My people how wuna deh? I had a busy weekend around the house. O.k. I had to admit to myself that my kitchen pantry was in desperate need of some TLC (tender loving care). It had become a hiding place for anything that didn’t fit anywhere else in the house. We cluttered and crammed ingredients, baby food, foodies ware together, and a sock even found its way in the mix. Talk about chaos, it was that bad. With no order, I often bought duplicates of ingredients and wasted time locating the utensils and ingredients that I needed while cooking.
I’m so relieved to have one of the messiest places of my home organized, at least to an extent. With a little creativity and lots of help from T.K.Maxx (a home and lifestyle shop in my area), I finally got my kitchen pantry organized and here’s how I did it:
Purchasing storage containers
I visited my fav shop, TK Maxx. It’s a lifestyle shop that carries, household items and clothing lines. What I love about TK Maxx is, they carry lots of colorful kitchen and general household items and you know I love colors. I get most of my kitchen equipment from there. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the storage containers I wanted. Those with lids of different colors. #sadface
‘We should get all-white storage containers’ hubby said, trying to lure me into buying oval ones. The side-eye I gave him. ‘O.k. then babe, let’s mix and match colors then’. He said this slowly and quietly like if I said no, he would have quickly said something else. LOL. How le hubs puts up with all my drama is still beyond me.
So after looking through about 3 dozen containers of different shapes and sizes, I bought the cheapest ones. They looked just fine and could do the job. Check Walmart if you live in the US or Europe or your local market for similar storage containers. They range from 2 – 12€.
De-cluttering the kitchen pantry
I started by removing everything from the shelves, top to bottom. Only then did I realize how much junk we had accumulated these past months. I actually found 2 large packets of gummy bears a friend brough for the kids months ago. I had hidden them away to protect myself from temptation and my 3-year son from eating the whole bag in a day when no one was looking. And we all had forgotten, thank goodness.
It took just about half an hour to clear things off the shelves but the mess it created in my kitchen…..ugh! The next thing was to do away with junk, processed and food that had expired! I found some cassava flour (amongst other expired and junk food) I bought like one year ago from the ‘afro’ shop but didn’t like the brownish (instead of white color) it had. I guess I kept it because I didn’t have any choice given that my husband had been craving peanutokra soup with ‘nkum-nkum’ but never really use it since mum brought some from Cameroon when she visited last year. After all the junk was done away with, it was time to re-organize.
Tips to re-organizing the kitchen pantry
Categorize your pantry
This is the fun part friends! First thing I did was fill foods into appropriate size containers. Make sure to buy containers of all sizes, depending on how large your family is. Since I buy some foods in large quantities and others in small quantities, I bought different shapes and sizes to accommodate all the stuff I buy. I placed foods that are used less often on the top shell. Foods like dry bitterleaves, crayfish, egusi (melon seeds), eru (okazi leaves) and other spices.
Keep foods often used on eye level
On the second shelf, I placed my breakfast food items. These are easily reachable and used almost on a daily basis. pictured are dries fruits like mango, pawpaw, grapes and smoothie superfood powders. Of course my teas and milk. On the lower compartment, I have mostly every day foods and spices as can be seen in the picture. Also keep foods that compliment each other together. For example foods for smoothies and oat porridge are in the same place as milk and smoothie superfood powders.
Make food items easy to access and see
You want to make sure that the containers are transparent, such that each person in your household can easily see what’s inside to avoid ruining your hard work in a week. Also placing foods on shelves no one can reach is not a wise thing to do. This could cause a serious injury.
Keep heavy food containers low
Food items like large bags of rice, yams, carton of plantain or oil should be kept on the lowest shelf were they are more stable and cannot fall off. Other items like canned foods and stuff that you really rarely use can be stored here too. But remember not to clutter.
Label! Label! Label!
Yes really, food containers need to be labelled. One reason for this is to ease refilling when containers are empty. Another reason is if you have foods like coconut, soybean and normal flour, you might get confused if you did not label your containers. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find labels at the shop. I’ll either have to make mine or keep searching. But for now, I’m really happy with the outcome.
So there you have it. From a cluttered and crammed closet to a pretty and organized little pantry. So hopefully, I’ll update you once I’m done with labelling. A perfectly pretty pantry don’t you think? Would love to read your tips on how to make this pantry look even prettier.
Hearts & Hugs guys!