One of the things that we mentioned on our guest stint on the Root Simple podcast was the struggle we have with keeping our pantry organized. As good as we’ve been about getting the rest of our house organized, the pantry is a puzzlebox. It’s a problem Root Simple’s Erik and Kelly have battled as well.
A big part of the issue is the natural cycle of preserving food, stashing food, using food, storing used jars for next season, and constantly rearranging the space to its new best arrangement.
Jenn kidded that we would send the Root Simplers a photo of our space. I’m doing one better. I’m posting the picture right here, triptych-style.
This is where I look like a jerk, as on the podcast I complained about not being able to find anything in here — to the point where I’ll just send Jenn, said pantry’s organizer, in to fetch what I need. And everything looks so pretty and organized in that photo.
But in my defense:
- I normally need stuff from that bottom shelf, which is a hodgepodge of vinegars, oils, crackers, bread crumbs and god-knows-what-else.
- It will look completely different in a month, as we gobble down lots of this stuff.
- I removed a bunch of cloth bags and aprons that hang inside and tend to encroach on our field of vision.
- I had to chase out Gollum, who typically lives in this dark cavern, asking for “Riddles, Preciouses, riddles!” (Seriously, it’s dark. I brought in a floor lamp to light this space.)
- Just below the bottom shelf is where the real chaos reigns, with empty jars, filled jars of tomatoes that wouldn’t fit on the shelf, 6-gallon bins of raw oats and unmilled wheat, carboys and barrels for aging beer and wine, a bucket collecting metal bits for recycling, the pressure canner (aka “diving bell”), and our mops and brooms (evidently kept in this space as a joke, since there’s no accessible floor).