Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The $17 Pantry Redo


While I was out and about picking up things for my kitchen facelift, I grabbed a few items to organize my pantry, too. I love the look of dry goods like flour, rice, and beans in large glass jars, preferably with beautiful, handwritten labels. However, I didn't really want to plunk down a good chunk of cash on said glass jars when I unearthed some plastic containers while organizing the kitchen. I didn't have quite enough of the plastic containers for my needs, so I picked up another set at Ikea.


I did not want to compromise on my labels--I definitely wanted chalkboard labels. Luckily, since chalkboards have been popular for ages, JoAnn Fabrics had a plethora of options. Almost too many options. I went with Jar Jewelry Chalkboard Stickers intended for Mason jars. They come with chalk, but, after one attempt at pretty chalk writing, I realized that there was no way it was going to work for me. I scrapped the chalk and picked up a white marker on a trip to Michaels to check out the decorative letter selection.

While the labeled canisters pack some visual punch, there wasn't much to them: write the label, slap it on, fill the canister. Most of the time I spent on the pantry went into taking everything out, wiping down the shelves, organizing everything kinda sorta by grocery store aisle, and then putting it all back in. For me, this wasn't more than about 20 minutes of work. I try not to buy a bunch of prepared foods, because I inevitably feel heavy and lethargic when I eat them. I also don't often make food impulse buys, because I always shop with a list. If I don't have a list, I get very overwhelmed and frustrated very quickly, and probably leave the store with a frozen pizza and beer. Consequently, I just don't have that much food to wrangle.


The piece de resistance in the pantry is the small clipboard and notepad hanging on the inside wall. Most of my shopping lists are constructed while perusing recipes on the computer, and I tend to assume that I always have things like olive oil or salt on hand, so they don't make the list. Inevitably it's those staples that cause me to make a second trip to the store! Having paper and pencil at the ready makes it that much easier to write things down as soon as I run out, and all I have to do is check the clipboard before heading out to the store.

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