Decluttering (The Kitchen Drawers & Pantry)

veggiesausagebuttonThis post is a part of my “Who Needs It?” decluttering series, courtesy of SRB.
Area 1: The Master Bedroom
Area 2: The Bathrooms

So far I’m still trying to catch up to the present! These next two areas were tackled just over a month ago, right before Harvey was born.

Also, I apologize in advance for the incredibly long post, but the kitchen drawers & pantry go hand in hand because of the lack of cabinetry we have in our kitchen. When we remodeled the kitchen four years ago, we took out the wall that separated the kitchen from the living/dining area, and that meant we lost all of the upper cabinetry on that side. We now have just six cabinets in the kitchen:

  1. Small upper cabinet above the fridge (used for storing liquor bottles, coffee [Charlie’s tall enough to grab this every morning], and baking stuff)
  2. Upper cabinet above the dishwasher (used for storing all of our glassware)
  3. Lower cabinet to left of sink (used for small misc. items, Stella’s drawer of dishes, and big junk drawer)
  4. Lower cabinet to right of dishwasher (small pull out drawer for hand towels & wash rags and a pull out cabinet that houses 2 trash cans for trash & recycling)
  5. Lower cabinets to either side of the oven in the island (used for storing all of our dishes, pots & pans, and tupperware/pyrex)

I just realized that I didn’t include the storage space under the sink because the guy who built our cabinets didn’t consider that a cabinet because it wasn’t a stand alone box. At any rate, that just holds our dish soap & a few cleaning supplies.

We love the open layout, but it left NO cabinetry available for storing food items or bigger cookware.

When we first moved in, the washer/dryer were located in a little room that was adjacent to the kitchen. I never even took a picture of that room apparently. At any rate, we knew we’d need that space as a pantry, so Charlie built in a space in our attached garage for the washer/dryer and moved them out there.

IMG_3836Yes, this area needs to be organized too. One thing at a time, people. Also, that washer has been crooked for SO DAMN LONG and I’m not sure why I haven’t twisted Charlie’s arm yet to level it. *sigh*

Back to the project.

Opening up that space for a pantry was essential, but over the past 4 years, we have accumulated a lot of stuff. Some of the stuff was comprised of items we received as wedding gifts (6 years ago) that I felt bad getting rid of, some of it is the vast amounts of food I seem to stockpile just in case one or both of us loses our job again. Basically, gift guilt and a fear of being broke & going hungry have led to a HUGE MESS in that room.

The day before I went into labor with Harvey, I decided to tempt fate by emptying out my entire pantry AND organizing all of my kitchen drawers at the same time. It was a pretty impressive site.


IMG_3819As overwhelming as it was to see everything we had, it was aweomse to get it all organised, and we have spent very little on groceries for the past month because I’ve been making a conscious effort to cook using pantry & freezer items (plus the fresh produce & dairy we are still buying obviously).

Once I got everything cleaned out and shelves wiped down, it was time to put it all back in…


IMG_3829It’s probably hard to tell from pictures, but it is SO MUCH BETTER in there. Everything has a place, and there is way less stuff on the floors. Part of that is because I got rid of all of this:

IMG_3833This is basically miscellaneous cookware & dishware that we never use, as well as some cookbooks that I’ve never opened. Google is there for a reason, right?

So ya, pictures don’t really show how much better it is in there, but I know, and it makes me happy. 🙂

On to the drawers. These were easy once I bothered to just do it, so I’ll basically just post before & after pictures.

I didn’t take pictures of all of the drawers, but you get the idea. Things are much more organized and streamlined, which is a really nice feeling when I open the drawers.

So there ya go… the kitchen & pantry will be something we need to constantly keep up with, but as long as I don’t let the gift guilt & fear of starvation get to me, it should be easier to do away with the clutter! 🙂


  1. Looks great! I’m so glad you were able to get everything back in the pantry before Mr. H arrived otherwise that task might have seemed even more daunting. I’m the same way with drawers, I didn’t take before and after pics of every single one, but just knowing that they are cleaned out now makes me feel better. And isn’t it crazy how some of them take no time at all to straighten up, it was just pushing ourselves to do it? That’s all it takes! Way to go!

  2. kaseypowers · · Reply

    So great you got this done before H arrived. It has to make cooking easier knowing what you already have. Drawers -or cabinets in my case – are a nemesis and is one of those never ending tasks. Every few months I get fed up enough to take the 10 min to redo the Tupperware and pots&pans. I need to deal with the dishes soon we have a mug and water bottle problem.

  3. Ok this is going to sound totally out of left field, but have you ever heard of the book, “How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It?” I know it sounds ridiculous, but I realized a few months ago that talking about anything relationship-wise was making things worse for McMister and me. He can’t handle the fact that I cry, and he’d get mad and shut down and I’d cry more. Aaaaaaaanyway, I bought this book. We both (separately) read the first half in a matter of days and LOVED it, but then it made things so much better between us that we never went back to finish. We need to!

    Ok so how about I get to the point of this comment? So the book is all about the differences in things men and women worry about, feel shame about, etc. It talks about women being afraid of going hungry. I think you’d find it really interesting. It also talks a lot about the differences in newborn girls and boys, biologically, and how the adults around them respond to those differences. That part is fascinating as a parent, totally not even relating to the marriage stuff.

    Seriously, sorry for the super-long, not even related to your post comment :/

  4. Looks great. I kind of love reorganizing our food space but then I get very anal about how things are put away after grocery trips and my not-as-observant husband just puts them in all willy-nilly and it stresses me out 😉 Anyhoo, that’s quite a project to take on right before Harvey arrived – great work!

  5. I remember admiring your energy and boldness when you emptied out your pantry! It looks great. I’ve been making a real effort to go through the food in the freezer routinely, and it’s amazing how much of a challenge it can be to actually eat the food we have. 🙂

  6. […] Challenge 1: Fess Up  Area 1: The Master Bedroom Challenge 2: Get Real Area 2: The Bathrooms Area 3: The Kitchen Drawers & Pantry […]

  7. […] 1: Fess Up Area 1: The Master Bedroom Challenge 2: Get Real Area 2: The Bathrooms Area 3: The Kitchen Drawers & Pantry Challenge 3: Start Small Area 4: The Master Bedroom Closets – Stage […]

  8. […] 1: Fess Up Area 1: The Master Bedroom Challenge 2: Get Real Area 2: The Bathrooms Area 3: The Kitchen Drawers & Pantry Challenge 3: Start Small Area 4: The Master Bedroom Closets – Stage 1 Challenge 4: Return to […]

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