Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Organized Pantry, Part 1

With a New Year upon us, most of us are trying to turn over a new leaf or two in various areas of our lives. For many of us, this means trying to get organized!

This post is going to be the first in a here-and-there series about Home Organization. I will take you through some areas of the Homestead which I feel are functional and well-organized, and I'll be sharing some that are "works in progress" so that you can follow my process from chaos to organized.

I must admit, I am a chronic organizer. I can't stand clutter, and I need to have order around me to feel at peace. I feel more productive and efficient when my environment is organized, and I actually enjoy the process of solving organizational dilemmas. I get way too excited about buying storage containers, making labels, and making things look tidy and pretty. I will admit that it is often a one-step-forward, two-steps back process, especially with other people in the house who don't always see the method to my organizational madness!

The first area of our home I'm going share is our kitchen pantry. Now, we don't have a real "pantry" as such, but we do have a few cabinets that serve this purpose. We currently have a double wall cabinet, a drawer and a corner cabinet with a lazy susan which is plenty of space to store everything. We did a kitchen renovation this past fall, and our new cabinets are pretty spacious, which is a good thing for our large family.
Here is our main "dry goods" cabinet. On the top shelf, we have pasta on the left, and our one concession to "convenience food," Annies Mac-n-Cheese, on the right (as you can see, we're running a bit low!). Though I'm trying to keep vegan, the kids just don't want to give up their mac-n-cheese. There could be worse things, I suppose. But I digress... 

On the second shelf we have our various "snack" type foods, which are stored in labeled baskets. On the third shelf, we have assorted grains on the left, and oatmeal and cereals on the right. On the bottom shelf, we have dry beans on the left, and nuts and seeds on the right. We buy a lot of things in bulk, so we use mason jars and plastic storage containers to keep everything fresh. 

We use these baskets to keep all those little bags and containers from getting lost in the back of the cabinet, and it makes it easy to reach up and grab what you need in a hurry.  Plus, it looks much nicer! 

For our spices, we used to use a small cabinet, but I found it really didn't work well for me. I didn't like having to dig around in the back and move things out just to find the spice I needed while I was cooking. I found this neat (and cheap!) spice organizer for a drawer on Amazon, and I'm VERY happy with it. Much more efficient than my old cabinet!

In order to keep this post from getting too long, I'm dividing it into two parts... so next post I will show you the rest of our food storage! Until then... Happy Organizing!

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