Saturday, June 28, 2014

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Organizing the kitchen shelves

It is difficult to get enough light from this angle but this was the best I could do!
I'm feeling much better with only the occasional twitch of pain in my back.  Just enough of a reminder to 1) don't do anything silly, and 2) there is nothing that can't wait until the back has completely healed to do!

The pain was, however,  constant reminder of the organizing which started it all (I am convinced it was getting to those very tippy top shelves that did me in!) so I'm going to make lemonade out of lemons and share photos of the results!

I love my yellow "chimney pantry".  We inherited it and my brother-in-law took its' twin which has been refinished.  Do not ever touch mine!  I love the original chippy paint and my daughter has already claimed it when I go to my reward. She has warned her father not to even think of refinishing it.   ;)

But I digress.... I reorganize the yellow pantry a few times a year, one shelf in particular can become very messy and when objects kept falling out as I opened the door... it was time.

The shelf with the chocolate chips and such is the one that can have things pile up... and they were!  That is where I put the packages that are half full as well as a few that are unopened.  You get enough of the half full packages and they come... tumbling.  They look much better now.

Then as I was cleaning and reorganizing the yellow pantry, I realized a lot of the items used to decorate cakes and cupcakes were taking up prime pantry Real Estate and I rarely use them these days... they could be moved.  They were on that bottom shelf which now can hold a lot of other items, including the taller bags and bottles.

But it was that switch that started the kitchen cabinet project.  Of course, if you are going to change one shelf you may as well organize and change all of them.  Right?  Tell me you see my logic?

Yes, it is true... if you give a mouse a cookie.  ;)

The kitchen cabinets only needed minor tweaking but while I was at it, I looked at the dates on items that had been in both the yellow pantry and the cabinets for awhile.  I was shocked to find both boxes of liquid fruit pectin I planned to use soon were two years past their use by date!

I ended up tossing a few items and you know I use things past their due date by quite a bit.  But I'm not taking any chances going to all that work to make jam and have it not "take" because the pectin is that far past its' use by date.

Oh, the objects that started it all?  They are now in that white box (flat) on the very top shelf of the kitchen cabinets.  Ready to use perhaps once or twice a year and now their former shelf holds a lot of taller items. 

I wish I'd thought of this a couple years ago... how often we can make more space by just rethinking how we use it.


Vee said...

Prime Real Estate...something I think about often, yet seldom get around to adjusting until it is making me crazy. Why do I procrastinate so much? I should foogle that and see. =D

So glad that your back is feeling much better.

suzanne said...

kitchen cabinets do have that tendency, don't they,,to become cluttered and/or a landing place for bits of pkgs we don't know what to do with at the moment. I have an idea that involves inviting my two beautiful 13 yr old granddaughters to come and stay with their "nini" for a few days; in exchange for trips to the beach and pool, they will clean and organize my kitchen cabinets! fair trade, i say. :)

Bookie said...

Great pantry! Love the yellow. Isn't it amazing how things can get "lost" until they are outdated?

Rebecca said...

Glad to hear you're improving - and was inspired by your progress in organizing that incredibly sweet "chimney" :)

Mrs.Rabe said...

I organized the space under my kitchen sink today. What a mess, but now tidy as it can be!

I love your yellow chimney cupboard. Our first house built in the 1930's had the perfect spot for a chimney cupboard! I found a narrow bookcase to go there instead!


Mama Bear said...

Your lovely words made me smile as always! I really sorting out my kitchen shelves - the baking one is definitely always the worst! Oh the treasures that I find there! We live in a tiny wee apartment and over the years I have got very good at making the most of small spaces. It is surprising what you can squeeze in if you plan it carefully, isn't it? I think your pantry cupboard is perfect just as it is - the sunny yellow is so sweet and cheerful - like a burst of sunshine. It must make you extra happy to open the door and see those neat and tidy shelves now! I am glad to hear you are feeling better - be kind to yourself! Love, Ruby x

Prairie Patch Quilts said...

Great job on the reorganization of your pantry.

Terri Cheney said...

I lived in this house for nearly 12 years before I finally got my food storage set up properly. I was, after years of having no cabinet space and only a foot or two of counter top almost overwhelmed by all the space I had when we moved in. So I promptly filled it up and could never figure out why I could never find a thing. Over the past 5 years I've continued to refine my storage.

As for expired foods, I was shocked to find two items that were well beyond use by dates on my shelves and I inventory those at least once a quarter. I'm thinking I either missed the item or bought expired at the store!