As anyone who knows me will attest to, I am a little (well okay, more than a little) OCD. It is not that I enjoy spending my time tidying up, but I love order at home as it makes me feel calm and better able to cope with the chaos of juggling work/children/life. I will also admit to never tiring of the pleasure that I get from opening a cupboard or drawer and seeing it clean and organised. I do not, however, like order that is difficult to live with – it must be practical and enable me to access whatever it is and still keep it tidy without too much effort (for example, I love large baskets in the girls’ rooms as everything can just be thrown into the respective basket at the end of a day’s playing, which as an added bonus, is something they can do themselves). While I realise that my obsession with order means that I should probably succumb to the psychiatrist’s couch rather than writing this post, here is an easy and cost effective way of bringing some order to a pantry cupboard.
Whilst waiting for my fully-fitted walk-in pantry to materialise, which currently only exists in my fantasy home (for more on this see my pinterest pantry board here), I have had to settle for a re-organisation of my pantry cupboard, which in addition to a full-scale clear out involved decanting almost all dried foods into co-ordinating jars. While I did make use of those I already had, I wanted to buy some new containers in order to bring some uniformity to proceedings. However, given the number of jars I needed to ensure that I was going to be able to rid my cupboard of all leaking packets of flour, nuts and cereals (about 30+ jars of varying sizes), I also needed a cost effective option. My online search concluded that Ikea offered the best combination of looks and price (with greater emphasis on the latter).
Dropper is a frosted glass jar with a very handy frosted panel that you can write on (see main image) and comes in numerous sizes from a set of two spice jars for just £2.25, up to a 3.5 litre jar for£6.25. Personally, I opted for a few sets of spice jars to re-house some homeless spices and several of the 0.4l size pictured in the main image for things like seeds and pine nuts. The great thing about these jars is that as well as being able to use the frosted section as a re-useable label, they are stackable.
The Burken range is a clear jar with an aluminium lid and comes in two sizes (pictured above left and right), priced at £2.75 and £4.25 respectively. I used the medium sized one for things like sugars and small packs of speciality flours, and the large size for the standard flour packs and children’s cereals (I put an old fashioned metal scoop in each of the large cereal jars so that the children can help themselves at breakfast time with minimum spillage (there goes the OCD again), which they love). In fact, I also decant washing powders and liquid tablets into the large size Burken jars in my laundry room, but more on that another day. Where is was not obvious, I also used luggage labels to describe the contents – this was a particular necessity for Mr SITS, who although willing to indulge my need for order, does a lot of cooking and therefore did not want to be spending ages identifying which flour was which!
For storing baking accessories I bought the steel Snika tins that come as a set of three, one large (pictured above) and two small. In the large one I put small packs of speciality sugars and other small packet sized ingredients that are too infrequently used to be worth decanting. In the smaller tins, I put food colourings in one, and things like baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in the other.
I know that it sounds a little sad, but it really does make me feel better seeing all of the co-ordinating jars every time that I open the cupboard rather than the array of leaking packets that they replaced. Go on, try it – you know you want to!
Do you have a little of the OCD in you? If so, have you got any tips for organising your food cupboard?