the cupboard. Everything on top of the cupboard isn’t there anymore, either.


Ahhh…so much better!! Almost done with the kitchen. Recipies & cookbooks, fridge/freezer, and recycling centre are left. My kitchen has already been greatly transformed… wait till you see the before/after of the recycling!!


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