Pantry Progress

pantry before


Warning: This is not a glamorous post.  If you are looking for glamour, maybe go check out some of the past weeks’ awards show dresses.


My word for 2012 is PROGRESS, and this week I made some progress on the mind-numbingly chaotic closets in my home.  While my 4-year-old was at preschool, I tackled the pantry.

Our pantry isn’t in our kitchen, it is in our downstairs hallway.  It provides good storage space, but, since it is so centrally-located in the main living area of our home, it also became a dumping ground for anything that was left lying around.


pantry before with labels


Whenever my son had a toy taken away from him for misuse (moms of boys, you know how often that happens), it went in the toy graveyard at the top of the pantry.  And then I would forget about them.

Our non-perishable foods were jammed onto the shelves in whatever way would allow the door to close.  The paper products that I bought for birthday parties and other get-togethers were literally spilling out onto the floor when I opened the pantry door.


And, then there were the plastic grocery bags. 


so many plastic bags


Why?  Why are there so many?


Something had to be done.  I pulled out my IKEA step stool and began unloading.


stockpiles of batteries and light bulbs


Even if your closets aren’t as dire as mine was, there is still a good reason to reorganize.  You might discover that you are a battery and/or light bulb hoarder!  I didn’t know that I was until this morning.  I am pretty sure we have batteries in every letter of the alphabet.

Since these items were randomly chucked into this pantry, I had no idea how many we actually had, so I just kept buying more.  Shameful.  Well, in five years when my current florescent bulbs finally die, I have plenty of backups.




A few trips back and forth to the kitchen, and the pantry was empty.  Isn’t it lovely?


pantry unloaded


I pulled ALL of these non-food items from the pantry.  Is it any wonder things kept falling on my head in there?


food unloaded


Here is the rest of the haul, minus several pieces of junk/toys/garbage that I threw in the trash where they belonged.


pantry after


And here it is, reorganized and happy.


pantry bins


The food is all on eye-level now, so it is easier to take a quick survey of what we have and what we need.


I bought the green bins from the Dollar Spot at Target, but Dollar Tree also has bins to choose from.  They will keep the non-perishables corralled into like groups, and I can slide one out at a time to look for a specific item.


organized batteries


I weeded out the excess battery packaging and separated the batteries into food storage bags according to size.  All the bags then got combined into a larger zipper bag left from a set of twin sheets or something.  I always save those bags because they are useful all over the house.


plastic bag dispenser


I dug up an empty baby wipes container and shoved in a good amount of plastic grocery bags.  The container keeps them from falling all over the pantry, and I can easily pull one out at a time.  Plus, Pooh and Piglet are cute.


pantry after with labels


Now each shelf has a specific function.  Plastic bags shall not mix with glassware; food will not fraternize with paper plates.


pantry before and after


Now, this is not one of the glamorous pantries that you see in home design magazines with decanted pasta and vintage chalkboard labels.  But it is progress.


Baby steps towards perfection.

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