Monday, April 4, 2011

Project Simplify - Pantry

Arriving a few days behind on the Project Simplify post.  Last week's focus was the pantry and refrigerator.  Although everyone wants more storage space, I should be thankful that our home has any form of pantry, as small as it seems.  The small size demands organizing attention at least once every four months.  I used a mix of purchased containers and free re-purposed items to help with the organization.  My plan of attack was to remove items from two shelves at a time and replace items in like groups.  If I decided not to put it back in it's original spot on the shelf the item just hung out on the counter until enough "like" items joined it!
Starting at the top:

This area was an even bigger mess before!  Things tend to get randomly tossed and land where they may on the top (hard to  reach) shelves.  I added an empty Girl Scout Cookie box to contain the cups and create another shelf.  The red plastic basket holds paper napkins (many left over from birthday parties) and plastic utensils.  We don't use many paper products in our house but it is convenient to have a stash for picnics or party extras.

I've always used the wire shelf racks in my pantry and cabinets.  They are a "must have" in order to make the most of your space. As you can see, baking items are grouped together, cans and jars together. The middle shelf holds mostly drinks and vitamins.  Tea packets and Cocoa Mix are in the white Tupperware container and vitamin packets and tincture bottles are in the blue box.  The bottom shelf holds items that the children use often, cereal and snacks.  The clear modular press and lock containers are from Target.  They were a little on the expensive side but well worth it.

On the opposite side:  Baking Mixes, pasta and grains are grouped together.  The Tupperware Modular boxes hold nuts and dry salad toppings, small bags of grains,  soup or spice packets.  As I look at this photo I know that labels would help but it seems that the contents of the boxes often change so I've never committed to labels!    The bottom shelf isn't very visible but holds a box of trash bags and an under-shelf rack with zip-loc bags, foil, etc.

All good deeds are rewarded.  Well, not all, but cleaning out the pantry was rewarded with this yummy chocolate bar hiding behind the Cream of Wheat! Don't mind if I do.

What is that hideous thing above?  I know it's not pretty but is was quick, practical and free!  We re-use plastic grocery bags for trash can liners and picking up dog poop.  You do too, right? Instead of having a mass of bags falling off the shelf I cut a hole in a shoe box and can easily stuff bags in or pull them out when needed.

Gathered the random messy stack of grocery and gift bags and put them into one reusable grocery bag. Not great, but better.

These stacking recycling bins fit right under the bottom shelf.  One for paper, one for glass and plastic.  Love that you can access the bottom bin(s) through the hinged lid.  From Ikea. Yes, I know that's a random bag of dog food that needs a new home.  The opposite side of the pantry floor houses the lidded trash can.  I make myself be okay with trash in the pantry by reminding myself it's covered.  Is trash in the pantry weird? Best we can do at the moment.

This concludes the pantry tour.  Keeping it real, folks.  Don't forget to check in with Simple Mom for the latest Project: Simplify info!

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