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The best advice for organizing your kitchen pantry? Do it BEFORE you go grocery shopping.  With the new school year just beginning and a crazy schedule –after school activities, open houses, end of summer get togethers–my pantry is almost entirely empty.

Rather than dash out to the store, I decided to take a moment to organize. With less to deal with, this took about ten minutes. If you like your pantries stacked to the max (like I do during the winter when the weather is miserable and the weekly farmer’s market is full of jam) a quick organization and inventory will get you going in the right direction.

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  • Check for any expired items or foods you will not use–toss expired food
  • Donate any acceptable items to a local food pantry.
  • I love glass containers for grains and cereals. For me, nothing is worse than “thinking” I have an item and then reaching for the box to find out there isn’t enough to make a meal. See through containers allow me to glance quickly and note that I am running out of rice, sugar…etc.
  • I like to keep sandwich stuff on the bottom where the kids can reach it.
  • Same for the doggie treats.
  • Spices/vinegars are on tiered shelves so I can find what I need quickly.
  • For a well stocked pantry, keep a few easy recipes up your sleeve.
    • Beans of every kind with grains.
    • Pasta with jarred pesto or marinara.
    • Broth and noodles for a quick soup with leftover meat and veggies.
    • Dry oatmeal to jazz up with fruit, granola, or honey on busy mornings.
    • If you bake (I don’t). Flour, Sugar, baking powder, baking soda…
    • I keep a stash of frosting and birthday candles in the top of the pantry.
    • Something to make a quick appetizer–chips and salsa, chickpeas for hummus, crackers, dips.
    • I also always have salmon, tuna, olives, capers. Very classy in a pinch!
    • The non-diet soda for our friends that can actually taste fake sweetener

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Perhaps the main reason my pantry is my favorite room in the house? This is where the coffee, tea, espresso, and hot chocolate happen. I love local treats like Barkeater Chocolates, Saratoga Tea and Honey, and my husband’s beloved Death Wish Coffee! 

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Don’t forget something that makes you smile 🙂

My high school friend Sheri is an incredible artist…and a few years ago I scored a limited edition of this print. She said it was a gift for an ex boyfriend–after I died laughing–I told her that I thought it was an excellent reminder that I couldn’t do everything by myself.

She said that she had never thought of it like that!

I am willing to admit her take on the print also applies to me!