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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Canning, Preserving and Dehydrating / Organizing Your Pantry
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    Organizing Your Pantry

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    Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:05 pm Groupie
    dianegrapegrower wrote:
    Knowing what you have is key: I keep an inventory of what's in the freezer. I use it when planning the week's meals (yes, I plan dinners a week or more in advance. Helps to have more balanced meals, and reduces weeknight stress levels)

    And DH and I came up with a nifty, space-saving way to store spices. ( I have a lot of spices) We used short lengths of PVC sprinkler pipe glued together to create a rack very much like a miniature wine rack. Labeled the top of the jars, so I can see what they are. I can store 50 or so spices in the rack. Commonly used leafy herbs are in the large jars in front, easily moved to access the spices behind them.


    FANTASTIC Idea! What aew te dimensions of your cupboard that the spices are in?

    Molly thank you for the invite over. We are actually redoing the whole pantry and making a room of it as opposed to shelves in the utility room. Well we as is DH.

    I love Diana's spice rack and think I could do that one for my spices. I get tired of moving them in and out of the cupboard to reach the back ones.

    Super cool!
    Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:31 pm Groupie
    My cupboard was ("was" because I've moved since taking that picture, and am anxiously awaiting a kitchen remodel that will allow me to recreate that spice rack!) about 30" wide, 10" to the next shelf. The rack was not attached to the cupboard - could be any height or width.

    Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:31 pm Groupie
    Yes - I agree - fabulous spice rack - I could do with one of those !!
    Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:57 am
    Forum Host
    It would be tremendous if you could post before and after pictures, Connie.
    Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:23 pm Groupie
    Great ideas, thanks!

    I have a question about tea: people keep buying me tea and I probably have 20-30 packages in my little cupboard. Does anyone know if there is any expiration for tea? I'll probably throw some away now that I emptied the cupboard and found some I've not brewed in years! I could have worse problems!!!
    Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:59 pm
    Forum Host
    I suspect they'll last pretty much forever, assuming they were stored completely dry. Ones that are years and years old may need to steep a little longer, but the tea will be just fine.
    Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:11 pm Groupie
    I think the tea will last a pretty long time - you could have a tea party to move some !!
    Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:28 am Groupie
    Well, I figured they'd last a long time, but on closer inspection, some did have expiration dates on the packages. I suspect some manufacturers use dates to convince paranoid people that they need to re-purchase. Milk, yes; tea, no!
    Thanks - I better go make some scones!
    Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:02 pm Groupie
    Molly53 wrote:
    It would be tremendous if you could post before and after pictures, Connie.

    I don't have any real before pics but I do have the emptied out area, DH already built the walls and put on the door but no shelves yet. So tomorrow I will get in there and take some empty room pics. I do share with the hot water heater and the water purifier but that is ok as I now have a real room with a door. LOL Before it was shelves I hung on 2 perpendicular walls and then added in a shelf rack (shoe rack) as well as bins. I think this is going to be so much nicer and mouse proof. LOL I plan to get some pipe like Diana had to make a spice rack in there and then a smaller version for my inside cupboard. I use tons of spices! When I find them on sale I stock up on the ones I use daily.
    Keep those ideas coming as Mike is building I keep showing him these pictures LOL He may kick me off this site soon.
    Sat Jan 14, 2012 7:15 am
    Forum Host
    What does Mike think of this thread?

    Here are the plans to build your OWN can rotation racks from cardboard:
    They mention that it's important to use an exacto knife or razor to make the cuts so that they're perfectly square. GREAT way to save $30 or $40 per each!

    Also, this person used bungee cords to prevent accidents with their recycled glass containers (they live in California and are prone to earthquakes):

    Here's the directions for a can rack for the more serious wood crafter:

    and a smaller, portable one:

    Last edited by Molly53 on Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total
    Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:00 am
    Forum Host
    Short on dedicated pantry space? Disguise your can rotator as a very attractive sofa table!

    Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:23 am
    Forum Host
    Eleven Ideas to Organize:

    Old food containers make the perfect drawer or cabinet shelf organizers. Try using yoghurt pots to hold twist ties, rubberbands, toothpicks and the like. Or how about margarine tubs to keep packet mixes or tupperware lids together and stood upright. Glass jars from pasta sauces or mayonnaise can hold flatware or kitchen utensils.

    Cereal boxes or other cardboard you have lying around can be cut up and used as drawer dividers

    Cardboard boxes covered in attractive Contac paper/sticky-back plastic make perfect baskets for your wall shelves or even inside your cabinets to keep like items together. Think of all those diaper, shoe, liquor and online shopping boxes you put in the recycling. Recycle them yourself into a pretty basket organizer.

    Shoe boxes, especially the cheap and clear plastic variety, can easily be repurposed to keep like items together. Think pasta, granola bars, baking goods etc.

    Baking trays can be used to group all of your baking goods whilst not in use. And how about turning a rarely used loaf tin upside down and using it as a tiered shelf at the back of your cabinet to store cans on. This saves space in your baking cabinet AND helps you to see the dark depths of the canned goods shelf.

    Do you have an old dish drainer that you no longer use? Store your pot lids or baking sheets in it. They are much easier to find and grab if they are stood up vertically.

    Beg, borrow or re-use some tension style curtain rods that will fit the height of your kitchen cabinets. Position them in pairs, front to back, at intervals that will hold your bakeware, chopping boards, trays and heavy platters. This will keep them upright and means you don’t have to lift the whole stack each time you need one at the bottom.

    Use a tray in your glassware or mug cabinet. Cover the top and bottom with a non-skid liner and then lay it on top of the bottom row of items to create a helper shelf for another row and make the maximum use of space.

    If you have any pitchers, pretty mugs or pottery vases that you don’t use very often, put them on display and use them to hold your utensils.

    If you don’t have much lying around your own house, visit thrift shops or yard sales and see what you can find. Look beyond the current state of any prospective items as with a bit of paint and a makeover, you’ll be amazed at how good, someone else’s ‘junk’ can look.

    Get, Set, Organize

    One could also expand on Dianegrapegrower's spice rack idea to make a wine or bottled water/soda storage rack using larger PVC pipe (inexpensive) or recycled tin cans (free):

    Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:22 am Groupie
    Wow - there are some marvellous ideas written up here !! Things I would just never think of like the bungey cord ropes !!
    Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:51 pm Groupie
    WOW!!!!!!!!!!! I love some of these ideas especially the can recycling and yes the larger PVC for soda bottles. Perfect for storage idea. I love that. I also am reading and watching the tutorials for the can storage so the cans rotate by dates. I like that idea just not sure DH feels like building too much more at this time. HOWEVER, am going to favorite that so maybe for a Christmas or better yet a Mother's day gift. hhmmmm
    Love these ideas.

    Pantry building is on hold however as the pipes have frozen the last 2 days so DH has been busy taking care of that first. Yestersday -10, today -4 with WINDS making it even colder. He has been so cold doing that I told him the pantry can wait and the bins lined up in my hallway are "festive" looking. Who cares right now, I want water, warmth, and him not to get sick from crawling under the house in the crawl space.

    I will get pics ladies when he is up and running again.

    Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:53 pm Groupie
    Molly53 wrote:

    One could also expand on Dianegrapegrower's spice rack idea to make a wine or bottled water/soda storage rack using larger PVC pipe (inexpensive) or recycled tin cans (free):

    Are the cans screwed together or hot glued? I can do this without Mike's helping hand to suprise him when the shelves are completed.
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