Reclaiming the pantry: Stage 1

Whoever would have thought I’d be writing about reclaiming my pantry so soon? Certainly not me back when I was dreaming of space and light (see here).

However, I have to admit when the move into the new kitchen happened loads of stuff was literally thrown into the nearest available space, and there it stayed. Particularly in the pantry – let me show you:

That benchtop you can barely see was going to be my little happy place where I’d stand baking cakes while gazing out the window. Not only is there no bench space for making cakes, there is also no standing room. Therefore no gazing out the window.

Here’s another look:

Oh dear, oh dear! Luckily for me a friend had a Tupperware party recently, and although I couldn’t make it to the party, it was just the incentive I needed to order a start to my collection of Modular Mates.

Tupperware? For a few years I have shunned it as having no personality, but finally practicality has won out for reasons of a lifetime guarantee, stackable/consistent storage and airtightness (which my pretty jars don’t do). I also had an issue with weevily things in the last pantry so twisty-tied packets are out!

While this won’t look to you like an improvement, it’s making me feel happier already!

Currently contained in some sort of order are raisins, sultanas, choc bits, pasta spirals, organic white flour, wholemeal flour, wheatgerm, icing sugar… and a couple of others I’ve forgotten about and am too lazy to get up and check it out.

Yes these do sit right in the way of the cake mixer and toaster at the moment, but the shelves are still a bit full! Most of what is in the containers came from the bench and bins on the floor so I have a long way to go yet!

I’ve made a wishlist for adding to my collection. It currently reads:

Oval 5 x 1 (for rice)

Oval 4 x 1 (for white sugar)

Oval 3 x 1 (for brown rice)

Oval 2 x 9 (for baking and ‘large spices’ like cinnamon bark)

Oval 1 x 12 (for tea bags, nuts, seeds, baking powder and bulk spices)

Square 4 x 1 (for flour)

Spaghetti Dispenser x 1 (uhh…, for spaghetti)

Grand Total: $524.40 OUCH! (Need to get married again and have a Tupperware gift registry..!)

Besides the organisation of shelf product I really need to find an attractive way to store the potatoes and onions as well as the half empty bags of flour. Ideally this would be drawers/bins under the microwave. I don’t particularly like those plastic drawers from Storage Box/The Warehouse… something with a little more style would be more down my alley. But the only thoughts I’ve had are for a couple of rustic nail boxes (maybe with dividers and castors added for ease of use) or some glossy white drawers to match the cabinets (cue hard to find/expensive).

Any other ideas?


7 thoughts on “Reclaiming the pantry: Stage 1

  1. missbrownedesign

    Tupperware… I refuse to be sucked in. I’ll stick with my stackable, airtight, BPA-free, New Zealand-made and cost effective Sistema containers from the supermarket. They do everything – even a dinky gherkin container with drainer for the fridge! See

    For under the bench, what about a woven/wicker basket type thing (from KMart or Briscoes etc) lined with a bit of plastic? Or Maori kite bags? Just a thought! I think your idea for rustic boxes sounds really cool, like old apple boxes! Or get Andre to whip up some open boxes on castors, like the ones Meluka makes – they’re funky! look under range, accessories, crates.

    Also, did you know that onions and potatoes should not be stored together? I found this out just recently – apparently onions go off very quickly when stored with potatoes because they react with the vapors that potatoes give off naturally. I have since separated them and am really pleased that my onions are lasting a lot longer now! x

    1. Jolene Post author

      I was like you for ages, but after talking to Mum and my Mum-in-law I decided it was worth the investment. They still have Tupperware they got 30 years ago, and it’s all in great condition – anything that isn’t can be exchanged under the lifetime guarantee. Good for you going the other way though!
      I’ll have a look at the Meluka website for inspiration – ideally I want something I can make myself as Andre has a list as long as both arms (and I’m still waiting on a sideboard which was a birthday present two years ago!).
      Interesting about the potatoes and onions – can they be in separate compartments of the same box? Thanks for the advice!

      1. missbrownedesign

        Not sure about the onions and potatoes. Mine are now in completely separate places (kitchen drawer and kitchen cupboard!) and the onions are always fine.

        That is a good point about Tupperware – my mum still has most of hers from years ago too. And my sister is a great collector of Tupperware too. x

      2. Jolene Post author

        Mmm… some onions I’ve had go soft really quickly, others are ok. They’re always in pretty close proximity to my potatoes!
        One thing about potatoes which you probably know, but I just recently found out is they need to be stored in the dark to keep them from going green. I thought the green was a disease but apparently not!

  2. Pingback: Reclaiming the pantry: Stage 2 | Duck Egg Blue

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