Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Working Pantry

I mentioned last week we had my hubby's brother coming into town for a visit, and he would be staying with us.  Funny how the threat of company spurs action in some areas of your home.  In my case, it was my pantry, which had been a disaster of an area since the holidays. You know, jamming and stacking whatever was shopped for wherever you had space, opened packages of stuff left to spill or dry out, duplicate items because you couldn't tell there were already four bottles of it on the floor (anyone need Worcestershire sauce - we have enough to get through a zombie apocalypse) and we won't even talk about rotating stock (it just got shoved in the back regardless of when it was purchased.) 

Anyway, I wasn't actually planning on doing the whole pantry at the time (it was on my giant to-do list, broken down into doable pieces.) I was simply wanting to clear the floor so that you could walk into my walk-in pantry; the rest was going to wait.  But, you know how it is.  You clear something off the floor, and it needs to go on this shelf, but that shelf has these things in the way, so I'll just move them over here (where they should be) and suddenly you're elbow deep in a project you weren't intending to undertake.

First, a disclaimer:  I'm well aware of the, shall we say, unrealistic look into other people's homes and lives that social media accounts often show.  I can, and have, fallen into the "why can't I do that" trap now and then.  However, I do find inspiration in some accounts.  Looking at some of the things I "Like" or "Pin" has helped me solidify a style, look or what I'm looking to create when I can't quite get my thumb on it.  

Now, I use Pinterest - mostly to collect recipes, but I've got other stuff on my account.  I also have Instagram.  In both places I see things like the below photos of pantries.  And don't get me wrong, they are gorgeous.  They make my Organizer-self sing.  My A-Type personality is in heaven.  

But are these really working pantries?  Are these pantries of people who cook for more than one or two people?  I mean, where is the rest of their food stacked - on the counters out of picture range, or in the garage?  Because no matter how much I would love my pantry to be like these, there's no way.  I cook.  From scratch, most of the time.  Almost every day.  For anywhere from three to 10 people at a given meal.  Three meals a day come out of my pantry.  

This is the "after" - even though the social media sites are all about transparency and realism lately, the before pictures are just . . . no.  That's too real.  Anyway, this is what my working pantry looks like after an unplanned clean-out-and-tidy session.  There's no Hollywood lighting.  There are not cute labels.  There are no matching canisters.  I don't have little baskets.  It's organized though.  I can see what I have.  It works for me (us.)  Though I'd love to get rid of those heinous wire shelves - they stink!  

Frankly, if I didn't have to store non-food items (small appliances, over-flow cook books, and seldom used cookware) in the pantry they wouldn't be in here - regardless of whether they had their own cute little space to occupy.  That space would be used to spread things out a bit. 

The lesson(s):  Lists are good, but I already knew that.  Pantries are work horses and will sometimes look like it.  Social media isn't exactly the full picture, draw inspiration, but ultimately you do you.

Happy Tuesday,


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