This summer I took it upon myself to finally organize my pantry closets and one troublesome cabinet in my kitchen to finally make them workable for me. This can sometimes be a problem for many people and I simply needed to get this done. After watching many organizing videos I came to this solution. It works for me and I hope you find it to be helpful if you have a similar situation. Who knew the answer would be shoe boxes?
I don't know about you but I know where everything is but do not really appear to be that organized. When Rick asks me where something is, I can put my hands on it in quick time, but when it comes to the pantry closets, I am a mess. These get stuffed full and things get pushed back and when I can't find something I buy another because the thought of tearing everything out of there is just too much.
We have all done this. I remember my mom doing similar things and once a year removing everything cleaning out the old. Wiping down the shelves and placing things back in. So I continue the cycle. But that stops now. I will no longer be the "Queen of Shove". That is what Rick has called me for years. Not only am I good at finding a bargain, but I am good at squirreling it away.
I thought I would give the shoe box method a try. This involves several clear plastic shoe boxes that I purchased in bulk at the big box store. In total I think I used about 2 dozen of them. I had to get creative and categorize the groceries. These pantrys are for dry goods not canned goods which are kept in another spot in my kitchen. I still need to go at these with a label maker.
Breaking down the minutia was the task I found to be the hardest. When doing this generalizing can be tricky. Do I put the Asian noodles with the pasta or with the Asian ingredients? This is where the long process got longer.
In the end, I now have really lovely organized pantry closets. I can lay my hands on what I need, when I need it and can simply pull out the box I need, grab the ingredient I want and put the box back on the shelf. This system prevents things from getting shoved to the back of the cabinet. It also helps you to clearly see what is there. Inventory is a breeze.
I also used a similar approach in the cabinet next to my stove. The one I reach into daily for things like spices, salt, vanilla, and all the things you need to make breakfast, lunch and dinner. I found some boxes that would easily fit in my cabinet. This was not easy. I had to take measurements and then go to the store with a ruler. My cabinets are circa 1968. They were not made for storage. They are very shallow and really very user unfriendly. So we make due with what we have and we make it work for us. This works for me now.
Because I am short, being able to pull the boxes down and then grab what I need is awesome. Then I can simply slip the box back on the shelf. I don't need to get on a chair or a stool trying to find the bottle, jar or box that has made it's way to the back and can't be found. This way everything is in the box and I can wash the box out. I am also forced to be choosy about what goes in the box.
This system still needs work, but for now it is working very well. I have already tweaked it so that the one shelf is all the baking needs like sugar, flour and brown and powdered sugar. With the holidays I know this will be a great help, because I can see what I have at a glance.
I hope this is helpful to some of you who may suffer from the same problem I do. Being the "Queen of Shove" is a hard job and you know what they say. Heavy is the head that wears the crown. I really don't want to wear that crown anymore!
GIve this a try and see if it works for you!
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