Practical Pantry

by Chris on January 12, 2011

You can tell it’s the new year. We all have our trees down (or do we?), and we’re feeling the need to clean and organize. I, of course, am no exception. I’ve been drooling over some of the pantries through blogland, and it inspired me to kick my “pantry” into gear.

Case in point:

pullout pantry

I had actually started gutting one of the shelves when I realized I needed to take a picture (shame on me). As you can see, it required some attention.

pantry

One of the best rules I can pass along when organizing a pantry-like space is to purge—and purge often. I will admit that I practice what I preach until it comes to purging my pantry. I threw out a can of beans that expired in 2003. For the mathematically challenged, that’s 8 years ago. 

messy kitchen

Don’t panic. It must look like this before it gets better. If it doesn’t look like this, you’re not doing it right. :)

kitchen mess

Alright. So the kitchen is a mess. Now what do I do? Something I make a habit with as soon as I unload my groceries is to get rid of as much extra packaging as possible. Rule #2 (Purge was #1, remember?) is condense, condense, condense. Does that mean it’s rules 2, 3, and 4?

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Whenever I buy something in bulk—and yes, it’s always gummy bears—I take it out of the messy, blobby bag and…

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…place it into a container. I keep lots of sizes on hand just for this issue. It saves so much room!

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Ready for the reveal that won’t mean much to you but makes a world of difference for me?

pull out pantry

By now I feel silly to even say it, but you know how much I love baskets, tins, and bins. USE them. There are moments where I will simply tear off the tops of boxes (see below), but I generally try to put individually wrapped items into a container. I swear by it.

kitchen pantry

I think it goes without saying that you should keep your products together. I try to break it into canned goods, snacks, dinner items, desserts. Don’t judge the boxed pasta. I hate noodles, so this makes it easy for me to make for the family.

pantry

pantry

From what I understand, if you throw out 3 old packages of hamburger buns, 2 packages of pita bread, and 1/2 a package of bagels, you will have more room for your bread. This brings me back to Rule #1—purge.

kitchen cabinet

If you’d like to see some more of the kitchen cabinets, you can visit here,and here. Perhaps you’ll find that inspiration to purge your pantry!

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