So ... several snow days later I feel like I've run out of things to bake, photos to take and movies to watch (don't EVEN get me started on the Facebook factor).
Don't get me wrong, all-day pajamas, home-brewed coffee, talking to Kevin anytime I want and sleeping in are definitely bonuses of being at home and not at the office. I'm just starting to feel that 'cabin fever' everyone is talking about. I want to go to Target or Whole Foods or go driving around with Kevin somewhere we've never been or get Starbucks.
All that to say: today is the day I decided to clean out and reorganize my pantry. Unfortunately the whole 'cleaning out' part was pretty insignificant. I have kept all but two items as well as a single lid and a single container from our Tupperware collection - couldn't find their respective partners so they're going into the recycle bin. But the 'reorganization' part was a success.
I pulled together as many small-ish boxes and storage containers I could find and got to work. Of course I forgot to take a 'before' photo, but here are the after photos - these are the 'good ones' anyway since it looks a lot better now that it's been straightened up.
I still need to get some nicer storage containers - some of them are re-purposed shipping boxes (if you find the Amazon.com logo, you get a prize! ... joking ;) - but they sure work for now. I like categorizing everything so there is a bin for baking sugars and chocolate chips, grains and rices, etc.
Check out the results of my boredom!
Here is the overall photo ... I still feel like it looks jumbled but that's the nature of a pantry I suppose: all the boxes and jars look different and sort of cluttered.
And here the photos by-shelf (descriptions are from left to right) ...
Shelf #1: cookbooks; bar accessories (jigger, shakers, etc); liquors; spare cutlery set (it's a bamboo motif; fun for summertime)
Shelf #2: coffee, tea, and coffee mill (very far left - I couldn't get it in the picture); crackers; condiments (vinegars, jams, hot sauces, etc); storage bags, wraps, parchment and napkins.
NOTE: The bags that are NOT in a box are my recycled ones; I do this all the time whenever I use up whatever was in a bag. I wash them out with warm water and dish soap and then set them out to dry overnight; they are as good as new and it keeps me from buying quite as many bags.
Shelf #3: The canned shelf! Soups, beans, tomato products, etc. In the middle, syrup and honey ... oh, and cat food. ;)
Shelf #4: Mixes (onion soup, taco seasoning); dried fruits; candies and extra packets of salsas, etc; baking products like baking soda, powder, etc; corn meal; whole wheat flour; flour and sugar canisters.
Shelf #5: Dry pasta and prepared polenta; pasta sauces; oils; baking mixes (there's Paula again!); nuts; baking sugars and other dry ingredients (cocoa powder, powdered sugar, brown sugar, etc)
Shelf #6: Paper plates and wicker plate holders; drink mixes; travel mugs; water and Gatorade bottles (we use these on our bike rides); salad spinner and salad bowl.
Shelf #7 (aka 'the floor'): Rices, oatmeal, wheat germ, flax seeds, etc; storage lids; storage bases.
NOTE: Behind the lids is a small box of glass jars we have washed and repurposed; Kevin uses them for his homemade hot sauce, I use them for oil and vinegar for salads at the office, etc. Another great way to save resources!
I think I might take another pass through now that I know where everything is and pull some items that are still unopened that I want to get rid of. Maybe canned things that I have entirely too much, etc ... Also I read somewhere about people having 'pantry week' at their house. Instead of going out to eat or buying more groceries, prepare all of your meals out of your pantry as much as possible to try and clear some of the excess. Of course, I feel like you should still get fresh produce to have on hand ALL the time, but if you don't keep track of what is in your pantry it can get out of hand and you can end up with duplicates ... or like me, two unopened packages of golden raisins. ;)