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I'm participating in a weekly challenge and link-up at Family, Faith, and Fridays. Our assignment this past week was to clean our pantry cupboards. Here are my "before" pictures:
Okay, not horrible, right? Disorganized and somewhat overstuffed, which is contributing to the pile of stuff on my counter, but I didn't feel like it was so bad that I couldn't even share the "before" pictures! Still, it definitely needed work. Since I didn't want to do the job all in one day, I took a look at the cupboards (and took pictures) and started thinking it through, and even discussed my tentative plan with my husband. And do you know - he had a brilliant idea that hadn't yet occurred to me... re-purpose one cupboard for bulk supplies, the kind that I'd been keeping on a shelf in the utility room up until now. So we started there. This cupboard is on the dining room side of the "peninsula" that separates the kitchen and dining room, and in the corner, so we'd been using it as a catch-all. The cupboard equivalent of a junk drawer, I guess. And the things we'd been catching in there did NOT need to be there. So out they went, to new homes or to the trash, and it is now the perfect place to keep a few cases of canned goods and some of the grocery items that I buy in bulk or multi-packs at the club store, so that I don't have to 1) keep two dozen cans of corn in my "handy" cupboard; or 2) go to the basement to hunt up the next can of corn every other day. I also found a boatload of paper plates and plastic cups and extra napkins so I figured it would probably be a good idea to corral them all in one place, so those got the bottom shelf.
Next I cleared out another lower cupboard that had previously housed cereals and an assortment of dishes, and reorganized it to hold all the non-perishable breakfast foods and the snack foods. I'm expecting this to help us avoid keeping cereal boxes or tins of cookies and crackers on the counter like in the "before" picture. This cupboard is one that opens on both sides - kitchen and dining room - so cereals and cookies went on one side, and oatmeal, crackers and other snacks went on the other side.
The upper cupboards on either side of the stove were relatively easy - empty, wipe out, return the food but in a more organized way.
As a bonus, I gave this part of my counter a good cleaning too. I had briefly contemplated moving the breadbox out of my kitchen entirely, and moving some things around so I could keep bread in the cupboard. But y'know what? This breadbox is one of the things I have from my Grandma's kitchen and I love it, so it stayed. I like it even better now that I cleaned the random things out of the top section, so now it's back to doing its original job of holding bread.
Okay, the cupboards where I have baking supplies and the like. These were probably the most involved. I have two cupboards with all this stuff - you can see one of them in the "before" collage, top right corner. They
are were overstuffed, poorly organized, and had unrelated stuff jammed into them - like why did I put a box of garlic flatbread crackers in the same cupboard with cake mixes and baking chocolate? Goodness.
This one is right above the microwave, so I reorganized a bit to fit the microwave pots in the cupboard instead of on top of the microwave. Bonus!
This is the one that had the crackers and who-knows-what-else in it. Ta-da! Now it has BAKING supplies in it. And the measuring cups and spoons, which were jammed haphazardly into the other cupboard before and it was just frustrating to get at them.
For Week 3, we turn our attention to our kitchen cabinets and drawers! What a relief. Because when I reorganized my food cupboards, I put some of the dishes etc that I didn't have an immediate plan for on the counter, and promised myself that I wouldn't let it stay that way! For the details of the assignment, go to Family, Faith, and Fridays. Join in if you haven't already, and check back next week for our progress!
Well, I'm done for now, and it's time for a well-deserved coffee break!
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