My big project for January, which I finished today (yes, I know it’s February), was organizing my pantry. I have previously mentioned the sorry state of disorganization of said pantry. Formerly a coat closet in the house design, my pantry isn’t that big, but it has served it’s purpose. While I did purge and organize from time to time, it frequently fell into disarray. This got worse with my healthy eating, as various and sundry bags of nuts, seeds, rice, and other grains would slip and slide as soon as we moved anything. Very often, it all tumbled off the shelf onto the floor.
Kris Carr, on her blog and in her books, talks about how she uses mason jars to store everything and that seemed like a really good idea. But where to put all those jars…? It was time to look for a creative way to “find” additional space somewhere in the house. David and I discussed a few options, but I finally decided to make use of my basically unused dining room. It’s right off the kitchen and is so seldom inhabited (everyone gathers around our 8′ kitchen island instead), it seemed ideal.
I searched for the right kind of shelves to add to the room and ultimately chose this cool piece from Overstock.com:
Last weekend I assembled the bookcase (yes, all by myself). It was pretty decent quality and all the holes actually lined up! I am grateful for my hubby providing a ratchet set to make the assembly easier, and much faster… Otherwise, I’d probably still be trying to screw things in with that silly little Allen wrench that came with in the package! The shelf can be placed “portrait” or “landscape” (to use some printing terms) and I opted for “landscape” to maximize shelf space.
Then it was on to the mason jars. I bought a variety of sizes at Target, and found a site on Pinterest that had free downloadable labels for the lids. (http://www.pinterest.com/pin/176977460329737221/)
This weekend I cleaned out the pantry, adding all the nuts, seeds, lentils, flour, etc., to jars and getting them labeled. It looks great, with room for expansion, and my pantry is more organized than its ever been. With fewer items in the pantry, it was easier to group items together and to actually determine what’s in there! No more buying ingredients I don’t need just because I can’t find them!
Here’s the finished project. In addition to the mason jars, I add some of my gadgetry that was clogging counter tops and/or was a pain to put away & get out (i.e., blades for the food processor, crock pot, and immersion blender).
By the way, I did pack up a slew of cook books that I will no longer use… anyone interested in taking some of them off my hands, let me know!
The Organization (1971) – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067535/