Sunday, January 23, 2011

More containers for the pantry

Yesterday during my Home Goods run I also wandered into Target and picked up four cheap containers to help reorganize our pantry.

The thought occurred to me a couple months ago when I used an old plastic shoe box to corral all the small cleaning items thrown around under our kitchen sink.

See, I was getting annoyed with the way all the staples on the top shelf of our pantry were looking.

So I took stock of our current pantry and realized that our top shelf items could be mostly categorized into four groups: oils, vinegars and sauces; breads and spreads; Asian; Italian. Four bins it is! I had to find bins in two different sizes so they would: 1) fit in the space and 2) have various widths to accommodate the different sized objects.

One of the bins had a particularly difficult sticker to remove. Thank goodness for Goo Gone!

Somehow each bin managed to miraculously hold all the items I intended for it (though there were still a few items I couldn't quite categorize that are still hanging out solo in the pantry).

And, I'm happy to report that I finally had an excuse to whip out the labelmaker -- that had up until today only been used in my classroom -- for home use!

Because the top shelf of the pantry was by far the most disorganized I didn't really need to touch the rest of the pantry to make a serious impact on its overall look. (Our middle shelf carries mostly snack foods, and our bottom shelf carries bulk products: dog food, extra flour and sugar bags, bulk olive oil and canola oil jugs, a giant box of granola bars and cereal.)

Approximately 45 minutes and $13 later, I am quite pleased with the results. Even though our pantry is relatively modest in size and I can't fit everything together in one neat row, the reason I prefer this new system is I can now move an entire container out onto the counter when I'm trying to reach something in the back instead of having to move several individual items. Check out this easy-to-achieve after shot compared to the before.

In addition to this pantry space and our fabulous new fridge, I should also note that we have another cabinet space with a spice rack where we also store other pantry items, which mostly includes all our baking goods, but that space is already reasonably well organized.

What are your solutions for keeping your pantry organized?

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