Jan 30, 2012

Pantry Clean-Out

We decided to have a pantry clean-out party this weekend.  Ok, it was only a party of two and it lasted the mere duration of our daughter's naptime, but it was quite the event and boy-oh-boy do we love the results.  I had been inspired by some other blogs and online photos to tidy up a bit, and decided we needed to get on the ball with organization as well.  Here are my pantry inspiration photos:

pic from houzz.com

pic from bhg.com

pic from expired website (home design network)

Now that you've basked in the beauty of very well-organized and beautiful pantries, here is the dirty truth (in pictures) of our former pantry. The before...crazy messy and cluttered with items that were out of date or were never going to be used:

Oh, did I mention that I also had some meds (i.e. Nyquil and Dayquil) next to cans of fruit and cleaning products on the top shelf next to the chip bags...probably not a good idea.  I get "Mom of the Year" award for those health and safety faux pas.  Here is visual proof for police evidence:

Now, on to the better news...it cleaned up quite nicely after some tossing, sorting, date checking, and (my favorite one) utilizing new containers from the Container Store.  We purchased several large containers for dry goods we always have on hand in bulk.  Look at how lovely these "contained" items are now:

Flour, brown sugar, and granulated sugar...


And, chips...

Here is the official pantry overhaul "after" photo:

Much nicer, eh?  Here are a few lessons learned from our experience:
1. Don't keep expired medications...check the dates frequently because they expire quickly.  Also, keep all meds in a larger bin (on the top shelf, away from little hands) so they stay organized
2. Place all batteries in a single container, so they aren't floating around your shelves (a top shelf must, too)
3. Keep all cleaning products away from your edibles (another top shelf must)
4. Even dry goods expire.  Move your stock of older items to the foreground so you'll be more apt to use them first.
5. Toss small snack items in a large bowl or bin (i.e. granola bars, fruit snacks, etc.), so they are centralized in one spot, making it easy to select what you want come snack-time
6. Chip clips, while handy, are overused.  It's amazing how many chip clips are used when your pantry is unorganized...I always though I needed more clips, but after our project, I realize they are a crutch for keeping too many things you'll never use

After seeing the pantry metamorphosis, I was ready to totally overhaul and contain everything in the house, but then I realized how expensive that could get...so I've vowed to keep it in perspective.  As much as I love the Container Store, moderation is key.  That place is dangerous - it makes you think of organizing things you didn't even know could be organized.  Wrapping paper and magazine organization, anyone?  Maybe next year... -Kristen


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