Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cleaning out the pantry

After watching Extreme Couponing and seeing some really amazing stockpiles, I decided to clean out my kitchen pantry. Except I decided this 30 mins before having to get my kids to CCD.  Of course taking my kids to CCD was also the reason for cleaning up the closet as I wanted to donate any items that we haven't been using so it made sense.  Why I waited all day to do it is beyond me however.  It just seems to be the way I operate.  LAST MINUTE!

The good thing about my pantry is that it is organized.  A couple years ago I gave it a total overhaul and designated each shelf for specific items and tried to set it up like shelves in a grocery store. 

While my pantry may not win any awards, it is easy for my family to find what they want.  Plus it also makes it easy to see what I am out of.  It probably could be organized better and maybe I'm not using the space to its best potential.  I have arranged it so that the very top shelf is all my baking goods.  The next shelf down is canned items, followed by cereal and snacks on the third shelf.  The fourth shelf down is pasta, rice, and over flow snack items.  The shelf below that (picture on right) is condiments and drink items.  Then I use the floor for more overflow items and lunch items (lunch bags, utensils, napkins, etc.) 

I really love this pantry.  I have never had a pantry in any of my houses before -including my child hood home.  So it's really nice to have such a large space that is devoted to just food items.  Plus it allows me to use my cupboards for storing dishes and things.  I do not have a lot of cupboards and drawers so I would really be pressed for space if I had to store all those items with dishes! 

Having an organized pantry also makes it easy for the kids to help put things away.  Paige has even gotten into the habit of removing snack items from their boxes and putting them in the snack box located on the far right side of the cereal/snack shelf.  Though they may not always do a perfect job of putting away the groceries, it only takes me a minute to move items around.  If I don't keep up with this, then the shelves get very crazy and that leads me to yesterday.

I wish I had taken a before photo, but I wanted to get it cleaned in a hurry.  That's also the beauty of having my system set up.  I was able to go through the shelves, remove any overstock or unused items, and organize in about 15 minutes.  We took 3 grocery bags full of canned goods and extra pasta items to CCD for the food bank.  My son was thrilled as he had asked to do this before their holiday break and didn't think I would remember! 

Tomorrow I head back to work.  Not sure I'm happy about it.  I think I like being a stay at home mom!

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