After having purged and re-organized the the smaller pantry cupboard (you can read more about that here), I felt that the larger pantry cupboard should get a fair shot as well.  Kind of like having children, you can’t play favourites right? 😉

The ‘before’ shot:

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Now its not the most organized but its not the worst either. The top shelf belongs to dad. Its sort of like his pharmacy/medical supply type cabinet.  Its his one spot where he knows exactly what’s there. I’m not sure what’s up with Chinese people keeping their medicine in the hot kitchen. That’s where we kept it in our last home as well.   I have noticed that most people tend to keep their medicine in the bathroom ‘medicine cabinet’. Hmm..marketing brainwashing perhaps?? My personal belief is that the heat from cooking or moisture from the showers/baths could affect medicines.  I keep ours in our HBA stockpile cupboard in the hallway, a cool, dark and dry place.

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After taking everything out of the cupboard, sorting & grouping like items while tossing things we don’t and won’t be using anymore as well as expired items, I noticed I had quite a few duplicate spices. The back up’s or unopened bottles were corralled into a box I had laying around. I recycled a small gift box from the local dollar store.  I also took the time to casually  label the box so should dad go rifling through the pantry, he’d know EXACTLY what was in the box without having to dig through everything to pull it out to see.   Practical? Yes. Fancy? No.  Point is, it works. That’s what matters most.

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Here’s a close up of the box tucked out of the way at the back of the shelf.
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The next two shelves, I decided to add expandable shelf inserts. These things are a lifesaver. Look how they totally double your shelf space!

One shelf houses baking supplies and though I stored boxed mixes on their side and it kind of lifts the expandable shelf a bit higher on one end, it still works. I took the trusty Sharpie to them as well labeling them so I wouldn’t have to pull them out to see what type of mixes I have in there.  I also snuck in a couple bags of beans & popcorn as well since there was plenty of room.

The other shelf houses cornstarch, dried beans, dried bean soup mixes, Chinese soup/sauce packets and by not expanding the shelf to fit the space, I was able to find a home for different types of bottled oil.

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With necessity being the mother of all invention, I took it upon myself to get creative with an empty (and purdy) tissue box.  A few minutes later, voila! I have a new ‘holder’ for sauce packets.  We keep the Chinese soup/sauce packets separate so that dad is able to find them with greater ease.

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And here we have the ‘after’ shot.  Finished product!  Look how easy it is to find things in there especially with all that extra new found space! As per dad’s request, I left his shelf alone. But boy, oh boy…did I ever have ideas and containers ready to do his shelf!

For as long as we’ve lived in this house, things just got shoved in there or thrown in on top of whatever was on the shelf.  I found doubles and triples of certain items which were long past their expiry date.  No more wasting time digging or money on buying another of an item because you’re not quite sure if you already have it.

So tell me, when was the last time you cleaned out your pantry? 🙂

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