January 19, 2015

A Pantry Bigger Than My Boston Kitchen

This post is part of a paid collaboration with Brother and Blueprint Social. It's like they knew I needed some help keeping my pantry organized. Now, if they'd just go grocery shopping for me too. Also, don't miss the giveaway at the bottom of the post!

So, this house we are living in for the next six months is enormous. It's almost twice as big as anywhere we've ever lived before (there are definitely both pros and cons to this). 

There aren't really any more rooms in this house than our last house, it's just that every space is SO MUCH BIGGER.

One of these big spaces is the pantry. I've never had a pantry bigger than a tiny linen closet, so this is a big -- and welcome -- change. 

Of course, at first, that big pantry just meant a jumble of stuff on the shelves.

Not the way I wanted to enjoy my six months of pantry bliss.

And since January is National Get Organized month and also because I cook a lot and have to see my pantry multiple times a day, I didn't want to leave it looking like that. 

Labels to the rescue! (By the way, I've never met a librarian who didn't love love love office supplies, so having my own label maker is basically a dream come true. Of course, now I just have to convince Ella to let me use it occasionally, because apparently having one is her dream come true too).

One of my main pantry problems is that I buy a lot of stuff in bulk and then I end up with random bags with bits of things in them (or end up with four bags of the same kind of rice because I can't find the original ones).

The other problem is that so many grains and spices and things look similar and so I end up staring into these bags, trying to figure out what they might be.

(You're just so impressed by my organizational skills right now, aren't you?)

I bought a bunch of 32-ounce mason jars because they are trendy.

Just kidding; I bought them because they are pretty much the cheapest glass storage you can buy (I bought 12 for $10 at Wal-mart which was the cheapest place I found them).

I also have plastic bins that I bought years ago for my bigger items like flour and sugar.

I spent a quiet half-hour one afternoon last week printing out labels on my Brother label maker and putting everything back nicely in the pantry. It was unbelievably gratifying to combine multiple bags of odds and ends into one nice jar.

And now, instead of being an embarrassing junk heap of garbanzo beans and chocolate chip bags, it looks like this:

Now to just put up some hooks for my aprons.

Plus! Brother is giving away a P-Touch label maker every day in January as well as a Grand Prize pack worth up to $2000. If you want to be a twin with Ella (printing out long labels that say ridiculously sweet things like "i love you to momy"), you can enter here.


  1. Because I do a lot of canning (or did, before so many children came along) and so did the generations that lived in this family home before me, we have a serious collection of canning jars, so I use them to store everything. When I go to a person's house and see canning jars all over the kitchen, I know I've found a kindred spirit.

  2. I am jealous. The house I am in for the next few months has this beautiful kitchen. Lots of cabinet space - no pantry. So alas not as much cabinet space as I was hoping due to no pantry to store all the miscellaneous stuff.

  3. We have canning jars for dry bulk goods too but still end up with a bag of random small bits of everything. Love to know we weren't the only ones. Thanks for realistic inspiration!

  4. Are you guys in that subdivision behind the tower off of picket? We were looking at a few houses to buy over there when we first moved here, and the little glimpses I've seen of your house look like a lot of the ones we looked at!

  5. Have you seen the white plastic lids for mason jars? Walmart sells them. They're perfect for lids to things that aren't actually canned, but they're easier to open and prettier! And they don't rust. ;-)

  6. Is it super weird and nosey that I'm curious what the 4 identical blue lidded containers have in them that aren't labeled? Brown rice??

    1. Ha! I love it. It's whole white wheat. I have a wheat grinder and so I keep a little stash around.

  7. I am seriously jealous of that pantry.

  8. Mason Jars are so expensive here in the UK though :-(

  9. Oh, this makes me organization-loving self happy. When we first got married as college students, my husband thought food storage containers were a waste of money but then we got weevils a few months later and he was quickly converted :)

  10. Hey that looks great. My pantry is just one tall cabinet. But I at least have a decent sized food storage room in the basement. I've been trying to figure out all the bulk business, you know, what do I just buy from bins and what do I buy in GIGANTIC bags from food storage center, and what sizes of containers will I need for what kinds of things. I'm finally going to order some reusable produce/bulk bags from amazon because who am I kidding- I'm never going to get around to buying supplies to make them. Also, what kind of reusable squeeze pouches did you like? I'm seeing lots of options on amazon.


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