January 30, 2013

Crash My Pantry (again)~ Kitchen Organization Time!

Posted by Ethne~

I determined that my pantry had had it.  Or…I had had enough of my pantry.  Either way.

This is a DRAMATIC REENACTMENT of me being totally over my messy pantry.  {It's actually me waiting for the girls to fall asleep on Christmas Eve.  I was totally over that as well.  KD said she was going to sit up with Shaun's phone Santa-tracker app and a flashlight to catch Santa in our house.  No dear.}

Shaun and I live in a great rambler that was completely gutted a few years ago, and the guy who re-did it DIY’d the whole thing himself.  The only thing Shaun and I have done is add on a deck, and I really haven’t wanted to do another thing besides art and family stuff.  I like the wood floors, the carpet, the tile, the paint colors.  I really wouldn’t change a thing.
The VERY BEST PART is the entire house has awesome storage space, which is unheard-of for ramblers of the 1950’s and 1960’s era.  At least in big city, MN.  It was bizarre the thinking back then.  Anyway, I have super storage, including my largest of 3 pantries in the kitchen (I know, it’s out of control). 
But the thing is, when you have that much storage, you can take it for granted.  Shaun and I kinda-sorta put things in certain spots when we unpacked groceries, but kinda not.  And pretty soon, the pantry was a mess, with cereal and chips here, there and everywhere, and my candy stash right where the girls could get at it – OY-VEY!  (That’s German to the Norwegian UFF-DA!)
Here’s a picture of the mess as I began to take it all out of the pantry.

Stuff here, there and everywhere - and snacks right at kid-grabbing level.  I had lost control.

And then here are all the pull-out drawers (I know, ROCK ON) now.
Snacks, chips, crackers, candy and granola bars on top – the hardest place to reach for the girls.  I put the candy in a snapware plastic container, in the back, so the girls really can’t see or get at that at all.  For a while at least.

The view from up top - my candy is sealed tight in the top left corner.

Next shelf down has bread, cereal, oatmeal, my cork jar (where Shaun and I collect our wine corks), sugar, flour, a spare bag of chips (since it was jumbo) and goldfish (I don't mind if the girls snatch those).

The third shelf down has our dried goods like pasta, mac-n-cheese, couscous and so on.  It also has my Sodastream drink flavorings which I put in a heart-shaped tin that Shaun had given chocolates to me in a long time back and I found in my office at work, collecting dust.  That is also Shaun’s keurig coffee pod shelf, but he was really low on the day I took these pictures, so there weren’t many to see.

The back right snapware container has rice, ramen, Mrs. Grass soup and similar items.

At the bottom, there are paper plates, cups, napkins and the like (let's face it, I only keep the mini Dixie cups around for Jello shots, but who can dispose of such a useful item?!).  We don’t use them often, but want them accessible when we do.  We mostly use cloth napkins which I’m a big proponent of.  Also down there are potatoes, onions and a miscellaneous item or two.

Room to spare!

Now since I did the organization, I could pretty easily keep this sorted out.  But Shaun wouldn’t do as well; not for lack of intention, but it just would fall apart after a while.  I’ve discovered that on the whole, Shaun is a far better and more frequent cleaner in our marriage, but when I clean, I tend to be a better and more thorough organizer.  As in, when he cleans up the girls toys, he throws them in the toy box.  Sure, this cleans the space up; but when I clean the girls’ toys up, I sort the toys into their respective stations, like Barbies, babydolls, kitchenwares, books, drawing/crayons, and then only the random miscellaneous leftover stuff goes into the toy box.  But I love him for cleaning up after us.  I’ll just keep organizing up after us.

I made this baby station (which extends to the left) for the girls, so there is a specific spot to put baby stuff.

ANYWAY, in order to keep this new pantry organization going for as long as possible, what I did was use the new (to me) 3M post-it labels that are sticky across the back of the entire label.  How awesome is that???  I labeled each shelf twice, and hope it does the trick!

This is as close as I could find on the 3M website - same brand, mine just must not be online.
Of course I did not dispense with my candy...just hid it better.
I keep my bread & cake flour in there - Shaun could go blind rolling his eyes that we have: regular flour, whole wheat flour, cake flour and bread flour.
Candy = for me; Chips = for Shaun; Fruit bars = for the kids.  Life isn't fair.

I’m impressed with myself anyway.  And best of all, no little KD or Easy-Mac have been sneaking candy from the pantry either.

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