For all of the benefits open concept layouts offer, the one drawback is having so few doors to close. When guests are due to arrive and I need to make my home look neat, there are very few places I can chuck things in a hurry. That, combined with a general out-of-sight-out-of-mindedness, is the very reason I've regrettably created a pantry of shame (pictured below in all of its unedited glory).
The problem with this unkempt mess is that I've found it difficult to keep a private matter, what with guests requiring sundries upon their visits. Being a creative type, I have developed techniques to distract from the scene, waiting to grab a bottle or napkin until my friends are occupied with petting my cats or playing with my baby. Other times, I slip nimbly into the entrance like the pantry is some sort of cavernous space that swallows me whole ("I'm just finding the tea selection, be out in a jif!"). But if they catch a peek as the door is ajar, I simply spill the secret I've mentioned already to you, dear reader, which is that I do in fact have a pantry of shame.
Anywho. I decided to tidy. And I thought, in the event that you have a space behind whose door you've been housing your clutter, perhaps you'd appreciate my taking a step for us both.
The first order of business was to empty everything from the pantry and sort it. There were a surprising amount of stale crackers and failed Home Sense purchases, so I had to dump and recycle a lot of stuff. I also had items that were perfectly good, but I knew I wouldn't use; those, I set aside for the Food Bank. I re-homed my dish towels to a drawer beside the stove and chose a few recipe books to keep handy, putting others into my charity pile and more sentimental ones away elsewhere.
If bottles needed a little wipe, I took a moment to do that. Who knows when I'll next pull out that litre of Cuban coconut liquor? Then, I stepped back to admire the clean lines of my pantry which I hadn't seen since moving in.
It was very satisfying.
I washed each shelf, swept the floor, and replaced the contents, trying to be mindful of the note commonly used items. I brought in a wine rack my brother-in-law, Brian made for me to be a home to wine and screw-top alcohols, put the broom in the garage entrance closet, made sense of my party supplies, and consolidated my bag collections. The final product?
Pretty tidy. Shame, be gone.