Every Thursday morning I have a date with Sue Duval, owner of The Organized Hive.
She comes from 8:30 – 12:30, and each week, we have been picking away at different areas of the house.
First, she helped me transform my office into a super cute playroom for the kids.
Next, she helped me sort through the clothes that the kids weren’t currently wearing, come up with a system for storing them that actually works, and reclaim my dining room.
This past Thursday, she walked in the door and asked what I wanted to work on next.
When I told her the pantry, she almost started drooling on the floor.
Compared to the other areas of my house, it wasn’t really that out of control. I have been pretty good about getting rid of stuff, plus, I’ve really been trying not to stock up on things as if a nuclear bomb is going to go off at any minute and we will need to survive off of canned goods in the basement for the next eighteen months.
So this is what my pantry and spice cabinet looked like before she came over:
It wasn’t too out of control, but it’s an area that has been bothering me for a while. It’s disorganized and I find myself spending a lot of time looking for stuff and that annoys me. Plus, there is no system in place, and with eight people going in and out of it, nothing ever gets put back in the same place.
So it’s annoying not just for me but for everyone.
The before and after pictures aren’t as impressive as the ones for the office and the dining room are.
But the changes Sue helped me make have made an immediate difference in how much time I save every day, and that, to me, is way more important than a super dramatic before and after picture.
So all the changes that were made were done using things I already had in my house.
Sure, I’d love to have a pantry that looks more like one you’d see in Martha Stewart’s house, but for now, my goals are making changes that are effective without spending money and function over form.
The first thing we did was take everything out of the pantry and spice cabinet.
The pantry didn’t have much that needed to be thrown out.
But my spice cabinet had some pretty old stuff in it.
All of these were expired by over a year:
But one was the runaway expiration date winner:
Dill weed that expired in 2006.
Almost ten years ago.
The funny thing is that we have only lived in our house for a little less than seven years.
Which means that when we moved into it, that had been expired for three years already.
It had been expired for three years in our old house and I still felt the need to take it with me.
What a dill weed.
So anyway, after taking a look at the spice cabinet, Sue realized that many of the spices I use the most don’t actually fit in the cabinet. So we took out the ones that I don’t use on a regular basis, as well as a shelf, and now I won’t have to hunt through the pantry to find them whenever I want them.
We put the other spices that are used less often in a container in the pantry.
Then Sue did her thing and put like things with like things. She shuffled stuff around, whipped out her label maker, and my pantry was organized and labeled.
Now it is clear to anyone who opens the doors, where stuff is or where it should go.
But I want to show you the thing I love the most.
We do a fair amount of baking. My husband and I like to bake, and so do the kids.
I have no idea why the hell the baking stuff isn’t all in the same place. But it never has been, and we are always searching through every shelf to find something, like the baking powder.
But now all the baking stuff is in two bins, and whenever we want to make pancakes or cookies or banana bread or whatever, all we have to do is pull out the bins and everything is all in one spot.
In hindsight, it seems so logical to me and I feel kind of stupid for not thinking of that myself.
But that’s why having a professional with a fresh set of eyes who’s not looking at your cabinets on a daily basis can really help.
Kind of like when you write a paper and have read it over so many times that you need someone else to proofread it for you because you just don’t notice the errors.
Sometimes the issues are much more obvious to someone who hasn’t been looking at them over and over again.
My newly organized pantry has already saved me time since Thursday, and we did it all without spending any money!
Thank you Sue Duval for changing my life (and my family’s life) one room at a time!