Friday, February 20, 2009

Oops! Did I promise to have these up yesterday? Eesh...

(Please allow me to apologize in advance for the formatting on this post. I tried to get all fancy with the pictures, and while I've done this sort of thing in other posts, and have managed to get them to work out ok, this one just isn't getting there. And its been a long week. So what follows is a rather disorderly looking post about organization. ::sigh!:: I need a glass of wine!)

Ah, the pantry. This pantry was so huge to us when we had it built, that it's beyond describing. We needed it badly, let me just say. It was a welcome behemoth once installed, because we'd already been running pretty short on space before we started planning the wedding, but by the time gifts started showing up, we really ran outta space!

So, as you can see, once we had it, we sure did take advantage of it!

<--- THIS is what we did to it. Crammed it full of spices, sauces, bread crumbs, rice, noodles, molasses that we never use in anything since the recipe it was purchased for, and there might even be small woodland creatures lurking about in there...not sure.

The spice shelf had some semblance of order. We had risers to put them on, but you still have to shuffle them around and pick them up to see what they are before you can find what you want, unless it's cumin, salt, or pepper, since those sit right at the front of the shelf. (I mean, duuuuh. Where else would they be?)
But I hated the messy way it looked. And the shuffling and lifting to find the spices I needed when I needed them.

The sauce/vinegar/oil/ketchup shelf was better, but not by a lot.

So, as was mentioned in that previous post, I started scouring the internet world for a spice rack set up that fit our life, our style, and our pantry. And I found it!

(Does anyone else hear a choir of angels singing in perfect harmony right now? Just me, then? Alrighty...)

This little shelf has 18 bottles that it comes with, and you can get them with chrome lids, or white ones. I thought I was going to have to find labels, but they came WITH them! ::gasp!:: (<-- I actually did when I opened the box and found them. There might have also been a little hand clapping and jumping happily from foot to foot as well, but I digress.)

They each hold a fair amount of spice - I think about 2.5 ounces. I filled them all with the spices we use most frequently, and although I had a few spices left over after filling all 36 jars, they store neatly on a set of shelf risers I had in another cupboard and shifted over to the top shelf in the pantry to help out.

As you can see, the shelf is much easier to navigate now. The spices split into the top shelf and the one below it, and I have them in alphabetical order.

This top shelf also houses our favorite salt grinder, some specialty salts I bought for my husband just because I love him, as well as the spices my in-laws brought us from my husband's grandfather, who picked them up the last time he was traveling in the Middle East. (I need to get them into jars of their own...currently they reside in those fancy plastic bags there next to the new rack.)
The next shelf down holds the bottom of the alphabet in spices, as well as our vinegars, oils, and favorite sauces. Can you believe the empty space in there? ME EITHER! I love it.

It didn't end with the spice rack purchase for me when it came to organizing the pantry. I also bought a rack for holding our plastic wrap, foil, and baggies. This left room for the dry and canned goods to be shelved neatly on the same shelf.

The wrap and foil (along with one size of baggy) used to be stored in a drawer along side of the pantry. I HATED it. See why?
UGH. So ugly. And such a pain to deal with. So I ordered some drawer organizers as well, making it easier to find the ice pick, or the meat thermometer when we need them.

I also organized our "junk" drawer over by the back door. I didn't think to get a before picture on this, but just imagine all of those pens, lighters, candles, scissors, and whatnot all swimming together in a messy concoction instead of separated out into neat, identifyable trays. Aaaahhhh...the sigh of relief is a palpable one on my end. Along with a "thank GOD I finally did this!" exclamation.

I've become obsessed with organizing, so don't be surprised if this isn't the last post on this subject that you see here! A clean, orderly home is one I think we all can agree is the easiest to relax in.

1 comment:

Lauren said...

Hi Jennifer:

The rest of your spice bottles (from the grocery store) might fit nice in a SpiceStack. It holds 18+ bottles in the least amount of space, but you can still find them with drawers that pull out and drop-down. Check it out at

Happy Cooking! Lauren Greenwood, President, YouCopia Products Inc.