Today’s forecast is rain, so it’s a good day to reorganize the kitchen pantry.
Despite the fact that the pantry was built along with the rest of the house, by the same company that built the house, the pantry has a very sparse, beginner-DIY look to it.
On one half of the pantry, the shelves are narrow, not adjustable, not quite high enough to stack things properly and generally difficult to organize.
It is also old, so the shelves are sagging and the paint wearing away.
One of these days, I’ll paint it but probably not anytime soon.
The other half of the pantry was just an open space, so many years before I met him, my husband put a narrow modular shelving unit in there, along with his kitchen broom.
Personally, I think I would have found another place for the broom and put a full-sized shelving unit in there but he’s happy with it the way it is.
Getting there slowly
I’ve been working on the pantry slowly since maybe a year after I moved in and just like gardening (although I do have a much larger gardening budget), once I’ve spent a certain amount of money on organizers my husband will say, “that’s enough for now” and I give up for another 6 months or so.
To him, like many men, he doesn’t really care what the pantry looks like, as long as nothing falls on his head. Lol
But I do care!
Long before I ever heard of pinterest or Instagram, I wanted everything picture perfect … but that’s how I grew up.
As I was growing up, my mother’s house always looked like a photoshoot and I wanted the same for my homes…though I’ve mostly given up on that now.
So, my plan today is to wipe down the shelves and generally put things back differently than they were before and see if it’s more aesthetically pleasing and useful.
Food storage containers
Especially for unpackaged foods -like rice, nuts,etc – I try not to use plastic storage containers for multiple reasons.
Although, for things like individually sized snack packs of chips, pretzels, etc – I have no problem with clear acrylic organizers.
Why I prefer glass containers
For one thing, I find glass containers more attractive. Also, they can be cleaned (usually) on the top or bottom rack of the dishwasher, you can clearly see everything in them and lastly, since I’m allergic to water in plastic water bottles, I don’t want to take a chance on storing my dry foods in plastic.
I do use some plastic containers, for baking supplies, like sugar, flour, etc.
But generally, these are containers that I’ve used for years and I have no reason to believe that my system can not tolerate food stored in them.
First, I want as many dry foods in glass jars as possible.
I found these great “milk bottles” on Amazon during my last reorganization and still like them!
I first saw them in Target. I bought one or two and liked them, so them I searched for them on Amazon in bulk.
I have this 33oz size and a smaller size.
I use my Brother P-touch label maker (which was one of my best purchases ever) to discreetly label all the jars with important information, like nutrition information and expiration dates.
These labels hold up in the dishwasher, so it’s easy to clean the jars and no need to constantly make new labels.
As long as I put the same item back into the same jar, all I need to do is update the expiration date, if it’s important.
I took my time organizing and rearranging things until I was happy with them. My husband volunteered to move his collection of food magazines to somewhere else and he also went through his collection of oils and vinegars and got rid of some of them, which really lightened up that shelf.
The other side of the pantry looks much better too!
We both love tea, though completely different kinds of tea, so we always have an overflow of tea.
I got rid of some of my tea that was past it’s “best by” date and I’m trying out an organizer that I moved from the other side of the pantry.
I was really hoping to get the coffee cans in here too but they will not fit, so they’ll have to stay where they are, which is on top of the fridge.
I think that’s all for today. I’ll tackle the top pantry shelf another day!
Have a great day!