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Sunday, January 29, 2012

When Enough Is Enough - My Pantry Challenge

My pantry, it's a problem... Not the actual pantry, just the contents of the pantry. One of the things I like the best about this house is the storage... there's a lot of it, and the pantry is pretty good example of that. In fact, I can remember when I first moved in, I didn't even know what to do with it all. I had come from an apartment where my "pantry" was pretty much just a floor length cabinet about 12" wide, so this was a major upgrade for me. Well flash forward  about 4.5 years and I've figured out how to fill it to the brim! Between my stockpiling and my general "just put it in the pantry way of living", I've managed to stock it full of ... stuff... Not that it's not all good stuff. It's good stuff, stuff that I'm going to use (one day). But when is it enough stuff?

I think when it looks like this... This seems to be enough.
In fact, I think I've had enough. 
I know, I know, it doesn't look that bad. Well, you haven't seen the whole thing, and you don't know what's lurking inside. 

Allow me to give you a tour. We'll start on the left side as you enter. 

The top shelf is baking equipment. This includes the electric griddle that is used to make pancakes and things for baking like cookie cutters, food coloring, sprinkles and the like. 
The middle shelf is the baking supplies area. These things are flour, sugar, chocolate chips (and many other assortments of chips) marshmallows, and powdered sugar. Additionally, the carousel on the left has jars and boxes of extra seasoning mixes that do not fit in my spice rack on the wall in the kitchen.
The third shelf in this picture is basically the condiments shelf. This is where all my vinegars (which there are many), syrups, and sauces are stored. Also the little area in the corner is where my "bar" is. Right now, this is a half bottle of grape vodka (whaaatttt??) and a tiny bottle of orange vodka. See I told you this pantry is  a hot mess. 
I don't mean to eliminate this area of the pantry. Most of these things are staples that I like to have on hand.  But perhaps it does need to be organized... That might have to be another post.

Below these three shelves is this:

The top shelf has hot coca and other drink mixes, and the bottom shelf is my "stockpile section". This is where I stockpile things that I go through often, like coffee, coffee filters, garbage bags, and foil. On the floor is my onion/potato storage bins, my margarita stand (the goblets and pitcher are on the shelf above, and a crate of wine (I know).

Let's move to the middle section of the pantry shall we?

The top shelf is my stockpile of paper products (napkins and paper towels).
The next shelf houses things in boxes like crackers, breakfast bars, and granola bars. Next to that are the chips. 
The bottom shelf in this picture stores pasta, taco shells, couscous, and rice. This is one area that I've targeted for my pantry challenge. 

Below this we have the bottom middle section:

 This is also another "problem area". The first shelf is the canned good / jar area. And I have many as you can see. 
And the bottom shelf has drinks. I really don't know why I have all those cans of pop. It's a problem, it really is. And the Bud Light Lime? Yeah, that's left over from a party that I had OVER A YEAR AGO. Stop judging me!!     STOP!!
On the floor is my kitchenaid mixer and a bag of food for the food pantry. 

Next is the right side of the pantry, so here we go:

The top is where I have housed my take and go baking containers... one for cakes and pies and one for cupcakes. Next to that is my lunchbox, and next to that is a bunch of other stuff that's not shown in this photo (like wine bottle carriers).
The next shelf down is the breakfast cereal area and the dog food/treat area. Unfortunately the dog food and treat area has taken over the right side completely on this particular shelf.

And below this:

To the right of the cans is my cookbook collection.
Below that are my grilling tools.
And on the floor are Six... SIX gallons of water and a case of Dr. Pepper. The gallons of water may or may not be as old as 2007. Okay, I admit it, they are. Again, stop with the judgement. 

So as you can see, I really have a problem here. So I'm instating what I call the FOOD PANTRY CHALLENGE. This is very serious challenge which means, I am going to try to use up the food I already have in my pantry and in my freezer, instead of buying new (oh, the freezer, we're not even going there, but just imagine the cold version of this pantry) . I am also going to do my best to try to hold off on stockpiling until I feel a severe dent has been made. And lastly, the end result (and the treat for my efforts) is going to be a pantry re-organization including pretty bins and boxes to tidy everything up. 
I will do my part to share my results, stories and successes. Please comment to this post if you have any tips or stories of your own.
Let's start... now. 

Peace, Love, and expired canned goods,


Jaime said...

Your pantry is NOTHING compared to the gross, unorganized disaster lurking in my pantry. I'm going to try girl, I'm going to try :)

EEMOE said...

How's it going now?? I have one thing to say.... the Container Store....per-i-od.