Friday, 11 October 2013

Pantry Paradise

Today I opened my pantry and said ok I'm going to reorganize this right now.  And that's what I did.  This was at breakfast time. I have been thinking about it for a while now. But every time I just closed the door again. There were two main reasons behind it being done again.
1. The top shelf just wasn't working.  Because it's so high I was just throwing things up there and it was getting lost.
2. My 3 year old daughter likes to help herself to the snacks and tends not to eat other food. So these needed to go to a higher shelf. I do have a child proof lock on the door but don't use it as it annoys the hell out of me and tends to keep me out of the cupboard not the girls. 
So this meant that everything needed to come out.  Once everything was out I gave the shelves a wipe over.  I like to think that I have a clean house but I never realise how dirty it is until I move something. Of course anywhere there is food, things get twice as dirty twice as fast.

So I started with the top shelf.  I thought the easiest way to keep things organized up there is to use buckets.  Two big ones that can be taken out and brought down to a lower level.  Then put back. But I needed to store things that aren't used very often.  The first thing that came to mind was my cake making supplies.  I don't make cakes every day. Only a few times a year for birthdays .  But when they are needed they are there.

So I put them in the bucket on the right. The left bucket is empty at the moment.  My whole kitchen needs an overhaul so this will be filled with something when that happens.
Inside the bucket from the back is my piping bags in the tin.  Then in the little container is food colouring, sprinkles and patty pans. Then at the front is some lolly bags left over from my daughter's birthday party. Now it's all contained and stored in an out of the way place.  Before it was taking up prime pantry real estate.

Next down is the snack boxes. I no longer have my label on here. I took it off when I added the second box. The box on the left is the box with the dividers.  The box on the right doesn't have any dividers as I use this for snacks that I have a lot of the same thing.  I must say I really love my snack boxes.  They work really well.  And they are holding up pretty well considering they get used every day and they are only covered with wrapping paper.

So next down is really what I would call the cooking shelf.  On the right is different oils.  Next door is spreads like peanut butter and honey etc. Then the next thing at the front is the breakfast cereal. 

Now behind the cereal is another container. This has cooking things that I hardly use.  But I do need to keep for those special occasions.  In the past this stuff has always ended up at the front and always got in the way. I'll see if this works better.

Under this is a stock shelf.  Juice, cooking supplies and baby food.

Then another stock shelf. This one has flour,  sugar, dried fruit and nuts.

I love these containers.  They are the decor range that you can buy from just about every where.  Woolworths have them on special every so often.  I love the labels.  They just click onto whatever size container. When you want to change it you rub the writing out with an eraser and write on it again with a pencil.  I've used them for years and have always worked great. And they are easier on the budget.

Last shelf has the potatoes and onions.  Also in the black bag has plastic shopping bags. And yes I fold my plastic bags.  They are so much more compact and easy to store that way. Who else folds their plastic bags?

I labeled as much as I could. I didn't make up pretty labels because some of the labels were going onto the containers and others straight onto the shelf.  So I just made up labels with my label maker and stuck them straight onto where they needed to go.  Simple as that.  I also think an organized pantry is beautiful in itself.  Am I alone on this or do you agree? 

Im really happy with how it turned out.  I didn't take long either.  I didn't have to sort through a lot of stuff.  There wasn't anything that needed to be thrown out.  When I do my shopping list each week I usually go through the pantry and fridge/freezer and sort everything out a bit. I see what is left over from the week before and try and use it up the next week.  This really saves throwing food out.  I do plan meals for the week. I have a white board on my fridge.  I write on there what the meals are for the week. Then I just rub out the ones we have already had.  But I decide each day what's for dinner that night. So now this will make the whole process easier.

How do you do your meals?  Are you a planner or do you wing each night?

Organized By. .. Renee

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