Friday, January 16, 2015

Cleaning and Organizing my Pantry!

I'm excited (and maybe a little overwhelmed) to be joining in with the 34 Weeks of Clean at Family, Faith and Fridays.  I can't promise I'll participate every week, but I'd love to tackle some of the challenges and get the house cleaner, decluttered and organized.  Michele is also hosting a weekly link-up for those that are participating, so there should be plenty of tips, ideas, motivation and encouragement.

I admit, I skipped last week, Week 1 - Christmas Decorations.  Mostly because the husband was already tackling that on his own.  We did get rid of several decorations and items we no longer use though, so that's a good thing.

Week 2 is The Pantry.  (You need to check her blog, because in addition to instructions for the challenge, another blogger is creating printables each week.)  My husband does the grocery shopping.  Trust me, I am forever grateful, but he tends to overbuy.  Sometimes I call him a hoarder.  He calls it a stockpile.  He's also not the most organized, love his heart, so if he unloads the groceries the pantry starts looking pretty rough in no time.  He looks at it more like a puzzle--just plug things in wherever they happen to fit.  Our pantry was such a mess that it was literally overflowing, and I was starting to complain.

Three shelves of nightmare.

This challenge was just what I needed to get in gear.  I knew it would be so much easier after the baby was born to have a clean and organized pantry too.  Time is precious when it comes to cooking dinner with a newborn.

  • I worked one shelf at a time so it wouldn't become overwhelming
  • I tossed expired and stale items, which frees up space
  • I wiped shelves as I went.  How does flour end up on every shelf?
  • I combined boxes and bags--you know, because the kids open two of something when they can't find the first one
  • I grouped like items together again so they're easier to locate
  • I took inventory, making mental notes of meals and snacks to prepare, especially ones that would use up that last little bit of something.  

Admittedly, I haven't been cooking as much because I'm tired and if I'm being completely honest, I keep hoping I'll be delivering a baby instead of cooking dinner . . . so it's still pretty stuffed.  It's a work in progress, but at least I know what we have and where it's at.  The husband did admit he doesn't need to do any shopping for awhile, so that was a win.

After I tackled the pantry, I moved down to the rolling cart that was underneath.  It was full of spices and randomness.

Behind it was a bunch of "just in case" paper bags and some type of small appliance that we never used.  It was all disposed of so I could make room for jars of pasta sauce and bottles of juice for the kids--things that were previously in the corner of the kitchen waiting for a home.

I went through all the herbs and spices, tossed out the old and organized them the best I could.  The husband likes to bake and cook, and we love to try new recipes, so there's quite a bit of variety, but we do use it all.

Now, all of the food is in its rightful place, or as close as it can get for now.  It could be neater and more organized, but frankly this was an on-and-off all day project for someone that was too close to 40 weeks pregnant for comfort.  I did what I could, and hopefully we will continue to work on it as we go.

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  1. You did a GREAT job and just in time! Congrats on that sweet new baby! ;) And a husband who shops- you should keep him! Tell him I said job well done! Thanks for linking up friend!

    1. Yes, he's a keeper! Thanks for hosting this challenge Michele, it's just what we needed!

  2. You did a great job straightening up your pantry. It is so much fun to be able to see what you have to make something with. I'm sure you will appreciate having straightened this, after that new baby arrives and you need to get back into the kitchen.

    1. It is nice to open the door and know what we have and where it's at!

  3. My husband likes to "stockpile" too. Needless to say, he doesn't do the shopping very much. Congrats on that new baby and you did a great job!

    1. Thanks! My husband has been doing the grocery shopping for so long I don't want to take it back now. HA!