Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pantry Organizing Tips

I love organizing. I really mean that. Better stated, I love having things organized. When the house is in order, and everything is tidy I feel less stressed. Seriously. It’s more effective for me than meditation ;)

I blame my mom for this – the Tupperware Lady J She was seriously a Tupperware Lady at one point and I still have nightmares of putting away all the groceries into Tupperware containers. I always found it particularly silly to put cereal into Tupperware, especially since we seemed to go through it so quickly. (sorry Mom) Now I do love organization, but this seemed like just a little too much work for me.

So I found a happy middle ground with a little help from Ikea, and I am here to share this with you.

Tip #1
Sometimes, things just need a home: SAMLA plastic bins

The bottom of my pantry cabinet was used for baking items: all kinds of flours, sugars, powders, dried fruit, chocolate….you get the picture. It seemed like I could never find anything and it just plain stressed me out. I guess I left it this way for so long because I had it in my mind that we would move soon, and in the new house I would have a proper pantry, allowing me greater organization power. However, it dawned on me that it still could be a while before we moved, and I simply couldn’t wait that long to have things more “zen” in my cupboard. SO….I went to Ikea and purchased a bunch of plastic SAMLA bins of varying sizes and went to work. I have been looking around for bins to use, and quite honestly, Ikea is the cheapest of them all.
Here’s a general idea of how it ended up looking.

a)      don’t put canned goods in any bins – it’s simply too heavy to pull out/down
b)      buy the clear bins so you can see (without pulling them down) what’s in them.

Tip #2
Clip It

This next tip (oddly enough) also has to do with Ikea. Specifically, the clips you can buy. I like to know when a package is opened, and how fresh it is. This is sometimes hard to do without making a label, so what I do is use a dry-erase marker on the clip to write the date. When you're done with, simply wipe it off with a damp cloth. Works like a charm.

Tip #3
Toss It & Re-Think your Costco Trips

If you haven't used it in the last little while OR it's simply expired - dump it! (And then recycle the container if you can....just saying) ;) 

I’ll write more about Costco trips soon, but for now all I will say is that when I cleaned out and organized this cupboard recently, I threw away a LOT of things. It bothers me to throw out so many things, so I was again reminded that more times than not, buying MORE does not necessarily mean savings. If it’s priced as such, it may be unarguably cheaper per unit to buy two rather than one, but if you end up having to throw away an entire unit because it’s old or past the due date, than it really isn’t cheaper at all. In fact, it’s a lot more expensive. Keep that in mind next time you buy “bigger”.

That’s it for today friends. Happy Organizing!

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