FREE WORK PLANNER
Now that it's a new year, my kids are (finally!) all in school, and we have a full week ahead of us, I'm super excited to really get back on board with menu planning.
(So far since Christmas our kids have had two snow days and two two-hour delays. I love my kiddos, but as a work-at-home momma I love them a little bit more after they've had a nice full day of school!) 😉
While we were home over the weekend, my (wise) eleven-year-old challenged me to tackle clearing out our pantry, and even offered to help. While I've cleaned it out before a time or two, it was in severe need of an overhaul again, so we spent Saturday night organizing and re-working the way our pantry worked for us.
It dawned on me that I've been keeping household cleaners in our pantry because in our previous homes that's been our only storage area, however in our new house we actually have an almost barren linen closet in our bathroom. (I haven't known what to put there!) Clearly it makes more sense for our extra cleaning supplies and toiletries to stay there, which freed up quite a bit of space in our pantry.
(Isn't it funny that you fall into the same habits in a new space without really thinking about how the rooms in your home can serve you best? It seriously never occurred to me to put those items anywhere else because in our last few homes we've had a large pantry storage but hardly any storage in the rest of the house. Clearly it's worth taking a few minutes to evaluate whether your storage needs are working for you in the space you have!)
Okie dokie – here's a peek at the before and after pics (be prepared – yikes!)
My biggest goal was get most everything up and off the floor, so I'm thrilled that moving the cleaning items upstairs allowed room for that. I also was able to make some space for a bin that holds all of the pantry staples we'll need for this week's menu plan, so I won't need to spend time hunting through the shelves to make dinner in a snap.
But the best part? Cleaning out your pantry is almost like taking inventory in a grocery store – now I know what I have and can work on menu planning based on what's already there. This is one of my all time favorite ways to penny pinch, and makes life just so much easier!
In hopes of keeping it this way for a week or two (ahem), I gave my entire family a tour of our newly cleaned out pantry, letting them know exactly where everything goes. Hopefully (?) they'll help me keep it that way. 😉 I still used our Dollar Tree bins to help corral things a bit, but now our pantry is working much more efficiently for our family. Success!
Don't forget that you can check out this week's menu and print your free shopping list too over HERE. If you've been struggling to tackle cleaning out that pantry I encourage you to set aside a few hours this week to get started ~ I promise it'll feel so good once it's done (and help you pinch those pennies too!) 😉