August 12, 2020

Pandemic pantry

In the midst of organizing 10 plus years of memories into photo albums during a pandemic I have also organized my pantry.  I know, you are all envious of the exciting life I lead.  

I forgot to take a picture before I
 started, but I think you get the idea. 
I pulled that little kiddie table
 over to assist me. 
Oh, the things I found.
The shelves of the pantry were bowing - I think the cans were too heavy.  Don't get me started on the contractors and their incompetence, because I do think standard pantry shelves should be able to handle pantry items.  They thought I was going to pay someone to do fancy designer shelving in there and then they admitted that they could do shelves - that it was included in my quote.
Knowing the things I know now - like how my farm sink is pulling away from the counter-top because they failed to put enough support underneath it, I suspect they half-assed the shelves.  See, I said don't get me started.  Sigh.
I found this in the pantry.  Hard
 to tell because the package stays
 upright when empty.  That's right
 - empty.  As in, WHY THE

The pantry is huge, yet I started to struggle to find space for things during these last few months of 'what-will-the-stores-run-out-of-next.'  

This is a bag of skinny pop void
of even a single kernel, yet stored
carefully across several other boxes 
of things.  Why must my people
torture me so?  For the record, I do
not eat that granola above,
or skinny pop.
  I have my theories about
who the culprit is.

We are planning to host a joint grad party for Lad and Reg on the 15th along with a cousin, so I hoped to clear the dining room corner of my food items.  I have been keeping pasta, canned goods, apple juice, quinoa, etc. in a corner of the dining room.  That's right, I am a classy chick what with a spa that catered to raccoons in June AND groceries littering the floors inside of my home.  Honestly, if I didn't know any better I would believe that while I sleep the raccoons get an invite inside the home.  Then I realize - oh, shit.  The place looked almost this bad when I went to bed, it only looks slightly worse now.  

Yet, I am able to bury my face in my photo albums, relax at the now-opened local pool, and dump groceries in the dining room and manage to ignore the chaos.  

It's a gift.  

Quite sure the KC sister-in-law never feels like raccoons ravage the inside of her home.  Double sigh.

Anyway, being out of town last week for 4 days to KC and about to leave again for Michigan for 5 days with a grad party approaching on the 15th, I hit panic mode.  
Why so many cans?  I insisted that 
we have cans of soup for dinner. 
 My people looked at me like I was
 crazy, then I felt guilty and ran to
 Costco for the few things I need
 for Michigan and bought a Costco 
rotisserie chicken.  Soup, chicken, 
bread, salad.  They survived and
 my can inventory decreased slightly.

I emptied the pantry in the middle of a very rough night with Lad.  Nothing says family fun like reorganizing space while juggling unfounded insults.  Suffice it to say Lad said and texted awful things directed at me after I wouldn't let him use my car to hang out with friends after he spoke to me disrespectfully.  He currently prefers not to recognize authority, which is interesting.  Even though I know he is struggling, living with the drama is constant turmoil.  We are working on a plan.  Keep you posted there.   

Finished product.  Now I am left
 wondering if I am preparing to
 starve my family, because where
 the heck is all the food?  How do
 we have such a huge gaping space
 on the shelf by the mixer?

The offspring bumped up their game sensing my desperation  and my emotional-Lad-induced-state and we finished the pantry in an almost-all-hands-on-deck game changer, days  after returning from KC.  

The question is will I be able to find what I need and will my 'helpers' know how to put stuff away now that it cannot be tossed willy-nilly on the dining room floor?  

What's your most disorganized part of your home?  Have you ever moved something to a 'better' spot only to eventually undo it?  


Nicole MacPherson said...

The pantry looks great! I think I need to do some organization in that area as well. Great job!

Suzanne said...

Reorganizing the pantry is such a satisfying chore! Yours looks great!

And leaving an empty package of something in the pantry, looking like it still has food in it?!?!?!?! WHY?!?!?!?

Kari said...

Our pantry is a small closet and it doesn't even have a door. Just a curtain. AND it doesn't have shelves. Just wire shelving. AND I found four empty bags in there yesterday as well. AND I only have two children. So you are doing just fine.
I hate meal planning/grocery shopping/pantry organizing. That is my least favorite chore.

Kara said...

Our pantry is a walk in corner of the kitchen. We have 10 ft ceilings downstairs, and yet the pantry shelves only go up 6 feet. So this summer, we added an additional shelve for the things that get used sparingly- such as the lobster pot that gets used maybe once a year, but is huge. Before the construction, we decided to clean out the entire thing. We found hidden in the bottom a box of glassware that we got as wedding presents in 2000, that we wrapped up in 2001 to move from RI to AZ, and then never opened the box again. We pulled out the rather nice wine glasses (thank you to whomever bought those), and replaced the IKEA ones that we've been using for years. Some glassware wound up getting donated, because I just don't need it. We also found a cutlery set for 16 that my grandmother gave us. That got reboxed into a better storage box and put away. Spices that expired 7 years ago got thrown away. It was a pretty productive weekend. The kids have been home for a couple weeks now, and not a single child has noticed that there's another shelf in the pantry nor have they noticed that it's clean.

Gigi said...

I am envious of your pantry - we just have a small closet - which would be fine if it were just me. But I live with The Husband - the food hoarder. Every once in a while, I just get fed up and clean the whole thing out. And foolishly think (EVERY SINGLE TIME) that he will follow my imposed order/rules regarding the pantry. Yes, that IS the definition of crazy - as he never does.

Anonymous said...

Your pantry is wonderful! And I laughed so hard at the photos of empty snack bags carefully placed but not, you know, thrown away! XD

We recently got some of the most beautiful shelving ever (at least if beauty for you = reasonably priced, well made, with high marks for weight bearing). For first time ever I’m enjoying organizing stuff. I stand back and look at the groceries, methodically placed on their study racks and i feel content (and also grateful).


Ernie said...

Nicole - I am in awe of how organized it is. So far I have had to figure out where I stored things a few times. The downside to progress.

Suzanne - I opened the fridge this morning and found an empty applesauce container. True story. There really is no explanation.

Kari - When we redid the kitchen, I was all about the pantry. Figuring out how to make the space work best is a chore - but one that is much more fun with a big pantry.

Kara - We stored stuff in my sister's house after our wedding when we lived in a 1 bedroom condo. When we bought our house 3 years later, we happily opened our stuff but never found a covered vegetable bowl that went with our everyday dishes. Sadly, it was never found. Crazy. If my kids didn't notice a high shelf, I would be storing all the snacks there, of course they have radar so it wouldn't take long.

Gigi - not sure which is worse - a hoarding husband, or teens who leave crumbled chips in a bag and act like someone else is going to come along and eat it.

Maddie - oh the empty bags and boxes that people are incapable of tossing out might make me lose my mind. I am shocked at how much more space we 'found' when organizing the pantry. I had no idea it was so disorganized. I feel like we just moved our stuff in there, but it has been over 2 years. It was time.

Suburban Correspondent said...

If you can install a third rail on the wall behind your shelves, centered between the other two, and stick another of those supporting arm thingies in it for each shelf, that will help the bowing problem! It just needs some support in the middle.

Busy Bee Suz said...

The nerve of your people just leaving empty bags in there....well, it MUST be the raccoons.

Good for you and your peeps for getting it done before your next trip. I know you'll sleep better. :)

I have to say, I am completly annoyed that your kitchen people put in a shevlving system like that; you can get that at Home Depot and Lowes; that is not custom. Ass hats.

I hope things get better with Lad or else he might NOT want to be there for his celebration/party.

Ernie said...

SC - Great idea, but all the cans in the pantry will expire if I wait around for Coach to have the time to put up another support thingie. Fingers crossed that having the canned goods in a cabinet does not send me over the edge. I should mention that I also started to utilize a corner cabinet that I had yet to decide what to put there, so instead of it being a catch all for seasonal stuff like hot chocolate and for weird jugs for lemonade that are used maybe twice a year, I have reallocated the space for actual staples. Why did it take 3 years to put two and two together? Sigh.

Ernie said...

Suz - good to have you back my friend. You do not miss a trick. The Lad situation was quite out of control last week. On the fence about blogging about it, because it is hard to articulate. Weighs on me like a ton of bricks.

Yes, my kids can easily be raccoon-like - only difference, I believe raccoons prefer to wash things before they eat it. My kids wash nothing. Ever. Unless you count Tank scooping out the top layer of ice cream in order to be sure to be rid of any Lad germs because Lad has most likely eaten directly from the carton. Hmm, clean - or just over the top gross combined with a bit of germ-a-phobia by a not-so-neat-freak son. It's a toss up.

The original kitchen group was robbing Peter to pay Paul and cutting corners all over the place. My very heavy farm sink has to be re-installed because they didn't build up enough support under there and it is pulling away from the sink. The 2nd guy was worse if possible. Took money and then didn't do the work. And it is just too dang hard to sue these people. Very little recourse without putting myself through hell.

Since we have been back from Michigan, Lad has been trying EXTRA hard to not make waves, been very helpful. We are waiting for the other shoe to drop but still hoping that the new therapist might be reaching him.

Beth Cotell said...

My problem with pantry and cabinet organization is that it always looks great for about two days and then you go to the store and have a whole new batch of stuff that needs to be placed properly and organized again within the space. However, when I get back from the grocery store the LAST thing I feel like doing is properly putting things away so I tend to shove things near their proper place. And alas, things are a mess again in short order!

Ernie said...

Beth - sorry, your comment slipped through the cracks. I must've been busy organizing my pantry. Hee hee. I hear you on this. I buy SO much of something when it is on sale and then it inevitable doesn't fit in the pantry where it belongs and I assign it a new spot, and then I don't buy it in forever because we have high inventory and then we run out and I am dumbfounded. Bringing the groceries inside the house and unloading them is worse, in my opinion, than purchasing them at the store while wearing a mask. Right now we are also struggling to remember where everything is in my newly formed system.