By Kellie Fournier of Sterilite Corporation
Until recently, I would cringe each time I opened my pantry cabinet. With my two-year-old thinking it’s a hiding spot and both my four-year-old and my husband looking for a snack, the cabinet was a disaster! So I decided it was time to reorganize, and believe me, it was not pretty! I put on a movie for my boys and got it done. This shouldn’t have taken more than an hour and half to complete, but with my distractions it took me nearly three hours.
Clean your space
I grabbed myself a stool to sit on so I could easily grab the canned goods, snacks, condiments, and bread. There are three deep shelves in my lower cabinet so I started with the top shelf and worked my way down. I took everything out and placed it on the floor. I grabbed my Clorox wipes and wiped down the shelves creating a clean space with which to work.
Purge and group
I started by checking the use-by date on all my canned goods and condiments and tossed anything that exceeded the use-by date. (Here’s a tip: If you are getting rid of any canned vegetables or fruit and you don’t want to waste anything, put the cans’ contents and some water in a blender and use as a fertilizer for your garden or house plants.) Next, I started grouping the remaining items – soups, condiments, breads, bottles of juice, and snacks. This allowed me to see what I was working with and determine where I wanted everything to go.
Now the fun part – ok, so maybe not fun for everyone, but it was for me! I have found that baskets and dry food storage containers are the most helpful when it comes to keeping cabinets neatly organized, so I picked up four Large Ultra™ Baskets and a dry food storage container.
I used one of the baskets to store our bread (hamburger buns, hot dog buns, sandwich bread, etc.), and the others for condiments, soups and salsa. To make it easy for my husband to find things, I labeled each basket with its contents.
I used the dry food storage container for the boys’ fruit snacks. Because the container is clear, it’s easy to see when it’s time to restock. I’m still on the hunt for a narrow shelf to place into the cabinet to gain more vertical storage, but it still looks better than it did!
So, there you have it, my simple solution to my pantry cabinet disaster. I’m very pleased with the end result and now, both boys can hide in this cabinet at the same time!
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I am in the same boat with the small kitchen. I have had to edit. But let me tell you it is not that big of a deal. You can stash some tighns in longer term storage (garage or back of your closet or whatever) if you don't want to break up your set.I would suggest editing everything else too, and storing or passing along stuff that you can do without. Kitchens really need to be efficient. A few hardworking pieces will serve you well without getting in your way, and will make room for more of what you want to hang on to, like your pans. Some places to start: serving ware, tupperware, and mixing stuff, and duplicates of utensils. Make sure that your gadgetry and small appliances (esp the bulky ones) are really working hard to earn their place most of them are not absolutely necessary. For instance you might trade in your coffee maker for a french press which is smaller. You might be able to pare down on dishes, glasses, and mugs. Try to get by on service for 4. This should get you through the day, but then you clean up. If you need more dishes when friends come over, you can store them up high out of your way, so that everyday needed items can be in a handier place. You can also probably reduce the food you keep on hand. Try buying less, more often and keep less bulk stuff around. Or store your unopened excesses in another place, and keep the at-hand amounts in the kitchen.Misc storage places that I find useful: Top of fridge. I like this for tupper ware. I keep it in a laundry basket. When I need it, I pull the basket down and get. It isn't heavy and is just organized enough to be smart without being overdone. You might want something prettier up there but this worked fine for me.Inside the fridge. You can store almost anything in there if it isn't usually full. Cans of food, empty tupperware? The bonus is that with that stuff in there cold, it will help keep your perishables cold.Inside the dishwasher. If you wash by hand, you can use the dishwasher for storing clean dishes.Inside the oven. Good place for pans and bakeware if you don't use it all the time. I wouldn't use the oven for anything that can't get used in the oven, in case it accidentally gets turned on before you empty it. Watch for plastic or wooden handles. Back of the stove like the top of the backsplash area. I keep spices, oils there. They lean against the wall because there isn't enough room for anything to fall back there. I also keep my most well used pans right on the burners. I have my pasta pot stashed with the colander inside, and lid on. Skillets nested together. Everything is out but it is neat and handy.Think outside the box. You may think you know what belongs in the kitchen but you don't have to do that way. You can store spices in a drawer. You can store linens on a shelf. You can put rubber shelf liner down to put bowls or cups in a drawer. There also isn't a hard and fast rule about upper and lower cabinets, or what goes together. Put the stuff you need everyday in the handiest places, and the rest in the more out of reach places.
Posted by: Satoshi | 09/12/2012 at 01:34 AM
Great article is there any chance I can take it and copy it onto my own blog
Posted by: Lollpop | 03/07/2013 at 08:50 AM