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We’re Outgrowing Our House: A Pantry Story

By February 10, 2011December 16th, 2014Cats, Clive, House, Kitchen, Relocation

Pantry Clean-Out

Eep! (Before)

It’s a testament to our growing “foodie-ism” that we’re very quickly growing out of our kitchen, particularly the pantry. Stuffed to the gills with appliances, staples and canning supplies, every new “must try” over the past year has quickly depleted storage space in our already tiny kitchen. Because we hope to move in the next year we’re unsure yet on how exactly to deal with this problem, but for now, we’re constantly cleaning and reorganizing it looking for the best temporary solution. I’ve even gone so far as to store kitchen overflow in the bathroom closet. I won’t even show you those pictures. To call it shameful would be a compliment.

So for now I’ve tidied things up and tried to get rid of all the superflous packaging I can. I also invested in a little shelf and some glass containers to store beans, grains, sugar and flours. A little tour of our food abode:

Pantry Clean-Out

Pantry Clean-Out

How did I end up with three jars of peanut butter? That big one is Clive’s personal PB, and I seriously have about 5 bags of flour, and three types of brown sugar.

Pantry Clean-Out

All of our rices and noodles are squeezed into this little slot. I’ve tried to position them so that I can see them all but it’s nearly impossible.

Pantry Clean-Out

All our snacks and breakfast goodies. We have a slight obsession with cereal a la Seinfeld. That big bag of beans is overflow from the other shelf…

Pantry Clean-Out

A testament to our sushi addiction. That’s the rice we use purely for sushi!

Pantry Clean-Out

The top shelf with all canned goodies, more pasta and a green…bag…what is that?

Pantry Clean-Out

Oh yeah, all the candy we try to hide from ourselves. My cousin’s husband works for Wrigley, can you tell? There’s lots of organic chocolate in there, you know, for those weekly if not daily emergencies. You girls know what I mean.

So there you have it, our kitchen conundrum and my latest attempts to clean it up and keep it contained. I was so proud of myself when I had finished that I almost danced to the gym. I had organized the pantry, developed at least a direction for everything to go in. I felt on top of the world! Until I came home to this:


Turns out someone had their fill of a whole bag of coconut. I wonder who it could have been? Who looks more guilty to you?

The boys...

Upon further observation, we found that they have been CO-conspiring to get food off the shelf. At least we know they’re getting along while we’re gone?

So, what now? Well, we don’t know. We love living in our little house. It’s very efficient (read: cheap) on utilities, and easy to clean. We have a great backyard and for the most part love the neighborhood. We don’t even need all that much more room, just enough for more studio and kitchen space. Do we move into another, bigger rental home because we don’t exactly know how long it will take to find jobs in Denver/Minneapolis, or do we stay put?

What would you do?


  • Erin says:

    I am lacking storage space in general in this huose we are in (2 closets total), but if I could have one thing *just ONE* it would be more counter space. I don’t know what they did in 1902, but what we’ve got isn’t cutting it.

  • Krista says:

    J, I feel your pain in the lack of pantry department. I had a free wall in our kitchen and we put up some open shelves (Ikea, of course). I’ve filled them with glass jars filled with pantry items (rice, beans, flours, etc). I like that look, plus you can always see what you have on hand. I can’t remember if you have any free wall space in your kitchen? Or maybe you can’t do that in your rental. Which, is, by the way, a very cute house, not to mention yard. 🙂

  • Our dogs also have their own jar of peanut butter! How funny!

    I’m in a similar housing situation. We’re hoping to move in the next six months, meanwhile we’ve outgrown our current apartment. However, we own our apartment, so the idea of selling it before we need to just to rent a different place seems a little excessive. We’ve decided to sit tight and keep our fingers crossed that I get into a good MFA program and we’ll be on our way by July – hopefully to a little house with a big yard!

  • Rachel says:

    I don’t want you to move so far away BFF! Pantry looks really good-I cringe everytime I open my spice cabinet-it is a mess. Nice weekend project to organize it the way I like it. It’s also nice to see the boys are getting along and committing “crimes” together 🙂

  • Jessica says:

    Stay where you are and invest in a few more shelves and shelf organizers! I can tell you from very recent personal experience – moving is tough! Now that you’re organized though, you can start to consolidate. 5 bags of flour…I see lots of cookies and fresh baked bread on the horizon!

  • Jessica says:

    @Erin I don’t get it either. Our house was built in 1956 and although I know they had fewer appliances available and maybe less stereo equipment, I don’t know how they did it either? We are the most minimal of minimalists and we’re out of space.

    @Krista We probably could do a little with shelving, I’m just afraid to put more holes in a house that isn’t ours. If I did install anything, I’d probably leave it for the next tenants, because I hate moving into a place that has holes to creatively cover.

    @Chrissy I totally understand waiting until the time is right, that’s what it feels like we’ve been doing, an excited and impatient holding pattern lol.

    @Rach I love you BFF!

    @Jessica Hey! Thanks for stopping by. I think we’re going to stay put for now, but if moving takes longer, might pursue a month to month somewhere bigger if we get desperate enough. Yeah, it is a lot of flour, I go through it like water though!