Are you being bombarded on social media by pictures of Pinterest Perfect Pantries? You’ll see woven baskets, colour-coordinated cans and beautiful scripted labels. But are these images realistic and practical? Bonnie and Lily chat about the realities of these pantries behind the Instagram filters
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BONNIE: Hello and welcome! I am Bonnie.
LILY: and I am Lily, and this is Little Home Organised the podcast dedicated to helping you declutter, get organised and reclaim time for the things you love.
BONNIE: Hello and welcome, this week we will be talking about pinterest perfect pantries, are they everything instagram says they are cracked up to be, we will discuss the pros and cons of beautiful pantries and give you some important tips to help you create your own fabulous yet functional pantry
LILY: I am excited about this week’s episode because we are also going to mention my recent transformation of my pantry which I am excited to share
BONNIE: And looks amazing should I add
LILY: Thank you, thank you but before we jump into that Bonnie, can you quickly tell our listeners about the Essentials Guide
BONNIE: Absolutely, so the Essentials Guide you can find on the littlehomeorganised.com.au website and it is the only guide that you will need to organise any and every space in your home and it is designed with the time poor parent in mind, so it is short sharp videos with lots of tips and tricks to help you organise your home from head to toe.
LILY: So yeah if you are ready to jump in and get on it and you want some skills head on over and check out the Essentials Guide. I actually had someone contact me the other day and she was like this all sounds like everything I have been looking for, her words no exaggeration there and she said but I am so time poor, I am a shift worker and I just need something that is flexible, and I said you are in luck, this is something we have designed it, you can just log on and do it your own pace, it is not in a set time frame you just get on there and you do it as you need it, and she was like oh I didn’t even realise and she went on and she is currently working her way through the course right now.
BONNIE: And the important thing to note there is that you don’t have a time limit for it, so when you buy the course if life gets in the way and derails you, you have got lifetime access to actually finish that course.
LILY: So let’s jump on over to pinterest perfect pantries.
BONNIE: So lets start by talking about some of the pinterest perfect pantries we have seen on pinterest or instagram or other social media platforms.
LILY: I feel like we are doing one of those tongue twisters where it is like Peter, piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, a pack of pickled peppers that peter piper picked. I almost got it
BONNIE: I was going to say you were doing so well. She sells seashells by the seashore, if she sells seashells.
LILY: There will surely be no more.
BONNIE: I don’t actually no the rest of that one.
LILY: No that’s what I filled in and it logically made sense.
BONNIE: It totally did
LILY: Um but what is a pinterest perfect pantry, well basically it is anything that is beautifully organised, everything looks really systematic, lots of matchy matchy order beautiful filters over the top and when you have a look at it, it looks like something you would find in a magazine but with social media long gone are the days of magazine, we see these things in our news feeds every single day, these beautiful pantries and you just think my goodness look at all that shinny glass wear in that pantry where I can see every different type of seed this person owns, I didn’t even know there were that many types of seeds and it is just super intricate and beautiful, that is a pinterest perfect pantry
BONNIE: But also the thing that pinterest perfect pantries do tend to do sometimes is they can make us feel like our own pantry is inadequate and that is not a great thing because we are actually constantly getting bombarded with adds for things, whether they are actual business adds or just someone else’s pantry that looks amazing that is constantly telling us we are not good enough. Now a really interesting study actually showed that we will see in one year more adds than someone 50 years ago saw in their entire lifetime.
BONNIE: That’s a lot of adds right, like you think about
LILY: That is a lot of adds
BONNIE: Just in your last 24 hours you have seen adds on peoples cars, on the bus stops on the billboards, the TV, the radio, social media
LILY: Your Facebook newsfeed when you are actually scrolling through trying to see what your friends are up to and you have to go oh there’s sponsored content, oh there’s sponsored content and you are flicking through all that, that is all advertising as well.
BONNIE: Absolutely so it really does bombard us and it actually creates this culture where we feel like we don’t have enough and we are not enough and we need to buy these products and buy these services and become like these people who have these amazing pantries so that we can this more fulfilling life
LILY: We had that recent episode that we did of course on the Home Edit, the very popular show on Netflix and they very much are all about form versus function but they have a huge emphasis on form and that is that beautiful pantry that you open up and everything looks perfect, so it doesn’t matter that I have cereal box that this is tall and this wide and a cereal box that is only this tall and a little bit skinnier, when you use one of those systems that they implement everything looks uniform and the same and that is what can be so appealing is it is so aesthetically pleasing to open those pantry doors and be oh like everything looks even and orderly and it brings like a sense of calm
BONNIE: Yeah it really does
LILY: But form versus function is a really interesting concept
BONNIE: Yeah it really is because too often we can get really caught up in that whole form side of things and we can want that rainbow effect and that uniformity but what we don’t realise is that sometimes when we actually just focus on the form side of things the function actually falls by the wayside and that is actually the most important thing because not only do you need to organise your space in the first place but you need to be able to maintain it, that is like the key to staying organised.
LILY: Absolutely and I think that is why pantries can be such an intimidating space in the house because there are so much turnover in that space, we constantly do our food shops and have more food coming in that then has to be accommodated for in this pantry so we might be feeling confident to go in and get organised but if we don’t pick a system that is actually got room for the growth of a weekly shop that you know gets bigger and smaller then the system that we try can fall apart and it ends up looking really messy and doesn’t end up working and so I think the pantry can be quite an intimidating space, we want it to look pretty but it absolutely has to be functional.
BONNIE: It does and you know a lot of people when we work with them in their homes decluttering, they want that beautiful pantry but they are not really willing to put the money and to invest in the right containers and getting the right containers and baskets to help organise your pantry is so essential I cannot tell you how essential it is, because when you don’t do that you will have those misshapen packets, you will have things that are bigger than others, they wont fit on the same shelf because the shelf is only one uniform height and some boxes are bigger than others but when you actually go and you do that containerising it really does make a big difference because then everything is uniform and then you can use something like the bulk section or the back stock if you are a Home Edit fan. It is absolutely my favourite part of the pantry because what it means is that you set your pantry up almost like a shop front where everything has its place, you only have one of everything on display but then the things that you use the most often are in this back stock area because you know what it is like when you have little kids as well if you run out of peanut butter or jam in the middle of breakfast and you still have few pieces of toast to spread, those kids are not happy that you have run out.
LILY: Not when they were expecting peanut butter or jam
BONNIE: Exactly and especially if you have got kids who have got high needs and they are really ridged in their thinking that can spell disaster as well so having this bulk section or this back stop area it is such a life saver for when you run out of stuff in the middle of your cooking
LILY: So I think lets jump into the pros and cons of the pinterest perfect pantry because you know I know we are coming in pretty hard on the, it is not all it’s cracked up to be but what does that even mean and what does that look like, so lets have a look at it. Lets look at some of the things that we love about the pinterest perfect pantry and then some of the things that we think are impractical.
BONNIE: Well obviously the thing that I love the most about a pinterest perfect pantry is that it looks pretty,
LILY: Yes so pretty
BONNIE: Like you can open it and it makes you want to get nice food out of there because it looks really appealing,
LILY: Oh yeah
BONNIE: And I have noticed that with 10 years now of clients whenever a space gets decluttered, they are proud of it, they want to show their friends all of a sudden their wardrobes and their unmentionables draw, because they are so excited that they have organised it and it is decluttered and it looks really beautiful. So that is a definite pro for me.
LILY: Yeah I absolutely have to agree with you they are so pleasing to look at and I think you know you are talking about a shop front earlier, it can feel like that, you know that feel you get when you walk into a really beautiful store and everything has been beautifully designed and it makes you feel really good and they put nice candles on and it smells. They have done that on purpose, they want to showcase everything to entice you, you know to purchase it, but they are creating and setting up an environment and so when we open up our pantries and everything is beautifully orderly it is so enticing, you know like especially if that is the way you are wired, you look at it and you think oh the uniformity this looks fabulous. Oh of the things that I think is a pro of everything being so uniform is that it is really easy to find the things that you want because everything it so clearly laid out.
BONNIE: Yes especially when you have got really good labels and you have got nice clear containers, glass, Perspex, acrylic, or whatever it is that you choose to use, the other thing that I was actually thinking of is I don’t know if you have ever watched the Crown on Netflix but I have been watching
LILY: I have not, not yet
BONNIE: And one of their earlier seasons, they actually talk about I can’t remember who, I think it was Queen Elizabeth and she said like why did have to dress this certain way and why cant we just be like other people. Why do we have to such this high standard, and the advice that came back from the advisors was the people who are down in the dumps and down and who are poor, they need someone to aspire to, they need like this level to like look up to, to help them on their days where they are feeling really low because they know that they will never be able to achieve that personally but they want to be able to see that from someone else. And I thought that was so interesting because in one sense, having like these pinterest perfect pantries can inspire people, oh yeah actually I can have a pretty looking pantry that is really functional but there is the con side of that as well which can be oh mine doesn’t look like that, I am no good, I will never have that
LILY: Yeah there is also that side where it creates distance, you know you were talking abut socio economic status’s almost there and you know by looking up at the Royalty and seeing them in those really fine outfits is that you know that presumption that I am going to look at that and be like oh wow I want to be like that as opposed to look at the disparity of wealth between the two of us. Look at this famous person on instagram who has this incredible beautiful pantry that is huge with every different type of cereal and what have you and I don’t have a pantry that big and I will never have that and the feelings that would be stirred from that that could be quite negative as well, and so I definitely think it is trick, it could be inspiring but it could also be crushing.
BONNIE: Yeah and just it can be dissatisfying and I mean we don’t really need any more dissatisfaction in our lives do we, like there is enough
LILY: No, no and that is the tricky part of you know Instagram and these beautiful platforms is they show us so much beauty but there is also this, there can also be this darker side to it as well. One of the things I think is a really good pro, an absolute big pro because if you imagine your young children who are at the point where they can read, you know that’s good you know it is easy for them to identify the different types of nuts, it is also a good learning tool for them to learn that that word means that type of nut that looks that certain way or whatever it is that they are looking at and for us as adults we can just look at things really quickly and go oh that is the self raising flour, oh that is the flour and it is really satisfying, it is functional, it is easy to use.
BONNIE: Yeah absolutely and the great thing about having labels like that is if you do change your mind in 5-10 years and you think nah I am not really into that text anymore or that colour is really not my thing, just peel the labels off and get new ones printed and it is pretty super easy to actually switch it over. The most important thing is investing in like good quality containers like that are going to last a lifetime.
LILY: Oh yeah absolutely and another thing I will mention as well that you just jogged my memory on is when you are looking your pantry you can see exactly what is left and so that when you need to do a food shop.
LILY: So if I think about lets say I have a bunch of, I am using nuts as an example today but say I have a bunch of packets of nuts in my cupboard and you know I have got my little tie around the top or my clip around the top cause there is a handful left it works, its functional, its fine but you can at a visual aid by moving those nuts into a sealing glass jar or a food sealing plastic container, you know another kind of clear container so that when you literally look at that container at a first glance,
BONNIE: You can see that the level has gone down
LILY: You don’t have to you know rummage through anything, it is like really simple and I think that is definitely a pro of you know this idea of everything being decanted or taken out of its original packaging and put in uniform containers
BONNIE: Yeah, 100% and I think the other thing that works really well when you do have this organised pantry system and this is definitely a pro for a kind of more pinterest perfect pantry and when we say like it’s a pro of this, it doesn’t mean that your pantry has to be the most beautiful pantry in the world, its just that it has to be organised and functional, so one of the pros of having this organised pantry is that you can easily when you are running out of something write it on a list that’s maybe hanging on the door, if you use like a digital app that you share with other people in your household when things run out, you just make a real quick not when you see that things are starting to get low and that means that next time you go and do the shop you can grab that item, you can put it into your bulk or your back stock so that in 2 days time when you run out of all those dates you have actually got a fresh new packet of dates ready to go.
LILY: Yeah, you don’t actually have to have a buffer, you are allowing buffer time, you don’t have to have a time period where you are out of that item
BONNIE: Yeah and especially if you are pregnant and you have cravings for things and then all of a sudden you are out
LILY: You’re pregnant cravings
BONNIE: And that item is not there to be restocked, it is really, it is very upsetting so it is good to have the things there, in your back stock or in your bulk section ready to go for when you do run out.
LILY: Now you have just bought me to my next point, which is budget, here is the pro and here is the con of the pinterest perfect pantry. The big pro of course is that when you have everything set up in that kind of way you can see exactly what is running out, can kind of help the prevention of over buying because I know exactly what I do need
BONNIE: Yes, so true, I mean I can’t tell you how many clients I have had over the years who just buy things when they are on sale as is a great idea to do but buy too many and not realising what they have already got at home and there is not a spot for things and so things just get shoved in on top and I can think of one in particular who had this massive under stairs storage room almost and it was all full of food and by the time that I came to help them declutter it was all expired
LILY: Which is such a same
BONNIE: It is such a waste of money
LILY: Yeah the good intention was there to buy all this stuff on sale and save money but if we don’t have a good organised system then those things can easily happen and that is another pro of this style of organising is you will see a lot of baskets and bulk containment areas and you are talking about like your back stock and I call it overflow in my pantry, when you have a designated space you can say okay that is space I can fill my sale items with, so I know that I have a boundary there so it is going to stop me overspending and then I also know that is the spot that I can go to before I need to then go to the shops and buy more, I always check that spot to make sure I am not double buying
BONNIE: Yes and you keep that spot organised as well so it is not like you have got a double up of absolutely everything in the pantry it is more about having the next one ready for when the item runs out and also anything that is an absolute staple that you go through fairly often having the next one of those ready. Also when you have a birthday party coming up and you need to have cans of cordial or soft drink or you have bought things that are just for the party where do you put them so that they are actually still in the pantry and not loitering around your house. That’s where that bulk stock or back stock, bulk section, overflow, whatever it is that you want to call it, that is that section.
LILY: Do you remember when we use to have overflow stores, the $2 shop
BONNIE: Yeah the $2 shops
LILY: Yeah a post came up on social media the other day and it was tell me your age by naming a store, that will help you figure out your age and someone started of with Blockbuster and then all these people started naming all these different places like there use to be an ice skating rink in our like local town and it was just like oh so much nostalgia
Bonnie: Ok here’s something really interesting I use to work at Crazy Clarks, right which is another $2 store, I worked there for 5 years and you know great experience while I was working, while I was studying at uni, they got brought out right after I left and they are now doing car rentals.
LILY: That is so random
BONNIE: Like the same logo and everything, they do car rentals, my husband took a photo of like a sticker or was it our brother, someone like that, someone took a photo
LILY: someone like that
BONNIE: Someone important in our life
LILY: I think they would find themselves to be different attachments to you
BONNIE: Very different relationships that is for sure.
LILY: Yes indeed
BONNIE: But yeah I thought that is so interesting that that is what they have diversified from $2 stores into car rental.
LILY: Anything to survive.
LILY: This was even well before COVID
LILY: So that is the pro of a budget, but we have to mention the big con, it is budget, because you can go wild
BONNIE: with your containers you mean
LILY: trying to get everything matching and looking a certain way
LILY: As opposed to shopping at home which is one of the big things that we advise people to do, always shop at home first, if you are trying to get everything contained, it doesn’t have to match and it can still be functional but if you want it to be contained and match then unless you have all those systems in place in your house that you can just access those baskets or what have you, you are going to need to spend some money
BONNIE: Yeah and you know what like I said before it is an investment that is really worth investing into because it can be lifelong those containers that you buy and look into what is the best type for you and your family. Is it something like an acrylic or a Perspex, is it going glass, do you have issues with opening things and need to find handles that are really ergonomic but still seal well, like there are lots of things to consider as well as when you do you have say baskets for maybe the sauce packets that you buy at the supermarket to make a dinner, do you need to have some sort of label at the front of that so that people can easily see it, you know like there are so many things to consider well the most important thing is obviously the plan phase, ok so if we are talking about the 5 Ps that we use at Little Miss Organise, the first one is PLAN, and this doesn’t have to be a physical plan, you can write it down if you want to, but you have to have a mental plan at least, where are things going to go? What are the categories that you are going to use? Where do things need to be?
LILY: What’s not working in your pantry right now?
LILY: What are the stumbling blocks and so then we need to think about how we are going to fix them as opposed to just getting really excited and jumping in there, you are going to do much better with a plan, in fact you are going to do much better if you make a SMART goal, and we have an episode on that if you are not sure what a SMART goal is, go and check that one out.
BONNIE: What are the things that are in your pantry that shouldn’t be in there, like is your gift wrapping station in the top of your pantry and maybe you need that space for pantry stuff instead.
LILY: I think it is really temping to put random items in our pantries because the shelving tends to allow for bulky things
LILY: It is so spacious compared to maybe other areas of your house and so you would be surprised at the random stuff that ends up in there but it is really important when we are organising unless you live in a studio apartment in New York and you literally
BONNIE: Or Japan or any other Asian country because they all tend to have very small apartments.
LILY: Yeah where you have those tiny apartments or studio apartments with hardly any space then you might be multiplying or crossing over a bunch of categories into one area, otherwise we should really just be keeping those spaces for the function that they need to be and
LILY: Your pantry should just be for food
BONNIE: Yes so it is all about the zoning, so this is your pantry zone so only things that relate to food and eating should be in here. Appliances are one of those things that, it is one of those categories that people sometimes do end up sticking in their pantry because we all tend to have too many appliances and maybe our cupboards aren’t actually designed to fit the bulky appliances and so we do tend to stick them in the pantry. If you don’t have to stick them in the pantry, obviously keep them in the kitchen but if you do need to
LILY: It is a weird grey line
BONNIE: It is a weird grey line and that is the thing about organising in general is it doesn’t matter what the advice is that you get from us or anybody else, it has actually got to work for you and for your family so don’t get so stuck on the rules and oh that person told me I can’t do this over here, if it works for you and your family, great go ahead and do it, it might not work for someone else but it works for you, okay and that is really important.
LILY: So, we are talking about the 5 Ps and how we get in there and get things organised for our pinterest perfect pantry and we will use the example of my pantry as well when I did my transformation
LILY: If you are someone at home right now who is wanting to declutter and maybe it is not just your pantry you can check out the 5 Ps, we have actually, they make up our organising cheat sheet and it is just basically really simple but really effective tool to help you go through a space, so just head to our website and you can download that and that will help you on your way. So we are up to the second P Bon
BONNIE: Ok so the second P is PULL OUT, so this is where we go shelf by shelf and pull things out, if you don’t have a lot of bench space to be able to work through, you can do steps 2 & 3 per shelf, so stop 3 is the PURGE, so if you have only got a small working space pull out 1 shelf at a time, go through and do your purge. Now the most important thing when you do your purge is get rid of the expired stuff
LILY: Yeah absolutely
BONNIE: Ok like we have found spices from the 1980s in client’s houses before and that is so cool because they are like so rock hard
LILY: Food colourings are one of those things that we just tend to think live on forever
BONNIE: Yes, yes you know I had this really interesting experience with food, it wasn’t in a pantry, it was suppose to be in a pantry but it just wasn’t, years ago with a client and she had all these tins and you know tins are suppose to be for ever, you know you stick in your bomb shelter they are going to last you for the apocalypse, so these tins hadn’t even been there for that long maybe like 10 years and they were all stacked up on her carpet in her living room because her kitchen was full, the bottom ones were empty, the food had evaporated
BONNIE: Out of them, you looked at the tin and they still looked completely formed, they might have been a bit rusty around the bottom so there were gaps, but the food had evaporated.
BONNIE: Really and they left like huge rust stains on the carpet
LILY: Oh I bet they did, oh they would have totally trashed that carpet
BONNIE: But that was like so eye opening for me that tin food could actually do that if just not stored properly.
LILY: Nothing is forever
BONNIE: No no not even the tins
LILY: So you have to pull everything out, make sure you have functional work space and they you have to do your purge, so with my pantry, what happened was we were living with my in-laws, they moved out and we moved from like a little stand alone cupboard into the main pantry cupboard
BONNIE: And you were like oh look at this space
LILY: Look at this space, yeah it is huge, so we threw all our stuff in there just quite willy nilly and then when it came time to actually properly organise it, we went through the steps, we had a plan in mind for what we wanted, one of the parts of the plan was we were thinking ahead to what we wanted it to look like and how we wanted it to function, we then pulled everything out and then we got to purging because I had been in such a tiny cupboard I had the advantage that I didn’t have a bunch of excess which made it so much easier
LILY: Otherwise, the purging step like all decluttering steps, it is a bit time consuming, but it is important to do it and do it right
BONNIE: Yeah and look there is another vote for minimalism because it means that there is less stuff to purge in the end.
BONNIE: So step 4 is PURCHASE, so this might be you have done the purge, you have gotten rid of the stuff that has expired, the stuff you are not going to eat, if there is food that you just don’t eat anymore but is still in date and it is still brand new and unopened, go and find a community shelter or a centre somewhere near you and donate them. Find a church that will take food for the community because it shouldn’t be wasted if it is still perfectly good
LILY: Yeah absolutely don’t go throwing things in the bin, there are people in need who will absolutely love that food, so don’t feel obliged to hold onto it but please do donate responsibly.
BONNIE: And the other thing is if you are throwing things out, try and throw things out responsibly too, so empty out the sauce bottles so that you can recycle the bottle of sauce, the glass jar of moccona coffee that has gone hard from 10 years ago, you know think about things a little bit more responsibly because we all have a part to play and we want this planet to be here for our grandchildren. I will get off my soapbox. Ok so step 4 with the purchasing look around your house first, shop around the house and find items that are not being utilised in other spaces and see if they will fit your needs in the pantry, especially if there is a bunch of them and they are uniform, great that will be perfect for what you need.
LILY: Yes it will be functional and aesthetically pleasing and you have made a good point when you were talking about the jars and emptying them out, plenty of people re use and up cycle their old sauce jars and use them in the pantry and they get the glass kind of look and it doesn’t matter that the jars are a little bit different, it is quite eclectic but it can be a really good way to reuse that glassware, another thing one of my friends in particular has done, you mentioned the moccona coffee jar and they have the really good food seal, they are another good option as well.
BONNIE: They are and something I did a couple of years ago with my pantry because I wanted to switch over to glass is our local supermarket sells this tomato paste that is like $1.50 or something in this lovely clear glass jar with just a plain white lid, and so I thought all these are really great, they seal well, I am going to use these in my pantry and so I just asked friends and family hey over the next 6-12 months when you are using this food, this tomato paste can we just have your jars afterwards and so people started collecting them for me and giving them to me and so then within 6 months I had this beautiful collection of matching jars that I then put lovely vinyl labels on that I use for all of my smaller you know 500gm type size products in the pantry.
LILY: So there you go
BONNIE: Didn’t cost anything
LILY: Yeah up cycled and then you still can add that you know a beautiful look so that you look at it and think ah this is easier, everything is labelled but it is also really pretty too.
LILY: It doesn’t have to be overnight you have got these options to. So for us we actually long story short COVID happened, hey everybody and we had an overseas trip planned to the States and so we had money set aside for that, and when that trip didn’t happen we you know re distributed the funds but we kept a little bit out because it was our presents to each other for our big 30 birthdays for my husband and myself and so I said I am going to invest in my pantry and he was like, whatever floats your boat and so
BONNIE: I love that, that is so good
LILY: So I actually did a little bit of stalking around the neighbour and there happened to a fantastic sale on at one of our local kitchen stores and I got a bunch of the plastic food sealing containers, no I had done glass jars and I had done the screw lid ones and I had found that they weren’t keeping my nuts crunchy enough and so I actually have
BONNIE: You have to have crunchy nuts
LILY: You got to have crunchy nuts, all about the nuts today, and so I actually took those jars and now use them for hydroponic water propagation of my plants
BONNIE: Which is another episode itself
LILY: I could talk about it all day, pm me everybody
BONNIE: Crazy plant lady right here
LILY: It happened so quickly its like you turn 30 and you know plants start growing our your ears. Yeah so I changed the use of those jars and went to some plastic containers instead. Now the other thing I did was I looked around at the prices for baskets and things like that and I did invest and I did pay for plastic baskets, not great for the planet so do be mindful when you are making those choices that you know you have chosen to have a carbon footprint that is a big bigger and so I had a look at different baskets and then chose some that I thought fit and yeah I went out and purchased some products
BONNIE: And then you went and you labelled them and now they look amazing
LILY: And on that note with labels, I actually looked at some of the really beautiful local label companies and I thought oh they are so lovely and in the meantime I will just use my chalk pen and I will label these, I have used my chalk pen and haven’t even bothered with the labels because it means that each time I finish with a container I am under no obligation to have to fill it with the same item.
BONNIE: Yeah that is a really good point and if you have a really fluid diet and you like trying new things like especially if you are going from one type to diet to another and you want to have a bit more flexibility over what type of things you are buying you don’t want to end up in that situation where instead of having 2 or 3 types of flour you have 12 or 15 types of flour like someone I know who I am not going to dob in….. Mum, and you are not using all those different types but because you have got all these containers with it, you keep them so that, the chalk pen is great solution for having that flexibility to be able to change what goes in it each time.
LILY: And the message here is you can go out and buy it but also if you are trying to save money, shop at home.
BONNIE: Yeah shop at home is amazing and if you do know what you want and you do want a specific container to have one label for its lifetime grab a paint pen from your local office supply store and use the paint pen and your pretty handwriting to make your labels as well.
LILY: Also another thing you could do Kmart has some really or you might have a different store near you that does it, a $2 shop has cheap stick on chalk labels,
BONNIE: Yeah you can grab that at like craft places and stuff
LILY: Just stick something like that on, like you have got a lot options. Alright so number 5 the 5th P of course is put everything back.
BONNIE: Mmm Hmmm So this is the most important step really because this is how you organise things.
LILY: We have to make sure that the system is going to be functional going forward, so I will use my pantry as an example, so my pantry has about 4 shelves, the very top shelf has got big baskets that you can’t see through, they all match and basically I have one that is labelled dinner, so anytime we go out and buy dinner goods they all go in there excluding jars or sauces or cans, they all go in there so all those packet mix type stuff. And then I have my overflow, so anytime like I pour my brown sugar into a container and there is too much and it doesn’t it, you tie it off it goes in the overflow.
BONNIE: So your overflow’s up
LILY: My overflow is up, and I know a lot of people do overflow down and also you know like lets say I bought something on special it would go up in there and then the other container I have up there is basket that I have up there is biscuits and so that is because we tend to end up with lots of you know rice cakes and random biscuits and that fills up pretty quickly but we don’t want to have them all open.
LILY: You don’t want them to go stale early and you also even though you should, you know your food sealed in containers should prevent that but also there is this overindulgence when everything is open, there is this temptation to just eat it because it is there, so that is why we decided that we wanted most of our biscuits away unless we just had one packet open
BONNIE: That is a really interesting point because a lot of people, me included we get really hung up on having that variety being the spice of life and I can think of a pantry I did recently for a client where she did love that variety but because she was on her own and she didn’t have anyone else to eat the food in the house she would have these packets where one or two things were eaten or taken from it but then nothing else got used and eventfully it would get expired because it would be so long between her going back to that item so one thing that our parents actually do which I know I totally put you in it before mum, totally sorry, is they this biscuit box where it is a little bit bigger and what they do is inside it they have any of those open packets of biscuits so the rice cakes, the rice crackers, the saladas or whatever it might be
LILY: You don’t need a box for each type
LILY: It is just like just combine them all
BONNIE: It is just all together, I mean we don’t put sweet biscuits in there, they are mostly like savoury and stuff but it is a great idea because when dad is going for lunch and he loves his rice cakes or his salada’s he just grabs the biscuit box out and spreads his PB & J on them because that’s what he likes
LILY: I will be very surprised the day that he eats PB & Jam
BONNIE: Oh he does just not together
LILY: Very separate
LILY: The other container that we have up there is snacks
LILY: And so it is kind of like up and out of sight but we know that there are snacks up there but I think it is good visual reminder especially if you find that you are someone who like gets really tempted when you see stuff visually to maybe overindulge and you know using a container that cant see through, some opaque and just tucking it up the top and then you can just pull it down and have a look. So our snacks are up the top, then we have a baking shelf so everything to do with baking is in clear plastic food sealed containers on the baking shelf and then off to the right is the scales and then I also have a little basket that has got you know the hand mixer, then we go down to the next shelf and then it has a breakfast section, so we have got like a little rotate, you guys are going to see this all on social media, feel free to check it out, so you have got like a little lazy Susan for the sauces, there is a little tier
BONNIE: Those are great
LILY: Little tiered stand for the cans so you can actually see when you have got you know depth of a pantry, you don’t want to be blocking your view and that’s when we end up with expired things and then of course you were mentioning appliances, so our bottom level we actually have our, you know like our onions and stuff in like potato bags and things down the bottom and our spare appliances down the bottom as well, but yeah check that out we are going to have a video going up on YouTube soon
BONNIE: Shh Shh
LILY shortly soon and it is also on our socials as well and I will re-share some of those for you.
BONNIE: And one thing if you do have young kids and you are organising your pantry, make sure you create a snack box or an after school snack box that is down at their level that they know they can just come and grab something out of it, so if you are into baking things and you want to individually wrap things or put them in containers, what we do is we create our own mixed trail and we stick them in small plastic containers and put them in the snacks box so the kids can come and grab one of those after school and they don’t have to harass you because they are hungry so it works really well.
LILY: And believe me after school they are hungry
BONNIE: And they are harassing
LILY: All right so that is all we have got time for this week’s episode Bonnie what is our Tidy Task
BONNIE: So your Tidy Task for this week, if you have a pantry that needs a little bit of organisation is to go back through those 5 steps the 5 Ps, the PLAN, the PULL OUT, the PURGE, the PURCHASE and the PUT BACK and organise your pantry and if you don’t have the money to invest in containers at the moment just look around the house, look for old cardboard boxes, shoe boxes, packaging from things, even these days when you buy like a Kilo of apples they come in these plastic container, use those containers in the interim while you save up to get your proper containers to help you organise your pantry and your sauce packets and all those kind of things.
LILY: Be thrifty, you would be surprised at what eco friendly and what recycling and up-cycling you can use in your pantry
BONNIE: And reach out to your village, your community, say hey these are the things that I am looking for has anyone got spares of these that they can send my way. It will be amazing what you can find.
LILY: And I have got extras of these, who wants to swap for some of these
BONNIE: Absolutely join a local free cycle group.
LILY: Alright so that is all we have time for thank you so much for tuning in and lending us your ears and
BONNIE: And remember PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION.
LILY: See you later
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