Friday, January 16, 2015

Week 2 - The Pantry

Pantry organization
Where do you store your extra food? Do you have a shelf, a cabinet, a pantry? We are blessed to have 2 small pantries. One is a cabinet under the back stairs (which is cold all winter long,) and the other is  a narrow upright cabinet style one we purchased at Lowe's a few years ago when we had our kitchen updated. We also have a few kitchen cabinets. Whatever your storage methods, this week's cleaning challenge was to organize your pantry.

I was actually happy to see that this was the challenge for week 2 because Kurt and I had spent an afternoon near the end of December organizing our cabinets. I opened the door to the back pantry and most of it was still fairly organized, but a few things had been placed in the front in a hurry (probably because it's so cold back there.) Just a minute or two and it was neat again. We only keep cans and jars out here, because, well, in a 100+ year old house, I don't want to attract any critters to my food.  I will just say this once - I HATE mice!

pantry organization, Home Sweet Life blogThe one problem we've always had with this back cabinet is how dark it always was. While we've discussed options for lighting over the years, we never got around to it -- you know, old house - other repairs always came first. Then in December of 2013 Kurt's parents gifted us with these awesome anywhere lights. I promptly came home and installed one in the pantry. It has made it SO much easier to find things this past year!

The inside pantry was still ok, but I rearranged a few things because I knew I was planning to go shopping soon and wanted the most room available to put groceries away. This inside cabinet is for all the things we use regularly that don't belong somewhere else in the kitchen. It's a little, tiny kitchen, so we have to keep it organized to find anything. Every shelf in this pantry was assigned a purpose when we bought it. One shelf is for lunch boxes, one for bread, tea, and extra flour or sugar, one shelf for cereal keepers, one shelf for baking tools (cooling racks, pie pans, muffin tins,) and the main shelf for food. This main shelf is the one that needs attention the most often. Peanut butter and olive oil get stored here, along with anything I don't want to freeze in the back pantry. This storage area is easy to clean, and one giant box in shape, so there's no entry way for critters.  One of my favorite new things is kept here - popcorn oil. It turns a good bowl of popcorn into an excellent one!

pantry, Home Sweet Life Blog, 34 Weeks of cleaning

So how did you do on organizing your pantry this week? Hopefully getting it organized has given you some meal ideas. Did you find something you forgot you had? Fit it into your menu plan for next week. 

I wonder what week three's challenge will be?! 

Keep checking in with us each week. We plan to keep going - hopefully for all 34 weeks!

If you'd like to know how other bloggers did on organizing their pantries, click on over to Michele's blog and see all the link-ups. 


  1. Great job Carol! Thanks for linking up. I HATE mice too!! ;) We have been blessed with very small pantries in the past as well, always a challenge. Thanks for the reminder that staying organized is not just a one time deal- maintenance is important!

  2. Great job straightening up your shelves.

  3. Looks good. I finished mine and found a number of things that we need to eat as we don't have room.

  4. What kind of lights are those? That's cool having the colder space under the stairs. We don't have many nice nooks and crannies in this house. One thing that kind of bugs me. Oh well. Nice organizing of your goods :)