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19 January 2015

Cleaning the pantry

Well, after giving myself a week to do it, I finally got to the pantry cleaning yesterday. I usually leave things like that to the last minute because I perform better when I'm under pressure. Hanno and Jamie were at the market at Caloundra so I took the opportunity to empty both the middle shelves, the ones most of the things are on.  Luckily the kitchen bench is right next to it so it didn't take long to do one shelf, then the next.  

Before and after.  This is the shelf I'd like to add a back step to. 

I went through everything, made sure there were no lurking pantry moths or weevils, wiped the outside of all the containers and started loading the shelves up again.  I'm really pleased I didn't throw away too much food. I hate doing that. I had to bin a small amount of grain flour because it had a slight smell of rancid flour about it. A few items had small amounts in two containers so I combined them and washed the spare containers.

 Before and after.



This is the entire cupboard, before and after. Hanno does top and bottom shelves for me.

When I put everything back again I wished I had one of those shelf steps that you can use to elevate food at the back. I'm not very tall so it's a problem sometimes to see what's there and reach it. The next time I'm out I'll look for something useful that will fit neatly into the cupboard.

But now I'm happy I have a neat and tidy pantry again. I guess we all have different reasons for wanting our pantries to be clean and functional. For me, it gives me a feeling that I'm doing my job well, my job as a homemaker. It also helps me get through my cooking easily because it's all there, laid out, ready to use. I hope you had the chance to clean your pantry or stockpile too. It gives me such a feeling of satisfaction that I have to keep looking at it whenever I'm in the kitchen.  

If you have before and after photos, leave a link below so we can all go to your blog to see your work. This should provide some motivation for others who haven't done their pantry yet, who want to, but can't quite get there. Let's see them try to resist when we all show our photos.  :- )


42 comments:

  1. you inspired me and I did our pantry yesterday, thank you for that. I love to see all the different brands of products, all so different from Canada!

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  2. You did a very good job, Rhonda! Your cupboard looks 'deliciously' clean and organised again :>)
    Maybe it's a good idea to store the little cans with herbs etc. on a wooden plate that can be turned around?
    That might help you getting anything you need from your shelf.
    Greetings from the wet and windy, but not wintry Netherlands :>)

    Jeanneke.

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    1. Hi Jeanneke. I don't have any herbs or spices in that cupboard. They're all in a small cupboard right next to this one. I have them all in four plastic bins with a handle at the front that I can pull out. Hmmmm, maybe I should have cleaned that out too.

      It's very hot here at the moment. I'm longing for Autumn. :- )

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  3. When we first bought this house 14 years ago I was very excited to have a lovely large pantry. The first winter we discovered the furnace and other heat pipes went up the backwall behind a wood panel, creating a very warm climate. food stores went off quickly as the heat was intense. So I moved all my bake wares and dishes into the pantry and divided my food stores up into the dish cupboards. Not Ideal - but at least things don't go off due to the heat.

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    1. That was a wise thing to do, Patty. I'm surprised when people accept what's in their homes when they move in and realise it's not ideal. We should change the things that don't work for us. xx

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  4. I put bay leaves in all my staples, keeps the bugs out very well..

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  5. That sure wasn't a very messy pantry! Almost couldn't tell which was the before. You did nice job, bravo!

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  6. Patty. Your pantry looks fab now. What a big job. Well done.
    Rosezeeta.

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  7. You inspired me to tackle mine. It is an old pantry, the only built in closet in my house which was built in 1917. It is 10 feet to the ceiling, which is a challenge to clean... But, I set my timer and went to it. The timer went off in 15 minutes, but I was so near to being done, I just finished it! I am so pleased with it! Everything clean, neat, and out of dates and suspicious things tossed! Why did I wait so long!?? LOl Thanks for the challenge!

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    1. I couldn't find your photos but thanks for taking part.

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    2. I was so enthralled, I neglected to take them! :) (Okay.. actually, I was so ashamed I wouldn't show anyone what it looked like, but it sounds better to say I was enchanted with the process, doesn't it? LOL)

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  8. I cleaned out both pantry cupboards last week, Rhonda, lining the small one with my daughter's discarded scrapbook paper. I made new tea towels this month, a plastic bag dispenser, and an apron. 2015 is my year to reacquaint myself with my homemaker heart. I'm sharing tutorials for the home on my blog, as well as regular posts about how I'm approaching my domestic space, and rejoicing in A Year of Gentle Domesticity. Your book is one of my references this year as well. Thank you for your consistent inspiration.

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    1. I love the idea of A Year of Gentle Domesticity!

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  9. I am using glass jars rather than plastic for a lot of my food storage. Things tend to get 'lost' in plastic containers, especially leftover biscuits etc. I have a good spice range as we love curries and unusual spices come in plastic packets. I find that 'fish paste' jars are a good size for my juniper berries, nigella seeds, cinnamon sticks and bay leaves.
    I have already caught a pesky pantry moth in the commercial trap I bought and set a week ago.

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  10. Here is my before photos of my pantry, will link up the after photos when they are done. http://bridgetlarsen.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/down-to-earth-cleaning-pantry.html

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  11. I have wrapped old house bricks in pretty wrapping paper and use these to elevate items at the rear of my pantry.

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    1. Good idea, Michelle. I'll look around later to find some bricks. :- )

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  12. mmhhmmm, well, i got the before photos done & that was as far as i got, the humidity here was stifling on the weekend & to be honest, cleaning isn't one of my favourite jobs, i usually try & avoid it where ever possible! i got as far as brushing the cobwebs down then closed the doors ...
    i will get to it but the mowing is calling me ...

    great job on the pantry

    selina from kilkivan qld

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  13. I bought my plastic step shelves from Kmart $7 and they are great. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

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  14. Ps.. On your link beliw to Beeralong community farm. If that's the one in Brisbane it's at Morningside not Mornington which I think is outside of Melbourne. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

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  15. Well, I put my 'before' photo on my blog but am still working on the remaining two shelves. It was just too hot over the weekend to finish it off. I bought one of those step shelves when Crazy Clarks were closing down and afterwards wished I had bought another one but haven't been able to find them since. Good to know KMart have them so thanks Kathy from me too. They work well in a small pantry. Now to finish those shelves :-)

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  16. i did it, my husband and i spent our day off cleaning and organizing our two pantries. thanks rhonda!

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    1. Such a great change, Eileen. Well done!

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  17. I've been cleaning ALL of my kitchen cabinets, drawers, closets, etc as we will be moving house in a couple of months. I do have 'after' pictures on facebook. Thank goodness for Dollar Tree! Organizing is affordable!

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  18. Wow such unbelievably hot and humid weather here at the moment isn't it Rhonda? However, I did manage to finish the pantry and will post photos as soon as I get a chance to resize. Could you put a quick post on the forum if you find any step shelves - I will do the same if I find some - I think a lot of people will be after something similar after finishing this challenge.

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    1. Will do, Blinky. We should catch up soon.

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  19. LOL! I was going to make a variation on the brick suggestion - except with lightweight pine instead of bricks.

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  20. Thanks so much Rhonda for the motivation to get this done. I finished my pantry last night except for some labels which I will get too soon. I have put the photos on my (new!) blog, I hope this link works. I haven't quite worked out how to link to one particular post, but it is my latest post so it should be at the top (I think), apologies if it doesn't work. Thanks so much for the inspiration for this challenge and the inspiration to start my blog. http://our--family--life.blogspot.com.au/

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    1. What a transformation! Thanks for taking up the challenge, Karen.

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  21. Still procrastinating on giving my pantry a much needed clean out. Will have to do it soon. Well done to you Rhonda for getting yours done.

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  22. I have managed to sort my pantry out, like you I left it until yesterday. I have shared some photos here, it made cooking last night so much easier! Thank you for giving me the impetus to get the job done :)

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    1. Greeat work. Thanks for taking part.

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  23. Another variation on the brick idea that I have used is a long empty spaghetti box. Thanks for your blog Rhonda! Always a pleasure to read.
    Margaret

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  24. I had a cupboard cleaning session last week and I actually really enjoyed sorting everything out. I'm not sure how to do a link in a comment but I have posted 'before and after' photos on my blog. Joining in the challenge meant I had to get on with this task, and I'm glad I did - thanks Rhonda.
    michelle





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    1. Great work, Michelle. Thanks for taking up the challenge.

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  25. Rhonda,
    I have made a step shelf by cutting a length of 2x4 to fit across the width of the shelf. Standing it on the narrow side will raise spice jars and small bottles about 3.5 inches. Laid flat the rise is only one and three-quarters but allows you to see what is back there. If you stockpile canned goods, laying a narrow strip of plexiglass or wood on top of a couple of cans will also give you a second step up. I'm barely five feet tall and need a step stool for every thing above the first shelf:-)

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  26. I took up this challenge and am happy to say I discovered a few things in the cupboard I didnt actually realise I had! So thanks Rhonda! I have posted before and after photos on my blog.

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    1. Serena, I can't find your befores and afters. I did have a good look at your lovely garden though. :- )

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    2. I took you up on this challenge. Last fall I spent days organizing the pantry. This time it took about an hour. I posted pictures on my blog.

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  27. Thanks for the inspiration, Rhonda. Though I have only finished one side of my pantry, I've just posted the before and after photos. Back to work on the other side today!

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