Let’s Look: My Pantry

Good morning!

This week has an extra blog post because I’m once again linking up with Shay and Erika for their monthly “Let’s Look” post. These posts are always a fun way to look at a little piece of life (past months have discussed cozy spots, favorite books, and family) and this month’s topic is something I honestly never in a million years thought I would blog about.

Let's Look

So let’s look at . . . my pantry!

Yep, today’s topic is all about pantries and so I’m going to share a little peek into mine.

Our pantry is conveniently located between our fridge and laundry room entrance. I keep my aprons on a hook on the inside of the door for easy access when I’m baking.

I read a book last year that was trying to help women simplify and organize their lives, and the author encouraged the reader to not worry about pretty labels, matching containers, making your pantry all look amazing . . . and yet the picture on the very next page was a picture of gorgeous open shelving with pretty labels, matching containers, and neat little bins that had just the right amount of matching food stored in it. I mean, I’m all for pretty pantries (and if that’s your thing, absolutely go for it!), but talk about mixed messages from the book! This is one instance where I take to heart something frequently mentioned on the “Happier” podcast: don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. My pantry could be prettier and probably better organized, but really the space just needs to help me get through the day and feed my family with as little stress and frustration as possible. Things need to be easy to find and access, so I make that happen as best I can with the space I have and don’t stress further over the space.  Today you’re getting my a glimpse at my very practical, functional, and un-Pinterest-like pantry. This is my unfiltered, real life storage solution and I’m going to take you through shelf by shelf.

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The bottom two shelves are pretty unexciting. The very bottom is where I keep extra canned goods and large bulk items that don’t fit anywhere else, as well as small tote bages and lunch boxes. The next shelf up is where I keep paper products: plates, cups, napkins, extra food storage containers for taking food to friends, etc. Also I have syrup and flour here because that’s where they fit right now – ha!

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The next shelf up is basically divided in thirds. The left side is all LJ’s food: applesauce pouches, freeze dried fruit, little bars he likes, basically any of his snacks. The middle container holds snacks for Justin and I: extra granola bars, chips, Rx butter, etc and we keep fruit snacks, popcorn, and bread here too. The far right stores grains: rice, quinoa, couscous, etc.

The next shelf is right at my eye level and stores the most frequently used items. We keep all our nut butters, crackers, granola bars, cereal, and oatmeal right in front because I’m reaching for those items almost daily. Behind all these items I have inserted a small shelf and I keep small items like honey and infrequently used spices on top and canned goods like soups and beans underneath. The right side holds all our things like mac and cheese, various pasta noodles, and sauces.

The next shelf holds all my baking items. Most frequently used items like oils and oats are in front, and less frequent items like specialty flours and other powders are stored behind on a turntable.  The turntable is a must because the shelf is slightly above my eye level so the easiest way to reach things in the back is just turn the table and they come forward to within my reach. This also keeps things from just getting shoved in the back and forgotten about. I do have to keep flour, sugar, and brown sugar in containers along the right side which is a little annoying because I have to take a lot of the other things out to reach the flour in back, but it’s really the only way everything fits and I just deal with it.

The very top shelf holds all our bagged snacks like goldfish, pita chips, tortilla chips, etc. Behind the bags I’ve inserted another shelf; on top are extras of items we frequently go through like ketchup and applesauce and beneath I keep all my mom’s yummy homemade salsa. I do have to use a little step ladder that I store nearby to reach the items behind the bags when it’s time for more olive oil or whatever.

And that’s my pantry! Not the most glamorous space in the house, but it’s perfectly functional and does its job well. If I could wave a magic wand and change the way the shelves were laid out, I would make them longer and not as deep so I don’t have to remove items to reach stuff in back, but I’m happy with how we make do with what we have. Are there any great tricks you use when organizing your pantry?

 

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