Friday, March 16, 2012

Organized Pantry: Before and After

Pretty much every area of our house has been affected by the addition of a new baby 3 months ago.  But our snack situation has gotten OUT OF CONTROL!!!  My husband has gratefully taken on most of the grocery shopping which has been a huge help to me and a huge help to our budget.  I make him a list and he sticks to it!  Amazingly, we have been staying within and below our food budget for the first time in maybe forever!  So that's been all good BUT he has a tendency to pick up a few extra additions in the cereal/chips/cracker department and they have accumulated on top of the fridge.  I can't blame him totally for this but the biggest problem is that the kids can SEE exactly what they want up there and beg all day for snacks until I cave.  

This is especially the case with the giant family sized container of Nesquik (big yellow container) that I use to make chocolate milk.   Micah (still not really talking) spends most of his free time pantomiming a chocolate milk scenario.  Poor guy.  As you can see there is also a giant family sized bag of chips, Sams Club box of Cheerios and 20 pounds of flour.  I figured it was time to spare him!  So I cleared it out...


I am happy to have found new home for everything (out of sight) except the knife block which, of course, has to be on top of the refrigerator because otherwise Micah finds a way to pull out the butcher knife and whip up a fruit salad while I am changing a diaper.  (He is 2!)
I have a tiny kitchen and no pantry so I use one cabinet for dry goods and the spill over goes in the hall closet.  I didn't think that this cabinet was that bad (just disorganized) but I did manage to throw away some expired canned goods.  One can was from 2010 and I remember moving it from B-town and then never used it!  What a waste.  There were a few other random bags of a little of this and a little of that and I pitched those.  Then I poured all of my granola making supplies into canning jars for ease of use.  I love it already!  Also, I poured some of the Cheerios from that giant box into a plastic pitcher and now it fits in that cabinet as well.  So I have a whole shelf devoted to cereal, oatmeal, and granola!  I also put Goldfish crackers from the big box into a Mason jar and did the same with the Nesquik.  Now all of the snacky snacks can be behind a closed door and concealed in inconspicuous containers.
                                    Before                                       After
And now for my most embarrassing trouble spot...dun dun dun...the hall closet.  It is STILL kind of bad but I managed to clear off an entire shelf to make room for the chips, crackers, bag of flour etc. from on top of the fridge.  I dream of some day having a luxurious large kitchen pantry where all of my food and small appliances can live together in peace and harmony but until then we must make do and be content with what we have!  At least everything is easily accessible and that is key for a kitchen pantry.  I firmly believe that if you can't find something it won't get used and then 2 years later you throw it away!  While in the meantime you accumulate 5 containers of baking powder.  Ugg.

                                  Before                                                    After

I did find that cutting the tops off of the bulk boxes makes the items inside more accessible!  So I will probably start making this a habit in the future.

 An easy way to simplify life and feel just a bit more free and get ready for spring!

I posted this as an entry into The Simple Mom "Project: Simplify 2012" challenge.   You can enter too, the deadline is tomorrow (Sat) at midnight.

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