Cold weather--I'm talking -11 without a wind chill this morning--is a great excuse to have an extra cup of tea and do something worthwhile indoors. On this day, I undertook a major project--cleaning out and reorganizing my pantry. Here's what it looked like when I started:
The right side.
The left side.
I wish I had a super-wide-angle lens to show you the full picture, but the space back there is just so tight I had to take two pictures. This pantry is really a very wide coat closet in my "Plum Room."
PLuM = Pantry, Laundry, and Mud
Yes, there's mud back there sometimes. When you're facing the coat-closet-turned-into-pantry, your back is to the door leading to the garage. To the left of the pantry are the washer and dryer against the side wall, and on the same wall as the pantry is another door which leads to the back yard. To the right of this pantry is an open doorway, which is a back hallway with a powder room and which leads to my kitchen. You'll see it in another image below.
Needless to say, it's a multi-use room, and it's pretty small. I have big dreams for the pantry: I'd first rip out the coat closet doors and the wire shelving. Oh, and the metal shelving units will go, way out of here probably to the garage where my husband can put them to good use with his man stuff. Then I'd install real cabinets, even a countertop area, plus a space in there for my vacuum which currently sits against a tiny space of wall next to the left door (ugh). But that's a thousand-dollar dream (probably more), and I doubt I'll ever have that. So metal shelving units it is. But that doesn't mean I can't organize it and make it look pretty. :)
Above and below--everything came off the shelves, and I organized it sort-of in the hallway. I have jars of grains, beans, and other stuff, and they're stored three-deep on the shelves, so I definitely had to keep those together. I somewhat alphabetized them, hoping to put them back in a way that made more sense.
The above shelf got wiped down in a major way--you can probably see the dust and food particles all over. All the items from the shelves are below, arranged in my hallway (that's the kitchen, then family room beyond).
Rule of Organizing: It gets messier before it gets neater.
Finally, what I think is the most exciting, invigorating part--getting everything back on the shelves! Woo-hoo!! (I actually get goosebumps for this part.)
Next to some of the dry jar goods are small appliances I have no space for in my kitchen: a toaster oven, a large crock pot. That empty space above is for my Bosch mixer, which was in the kitchen at the time awaiting a bread-making session (that didn't happen for another week).
See the lovely green tuna boxes? They stick out from the shelves, but that's a good thing since the jars barely sit three-deep anyway, and it gives me more room to store stuff. They sit on the shelf nicely, and I can organize smaller jars--bottles of ketchup, mustard, vinegars, etc.--without having them slide all over the metal shelves. The boxes keep them nicely organized. I got these boxes at Costco. I'm even bold enough to go down the aisle where the tuna is, and empty out the 12-packs of tuna to get another box (or two). No one has ever said anything. You should try it; I always feel like a criminal but I do it anyway. ;)
Nice and neat! You may think this post is done, but I wasn't happy with green tuna boxes (and cut-out oatmeal boxes, one of which you can see on the top shelf above). Today's post shows you what I did to clean and organize my pantry; my next post will show you what I did to make my pantry look pretty. Yes, it involves a craft. But if it's easy enough for me, I guarantee you you can do it, too!
Back to life,
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