It was time for a pantry clean-out.
Summer, how I love thee. Summer, how you cause havoc in my home.
Actually, it was time for a whole-house clean-out. When things get crazy around here, it’s time to declutter. Some people might just call it “cleaning up” but it helps me to think of it as decluttering.
It’s the only way I know to get some traction going.
I started in the kitchen because it’s visible. It’s a place where people actually go. Where I can’t seem to keep them from going . . .
I’m not sure how these pictures are SO bad, but I’ll share anyway.
Now, if you know how I roll, you know that a pantry doesn’t technically count as a visible space. And I have to start with visible spaces or Doorbell Time comes and I’m not ready because the linen closet is organized but the living room furniture is loaded up with randomness.
BUT, in order to declutter the breakfast nook next to the pantry, I had to clear out space in the pantry.
So I did the easy stuff. And the first of the easy stuff was the trash.
Like the now-stale bags of chips and the wrapping from that Costco-sized pack of mac-and-cheese.
And the tea.
Ugh. The tea. That probably wasn’t even purchased with a coupon. I honestly don’t even know where it came from, but whoever put it there failed to see that it was supposed to be refrigerated. Since I don’t drink tea (my grown up taste-buds haven’t come in yet), I didn’t notice the bottles for a very long time. And once I did notice, I didn’t move them.
They’re gone now.
I also went through the pantry finding expired and empty boxes. I was determined to ONLY focus on trash, but things like this couldn’t be overlooked:
The top of the picture is where I wiped up spilled honey. The bottom of the picture was the icky shelf I couldn’t ignore while I had a wiping-up-cloth in my hand.
Once I made room in the pantry, I was able to clear the floor.
In the end, the pantry looked ever-so-much better.
I know. I didn’t do a good job of taking pictures. But I did make a video:
Click here to see the video if it isn’t showing up for you.
Oh. You’re wondering when the last time was that I cleaned out my pantry? I’m pretty sure it was right before a national news crew came to my house.
Good advice. I put my reusable bags under my purse in the house so when I leave the next day I throw the bags in the back seat of my van. It looks like you’re missing an earring.
Dana White says
Great idea! And yes! I meant to say something in the credits about the single earring!! (I didn’t notice until I saw the video!)
I love shopping at Costco, but I swear it’s like the packaging takes over the house. We have TWO pantries in our house and that helps a LOT. One is strictly for bulk. When we get home from the store, things go in there. Then, we unpack. We take a few things up to the active pantry and leave everything else downstairs in the bulk pantry. It also helps that we requested a large bin from our trash company only for recycling. It’s actually larger than our regular trash so bulk boxes broken down go right in! Thank goodness! Especially since for the last month we have been remodeling our kitchen and organizing the pantry before we put things back in. It seems like our trash/recycling from decluttering has been HUGE. I found old stuff crammed in the back that was embarrassingly old! But it was so nice to get it done and a perfect excuse to be more brutal than normal. LOL Good luck on the rest of the work and I enjoyed the video. And I’m glad someone else noticed the missing earring, too. I noticed mostly because I wear hoops a lot, too. HA!
Erin G says
I tackled our pantry this weekend! I thought it was going to be this huge job, but it took only about an hour. I tossed a big trash bag full of expired stuff, wiped down the shelves, organized, and now we have a neat and organized pantry. Love it!
Tossing the expired and stale stuff was easy and made a ton of room for actually organizing and seeing what we have.
I breathe a sigh of relief… that I’m NOT THE ONLY ONE!!! I did my pantry at the beginning of summer, made an inventory list with my phone scanner, and forgot to keep track of what is being used. Sadly, not much is being used, because I forget to look in there! At least it’s staying organized, right? Also, did you lose an earring or was it just hiding?
Dana White says
I lost it before putting it on . . . assumed I’d find it before I turned on the camera and then forgot!!
Great job getting the floor decluttered so you can store your items IN the pantry! I would suggest taking the items from bulk containers out before putting in the pantry. Get rid of the cardboard and plastic packaging right away. This would help avoid a big box with two items taking up space. An open shallow basket or bin could contain little bags of chips or fruit snacks.
good advice Carrie!
Nony, I just love you so much. Thank you. You give me hope 🙂
Some might judge your video and say you are hiding things from your house guests. “Remember that by letting others see your imperfections you will foster intimacy!” (Ummm no.) That is the buzz on other blogs right now. But I’m so thankful for your blog, because people like us will still be letting enough imperfection show to build relationship even after we clean/declutter!
I just found your site and I love it so much! You say and feel exactly the way I do about my house and I could never articulate it. The anxiety of having a messy house and thinking about people coming to see it, arggggh. My husband can’t understand why I freak out and I was very happy to find there are people out there just like me. Keep up the great work!
You are so stinkin funny … love the ‘oh let me just make a crockpot of beans!’ LOL
My sister (mother of 7) actually made an anti-shopping list
They had so many duplicates in their pantry- she went through it, and wrote a do not buy list, to hang inside the door.
After writing the weekly shopping list, they shop their pantry first!
Thank you so much for the inspiration. I can now walk into my pantry/laundry and and out the other door which leads to the garage! WHEE! supperplus, my husband noticed immediately cause he’s not tripping over laundry and boxes! THANK YOU
Janet B says
Reading this it struck me how far you have come. The Nony in the beginning would never ever have said, “the icky shelf I couldn’t ignore while I had a wiping-up-cloth in my hand.” She could ignore anything because she truly didn’t see it. You have been a great motivator for me this summer since I found your blog and started reading from the beginning. I am not as slobby as you were, but I’m not as advanced as you are in 2014.