This challenge took me quite a bit of time to complete. In order to really clean these areas, I first had to take everything out of them, then clean, discard, and finally organize the items on the shelves. I was on my feet a lot, but it was worth it!
Although I am happy with the results and I think everything is in its proper area now, I still need further organization so it doesn’t all come crashing down like a house of cards when I start using it heavily. The main problem I see with the food pantry is that when I take out an item that’s toward the back, some of the other items fall over or shift. I think some clear separation bins would be helpful in both the food pantry and in the fridge. I’m going to see what the Simple Mom blog suggests – I’m sure she has figured this out!
One thing I did that I’m proud of is I took inventory of everything in my food pantry (as well as what’s in my cabinets above the stove and my spice cabinet). The purpose of this is so that I can print it out and put it in my kitchen drawer, then when I am looking at recipes, I will know exactly what I do and don’t have without looking for the actual items. Also, when I run out of an item, I can just circle it on my sheet and take it shopping with me. I’m sure I’ll be adding and subtracting from the list often, so each time I can just write it down or print out a new list.
I did not discard everything I should have. Especially in the closet with all the cleaning supplies, I didn’t take a close look at the bottles to see if the contents have expired or if the chemicals are just too harsh to use. I have a lot of Seventh Generation and Method products, but I still have several cleaners that make my eyes and throat hurt when I use them. Those need to go.
Here are my areas, before and after. The non-food pantry is looking a little bare, and that’s ok with me! (Click on the first photo to bring up the slideshow feature).