Thursday, September 2, 2010

De-cluttering the pantry

Over the past few months, Mr. Q and I have made some great de-cluttering progress. It's just one of the things that having older children can do for you - you can dash around and actually do stuff while they are playing.

When my parents were here a few months ago, I convinced my mom to sit with me in the basement while I worked on my pantry. The floor space in our kitchen is about 16 square feet, the entirety of the kitchen is maybe 50 square feet, so I use a basement wall as a pantry. While I was trying to de-clutter the pantry wall in general, I was specifically focusing on this space towards the left that had canned goods and baking supplies all just crammed in there.

I forgot to take a before picture, so this is actually an in-progress picture. But you get the idea.

I did this as I was reading Unclutter Your Life in One Week and The Tightwad Gazette . As I've mentioned before, reading those two books together was TOTALLY inspirational. One of the suggestions that Ms. Doland from Unclutter makes is that when you are de-cluttering you should take everything out of the space you are working on and spread it out on a table.
I found I have a lot of expired things. Nobody on freecyle wanted them (imagine that) , so I threw them out.
I found I have a lot of things for a recipe I was going to make one time but then I never did. I also found things that I bought that were on sale, thinking they were good staples and I should have them on hand. This would be reasonable for staples that I actually used. A staple, by definition, is something that you actually know you will UTILIZE on a regular basis. NOT something that you maybe could find a use for one day.

There are some people in my life who make fun of me because of cake mixes. I cannot imagine why that is. (It's because I have a lot of cake mix in my pantry and one time they were 10 for $10 so I bought 10. Mr. Quimby was annoyed, I realized my mistake and so I made up a reason to justify my purchase. I said that I was going to bake several cakes for the pre-school bake sale. See, I thought it was a "once a year" type sale. It wasn't. They are 10 for $10 every 6-8 weeks or so). You can see here that I've seriously cut down on my cake mix inventory, although I have bought a couple more since this photo was taken. Our kitchen is so small, that it's really impractical to haul out the stand mixer and sift flour and all that every time I want to bake something. So I use cake mix as a foundation for most of my baking (and yes, I substitute butter and milk for oil and water to get a less packaged taste, just like Elaine has taught me).

Canned goods are now nicely organized. I will actually use all these within a few months. I replace them as soon as I use them, for they are part of my food storage reserves.

Man, if I could actually write funny like Stimey does, perhaps I could do a guest post on the Junk Pyramid !


Stimey said...

It's so funny that you mention the Junk Pyramid, because it's coming back NEXT WEEK! And you can guest post literally any time you want to.

Great job on the pantry! Food is hard because there's always the possibility you will use what is in there and it's sad to throw/give away food. Good for you!

Sarah Wofford said...

We don't make fun of you for having an extraordinary amount of cake mixes, I'm just sayin' I want to be at your house when the power is off for 10 days or it is the end of the world.

Anonymous said...

Nice work!

But tell me ... what is the substitution that we should be using? How much butter vs how much oil, for instance? (I'm more of a cookie-r than a cake-r.)

And you totally should post on Junk Pyramid!

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