Monday, January 12, 2015

organization does not have to be perfect

There are many bloggers that offer up beautiful pantries.  Like this one:

or this one:


http://www.goodbyehousehellohome.com/2013/02/my-pantry-organized-you-may-not-be.html



I, by no means have a glamorous pantry. It is 5.5 x 6 feet and needs to be painted and the flooring did not make it to the back wall and I cannot find any more, not to mention the breaker box that is so so pretty.  It also double duties with a mud sink in the corner.

 However, I do have a very good idea of what is in it..and that is really the point of having any space organized.  It has been my experience in the past that disorganization can be a big waste. ... Of time and Money.  The amount of time you spend looking for something or the amount of money you spend buying something that you had however could not find ..really add up.  I am not sure about you but  when you start getting in my already shallow pockets I get annoyed.
Here are some basic do's and Don'ts of my pantry 101
1.  Anything that comes in a paper bag or is bulk and you will be storing, put it in an air tight container.  If you are buying bulk to save money then throwing it away because it went stale is not saving you as much money as you think.  (mental note..Consider your gas mileage to the bulk store.  Going 20 miles out of your way to save a buck or two on pasta is not that efficient)

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2.  Your containers do not have to match however need to be air tight and labeled.  It does not have to be a specialty label,  One that you drug out the die cutter to make in order to be effective.  I will cut the label from the original packaging and affix it to the storage container I am using. I like to do this for several reasons, to keep up with the brand it is, and its a small effort at recycling not to mention super quick.  

3.  Be consistent with your container (the same container every time for that ingredient) and put it back in the same spot.  That large square container has all purpose flour in it. It will always have all purpose flour in it and goes on the top shelf under the bracket.  

4.  I use lazy susans in the corners that are hard to see into and reach.  I store Oils, spices, and other items that I have small quantities of, because keeping them in bulk is not that great of an idea, due to shelf life and the amount of freshness you expect from these ingredients.  I find it easier to turn the lazy susan instead of moving around what you do not need to find what you need.  I just remember if it is a spice or oil it spins.  



5.  All can goods or normally on one shelf and sorted by type.  Ie all soups...fruits , beans ect ect....are next to each other.  Also I find it very helpful to put those grab and go things closest to the entry.  Cookies, peanut butter and oh yea the lemon cookie container is empty need to add that to my list.

6.  The top shelves are used for seasonal dishes, light bulbs, Canning supplies and extra blades to the processor. On the left over the mud sink are cleaners, paper towels and more storage and seasonal items. Cereal is also kept a little higher it is light and there is no need to store this in something else it will not be here long. 


7.  Small package items like mixes or those items that are stored in pouches are in a basket, as well as the small amount of plastic ware.  Also there is a snack basket for chips. A basket for the hand held blender and a basket for cup cake papers and  baking supplies.  The blender and the supplies I just pick up the whole basket and I have everything I need ...No walking back to get the chopper base or extra baking cups.



  8.  The floor under the shelves is where the recycle bins go as well as the step stool to reach up and dog food container.

Every thing has its place and is in plain sight is the key.  If you do not see it you  may  not remember that you have it. Nothing in my pantry is uniform, nothing has chalk labels or matching containers....Heck even the walls are three different colors.  BUT... the money I save on groceries from knowing what is in it and planning my meals I hope to put towards at least a gallon of paint and possible new floors.  Maybe one day......SIGH...

So glad that you stopped over I am off to start dinner....
Sheryl

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13 comments:

  1. Sheryl - it's SO nice to see someone who has it together and is really REAL! I am always inspired by the beautiful pictures and try so hard to make my pantry (or what I actually have, which is a mish-mash of spaces) look like the pics, but it never quite makes it. Thanks for being real and inspiring those of us who don't quite make the "House Beautiful" grade know it's okay!

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    1. Girl it is REAL every where here. So glad that you liked the post and hope that I have encouraged some to just work with what you got and make it work well. THank you again for stopping by! Be Real!

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  2. Seeing what you have in your pantry is the key. Space for a pantry is great. Visiting from Funky Junk Interiors.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by! and for the wonderful compliment! Love Funk Junk....

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  3. AWESOME! You are more organized than I will EVER be, pantry wise! I love your advice. I agree about losing the bags. So much easier to deal with and stays much cleaner.

    Well done and thank-you for sharing your pantry with us!

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    1. Love "Funky Junky Interiors" try not miss any post and thank you for letting us share. You rock gal!

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  4. Well how dare you NOT have matching storage containers that cost way more than the food you will keep in them! Geesh!
    Just joking! I so agree that it is so good to see REAL people with REAL storage areas that do not care to spend an outrageous amount of $$$ to make it all pretty! "Pretty" is great but I don't know too many gals that take me into their pantry when I go to visit and give me a "TADA" over their postcard perfect decorating!
    So, you are to be given 2 golden stars- One for practicality- which is being organized in a fashion that works for YOU and how you cook.
    2nd star for making your area as neat and clean and organized as possible! Ya "DONE GOOD" !

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    1. So you skip the pantry tour as well...(WINK). One thing we are here is real. Real life happens and that pantry is grand central with two teenagers in the house. That room is just too busy to have fluffy and frilly. However it works..it holds a lof of stuff and I can find it quickly...I am so glad a few gals read this post and saw the real factor. You have a wonderful evening and it has been so Nice to meet you. Sheryl

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  5. I also love looking at magazine worthy photos of homes but I also know that my budget and time doesn't all for it. What I do love is efficient use of space. Way to go on keeping your priorities the most important.

    I'm stopping by from funky junk.

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    1. Thank you Heidi I am so glad that you stopped by. And thank you for your lovely comment. Budget and Time are great motivators when it comes to using what you have. You take care. Sheryl

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  6. When organizing, don't purchase new containers to hold your containers! I think that's what many people do, then they fail to maintain the look, because it isn't real life. This goes for pantries, home offices and craft rooms, to name a few. You found what works for you. I will probably never get to see your pantry, not that it would be a place I NEED to see, but as long as it's serviceable enough for you to make dinner for us, we're good! I think Carol (above) said it best " REAL people with REAL storage areas"! Wonderful!

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  7. It is looking good, very neat, which is the goal. Great hints and tips! Thanks for linking up!

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  8. We live on a farm, surrounded by pastures and critters, and seem to be a "safe haven" (FAR TOO OFTEN) for any and every MOUSE that has eluded all the cats we have outside. We go through a lot of peppermint oil and cotton balls in our efforts to rid our pantry and closets of these trespassers, but they do eat MORE than their share. We have to mouse proof everything or they quickly claim anything they desire, or at least eliminate its chance of being consumed by humans. I would not dare to use baskets for bagged or boxed goods. I wash every can before opening, etc. We should have purchased stock in plastic containers many years ago! I wish I knew how to share our efforts wit anyone else having similar problems!

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