January Housekeeping Goals – Pantry

Hey friends. January is one of my favorite months. Like most, I look forward to a new year full of possibilities. I also like the first of each month, and Mondays, for the same reasons! This year, I am determined to get more organized, and (fingers crossed) keep it that way.

One area that I needed to pay particular attention to was my pantry in my kitchen. Little more than a glorified broom closet with shelves added, my pantry is the only real food storage area in my kitchen. The shelves are too deep to be practical, and the closet is too narrow to be organized in a way that would make the most sense. Alas, I am working with what I have until I can expand it.

I used to keep a rather organized pantry. When I lived alone, it was easy to stay on top of it, because what else did I have to do on a random Tuesday night at 9:30p? Nothing. Unless I went to the gym, which I actually did a lot, now that I think of it. Anyway, living alone and cooking for 1 meant that the pantry was almost always organized. Fast forward to last summer, and the addition of 5 more people living with me (SO’s sister was here for the summer, as well as his 3 kids), and my pantry quickly got out of hand. I was too busy (lazy?! tired!!) to keep it organized. I would root around in there to pull out what I needed to cook that day and leave it a mess. I would keep buying groceries and cramming stuff in there with little regard to putting things where they actually went. I knew it was OUT. OF. CONTROL.

Yesterday was the day. I had had enough!! I pulled out every single thing in the pantry, wiped down all the shelving. Took out some of the extra shelves up top that were impractical because it made the shelf too deep and I couldn’t reach the back. I made a written inventory of every single thing in the pantry. Yes, I have 11 cans of green beans, but only 1 can of mushrooms. It took hours. But you know what? It was worth it. My pantry is now organized again. I know exactly what’s in there, what I need to put on the shopping list, and I truly believe dinnertime will be a lot smoother now that I can see what I’m working with.

I think I will put organizing the pantry on my weekly housekeeping schedule so that it doesn’t get out of hand like it was. I figure a quick 10 minute tidy every week will keep things in place and allow me to take a quick inventory of anything I may need. Someday I’d like to expand the pantry and make it a few feet wider, which would provide a ton more space to keep things organized, but for now I’ll work with what I have and hope for the best.

What’s your best pantry organization tips?

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