Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pantry Organization

I took my first trip to Costco last week on my lunch hour with a girl from work and I was so excited to stock up on some of our favorite staples. Two things I always need to make a quick meal are chili seasoning/powder, and taco seasoning. I use both of these to make several meals and it never fails, I make it home after work only to realize I am out of the most vital ingredient....the seasoning! And let me tell ya....it peeves me off when this happens, so I decided to do something about it.

While at Costco I decided to stock up and buy two HUGE jugs of seasoning. Now, you gotta realize, we don't have any kids so I am only feeding the two of us....but Mr.Chaos is a laborer and works long hours so he has an appetite. Between you and me-he can eat you outta house and home if you don't watch him! LOL
So to us these are HUGE jugs of seasoning, but let me tell you, I am expecting it to be the best $12 bucks ($6 each), I have spent in a long time! When you break down the cost, the single serve packets are a $1 and if you buy 6 of them its nowhere NEAR the same amount you get in this big boy!

So I figure with winter approaching I need to be prepared to make chili and tacos and all those quick and easy meals that help us get through the winter and it was cost affective for us as well.


Well, believe it or not, after buying these it got me excited and sparked to organize organize our pantry and spice cabinet.

Here are the before pictures......oh my. Yes, those are my cabinets. (cough, cough)



 Yes, this is our spice cabinet. Salt and pepper and other spices spilled over..........


So first things first....I took everything out of the cabinets and wiped them down.  


Then I set aside all the crap, I mean stuff, that I was able to throw out becasue it either expired or was a duplicate! So by taking out things we don't need/use/or had gone bad, I cleared out enough room so that in the end everything is visible and easy to grab.


Now it was time to put everything back so in goes  the spice rack......and if you don't have one of these stair stepped spice racks you really need to get one. They are awesome for organizing.




Then I began layering in the spices one by one with the things we use the least in the back and the things we use the most up front.  Layering is the key to fitting a lot of items into a small space, so without this bad boy I couldn't fit near as much into my pantry!

(LAYERING is the trick here)


I organized all of the lose items into this little tray so they were confined to one spot and not floating around or shoved under something.

I HIGHLY recommend gathering all of those lose packets of things and putting them in one spot so that you KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE and don't overspend buying duplicates, and so that you can easily locate the stuff you need when you need it.



And voila. Hard work over and everything in its place....Including my two new jugs of spices from Costco! :)


Next it was time to tackle the misc pantry cabinet.

and it was WORSE!

 

I started by pulling everything out and doing what I did with the spice cabinet.


(LOVE these cute napkins.....read what it says....cracks me up!)

and these cute toppers for cupcakes.....I forgot I had these and I love them! They're almost too cute to eat! :)


And I took out the bulky items like these two boxes of plastic ware and combined them into one jar (round fits better than square)



Threw out Mr. Chaos' EXPIRED vitamins..............




And organized my cupcake liners....
(The cute animal print liners are from Pick Your Plum. If you are not signed up to get their daily deal emails, you need to check them out.

You can click the link above or go to my side bar and find their button. They have great deals on all kinds of cute things from home decor, toys, kitchen items like these cupcake liners, and even scrapbooking and crafting supplies!)

Ok, back to organizing.....


And gathered up all the small, lose items like these cupcake pics and put them in a metal tin so they are all together and not falling all over the place or getting bent.


Organized the cake decorating basket...........



And voila! There is actually empty space!
Here is the before and after of the pantry cabinet........MUCH BETTER!

To start a project like this you need to:
  • Take everything out of cabinets
  • Eliminate the things you no longer use/need/or have expired
  • Clean the area
  • Group like items together and make sure everything is in a container of some sort so that lose items are not floating around and getting in the way.
  • Place high use items up front so they are easy to locate


With the Holidays quickly approaching I needed to get this organized so I could free up some space for all the extra food and supplies we will have around the house, so it was time!  


AAaaahhhh, I feel MUCH better now and it all started with a trip to Costco!!! :)

Jennifer


For more organization tips check out how we organized our garage.