Friday, January 17, 2014

:: Pantry Findings- Part 1 ::

..."Saving Money with an organized clutter free Pantry" 

For the new year, I made a list of things I wanted to see happen in and around my home in 2014—one of those ‘Inside-the-home-items’ on the list was
Several of my readers asked that I would show how I go about meeting my goals for the year.  I can’t promise it will be riveting or have you sitting on the edge of your seat—but you might find a tip or two for meeting your own goals…
One thing I’ve done is bought a Day Planner for the year—I’ve divided-up my home like points on a map and each week of each month I PINPOINT THAT ROOM AS MY TARGET AREA.  I continue to maintain the rest of my home and duties…but I hit the TARGET AREA HARD AND HEAVY THAT WEEK.

This is the second full week of doing this…and my TARGET:  The Kitchen  FOCUS: RE-Organizing

I HAD thought I wanted to ADD  a piece of furniture to the kitchen to serve as standing cupboard as Pantry.  Fitting another piece of furniture into my ‘unfitted- kitchen’ shouldn’t be too challenging as I only have ONE WALL of ‘built-ins’; and  most of my work stations are pieced in with various furnishings.

You can see my pinterest board on UnFitted Kitchens  HERE @ :: FREESTANDING AND UNFit ::
I will tell you—it took years before I found JOY in this type of set up. Many years I longed for a perfect kitchen…but then I realized I already had one.  I can make my kitchen however;  just by moving things around.  It’s perfect and I’m loving my kitchen more and more all the time!

So onto the Pantry Saga::

I make no excuse for this blurry picture- this is just some of the contents I began cleaning out on Sunday.
Finding Pantry Space-the clean out
It’s just lots of baking items, seasonings, canning parts and organizing tools.
I found 4 …yes, FOUR! opened containers of Cocoa in my cupboard; and the red basket is actually 2- one is stacked inside the other. (I bought those 27 years ago…I know because they were used to hold nursery items in my oldest daughters room)  I’ve always  had an organized streak—it ebbs and flows, I guess.
I emptied 3 or the Cocoa’s  into one container. The last one was almost full and was placed back into my cabinet as over flow. For now.

Finding Pantry Space left cupboard
I made Homemade Baking mix and have the ingredients for more on the top shelf behind this door.
The hanging basket has un opened packages of pasta that would not fit…
here in my newly REPURPOSED CANISTERS.
pasta canister and busters cookies
I’ve had those 3 wall mounted canisters for years and have used them for Hot chocolate mixes, extra condiments for eating out, spare tea bags… Not anymore. 
I took all the pasta out of the packaging and filled the canisters with them.  Now I can see when I need to restock the pasta—and they’re Pretty! 
Basically, behind each of these doors I incorporated free CLEAR containers---lots of recycling. I’m visual so seeing the level of these contents at a glance will help me in knowing when to purchase more. 
Behind the second/middle door.
Finding Pantry Space middle cupboard
The soda bottles on top hold an assortment of beans and a bottle of rice. More organizing tools,  I found a small ‘lazy susan’ IN THIS CABINET; standing on its side inside another red basket.  Well… I’m using it now!
Finding Pantry Space right cupboard
The last door—holds cookbooks and a recipe file box on the bottom shelf. Middle shelf  has unopened spices that I bought when the grocer was going out of business the first of January; along with over-flow of other baking items I didn’t know I had!   Things like brown sugar, and 2  bags powder sugar, unopened Soy Sauce, etc. 
The plan is to use what I have before making anymore purchases and freeing up even more space. 
I currently have my slow cooker and large Crock pot on the top shelf.  I’m planning to move those in the next phase of the Pantry Saga.
I have a plan for re-arranging just about ever section of this kitchen.  I think it is going to eliminate the need to ADD any furniture for a pantry.  So, I’ll be marking that off the list.
Now look at that, just by doing some clearing out ( I threw away 1 whole trash bag full of packaging and wrappers)  I decided that if I had containers to store items—I should empty the contents of the packages and free up space.  It is so nice to open up my cupboards now, and see all that I have.
My Pantry Findings were
  • Space
  • Groceries, I didn’t know I had.
  • Eliminating the ‘need’ to spend money.
  • Checking an item off the list! Freeing up time to work on something else.
This month marks the 18th year to be living in here in our home. I’ve reorganized and cleaned and cleared out plenty of times.  But this is really, the first time—to revamp this part of my kitchen since the kids all moved out.  I’m looking at my kitchen with empty-nester eyes now…but keeping in mind that I do have my littles here day in and day out.  I have a new idea about how I want my kitchen to operate. 
Less is more.
the simpler the better.  Free is great! 
Don’t you love how a project starts out like it’s going to cost something; but in the end, you don’t have spend and you EVEN SAVE by reorganizing?  I feel like I’m winning!

FGFbloghop @ DJDH

From The Farm Blog Hop

Til next time, Be Blessed!

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.~ Joshua 1:9


NanaDiana said...

You did good, Pat. We are of like minds. I did the same thing this week- pantry and lower cupboards. Sadly, some stuff was so far past the expiration date that I tossed it out. Some went to the birds because they can't read!;>) xo Diana

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

We all probably need to remove everything in our cabinets every couple of years and reassess our needs! I probably had spices that were 27 years old- really. I finally took all of them out and threw away the old. Everyone laughs but I have a spreadsheet taped inside my cabinet door for spices (my husband loves to cook). I have numbered aluminum loaf pans with spices normally grouped as together for flavor. I label the spice jar to match the loaf pan #. Then my spreadsheets are alphabetical by spice and it's associated loaf pan#. Then there is another by loaf pan with which spice jars are stored in them. I always know where to look!

Diane said...

I usually follow your lead-- instead of buying a new shelf or bin, I get rid of stuff to eliminate that need. Better in the long run. Makes you feel better too!

Angel said...

I spotted those extra cocoa containers right away and thought, "Why do you have so much cocoa?" LOL I have utilized my shelf in the laundry room for years and it works really well letting me see everything that I have. The thing in the kitchen that kept my cupboards from being really useful was that cereal boxes just didn't fit in my upper cabinet. Always drove me crazy! So I got some clear containers for them, they weren't free but they were only $3 and I love that I can see the cereal and it fits the cabinet! It doesn't take much to make me happy. :)

Candy C. said...

Good job! I like using the clear containers so that you can see when things are running low. I laughed at your four open containters of cocoa, sounds like something I would do!! :)

Cecilia said...

I need to clean out my kitchen cabinets...but I'm focusing on my closet first...I'm a one organizing project at a time if I start something, I want to finish it. It takes awhile since I let things get, um, bad before I tackle them. :-/ thanks for sharing your process. Maybe I'll learn how to do it better!

A Daughter of the King said...

Oh I just love peeking into peoples cupboards! Well done, Pat!!!

karen@somewhatquirky said...

Nice job Pat! I guess I'm lucky - when I moved into this house 6 years ago the kitchen was so small I had to organize. I'm not sure it's obvious to anyone else but I know where everything goes and it has really helped me to not over-buy. I've been mulling over some more organizing changes for the kitchen but I can't decide which one to do first....

Echoes From the Hill said...

My favorite containers are pickle jars. I save medium to huge pickle jars, and spray paint the lids with Rust-Oleum. They are better than anything I can buy and free. The very large jars ( the ones that come with big dill pickles) are great for corn meal, old fashioned oats, or large quantities of anything. I also love the half gallon Ball canning jars. I lucked out and found five of them at Goodwill on a half-price day.

I love your stove! What is the story behind it?


Audrey said...

Great job Pat ... you are encouraging me to clean out my cabinets ... not especially groceries, but dishes. I have a cabinet of clear glass serving dishes/bowls and this Christmas, we had to take most everything out out to get to the ones we needed ... so the ones we don't need or especially love will be donated or put in a garage sale. I promise !!!
Thanks for the inspiration.
Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

Debbie Kay said...

Wow that looks amazing Pat....your work paid off. I chuckled where you said you had 4 open cans of too, hate that. Thank you for sharing your progress and inspiration.



Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

I really need to do a New year pantry cleaning. Come do mine.

Gail Wilson said...

You've been hard at work.... great job! Love the see-through containers. Are those pop bottles holding beans? really smart!
keep up the good work.

Melanie said...

Yes, you are winning and saving at the same time. It is good to do a project and find out that you didn't have to spend money.

Carla said...

A friend of mine got tired of hearing me complain about the frenzy going on in my cabinets so she went through and cleaned the spice and tea cabinets. There were spices in there that came over with the Mayflower! I knew I had a lot of tea and had to laugh when we pulled it all out and reorganized it. At least I can see everything now and gave all my duplicates to my Mom. Yes, I was buying spices I was pretty sure I had but I couldn't find them.

The other thing I wanted to mention is that I put a lazy susan in my fridge on the top shelf. Since I'm the opposite of tall, I can see everything on the shelf now. I've had that one about 6 years and would never do without it either.