I asked for this fun little label maker for Mother's Day in hopes that if would get me motivated to organize. It worked! I knew exactly what I wanted to tackle first. The PANTRY!!
When we were house hunting, I instantly fell in love with everything about this house. OK, really I fell in love with the pantry. It was love at first sight. Well, actually 2nd glance because I didn't even SEE it at first.
Isn't that clever!? I opened the cabinet doors expecting to see rows of shelves and instead I am transported into my own secret room!! Seriously, it is the best thing EVER!! HOWEVER...this is the sad part...after a couple of years the clutter of the rest of the house started creeping into my beloved pantry. It didn't bring me that "feeling" anymore, the "spark" was gone. It was time to put some time and effort into the relationship. Time to reconnect, but we needed some outside help. A 3rd party to get us out of this mess...DYMO to the rescue!!!
It was so fun (really it was) and only took me a couple of days to complete (yes, this is WITH the interruptions that come along with having 3 children in the house). I started by grouping like items together...canned food, baking goods, cereal, drinks. THEN, I divided them into even more specific groupings. Canned food was put on the shelves and labelled as "Canned Veggies", "Canned Fruit", "Cream Soup", "Beans", etc. Cereal was labelled as "Cold Cereal" and "Hot Cereal" (oatmeal, cream of wheat, Malt-o-Meat). Baking goods ended up with labels such as "Sugar", "Flour", "Pie Filling", "Boxed Cakes, and "Pudding". You get the idea.
Another suggestion is to use plastic containers and baskets to store items in. I put all of our cookie cutters into a small plastic bin. Sprinkles and food coloring in one and spice packets in another. I used a basket to store bread, which keeps it from getting smashed. I also used a basket to store our dry pasta that comes in bags instead of boxes.
As I was doing this, I thought about which items we used the most and put them at eye level. The items that weren't used on a daily basis (cookie cutters, cake pans, jello molds) were put on the top shelves. I also put items that my kids could help themselves to (snacks, crackers, juice boxes) down on their level. Speaking of kids, they really enjoyed "helping" with this as well. Hence, the "PB&J" label as seen below.
Oh, looks like we are out of jelly. Better write it on the shopping list. Yes, all this crazy obsessive labelling has made it so easy to figure out what we need at the store. We just walk in, find a space with nothing in it and read the label to see what we are out of. AND when it comes time to put away the groceries the kids can't WAIT to do it. Not kidding. They love reading the labels and knowing EXACTLY where to put something. It's like a game to them. Who knew all of this was wrapped into one little label maker!!?? It's so great to have that "spark" back again!!