Spring Cleaning and Decor

With Spring arriving this weekend, thoughts turn to refreshing, renewal and new beginnings. How can you maximize this feeling in your home where you spend so much time? One of the best ways to achieve this feeling is with the little things, sometimes the unseen things in your life. In the home, for this exercise, consider the pantry. How many of us have an untidy pantry? If it is unorganized, it’s difficult to prepare daily meals for the family.

First things first – go through the pantry and discard anything outdated; make your list of what you need and check the sizes of the packages you buy; adjust the shelves to fit your supplies. A well-organized pantry is dependent on space, so keep a running list of what you need, so you do not over-buy – unless you have adequate storage elsewhere. The pantry may be a great place to put a blackboard, or you create one with blackboard paint on one of the panels of the inside of the door. Have everyone in the family indicate on the blackboard (or a list) when they have used the last of an item, so it isn’t overlooked when you make up your grocery shopping list.

Next, assess what you have that could be stored in clear containers with vacuum-sealed lids. These containers are great for keeping food fresh as well as making it easier to see what you have and what is in low supply so you can add it to your shopping list. Pasta, crackers and cereals kept in clear containers are easier to recognize and will look less chaotic than a multitude of manufacturers boxes. If you buy in bulk, containers are an easier way to store more manageable portions.

There are staggered step shelves available for smaller cans, like soups so you can see the labels more easily and store more cans in a small space. Smaller snacks are easily accessible when kept in low baskets at “kid” level. It is always easier to train children to keep things tidy when there is a clear place for items – at least that is the theory.

The pantry doesn’t have to be a dull storage area; paint the back of the walls a fun lively color or get brave and add some fun wall covering. Baskets for loose items can be a source of color as well; just get coordinating baskets or bins in colors to work with your kitchen. As with anywhere in your home, keep your pantry colors consistent.

Oddly enough, lighting is an important factor in keeping a well organized pantry; there are plenty of battery operated, self adhesive lights on the market.

Making the small investments suggested will improve the way you live and how you feel every time you open your pantry; it is almost like spring every day.