My pantry is a living nightmare of crap. I have collected spices that I’m certain are older than my youngest brother (he’s fifteen). And I’m pretty sure I found several spice jars I’ve had since college, which was an alarmingly long time ago. January seems to be the best time to get rid of things, so I decided it was time to finally tackle the pantry. These may not be my best photo moments. I had a light go out in the pantry that needs to be repaired, and I went to Home Depot three times. It’s still not fixed, but it’s more about the journey than how great my photos are.
The other kicker is, my pantry doesn’t have a door, which makes many people shudder. We bought the house from a little old lady, and I remember the moment we pulled the plastic accordion door off and shed a tear when I saw all the little markings of grandchildren’s heights. It’s a special space for me, especially as an avid home cook and blogger. If everything looks presentable, who needs a door! Plus, it’s much easier to get to everything I need without one. The kitchen is what Sam refers to as my “office.” I like to think of it more as a temple, where ideally everything would not be falling out of cupboards. But that’s not reality my friends. I had to do something about it.
Here’s the before.
It’s bad people. I have random paper bags piled in the right corner. On the shelving unit I have swiffer wet jet fluid next to a waffle cone maker next to a tablecloth. Classy. Then at the top is all the stuff I never use.
The cans were a big problem. I buy tons of canned goods, but I always ended up stacking them really haphazardly or putting cans anywhere possible. I bought one of these stands for my the cans in my pantry, and it’s a lifesaver.
I labeled each area with washi tape. It helps me to keep my organization in check. I have an area for pasta, grains, tea/coffee, vinegars/sauces, baking, canned, spices, bulk oils and vinegars (at the top), and a whole section for different types of flour.
The biggest eyesore in my mind was the spice jar area. If I could just tackle that and put them all in like containers, things would already be better. I picked out these spice jars online and put all my spices in matching jars. Below, I kept a boxed up reserve of spices that were extra or infrequently used. I had so many spices I had multiples of several spices…
I also put my more frequently used spices on the shelf above the stove so I can access them easily.
Yes, I alphabetized them. I don’t have one of those racks where you can see what’s in the back row, but I’m definitely getting one of them soon.
I also have a basket for snacks now, to keep them organized.
I actually didn’t show the shelf where I have all my grains, because it was dark in that corner… but I keep all my grains in some mason jars that a friend gave me. I found new plastic lids for them, labeled them, and they’re the best thing to hold rice and beans in.
I feel great about my new space! I got rid of tons of expired items, and now I have plenty of room for everything when I go to the grocery. I’d love to hear if you makeover your pantry!