I have been on a mission to simplify all year to aid in my desire to learn how to slow down.
This weekend, I tackled the pantry. Husband often asks me what we need or have while he’s perusing grocery store aisles…and most of the time I have no idea. Our pantry is so disorganized that we end up buying more than we need of something and not enough of something else just because we can’t keep track of it all.
This is ridiculous! There are only two of us living here (unless, of course, you count Ginger, but the pantry doesn’t pertain to her…she has her own closet that needs organizing).
I started by clearing out the shelves, because this space under the stairs is short and cramped and I can’t stand being in here for long. Much easier to sort through everything on the counter or table.
The first order of business is to remove everything from the pantry that doesn’t need to be there. Chocolate fountain? Nope. Sangria serving set? Um, no.
I also pulled out anything that was past its expiration date (and a box of taco shells that had been mostly eaten by mice last winter…yes, a hazard of living in an old farm house is field mice that move in when it gets cold.) And I put everything near its expiration in another pile to be used ASAP, like a few boxes of jello and a little Bisquick.
Further, some items like hot tea or cocoa are stored in a basket above my baking shelf, so those things came out as well. Lastly, miscellaneous baking supplies came out.
Personally, I like to keep my baking supplies in clear glass containers on this bookshelf in the kitchen–everything is readily available and it is obvious when we need more of something (as you can see below, we are completely out of whole grain flour). I do, however, keep backup supplies and some smaller items in plastic containers in the pantry (inside of containers because of, um, mice…).
I restocked my baking supplies on the shelf, made note of what we need to purchase more of, and organized the little items back into their storage containers.
Next, I grouped items together: Cereals, snacks, jams, soups, etc. etc. Each group is designated a specific location in the pantry so when we look in there, we’ll know where to find it. These items were placed back on the shelves.
Voila! It took less than an hour to totally revamp my kitchen pantry, and I am sooo much happier with it. (There’s even an entire empty shelf!)