Today I am back with another pantry project. A new client of mine was sick and tired of the pileup in her pantry so she scheduled a session for me to work my magic. She thought it was going to take an entire day or two so she was surprised when I quoted the project for just shy of 4 hours.
She is experiencing the start of empty nesting but her buying habits haven’t adjusted. With two kids in college and one living at home she no longer needs to stock up on supplies for her large family. Most of the items that we got rid of were items that she bought for the older kids last summer and never used up.
Another issue she had was that her husband is always receiving gift baskets as a thank you at work and they are filled with items that they don’t eat due to dietary restrictions. Instead of tossing or donating the junk she was letting it clutter her pantry and her counter tops.
We started by going through all of the food and purging the items that she knew her family would never use or that had expired. As pulled all of the food out of the pantry to sorted it into categories on the dining table.
Once we were done I worked my magic and put everything away. My client is about five feet tall so I put all of the food items and appliances she uses regularly on the lower shelves. I put her son’s items on the upper shelves so they will be at his eye level which should help him easily find a snack. I repurosed bins that she already had and used clear shoe boxes to corral snacks and baking supplies. I ended up finishing the pantry in 2 and a half hours so had extra time to tackle the counter tops in her kitchen and a medicine rack on the back of the pantry door.
Here are the pantry maintenance tips that I gave to this client, I wanted to share them with you because you might relate to her…
1.) If people are giving you food or gift baskets, ask yourself if your family will use it before you put it away.
2.) If your lifestyle has changed your pantry should reflect it. For example: if you are going on a diet get rid of all of the junk. If you are empty nesting curb your buying until you use up some of your stock and then change your buying habits.
3.) Consider what you use the most when determining a layout and put those items at eye level.
4.) Keep like items together and have all items facing forward, your pantry should look similiar to the shelves at your favorite grocery store.
5.) Meal planning is the key to curbing your over buying habits. Shop with a list and stick to it!