Guest Blog by: Midge
It is amazing the flurry of activity which occurs just before you host some house guests. You begin to look, REALLY look, around at your house and notice the trouble areas right away. It is as if you have been living your life in an airplane with a bird’s eye view of your surroundings but then you start to clean before a friend visits and KAPOW! How did I not notice all of this accumulated dirt and disorganization?
One of our main issues has been our pantry. We actually are blessed with a very large pantry but this pantry has also become a “catch-all” for the appliances we don’t use on a regular basis, odds and ends from the kitchen, craft supplies, and even storage (on the floor) for my little one’s Play-Doh toys. I went to double check our food storage for my friend’s visit and all of a sudden noticed how incredibly disorganized this area had become!
So, this is the first BIG project of the summer/spring . . . Pantry Organization! First, everything came out of the pantry and the shelves were given a thorough washing. Next, I had to decide what went back in the pantry out of the “mishmash” of oddities which had made their way into the hallowed halls of my food storage. Many things were re-sorted and placed into our craft closet, which is next on the list of organizing! Finally, I organized the items based on loosely thought-out categories and made a thorough list (in my head!) for the grocery store.
It ended up taking a lot longer than I thought and I also sought out help from those who happened to be online when I mentioned my cleaning frenzy on MOLLY GREEN FACEBOOK.
Here were three main ideas I followed while sorting and cleaning the pantry:
- If it doesn’t belong there, remove it!
(Exception to my rule: the Play-Doh toys. This is because it is actually the best place for them!)
- Canned food, boxed items, etc. need to be in organized rows.
Seriously, maybe this is obvious to you but usually mine just get shoved into a great mosh pit of unorganized cans with labels facing whatever and whichever ways. My goal is to have all of my cans and other boxes face to the front so I can REALLY see what I have in my pantry!
- If you start it, keep it.
My method of organization is not perfect, but the most important thing I have found is that no matter what method I select, keeping it consistent is the key to making it work. So, if all of my spaghetti products go into a clever little box, I should keep them there!
After organizing the pantry, I went out and bought all of the necessary groceries and odds and ends to serve to my upcoming house guests. Before I started, I had no idea where I was going to put anything! But then when I was done, I had plenty of room for those groceries plus more. I also cleaned out my refrigerator on the same day. It feels good to have relieved some stress which disorganization causes and not to have to deal with the mess while trying to prepare meals.
Next on my list, I need to conquer the freezers. Oh, and I did mention my crazily disorganized craft closet, didn’t I? Oh no . . .
Have you ever gotten lost in your pantry . . . not able to find what you need right now? Maybe it was on the wrong shelf, or worse, it wasn’t there at all! You want to try a new recipe and a basic ingredient that you thought you replenished but didn’t is blocking your plans for a surprise dinner menu. Ever discover an expired canned good or boxed staple? Is the problem disorganization, a tight budget, or lack of creative ideas for making your pantry fun and purposeful? If this is you, check out this MOLLY GREEN MAGAZINE ~ The Well Prepped Pantry