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Homemaking 101 Series: Decluttering & Organizing Our Kitchens Part Three {Pantry & Kitchen Desk}

Homemaking 101 Series: Decluttering & Organizing Our Kitchens Part Three {Pantry & Kitchen Desk} @mferrell
We are finishing in the kitchen with this post. This week we are working on our kitchen pantry and our kitchen desk (or anywhere in your kitchen where you seem to gather a paper piles).
If you are new to the Decluttering & Organizing Series please visit part one of the kitchen posts here (countertops, kitchen sink and under the sink, and drawers) and part two here (cabinets, refrigerator and kitchen table). You can find the introduction here and whole series here.
A reminder:  My mission for cleaning and organizing my kitchen was to make it warm, inviting and efficient.  As I am moving into my pantry and desk area these goals are important for me to keep my focus. My desk area is an area that always seems to gather a pile. We do a lot of bulk shopping so my pantry can also get a little out of control as we are stocking up on supplies. I also use my pantry to store serving platters, small appliances, dehydrator, pitchers, aprons, cookbooks, paper products etc. along with food.
Another reminder from last months post:
Our purpose in the Declutter & Organize Series is not to achieve perfection or the kitchen that looks like it came from Better Homes and Gardens but a kitchen that is functional, inviting and ready to partake in hospitality to serve first our own families and others the Lord brings our way. 
Lets Get Started:
We broke our kitchens down into sections:
Kitchen Sink 
Under the sink
Kitchen table
Kitchen desk

In today’s post we are finishing the kitchen with the pantry and the kitchen desk.  If we work efficiently we will have the whole month to enjoy the feeling of a brand new kitchen!!

You will be cleaning just a shelf or drawer a two a day in your pantry and desk to stick to the 15 minutes a day goal.
Supplies Needed:
  • Timer – we are setting a goal to work for 15 minutes a day
  • Garbage bag
  • Vacuum with crevice and duster attachments
  • Cleaning rags
  • Cleaning solution
  • Garbage bag & giveaway bags if you have items that can be donated to our local food pantry.
  • Take the first day to just plan out how you would like you pantry to function.
  • Everyone’s pantry is going to look and function different.
  • Your pantry can be a great time saver. Plan it well so you are not running to the store every few days.
  • Picture your grocery store aisles as you are organizing your pantry.
  • The easiest way to start cleaning is to take it one shelf at a time.
  • Empty the shelf, wipe down and only put back like items together. 
  • Use the FIFO rule (first in first out) – put your newest items behind your oldest items.  
  • Toss any outdated items and set up a giveaway bag for your local food pantry.
  • Get rid of any unused appliances or serving items. Save them in a place for a future garage sale or take to your local Goodwill.
  • I only have some bulk items that I transfer to containers but most of them I leave in the original packaging.
  • My pantry is not to be a showcase but an area that aides me in cooking and caring well for the nutritional needs of my family.
  • These clips are my best friend when closing bags.
  • I store my whole grains in food grade buckets – I like the twist on lids for ease of using them.
  • Store your onions and potatoes in separate containers.
  • Never buy any containers for storage until you have done all your cleaning and organizing.
  • Unused items get dusty so bring in your dusting cloth.
  • Tidy it well, clean, vacuum and wash the floor. Make sure to clean the window in the pantry if there is one and dust the light fixture.
  • Great post on bulk food pantry storage at Like a Bubbling Brook.
  • I made a Pinterest Board for Pantry Organization trying to find realistic photos of pantries. It may spark some ideas for you.  Below are some photos of my pantry (Disclaimer – I am not a photographer ;))

Kitchen Desk

  • You may not have a “desk” but I am sure you have an area that you use as a central location for papers and notes.
  • The best way to clean out your desk is to empty drawers, vacuum and determine what needs to go back.
  • Keep a basket or bag handy for items that need to go to other parts of the house.
  • Give your desktop a good dusting and wiping down. Make sure to wipe the phone down.
  • Set up a filing system that works for you. I have files on my desktop that are labeled:  Church Directory, Daily Schedule sheets, Coupons, Calendar Items, & Bills. When my children were younger they each had a folder here too. These are my quick access files that are used almost daily.
  • My true filing system is in our home office – my kitchen desk is just a filter that papers pass through.
  • I have a set of baskets next to my desk for greeting cards and filing systems for my blog and home business (Mary & Martha – sorry I had to put a plug in).
  • I keep my Homekeeping Binder above my desk in a binder along with a binder of frequently used recipes.
  • Keep places for pens, paper, a calendar and a lamp.
  • We still have a house phone so that is on the kitchen desk.
  • A memo board keeps items upfront that may be needed but also holds special notes and pictures.
  • Take time to personalize your desk to fit your lifestyle.
  • Every night before bed as part of my Evening Routine –  I tidy my desk for the next day.
  • Be ruthless in tossing papers you don’t need and other items when cleaning out the desk.
  • Just a Pinterest Board for some ideas again.

Adding a Touch of Beauty

  • Hang aprons in the pantry on a pretty hook.
  • Put favorite pictures up in your pantry or a board to write needed grocery items.
  • Use baskets in your pantry – check out your supply on hand before you make a purchase.
  • Paint it a fun color.
  • Buy some fun folders for your kitchen desk
  • Splurge on a nice pen for your desk
  • I have enjoyed the memo board above my desk – it is pretty and very functional.
  • I invested in a pretty and comfortable kitchen chair many years ago and have never regretted it. I seem to spend a lot of time sitting there so it is good to be comfy (especially as I’m aging).
  • I like my pop up dispenser for post it notes.
  • Add a pretty framed picture of people you love.
  • A scented candle on you desk is a nice addition.

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Related Posts:

Declutter, Organize & Beautify Your Home Series

Declutter & Organize Your Kitchen Part One

Declutter & Organize Your Kitchen Part Two

Homemaking 101 Series

Detailed Kitchen Cleaning List 

Homemaking 101 Series: Declutter & Organize Your Kitchen Part Three {Pantry & Kitchen Desk} @mferrell