Whew! Just 9-10 months after moving in, our pantry was a wreck! AND it had been gone through several times already during those 9 or 10 months! It was driving me crazy. Anybody surprised? 😛

Some of y’all know that, starting on the first of next month, I’m taking over our family’s grocery budget, and, therefore, menu planning. I’m hoping to start (yet another) blog for this, so I won’t post too many details here. Anyway, I definitely needed to know what we had before I started planning huge shopping trips. I’ve been procrastinating for the past week or so; I really didn’t want to start inventorying our ever-changing stash of edibles. I finally knuckled down and did it this morning – only about half of it though.

Before I could even begin inventorying however, I had to be able to see what we had.

This is the shelf I started with (the picture is after I culled and reorganized.). As the top shelf sort of indicates, this shelf is generally where all our currently empty jars and containers land. When you use home-canned stuff as often as we do, I don’t need to say that this shelf was rather over-flowing with empty jars. So, I sent them to the other house. A bunch of them.

My findings from this shelf after I reorganized everything?

  • If we ate half a pint of squash relish a week for the entire year, we couldn’t eat it all.
  • We have almost enough green beans to have once a week for a year (at 1 quart per week).
  • We can have a quart of apples about once a month for the next year.
  • I really wish we were able to stockpile our home-canned tomatoes like we did our green beans back in 2009. That would have helped A LOT. As it is, we have over 100 ounces of tomato paste. That’s a lot for people like us who prefer to freeze our tomato paste in tablespoon quantities. Yeah, we pretty much never use it.
  • We have enough steel-cut oats to feed an army.

Yeah, I have exact-ish numbers on everything else, but that would get boring for y’all, so I shall kindly spare the details.

This is the next bit of shelving I worked on. When the first shelf overflows with empty jars, this shelf get the extras. So I sent all those up to the other house as well. On top of that, this one tends to catch any empty medicine bottles and plastic jugs. Those went to various and sundry places too. The top shelf is now home to vases (I guess it’s good to have a couple of those, but the pragmatist in me wants to banish them too.). The two boxes are of crystal that have been up there, unopened, since we moved. I’m hoping to send them up to a safe place in the other house.Working our way down, the next two shelves have herbs. Yeah, I know. They’re not mine; don’t look at me. That’s Mama’s area, so I only dealt with those enough to send off the empty stuff.

The next shelf, from left to right: Jellos are in the hanging basket. Then there are 3 gallon jars full of macaroni; the small one is all that’s left of the penne (we’ve been using that stuff up since before we hosted Presbytery, which was what? 2 years ago?)! Then about a gallon and a half of local honey; followed by the plastic basket overflowing with various and sundry teas.

The next shelf has ice cream makers, paper napkins, toilet paper, and Ziploc bags, parchment paper, foil, and freezer paper. I didn’t do too much with the bottom shelf either. When we’ve been shopping recently, it’s full of Cosco-sized bags of toilet paper and paper towels. The green, plastic box, unfortunately, has to stay. It’s got medical stuff in it. On top of that is the silver chest which we get into occasionally if we run out of our regular silverware.

This shelf was easier that the other two. First of all, the top half or so is full of games. Then the bottom shelf was already organized – that’s where all the wheat berries (+ a bag of pop corn) were. Most of what I did was move the 25lb bag of flower and 10lb bag of sugar down next to the buckets (rapadura and soft white wheat). The cereals and crackers were there, but I moved them up. I don’t know about y’all, but I like the stuff I use often to be at roughly eye-level. That’s what I was attempting to accomplish by that move.

I guess tomorrow, or maybe this evening, I have to do the part of the pantry we use all the time. It’s a disaster zone right now, but I reckon now’s a good time to do it, since we’re low on pretty much everything. 😐