A couple days ago I started Kondo-ing my kitchen.
I finished the cabinets above the fireplace.
and my plastic container drawer.
Yesterday and today I tackled the pantry.
As I explained in my earlier post, I was able to design my kitchen when we moved into the house, and I knew I wanted cabinets over the fireplace, three big drawers for dishes, containers and utensils, and then there was the third thing I wanted.
A good sized pantry with drawers that pulled out.
And my husband built that for me, too.
It’s got four shelves that pull out on the bottom and then a decent space above that.
A couple years ago I cleaned it out and got it organized knowing I needed to tweak what had been done, but I never got around to it.
So over the past couple years things slowly became cluttered.
There was a very general idea of where things were, but there was not really any order, and it sometimes took longer than necessary to find things.
So here was the condition of my pantry two days ago.
From the front it doesn’t look that bad.
And it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
But like I also said the other day, I have less and less tolerance for clutter and chaos these days.
There were some bins in there that were labeled, but I’m not sure that what was on the label was actually inside the bins.
So yesterday I started on the bottom of the pantry.
Some shelves were worse than others.
The (mostly) snack shelf was a disaster.
The shelf with the canned goods on it wasn’t too bad.
The coffee/tea/other random shelf was not great.
The bottom shelf looked like this:
I know that’s a lot of ramen, but I got a bigass box of it from BJ’s and it’s good for swim meets and running training because it’s nice and salty.
So the first thing I did was clear everything out of the cabinet.
Then I vacuumed out the shelves and wiped them all down because they were kind of gross.
Then I washed out the bins I had been using in there and did another sweep of the house to see if I could find any containers that I had missed the day before.
I had a pretty good collection.
Then I sat paralyzed for a while because I couldn’t decide what to do.
I didn’t know where the “perfect” place to put everything was.
I think this happens to a lot of us which is why we have trouble beginning a project like this.
But there is no rulebook saying you have to get it right on the first try.
So I just started putting stuff in bins and seeing if it fit and once I was happy, at least for the time being, I printed out a label and stuck it on the bin or container.
In my dreams, I want a pantry that looks like this one:
(I found that here on Pinterest).
But I was on a budget of zero dollars, so that will have to wait.
We’ll call my pantry Phase 1.
Eventually it will get to Pinterest level.
I did use some of the glass canning jars I bought a couple weeks ago to store some things.
And I used my Christmas Label Maker! (affiliate)
I really love it.
How cute do these look?
But I’m getting ahead of myself because those were up on the top section of the pantry that I worked on today.
Here is what the shelves look like now:
Here they are from the top:
I separated the canned stuff into beans and corn (and a random can of olives)
I put quinoa and rice and breadcrumbs into smaller glass containers.
Since I got rid of the bags the quinoa and rice were in, I printed out a label with water:grain ratios so I’d remember what I needed when I cooked it.
Here is the newly organized snack/bread/breakfast shelf.
Everything has a labeled bin, and binder clips work really well to hold chip bags closed.
The coffee/tea/spice/nuts shelf looks great now.
The bottom shelf has become the potato/onion/bulk shelf.
Whatever I had extra of I put down on the bottom.
I just have to remember to check that shelf before I go to the grocery store to make sure I don’t already have something down there.
With the shelves of the pantry done, today I moved to the top.
It wasn’t really stuffed with things. It was just disorganized.
And I needed different bins.
So I rearranged things.
I made a container for oils.
One for vinegar.
One for baking stuff.
I put all the birthday candles (I didn’t even know I had any!) and the decorating stuff in one container.
And now the top of the pantry looks like this:
Now that I have it set up close to the way I think will work best for us, I will gradually, over time, get myself some nicer containers that are prettier to look at.
But for spending no money at all, I think it looks pretty darn good, and it will function so much better for us!
I’m pretty happy with my new-and-improved pantry!
Remember, if you wanna get your pantry or your kitchen or your bedroom or any area in order, you don’t have to do figure out the perfect system.
You just need to get started, and tweak it as you go, and eventually you will get it to where it works best for you!