Taming The Chaos

Right before Thanksgiving break, I finally decided to break down and clean out my pantry.  My pantry had been bugging me for ages, but with the huge cooking task of turkey dinner looming, I decided enough was enough and cleaned up my act.

Here are a few shots of how my pantry looks now:

To get my pantry looking like this, I had to do a lot of work.  I...
Took out every single thing in my pantry.Sorted things into three categories: keep, toss, or donate.Moved all the keep items onto my dining room table to be dealt with later. Emptied out and recycled what I could from the toss pile.  We ended up with about 3+ bags of trash thanks to my pantry clean out! Bagged up my donation items and searched for places to donate.Cleaned out every shelf.Lined each shelf.Reorganized where my keepers would go.I can't believe how much crap I had in my pantry.  There were opened bags of cookies, cans that expired in 2007(!?!), and things I don't remember buying shoved into the murky depths of my too-deep pantry.  It amazing how many boxes of pasta and cans of refried beans I have stashed away...and I have no idea what that says about me as a person.

I used to have all my canned goods on the top shelf, but have now come to the realization that that was madness.  Canned goods are now lower, just below eye-level so I can better see what's in there.  Pasta and grains have been moved to the top, with baking goods just below them followed by canned goods, then snacks, then cookies, then miscellaneous junk that has no better place to go.

I'm hoping to keep the pantry organized, but we'll see how long it lasts.  Pantries can be scary places, but for now, I'm happy that I've tamed the chaos!