Resolutionize: verb Enacting a mini revolution on your New Year’s Resolution. Small action with big impact.
That’s my pantry after I spent some time organizing it yesterday. It looks so much better (especially the floor) that every time the kids open it they comment on how neat it is now.
Here’s what it looked like before:
It had gotten pretty hard to find things. Or put them back in the right place, because there was no right place. We had taken to tossing cereal boxes in the bottom because they wouldn’t fit on the shelves. See how bad the floor was?
There were all kinds of things in there that didn’t belong. And the things that did belong were piled on top of each other. I cringed every time I opened the door.
The other area I tackled yesterday was my cabinet of plastic food storage containers.
Obviously, I’m no Organizing Junkie like Laura. But I do have a few tips to pass on to you, based on my efforts to organize my own mess.
1. Survey what’s working and what’s not.
For us, the biggest issues were the pantry floor and the cereal boxes. The cereal boxes were too tall for the shelf and we had half a million open boxes in there.
There were several problems with the plastic storage container cabinet. First, we’re lazy. If it’s not easy to put away, then we (and by “we” I mean “I”) would open the door and toss in the container. Our containers were also in pitiful shape. Most were 10 years old. Some were missing lids. They didn’t stack. And there was a growing supply of old butter and yogurt containers. I don’t like using those for food storage because you can’t see what’s in them. All the leftovers look alike and nothing gets eaten up.
2. Decide if you need to buy a few things to organize your space.
For the pantry, I decided to buy plastic containers to hold cereal. I wanted 4 decent sized ones. There are 6 of us and we like to eat cereal for snacks so I decided it was reasonable to have four different kinds open at a time. So far, this system is working fine.
I also bought a bin to keep potatoes an onions corralled in.
For the container cabinet, it was time to buy new. I chose a 40-piece set (20 containers and 20 lids). I also bought a new larger-sized container since 7-cup was the largest size that came with the set. I pitched all the old containers and lids, keeping only a few that were in decent shape. Now they all stack neatly and I can find things. Hopefully, that will help me stay neater.
3. Accept that organizing is an ongoing project.
This isn’t the first time I’ve tackled pantry organization and it probably won’t be the last either. I’ve already shared how I use an over-the-door shoe rack to store spices. And I showed you how I dealt with the problem of wire shelving.
Focus on one or two problems, live with the results for a while and then move to the next problem area.
Even though it may not stay this way forever, I’m enjoying the newly organized spaces. I love having a bit of empty space!
And no more containers spilling into the floor when I open the cabinet. I can find what I need!
What are your kitchen organizing tips?