Monday, January 10, 2011

Day #7 The Pantry (with a little help from my friends)

This one was definitely a challenge for me. It's so hard to keep the pantry shelves organized when you have hungry locusts teenage boys diving into them every three minutes. There are days when I have to avoid the pantry altogether for fear that I might get one of my digits bitten off with the flurry of activity.

Lucky for me we need to go grocery shopping, so I didn't have a ton of stuff to organize. Plus, if I just wait an extra five minutes more food will disappear. (You'll notice a Post-it note on the potato chips in a couple of pictures that says they are not to be eaten because we are having them with dinner at a later date. If I didn't label stuff like this we'd never have half the stuff we need.)

Okay, so these are pictures of the upper and lower shelves of the pantry, which is basically two large cabinets in our kitchen:

Some stuff like boxed mixes are untouched by the boys so they stay relatively organized. As you can tell by the shelf with the popcorn and chips, this one is the most raided.

I started this challenge on Saturday night while I was making dinner. I figured I had to be in the kitchen anyway, so this was a good time. The fact that I was trying out a new recipe, though, made it quite difficult to juggle.

Also, since I was working on dinner while trying to clean, I had my back turned quite a bit, and you'll notice the dogs took advantage of that. Here's Blue "helping" to clean the shelves.

With his tongue.

As sweet a gesture as it was, I did have to re-clean it and then kept the bottom doors closed for a while.

After dinner was over (it got too difficult juggling dinner and dogs) I threw out (recycled) a lot of unnecessary items from the bottom shelves, like 17 individually wrapped sporks. How in the world did we get sporks? Who uses those anymore?

I limited our plastics to one small, unopened bag of plastic cutlery and a small pile of paper plates. There was also an unopened pack of plastic cups, they're hiding behind the laundry basket.

The basket only holds garlic right now, but we also keep our potatoes in it; they got too mushy if kept in the bag. The two appliances are the slow cooker and deep fryer. The silver canisters hold flour and sugar. I repurposed some other containers which hold rice and whole-wheat flour in the back. Much better than just keeping them in bags.

I also repurposed Kirkland boxes that contain packets of coffee for corralling miscellaneous items such as molasses and mustard. I'm going to try and keep crushable things like hot dog buns in a separate box in the back; less likely to get crushed if teenage hands aren't sorting through a pile to find the cookies (which I often have hiding at the bottom).

I'll get sturdier containers eventually, but often I just use the boxes that things come in, like the oatmeal and hot chocolate packets. I just rip the tops off for easy access and that keeps things organized well enough.

Not pretty, but I'll work on that eventually.

The top shelves basically needed straightening and I used some more boxes to keep things orderly. (Extra glass containers are in the back to use as needed.)

One thing I've learned is that if I can't reach it or see it, I'm not gonna remember it's there. That's why on the top two shelves, I keep everything at the edge of the shelf. The space behind is used for extra containers or other things that I don't use on a regular basis.

I forgot to take a close-up of the top shelf, but basically I just combined all the tea bags from lots of half-empty boxes into one container.

Nothing super exciting or pretty, but it does look a lot better than it did. The test will come when said teenagers get their paws into it. I hope all this isn't for naught.

1 comment:

Allison @ I heart Change said...

Ahh ha! I LOVE your helpers. It looks very good.