Sunday, January 5, 2014

Our Refrigerator & Pantry - Clean & Organized

Happy New Year everyone!  I'm sorry that I haven't posted in awhile.  With the holidays, I haven't had much time to do any organizing, let alone blogging.  Tomorrow begins the first full week of the new year and also the first day of my attempt at a healthier lifestyle via healthier foods and regular workouts.  I thought that was a good reason to get our refrigerator and pantry cleaned out and organized.  I forgot to take a before picture of the fridge and freezer, but just try to imagine a chaotic mess.  I told you, I am on a JOURNEY to an organized house.  I may love to organize, but that doesn't mean that my house has been organized from day 1 OR is organized on a daily basis.  Here are the after shots of the refrigerator.  Mind you, we do need to do a bit of shopping for said healthier foods.  This is after I took everything out, including all of the shelves, cleaning everything as I went along of course.  

The majority of our condiments, sauces, dressings and sandwich essentials are on the refrigerator door.

I recently bought some refrigerator bins from Bed Bath & Beyond.  I haven't really decided which purpose I want to give to each of them.  For now, I put all of the yogurt in a larger one.  The smaller one is holding canned fruits and opened baby food jars.

Our refrigerator doesn't have an ice maker or water system.  I hate hate hate that about it, but oh well.  We have a Brita water filtration thingamajig attached to our kitchen faucet.  We fill up this beverage dispenser with the filtered water and keep it in the fridge as our solution to the missing water system.

Our pantry is a set of two tall cabinets to the left of our refrigerator.  I long for a walk-in pantry or at least one that is more like a closet, but a kitchen remodel is not in our cards.  These cabinets are narrow and deep.  They are annoying in every sense of the word, but we make the best of it.  I find myself having to reorganize the pantry often.  It's one of the most difficult areas of our house to keep organized.  Here are some befores.

The usual first step to organizing a space is to remove everything.  I did just that and then wiped down the shelves.  The kids helped me by handing me the items to put back.  I used to have labels on the shelves for what I wanted to go in those spaces.  You will see that I removed them in the after simply because as much as I wanted the labels to work, they didn't.  No big deal.  Also, let me tell you about those 3 drawers.  Since these cabinets are pretty deep, I wanted a solution for at least some of the shelves.  Things in the back seem to get forgotten about.  I bought these Bamboo Roll-Out Cabinet Drawers from the Container Store when they were on sale awhile back.  They work great.  I really love them and hope to get some or similar ones for the cabinet that holds our pots and pans.

Then everything went back in in an orderly fashion.

On the top shelf, I have all of my Tastefully Simple mixes and dips, and a lone cake mix and frosting.  I also put unopened condiments here as well.

The next shelf is mainly for spaghetti essentials.

The next shelf has soups, sauces and our huge stash of peanut butter.

Next we have canned tuna and chicken, canned vegetables, beans and the "Mexican" essentials.

The first pull out drawer is a hodgepodge of sides, macaroni and cheese, salad toppings, popcorn and jello mixes.  This shelf is very miscellaneous.

The second pull out drawer is for all of our snacks.  Cookies, crackers, fruit snacks, etc.  The pro to this shelf is that the kids can easily grab their snacks themselves.  The con to this shelf is that the kids can easily grab their snacks themselves.  I also have a container of their overabundance of Christmas candy, but I keep that inside the basket on top of the refrigerator.  They definitely don't need to be able to reach that themselves.  I love the OXO containers for keeping snacks and cereal.  For whatever reason, I prefer them over the boxes that the food originally comes in.  

Last but not least is all of our cereal and oatmeal packets.  

I can officially say that our refrigerator and pantry are as clean and organized as possible.  At least for this very moment in time anyway.  I feel like if I keep it organized, that I will somehow be more willing to cook (my husband is the chef in our family) and eat healthier.  Wishful thinking, right?  

Linking up to these amazing blogs!

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