What we learned from our pantry makeover-Before and After “The Purge”
Have you ever opened up a home and garden magazine, to oooh and ahhh over the perfectly organized, and spotless rooms, and think to yourself, “yeah, I wish!” Or “this is only for people without children, or people with a live in maid.” Well I am here to erase those thoughts from your head right now, and show you that it can be done, even if you have children, or an overly scheduled life. You are going to have to schedule in the time to purge your clutter, but believe me, it’s totally worth it in the end.
It all began one evening, when I headed into my kitchen to make dinner for the family. I was tired, and my brain was drained from having to tap into my creativity all day long. If you work in a creative field, (hello artists and designers!) then you know exactly what I mean when I say tired. You don’t want to have to overthink anything…you just want to be able to quickly walk into your kitchen, and whip up a simple healthy meal, without any fuss. I sauntered over to the pantry, and while flicking on the light, I stumbled over a hard object. This is what I saw before me…
I gasped in horror. How in the heck could we let our pantry get into such a state?! I became both angry and sad at the same time. I was angry because I’m not the only person living in this house, therefore, I’m sure others were noticing this, yet not saying, or doing anything about it. I was sad because clearly, my family has become way too busy to care for our home. What was life coming to? Something had to be done. This is so not me….and not a way to life peacefully.
Searching for zen…
It was then I began reading up on “decluttering your life” and “how to create a zen home”. I knew I was not the only person in my house feeling completely stressed out, and it was time for us to make some changes. In my online searching I came across several awesome suggestions, and a great book.
My entire family was so on board to make some changes, and we sat and planned out a strategy on how and where to begin. Of course we decided to start off with the scary pantry.
My husband and I headed to Costco for our normal shopping trip. The universe must have been on our side, because the very containers I was looking for, were on sale!! We decided to get two sets. Normally a set of 10 of these containers costs approximately 99.00. We purchased ours for 50.00 each!
We needed to be able to mark the contents and expiration dates of the food we would be storing in our new storage containers, so we ordered these chalkboard labels and erasable markers from Amazon. If the items you place into your containers are something you don’t use always, and have the cooking instructions memorized, then I suggest keeping a file on your computer with photos of the instructions on it. If you use my fitness pal, add these items into “my foods” so you always have them there as well.
To purge the pantry, we removed everything from it. As we took each item out, we checked its freshness level, and also the expiration date. Once everything was removed, we wiped everything down, and vacuumed thoroughly. The items we were keeping were then transferred to their proper containers and marked. We also added bins for “sweet” and “savory” snack items, as well as bins for “Miscellaneous” and “Overflow” for extra food that wouldn’t fit in the containers. We even have bins for beverages and potatoes.
What we learned from our pantry purge…
Here are the takeaways from this whole pantry purge experience…
- Check the dates of your pantry items on a regular basis. We threw away some items that expired in 2013!!
- It is best to always keep your pantry in order, so you never buy more food than you actually need. By removing items from the original packaging, we were able to free up space, and actually see what we have!
- YOU ARE NEVER TOO BUSY TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR HOME! Schedule time to tidy up, just like you would make an appointment to see the dentist, or meeting at work.
- Use up what you have. Wasted food is wasted money. We are so lucky to live where we do, and have the luxury of such food choices. To waste food is just plain disrespectful to me. I just can’t do it. Google “the impact of eating less” and see what comes up. The less we consume, the better off our planet is.
- Buy pantry dry goods in bulk, and only purchase what you need. Don’t forget to write down expiration dates!
- A zen home, is a healthy and happy home. We all deserve a little peace in our lives. NEVER be made to feel guilty for taking time to make things better in your world. We are more productive when our lives are in order.
As you can see, there is hope for all of the “busy over scheduled” people out there. If we can do it, then so can you! I feel so much better now that our pantry is clean and organized. Next up…the breakfast nook, and our guest room/office!
Until next time,