Last month I decided to tackle a huge organizational project—my home office. This month I'm at it again, but it's our kitchen and pantry I'm hoping to get back in order.
It's been a while since I've given any thought to organizing my pantry. Way back in 2014 (as you can see from the photo below) it was a disorganized mess. Very little had changed over the past few years until I discovered that my laziness had finally caught up with me. I pulled out a bag of flour to bake my son a cake and found it full of weevils. They're those annoying little bugs that you find when you've left your flour sit too long.
I guess that means I should bake more cakes... or remember to put bay leaves in the bags... or maybe clean my pantry a bit more frequently?
A not-so-quick cleanup got rid of them and fortunately they hadn't spread beyond my flour bin, but in the process I found a swarm of silverfish that had been making themselves right at home eating the glue that holds together my canning jar boxes. I made it a priority to pull everything out, get rid any paper boxes, and put my bulk dry goods away properly.
After that I ran out of steam...
By the time Spring rolled around you couldn't even tell I'd organized anything. I had tons bags hanging everywhere and no idea what was in them. When OXO reached out to me a few weeks ago about testing out their POP containers (and a few other goodies) I thought I'd give my pantry the proper cleaning it needed—starting with the bags of snacks and other one-off items I can never find a place for. Those are the things that tend to end up stuffed in grocery bags and hung from hooks, never to be heard from again.
What I really like about the POP containers is the variety of options. Whether your shelves are large like mine or on the smaller side, you'll likely find one to suit your needs since they come in several different formats (square, rectangular, and round.) Since they can be stacked several high they'll accommodate a variety of shelf heights which is especially handy if you don't have adjustable height shelves in your pantry or kitchen cabinets. With the variety of shapes and sizes you'll be able to store your leftover bits and bobs just as easily as a 5lb package of flour.
Out of all the containers I've actually found the smaller sizes the most useful for reducing the clutter in my pantry. My half-eaten packages of nuts, chocolate, and granola fit in the 0.3 and 0.9qt containers perfectly, so I no longer have a bunch of open packages cluttering up my shelves. You can see from the photos how much of a difference moving my open packages of food to storage containers did to keep things more organized.
Where to Purchase
In addition to the POP containers I did add a few other items during my pantry reorganization to help make things more manageable. The first was a beverage organizer that holds 24 cans of soda. I decided this was necessary after I dropped a half-open case of soda during my pantry clean-out and had it explode all over everything.
Talk about a mess!
I never want to clean that up again, so with the new organizer I know that my precious stash of Dr Pepper (that I use for making Dr Pepper Pulled Pork) isn't wasted when I have butter fingers.
The second addition was a set of command hooks running up both walls. These hold packages of tuna, spices, pre-made sauces, and other odd-sized items that have a hole punched in the top. This way they're easily accessible and I can quickly see what I need to restock without having to dig through the pantry.
Now no organizational post would be complete without a little Spring cleaning thrown in for good measure. Fortunately OXO also sent me their new Microfiber Under Appliance Duster to help me get started. Let me just say that I've never had a kitchen tool terrify me as much as this one! It occurred to me recently that the last time I cleaned under my stove was when it was installed eight years ago. I'm pretty sure it's a disgusting wasteland under there, so I chickened out and have been using it to clean under our furniture instead.
The duster's long handle makes it perfect for fishing out all the toys and snacks that find their way under our couch. It's raised off the floor, so all sorts of things get lost under it. After the first pass I came away with a large collection of lost legos, balls, bits of play-doh, snacks, a few random socks, and a whole lot of salt, dirt, and cat hair. It's only been a month since I pulled the couch out to clean, so I can only imagine what I'll find when I work up the courage to clean under the stove. It's accumulated eight years of dirt and grime, so can you blame me for procrastinating?
On the plus side, the duster comes apart easily and cleans up with a quick wash in cold water, so once I'm brave enough to tackle the kitchen at least I won't have a lot of extra clean-up to do.
Where to Purchase
Last but not least is the OXO's Kitchen Appliance Cleaning Set. It's a handy set of nylon brushes and scrapers that helps you reach the hard to clean spaces in your kitchen. It's especially great and cleaning off all the burned-on crud that builds up around the burners on your stove, but I've also found it useful for cleaning around the sink and backsplash, or scraping off stubborn stuck-on food from stainless steel pots and pans.
It has a lot of uses, so it's one tool that would be a valuable addition to any kitchen.
Where to Purchase
This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.
Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of the Spring Cleaning & Organizing with OXO blogger outreach campaign. They have provided me with a set of pop containers and cleaning tools for evaluation, but no other compensation was given for this post.