It’s a DEFCOM 1 red alert in my house!
Do you hear the sirens? A parental visit is on the horizon, and I have to get my house clean. Mom clean is not the same as my kid’s friend is coming over clean, you know.
I guess that is what inspired the cleaning of the pantry this week. What started out as a simple reorganization project turned out to be a huge painting ordeal.
The pantry had reached an all time low.
I can thank the kids and their constant digging in the pantry for a snack.
I’m not sure why they think the selection changes from hour to hour, but I have to assume they are hoping that a box of Pop Tarts miraculously beamed into the pantry while they were doing homework by some device that only exists in The Jetson’s cartoon.
I don’t try to understand that logic.
Empty the pantry
Remove everything from the pantry and clean off the shelves with some vinegar and water.
I realized that after 12 years of wear and tear, mine needed a new paint job as well, and I had to wait overnight for the paint to dry before continuing.
Organize the pantry
When returning the items back to your pantry, check expiration dates on everything.
Let me point out that I thought I had done this only a year ago, but it turns out I had some items that expired in 2007. Yikes!
Did you have items older than 4 years expired? Make me feel better and let me know in the comments.
In a future article I will talk about scheduling big projects like these so 4 years don’t pass by before it is revisited. I could have sworn I just did it.
Organize like items together. I group items into the following categories:
- Side Dishes
- Vegetables and Fruits
- Canned Meats
- Baking items
- Snacks – where the kids can go grab mac and cheese or popcorn without disturbing the rest of the pantry
- Plastic ware, napkins, baggies
Use bins and containers to hold like items
I’m a big fan of containers. Here are a few ideas to help keep the pantry organized:
Extra spices and sauce packets
Sprinkles, candles, baking extras
This container holds candles, sprinkles, and paper baking cups.
Add some shelf space on the floor
A shoe organizer offers extra shelf space in the bottom of the pantry. This is where all the soda and juice boxes go. OK, I need to refill that soon.
I love the racks than hang from a shelf. I use one to hold all the aluminum foil, wax paper, and plastic wrap.
Baskets are an organizing lifesaver. I use them to hold my kitchen towels on the top. The shelf below is for baggies, cups, napkins, and plastic ware. I used a few plastic cups to sort the plastic ware that I use for the kids’ lunches. If they make it back home, I wash them and return them. Unused forks and spoons from fast food restaurants find a home here, too.
Aaa…a clean pantry again
Now my pantry is beautiful, and I’m beaming like I just created an artistic masterpiece.
I want to grab people off the street so they can admire it.
“What? My pantry is beautiful? Pffshh…it always looks that way.”
Shh…….don’t tell anyone.
Some helpful products for organizing the pantry: