Tackle It Tuesday #5 - the pantry
Our pantry stays in disarray. We have four deep shelves - the depth actually complicates things, because items get sucked into little black holes in the back, especially on the lower shelves. The top shelf typically stays in reasonably good order, with spices on the right (my most-used spices are in magnetic containers stuck to the refrigerator next to the stovetop) and oils and vinegars on the left, with a few regularly-used items (peanut butter, tea, steel-cut oats) also stored on that shelf. But the rest? Pure mess.
I spent time this weekend sorting through it all, tossing old stuff (an opened bag of Soy Crisps from maybe 3 years ago? Yeah, I think it can go), organizing the rest, and shaking my head at how I continually buy new containers of stuff I already have because I didn't realize I had it in there (6 containers of oats, 4 containers of bread crumbs, for example).
I recently bought a set of four baskets on sale at Jo-Ann Fabrics - one big basket with three smaller ones (in a red and white fabric that matches my kitchen, not that it will be seen in the patnry). I also found another basket that we were given a few months ago. I used the baskets to hold like items. One basket holds snacky stuff - chips, crackers, nuts, etc. One basket holds bags of rice. One basket holds bags of beans. One basket holds all my cupcake making things, and then it fits in the bigger basket, which now holds most of my baking items.
Here's the after shot:
Here are the two middle shelves. 2nd shelf - dried fruits, nuts, snack stuff, and one of the containers of oatmeal. 3rd shelf - pastas, rice, and beans on the left, baking goods on the right, with the little shelf for saran wrap and foil and plastic bags hung above it (that used to be hung above the 2nd shelf, but I realized that it works better to have it directly over a big basket that I can pull out and see the whole contents of; otherwise, the little shelf conceals the view of the back of the pantry).
Bottom shelf (with Tiny Dancer's hand sneaking in the pic) - on the left is many containers of oatmeal, some grits, cocoa, cornmeal, and a few other items that either had no logical place or were too big to place elsewhere. On the right, I finally have a place to store dishtowels, dishcloths, and cloth napkins (in a lovely Amazon box). Our teeny-tiny galley-style kitchen has limited storage, with only 3 drawers. Till now I have stored these kitchen linens in the basement - which is just a drag when we need a fresh towel or dinner napkins. I think this will be much more convenient.
Overall, I'm pleased with the outcome, and it actually took less time than I expected. The real challenge now will be keeping it this way....