We started off 2012 here at Old Town Home with a public proclamation of numerous New Year's resolutions. Even though we're only three weeks in, I glad to report that we're making substantial progress. One of our resolutions, do a thorough purge of our closets and drawers, is well underway and I can officially check our kitchen pantry off the list.
Okay, so maybe I'm using the term "pantry" loosely here, because in our modest home that merely refers to the two kitchen cabinets that house our food items. But here's a look at what we were starting with.
Sure I've seen worse, but the telltale sign that it's cabinet cleaning time is when you're greeted with an avalanche upon opening a cabinet door (see the lower left of the left hand cabinet for exhibit one). And it was time. If that Costco bag of chocolate chips smacked us in the face one more time I was going to lose it, so instead I invested about an hour of time to get things in order.
I started to pull everything out of the two cabinets...
...and then made a pile of items that were expired. Apparently we weren't fans of the vegan salt-free soups we purchased two years ago. Off to the recycling bin they went.
Quite sadly, our Ebelskiver mix was past its date by about a year and a half. We had some good times with that mix, but our doughy goodness intake fell off a little while ago. I guess it's a sign we're not eating enough Ebelskivers. Not familiar? They're those awesome pancake-like balls you can fill with chocolate, peanut butter, jelly, or any other combination of amazing fillings. They're quite delectable...but I'm getting off topic here.
Beyond the expired food items I also threw away extraneous packaging materials -- like the boxes the vanilla and almond extract came in -- to make as efficient use of space as possible. There's no need to take up extra room just for the sake of taking up room.
Some of you may remember my tirade about the shape of our basement. And by shape of our basement I mean disgusting-hellhole-my-husband-uses-to-hoard-wood-and-other-junk.
While Alex was hard at working organizing and freeing storage containers the we weren't using, I seized the opportunity to scrounge around down there for anything I could use in the kitchen. Lucky me, I came away with three small baskets that we weren't using any longer that could serve as organizational tools in our cabinets.
To organize the food and supplies as I put them back in, I grouped like items such as rice/lentils/barley, cupcake and decorating supplies, nuts and dried fruit, and pet items in each of the baskets and the existing tupperware. I also grouped like items on each shelf for easier access and better overall organization. Then I loaded it all back in and was thrilled to see I even have a little room to spare. Here's an overview of the method to my madness with each area's designated purpose.
Now for the big reveal without my notes.
Ok, this isn't a huge reveal like we just completed a giant addition, but ahh, an organized pantry is a beautiful thing. Now if only we could get our basement looking so nice. My sense is that one is going to take a lot longer than an hour's worth of work. That's okay, as long as we have little victories like these, the big battles don't feel quite to overwhelming.
Have you accomplished any of your New Year's resolutions yet? Is anyone else on a personal mission to banish clutter from their home and lives? Is it crazy that we have an entire basket of dried fruit and nuts? (Does that make me nuts?) Leave us a comment and let us know.