Since it was my inspiration, I saw it only fair to have my messy pantry as my first project. As I type, my kitchen is littered with most of the contents of my pantry. I keep trying to make my blog look nicer and nicer so I don't have to go and finish it. But the time has come.
Obviously, the first thing I did was pull everything out of my pantry and laid it out. Although this part was very overwhelming, it allowed me to see what I had. Next, I grouped everything together by type of food such as a side dish or snack, soup or condiment. Then I slowly started to put things back in the pantry, one grouping at a time. A great idea that Jake had was to take all of the glass jars I've been saving (they don't accept glass in our recycle bin) and use them to hold stuff. What a great idea. I used mine to hold rice, beans, lentils, popcorn, and other dried goods. Not all of my jars had the labels removed, but it's easy to do. Just soak the jar in hot, soapy water for 15 minutes or so and they should rub right off.
I put the appliances I use the least on the top shelf of the pantry while using a decorative basket to hold extra accessories such as blades for the food processor. To wrangle the wild cords on these I use empty toilet paper rolls. I learned this from my mom and I love this idea.
I grouped together breakfast foods, such as cereal, oatmeal, pancake mix and syrup. I organized my canned goods by kinds of food and alphabetically. I put snacks in a small bin and put them on a shelf- the healthier snacks on a higher shelf, therefore easier to grab.
To eliminate some of the clutter that half empty boxes create (contrary to how it sounds, I am an optimist), I emptied them into either clear containers such as plastic ones to hold cereal or Ziploc bags. That way, I can see what is in each and know when I'm getting low.
I did take this opportunity to get rid of some stuff. I took some canned goods that I knew we wouldn't eat and set them aside to donate to a food drive. So when it looks like there is fewer stuff in the pantry, there is, but not a lot. I took the broom and put it in the laundry room, where it is much better suited. I had a small bag that holds plastic shopping bags and I put a small nail in the wall to hold that. I have another nail to hold my aprons.
I didn't have to go out and buy anything for this decluttering. I had all of the plastic bins and baskets. I think they wouldn't be very expensive if you needed to buy them. Some of the bins I had I got at Target, back with the large plastic storage bins. The brand is "Itso". They have cubical type organizing systems and the boxes I used came from there. Baskets are cheap too. I especially like the ones at Joann's fabric store- they are almost always having a sale on them.
The next project? Our white desk we have near our front door where we drop everything.