Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I took the challenge and have an organized pantry

I’ve been known to take on a challenge or two.

There was the time my sister said she would pick up ‘free’ skates if I would re-do them for her.  I took that challenge.  Read about it here if you want to see what can be done with old skates and a few things I had around my apartment.

Oh, and there was the Christmas gift challenge.  On Thanksgiving another sister gave me a roll of Scotch tape and said it was for ‘her’ Christmas present.

I took that challenge and used the whole roll on her gift.

Seriously it takes a long time to use a whole roll of tape on one present.

I took a couple pics and a video of her opening it.

The video was over 7 minutes long. 

Yep, it took that long to open one gift.


I think my sister will be a bit more careful about what she says if she ever gives me a roll of tape again.  Right Betty??

My daughter had mentioned that she didn’t like the paper that I used to wrap this gift and some of hers because she couldn’t rip it. 

Hee Hee.


Now on to the real point of this post.

What challenge did I take on now?

I took on MaryAnn from Domestically Speaking and her challenge to clean out a closet.

Click below to join in on the organizing party where each week in January there is a new area to clean out and organize.

Domestically Speaking

I couldn’t decide on what I needed to work on more, my pantry/storage area or my linen/storage area.  Both need to be done but for now I’ll just show you my before and after of my pantry/linen closet.

(If you are faint of heart or going to judge me harshly don’t look.  You may never think of me the same again after you see my pantry/storage area and I want to save my dignity and for you to come back.)



Yep, definitely needs to be organized.

Since I live in an apartment, my storage can be a bit creative to say the least.

Notice the big black thing on the top left? 


Yep, suitcases in my pantry.


Halloween decorations on the top shelf and on the floor.


Who else has their Halloween decorations and suitcases in their pantry?

I’m probably the only one you know who does this.

But then again, for an apartment I think I have a rather large pantry so it can hold my food, my suitcases, some decorations and quite a bit of other miscellaneous items.

Tons of open and sometimes empty boxes. 

Empty boxes you ask….I’m not sure why,

but my daughter likes to leave empty boxes in the pantry.


Canned goods three high?

Time to clear it out.


I pulled out every thing shelf by shelf.

I looked at all the foods expiration date.

I couldn’t believe how much stuff I had that was past its expiration date.

That alone filled up a garbage bag, well truth be told more than one bag.

See, I told you not to look and read if you were going to harshly judge me.

Then I decided that I really can’t make my picky daughter eat some of the things I have bought so out with a few things that we probably won’t eat.

I didn’t take a picture of the trash but image a full garbage can and three, yes three Target bags with expired or open foods we aren’t going to finish.

I happened to ask for and get a tiered shelf for Christmas so I put that to use to hold my canned soups. 


Perfect to hold the soup cans that I didn’t discard.


Maybe now that they are much easier to see and grab we will eat more of them.

Nothing like a cup of warm soup on a cold winter day.

Look at this organized goodness.


Cans and packaged food arranged by type and date.

Hopefully no more expired foods in my pantry.


Yes, I seriously have 15 boxes of unopened cereal.

I see lots of rice crispies in our future.



I could still use a little help in the baking section but it will look better once I can store all of the powdered and brown sugar in the Tupperware containers I have.

For some reason I had two opened bags of powdered sugar.


I have three bags of holiday marshmallows – maybe I should make some rice crispies today and use up a bag.

I was able to open a bag of flour and put it in the almost empty container I had.  I did it after I put the flour in a bowl while I cleaned out the flour container.

See, I’m not all that bad.

I even put the oldest flour on top of the new flour I put in the container.

Top shelf – see the lack of suitcases??


I decided they need a new home.

They didn’t go far, they are now on the floor of pantry.


They will be much easier to get out the few times I year we use them.

For now they are hidden by a mirror that is waiting to be cleaned up and painted.


I was able to temporarily store a couple mirrors that were not in the pantry before.

They are some of my recent finds just waiting to be cleaned up made over.

Ah, the wonders of a new coat of spray paint.

I did take out a hanging file holder that still needs to be gone through and organized.  I’m fairly certain that I can condense it down to fit in other hanging file folders that I have.


Besides the file folder I do still have to drop off a few things I pulled out of the pantry at a local charity that responded to my freecycle offer.  If you’ve never heard of freecycle it is a great place to pass on items that you no longer need.  It’s like Craigslist but everything is free.

There are more than 4,000 local groups so there is certain to be on in your area.

You can check them out here to find a group near you.

I listed a few Tupperware containers and some food on freecycle and they were quickly snatched up and picked up yesterday.

I’m very happy with my ‘after’ pantry.

Rows of organization sorted into categories and in date order.


Just to remind you what I started with.

Before                               After

100_5344 100_5399

Ah, one thing off of my to do list.

Thank you Maryann.

I usually link to these fabulous parties:


  1. What a great redo! I really need to get my pantry organized. I have been thinking about it forever, but it seems so overwhelming! So thanks for the inspiration! I read recently somewhere to use suitcases as extra storage, thought that was a great idea!!

  2. Wow- sooo much better. I am in the process of organizing all my kitchen drawers--they were a mess! Looks great--good job!

  3. I worked on organizing my craft stuff today. I didn't get much accomplished. Your pantry on the other hand looks great!
    thanks for linking up and linking back!

  4. I'm so envious, my pantry needs a good cleaning and sorting. I've got stranger things that suitcases and Halloween decor, I can assure you :P.


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