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21 June 2011

The Pantry (aka my dirty little secret).

My conversation with my mom Sunday night went something like this....

Me:  "I'm cleaning out my pantry.  I think I'm going to blog about it later this week."
Mom:  "Oh No!  You can't do that!  Your pantry is awful."
Me:  "I know.  That's why I'm cleaning it."
Mom:  "Well, you sure can't blog about it.  People will be disillusioned by you, they'll think you don't have it all together."

She can't help it.  She's just a good momma who wants others to think well of me.

For the record (and I hope most of you already know this)  I do not have it all together.  And that's OK.  Actually, it's more than OK, it's downright great.  I don't think I would want the pressure of having it all together.  I'm actually pretty comfortable being a big, hot mess of a work in progress. 

Back to the task at hand.  My horrible pantry.

Avert your eyes from the horror!
At my mom's begging request, I'm only going to show you the top of the pantry.
I have organized and reorganized this pantry more times than I care to count.  It always ends up the same way.  We live in an old house and the storage is sorely lacking.  I actually converted this from the back entry closet into my makeshift pantry. 

The answer to my lack of organization, I finally have decided, is a lack of shelving.  I decided that I would install wire shelving in the closet for our food. 

Then I remembered....
  1. I really don't have any extra money right now.
  2. I'm not that handy.
Solution:  Pre-made shelves that I had bought for both our school room and our outside storage building, affectionately known as the "Utt Hut".  I had an extra set that I wasn't using yet.  I could just swipe those and replace them after my next work day at UHC.  So smart. 

Step one is always the same - everything out. 
Then Ronnie busted down the rickety shelf and clothes rod.
Next, scrub a dub.  I washed down the walls with my favorite - Murphy's Oil Soap.  It's one of those smells from when I was growing up.  It just smells like clean.
Once it was clean & dry, Ronnie & I shoved arranged the shelves in the closet. 
Then it was simply a matter of grouping like items with like items. 
Ta Da!!  A mere four hours later and I'm done.  (Four hours!)

I think I like the shelves just as well as installed shelving.  I'm almost sure I couldn't have gotten them for the same price.  The shelving unit I used was only $59 from Sam's Club and holds 700 pounds per shelf.  With my mad handyman skills any shelves I installed would probably hold some paper plates and two packs of Kool Aid.  I'm pretty sure I'm better off this way.

Two baking shelves

Cereal & snack shelf
Black crates with cake decorating & party supplies
Top crate holds baggies, foil, ect.

Pasta/Box meals/Condiments top shelf 
Drinks and canning supplies on bottom.

Storage on back of door for pudding, jello, and packets/mixes.

My final task is to install a lock where little hands can't reach it.  This is the boys favorite closet.  They like to pretend it's an elevator/spaceship/superhero fortress.  This is a big reason it's a mess.

I'm really enjoying my 31 Days to Clean book.  Not only have I cleaned areas that really needed it, I'm also maintaining it.  I think day to day life tends to make us not see the "stuff" that lives all around us.  Even with last weeks sickness, I have a clean fridge, clean kitchen window - including curtains, clean cabinets, clean stove and now a clean pantry.  It feels great.

I hope I've inspired you to tackle your big dirty area.  Remember, perfection is not the goal.  My goal is to get past all my stuff to create a warm, comfortable environment for family and friends.

Day 7 down....24 to go......

I'm linking up with Raising Homemakers here. and Linda's Lunacy here. and Organizing Junkie here. and A Slob Comes Clean here. Check it out for more great homemaking ideas.


Rachel said...

great job! my husband and I are alwats having conversations about what I am going to blog about, lol!

Jeanne said...

Love to read your blog stories.

Jennifer said...

Sounds like a book I need. Way to go! The pantry looks great!

Charli said...

Thanks for the nice comments girls. Jennifer, I'm really enjoying this book. It's broken down into little chunks of projects that I can still do with the boys. And, it wasn't very much on Amazon.

Livin' In Duckville said...

Yeah, you!!!! Look at that pantry, it's beautiful!!! I too live in an old closet-less house (circa 1830)... We have ONE teeny, tiny closet that was original to the house... and you know why we have that 1 closet? Only because in it was the access door to a hidden room for the Underground Railroad. We have a room off our kitchen we affectionately call 'The Jam Room' (because you jam everything into it) That holds my pantry items & everything else we need to store.... it, ummm, shall we say, gets a little out of control.... I feel your pain...

Charli said...

The jam room, I like that. Old houses have great character....which is good because they have no storage!

Marsha S said...

You sure took on a huge project!! "You ain't seen nothin' yet" as the song goes, until you have seen my mother's pantry. Want to come help her clean hers out next?? No way to shut the door when stuff is hanging out of 2 feet.....and most of what is in there isn't even food...what food there is you can't see. Some of the stuff has been in there since my grandparents lived in the house--grandpa died in 1979 and the stuff was there before that.
Yes, my mother needs severe help.

Charli said...

Marsha, you made me laugh this morning! I feel better about my mess, at least it's all from the same decade.

Shannon said...

Wow! your pantry looks amazing! I'm very jealous. We live in a fairly new place and while it has closets, it is lacking in pantry space. I can't even take over a closet because none of them are anywhere near the kitchen! Great job and I love the shelving!

Charli said...

Thanks! I really like the shelves too, and they were simple to put together.

Anonymous said...

Tell your mom not to worry. I have a couple of slob daughters too! I think you did a great job!

Sue Rogers7 said...

Great job. I love that you don't pretend to have it all together. Thanks for keeping it real!

Hopewell said...

First tell your Mom we like you more for having had that horrible pantry [should have seen my old basement!!!] LOVE the new pantry--and how cool that you didn't go out and waste money on supplies! Great work!

Mollie said...

You did a great job! And looks challenging because of too messy.It seems your pantry has too much item, try pull out pantry unit install in your kitchen cabinet.