Monday, February 22, 2016

Nightmare Kitchen Pantry Overhaul

You know, sometimes I think I'm just really a terrible housewife. In late 2014 I wrote a blog post about a New Year's resolution of cleaning my pantry out. As you can see from the picture above, I never got to it!

Well the other day I got up off my duff and finally was so fed up and ashamed about the pantry I walked up to the shelves and starting picking out things, throwing them onto the floor. Finally I was prepared to tackle the job!

Why did I never get around to cleaning it back in 2014? I originally thought the pantry was a cleaning closet because the former lady of the house had left a swiffer mop and some swiffer pads in it for me. So when we moved here in July 2014 I just thought it was a great place to store items during the havoc of move-in week. Afterwards, it was so full of random junk I was too intimidated to tackle it.

It was the place we stored cleaning solutions, half-used candles, empty containers I was going to use for seeding starts, and empty rolled up grocery bags to use as mini trash bags. I decided the closet was not really a cleaning closet in the end because it was full of shelving and no real storage space for long items like brooms and mops.

In addition, I had always wanted a pantry. What is more comforting than being stuck at home in a snowstorm for a few days and looking in your pantry full of food, knowing you don't have to leave your cave? You have all the creature comforts of dozens of backup foods to carry you through.

So this is how I cleaned it:
  • Got rid of half of the empty grocery bags. Believe it or not, I had accumulated two kitchen trash bags' worth of empty grocery bags! Really, how terrible! I felt like a trash hoarder!
  • Threw out the empty plastic containers for seedling starts.
  • Put all of the liquid cleaning solutions under the kitchen sink
  • Put the swiffer mop and dust pan/brush in the half bath/half laundry room on the first floor.
  • Put some spare linens I had in there in the linen closet and cloth napkin drawers.
  • Dusted and wiped the shelves down.
This closet is so much bigger than it looks because the shelves are quite deep. We had actually stuffed a red sofa slipcover on the very top shelf too, because the slipcover loosened up too often. In addition, I found two irons and a mini ironing board in the closet.

The result of the cleanup? VIOLA!

Whew! That was tough but now I was free and proud that I tackled the job. There are just some scuff marks in there that I left alone. Next, I could not wait to line the shelves with the food goodies we have. I looked forward to stocking my shelves up even more with anything I can find at the grocery store on deep discount. The only thing I didn't do was replace the liner. I would like this lining paper next time I get around to changing it.

Here is what my properly used pantry ended up looking like when I was done!

The only shelf for non-foods is on the floor. I reserved that for one kitchen bag full of grocery bags, a styrofoam cooler, baking soda, washing soda, and borax, a box of trash bags, a container of sponges, and cat food. You can see one of our cats checking out the cat food container!

Here are close-ups of the shelves:

Above: This shelf is full of cream soups, gravy, tuna, refried beans, hot beans, fruit cocktail, apple juice, and applesauce.

Above: Here are my million jars of Prego cheese sauce I was drooling over in my YouTube video, some taco shells, pickles, giant jar of olives, salsa, mayo, chocolate syrup, and BBQ sauces.

Above: This shelf has boxes of jello, pastas, dried beans, my husband's coffee, and a box of crackers.

I'm finally proud of my pantry. No more shame. Now to hoard some food!

Let me know what you think and if you have any areas in your house you need to overhaul.

Pantry Overhaul on YouTube:



Rachel C. said...

Woohoo! That looks beautiful! :)

The Quaint Housewife said...

Thanks, Rachel!

Alyson said...

So nice and clean! Now I'm inspired to clean mine... later ;)

The Quaint Housewife said...

Alyson, thanks!

Christine Beauchamp said...

Aren't you cute! My catch all is my sewing room. Its too small to sew in. . . so I put everything I can't get to in there - - have piles of stuff to walk over. Little by little I'm cleaning and clearing it out. It will be a relief when I'm done . . . keep your fingers crossed for me. .
Thank you for sharing. . . and love the responses also. at least I know I'm not alone. Many blessings!

The Quaint Housewife said...


This sounds like my mother's sewing room. Only she placed about ten cabinets in it and there is still stuff all over the place spilling out! But there is something soothing about crowded spaces in the home. I don't know why. I think you will be fine as long as no one is getting stuck with needles or valuables aren't getting lost in there! Thank you for enjoying my blog:)