Friday, July 20, 2012

Extreme and Stormy Pantry Makeover

What does one do in Seattle when plans have canceled due to summer thunder and rain showers? I know, sounds wimpy doesn't it? I mean Seattle and rain usually go together. However, a bus ride downtown in the rain wasn't on our agenda, so we will postpone our excursion for another day. Instead, I know what sounds fun....Organize my pantry! I googled: "My pantry is the size of a closet" for some ideas. I seriously did. Well, turns out that my shelves are a good thing to have instead of other things like "no shelves" or, according to some people who also hated them..."wire baskets."
Here's how mine looks to start...Not too bad, but not too good either.

I should show you how many bags I removed from the lowest shelf area. They were taking up far too much real estate. Three bags stuffed with, well....plastic BAGS! And then all the paper bags. We will use some of both for garbage, so I am not one of those people who can go bagless in Seattle. I will recycle the plastic. And yes, I do have some reusable bags, so don't judge me!:

Where to begin? First, REMOVE all items from the pantry. This could get fun.  Ah, but first, turn on the music, and get out the chips. I mean, I had to clean things up, right? Plus, they are from T.Joes and have no preservatives. They sure are ORANGE though. Weird. Now we are rolling!

All right. That wasn't too hard. Oh, what's that you say? Arrange the items according to HEIGHT so you can see your tallest items. Put "like items" together.... All right. Next?

Check all items for the EXPIRATION date. Ok, that sounds easy enough. That means start a bag for RECYCLING  and start another bag for things to be TOSSED OUT.

Oh, you mean the moment I have been waiting for has finally arrived? I can chuck the can of sardines in the trash that I have so patiently and nicely been saving for my husband to eat? He says he would never eat them "alone"...and that's just how he would eat them around, they are expired...So sorry. Bye Bye, sardines!

Next, WIPE off the shelves so they are nice and clean. My sort of empty shelves before they were cleared:

 Ta Da! Then come up with a plan to put the things back that makes the most sense. Well, we also have a daughter who likes her certain kinds of food and so I thought maybe I'd give her some space for it. The Vias are mine :):

So she will get a little shelf...I overturned a tin to make a raised shelf for the smaller cans, like olives and tuna that get hidden. I put all the canned food on one shelf.

And all the pasta on another shelf. Gee, do we eat much pasta? Not really. Why does it get a whole shelf? I might have to rethink this later.

Ok, so here is the before, minus all the bags on the lower shelf:
And here's the after. Saved some bags, but now have room for napkins. Things are easier to see and have a place. It looks alot better to me, and that is what counts right? Even if you cannot tell a difference, I sure can. I took out 3 bags of trash and two bags of cardboard, and 3 plastic bags full of plastic bags (!) to be recycled. At least it looks tidy for the next few hours, right?

That SO inspired me, I moved on to the baking cabinet.
Tons of stuff in here too, and alot of it expired. I was able to move a few items that were not used often to another cabinet location and free up more space for important things used all the time in baking.  And after, much better!

Now let's tackle the all around medicine, tea and weird cabinet by the sink:
Can you say "expired vitamins?" That took up alot of valuable room here. Also, tea...decaf, regular, and all kinds in between. I was able to get rid of, consolidate and rearrange, toss and...voila!
May not look different to you, but it is a kinder, cleaner version of what it was before! Yahoo!
Now I had so much more energy left after all this, I used my Shark and vaccumed and steam mopped the floor! It was a stormy day, but I made good use out of it. I wonder what I can organize next?


knitterbeader said...

Had a big smile on my face as I read this, Jeannine. That was really a storm yesterday. I'm doing somewhat the same thing you are, however, I'm cleaning kitchen cabinets out as we are moving to Arizona in a couple of weeks. So I'm checking expiration dates, and throwing a lot of stuff out. Will be nice to start out "clean" in AZ. We sold our house right away here in Graham and having one built in AZ - about 30 mi south of Phoenix. Anxious to be all done with packing, moved in and unpacked! Too bad we didn't ever get the chance to meet up, but I'll continue to read your blog!

Speattle said...

I probably should have done something constructive like this. Instead I drove to Ikea, (yes, in the rain), and bought MORE stuff!

Had a nice lunch though. Seafood Chowder and a small side salad...for all of $3.49!