The Blended Bloggers are running a series called What’s in My…. So far they have done What’s in My Handbag, Junk Drawer, Make Up Bag and now it’s my turn to participate. I signed up for What’s in My Pantry. I knew I needed to give my pantry a good cleaning so be signing up I forced myself to do it and boy, was I right! Do I know myself, or what?
In the spirit of openness and transparency, here are the before pictures. A busy season of life caused my usually organized pantry to become a jumbled mess. We were stuffing stuff anywhere it would fit which didn’t leave the space very organized. Let’s take a look, shall we? My pantry has three sides. This is what you see when you look straight in the door. This area is supposed to hold canned goods, bottles, tea and coffee.It is doing that, for the most part, but the spices had outgrown their designated area and the tea too for that matter. They were spilling into other areas! There was some extra baking stuff on the top shelf. Just a mess, I tell ya!The floor was littered with over-sized containers. We could barely walk in! But where could these large pieces fit?Spices, sauces, oils and vinegars were supposed to live on the left side of the pantry, but the whole situation had gotten out of hand. Some spice bottles were just too big to live on the shelf they were assigned to so they relocated to other areas. That made it so hard to find stuff when I need it!Now, on to the right side where there are four deep shelves. Originally, paper goods were assigned the top shelf. The next shelf down was supposed to hold baking supplies.The third shelf from the top used to house boxes: cake mixes, cereal, crackers, and the like. We no longer have much of that kind of stuff anymore since changing the way we eat. Finally, the bottom shelf held legumes and pasta.
Thanks to Hurricane Hermine, we didn’t go sailing on Saturday morning like we had originally planned. Instead, I spent three hours pulling everything out of the pantry and wiping down every wire surface (boy did it need it!)I was a little worried I’d never get my surfaces cleaned again! This was just the left side! I had already replaced the middle section. Oh, the chaos!(See those roses in the background? Yeah, my sweet husband brought them home from work on our 25th wedding anniversary! He really loves me! I also know he really loves me because he didn’t freak out too much when he walked in from working on the sailboat to find this disaster!)
When each section of the pantry was clean, I reorganized what each shelf should hold and put things back in their new locations. Obviously, I did a little culling; I threw out old and expired stuff, set some things aside to donate, and repackaged a few things. Ahhhh… it feels so good! I’m sure you want to see, right?The top shelf is now for drinks: tea, coffee, lemonade, etc. The second shelf holds all the small baking supplies such as baking powder, baking soda, baking chocolates, cocoa, and chocolate chips (don’t judge! I got those on sale!)The next shelf down is for jars of grains, nuts, raisins, etc. Then canned goods and jars of nut butters go under that. (You didn’t know Nutella was a nut butter? What? Yes, it is! Hazelnuts! Now you know! You’re welcome!)The next shelf holds our essential oils and all our canned tomatoes. Hey, I’m Italian! We go through a lot of tomatoes! (And when I say “all our canned tomatoes” I don’t mean ALL. I have four boxes stored at my mom’s house. This is just what I have keep on the pantry shelves.)The bottom shelf has all our oils as well as pancake syrup and honey. The floor is much better now, don’t you think?! It only has buckets of wheat, onions/garlic and potatoes. Oh, and dog treats.The spice rack is much improved! The top shelf now corrals all those large spice containers. The next shelf has some “healthy stuff” as well as spice mixes. The third shelf holds the “sweet spices” like nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger, while the fourth shelf has savory/leafy spices such as tumeric, celery seed, oregano, marjoram, summer savory.The fifth shelf has all the salt and peppers: from popcorn and pink Himalayan salt to white, black and red pepper. The shelf below that one has all our extracts and as well as some bottled items.The final two shelves contain more bottles. Sauces such as mirin and fish sauces on the sixth shelf and various vinegars on the very bottom shelf. Does anyone else have balsamic, apple cider, white wine, rice, and white distilled vinegars? (This is my pared down collection. I’ve also had red wine, champagne and several flavored vinegars.)Now the right side: the top still holds our paper plates and napkins but I moved the utensils caddy here. I also moved some plastic stuff to the bottom drawer.The next shelf down still holds our baking stuff but now it’s only for flours and sweeteners in large containers. All that small stuff is on the narrow shelf I already showed you. Now we’ll be able to find that stuff a lot easier!Since we no longer have a lot of boxes, this next shelf holds just a few boxes of pasta, granola bars and graham crackers (to feed my husband’s key lime addiction). I’m keeping some overstock items in the back. I also put the protein powder and large bottle of white wine vinegar here to get it off the floor. When I get around to opening those THM bags, they will go in jars. I just put them here for now.The bottom shelf didn’t get too much rearranging. It still houses our dried beans, popcorn and oatmeal. Then there are two drawers. The top, shallow drawer, used to be our bread drawer. Now it holds pita, low-carb tortillas and Michael’s lunch bags. The bottom drawer used to be our chip drawer but now it’s holding plastic cups, plastic forks and some paper bowls. We (sadly) don’t eat chips anymore.When we first moved into this house 16 years ago, it didn’t have a pantry. We “stole” some room from the living room to create this life-saver! When we did that, we started recording our kids’ growth on the inside door frame. If we ever move from this house, I’m ripping out this piece of framing and taking it with me! This was before the days of Pinterest and all the cute ideas on there! So there you have it folks!
So I gotta ask…what’s in yours?? Link up with us below! Also be sure to check out what is in Leslie’s kitchen and in Katie’s pantry! I can’t wait to see theirs!