Where are the tomatoes?

Oh my gosh, the pantry. How is it that one small little closet can collect such clutter and disarray? I mean, you're in there every day, you'd think it would be easy to keep it neat and find what you need. Hah!

Our pantry was a mess. Beyond a mess. We were approaching disaster status. We keep a good stock of tomatoes, sauce, beans and soup and I've hit a couple good sales in the last month so we had tons of cans toppling over. I hate having to move 10 cans to find the one kind of tomato I want. Then there is the shelf that is half Phee's snacks, half other random stuff. And the baking supply shelf... I don't even have time to bake anymore!

{full pantry before}
{shelves before}
So, I tackled the pantry Saturday night when girl's night got cancelled. I was strangely looking forward to getting this closet organized and cleaned out. I set up Gilmore Girls on my laptop, got the vacuum out and got to work. (Oh, and Phee wasn't locked in her room, she was at Parent's Night Out, so no worries there.)

I started by clearing out the floor and the top shelf, knowing that a lot of that stuff was getting moved. Then, I went shelf by shelf, throwing old things away, combining where I could and dumping things into containers instead of the bags we use when we buy in bulk. That right there, especially on the baking shelf, took care of a lot of the clutter.

I put grains and flour in empty rice containers. Phee's bulk snacks are in stacking tupperware.  I put the napkins, plastic silverware and cups into two plain gift bags. Easier to grab and look through that way. Plus, it's what I had in the house already. I put the boxes of wine glasses and champagne flutes in different cupboards instead of leaving them on the pantry floor. We almost never use the flutes and, though we have both kinds of wine glasses, we almost never use both. As you can see in the pictures, there is a shelf missing at the bottom. Doug will be making that for me soon and then I will have even more fantastic space for storing the extras.

{full pantry after}
{shelves after}

I would love to spend the money on the can organizers and matching canisters for all the bulk grains, pastas, snacks, etc. that we buy. But, that seems silly when I don't really need them. I have plenty of jars, tupperware, empty containers and random baskets/trays to get the job done. It isn't as pretty as it could be, but it's definitely functional. More importantly, it's finished. And I can see the tomatoes.
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