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Friday, October 10, 2014

Mission Organize Pantry: a #POPtober Challenge

OXO POP Containers - commence Mission Organize Pantry for POPtober
I organize. I am an organizer. I feel better when things are organized. Order feels better than chaos. My inner hippie-chick is frowning. She wants to be carefree, to go where the wind carries her. Fortunately (I guess), outer responsible-adult usually quashes those notions of yesteryear.

However, just because being organized makes the world seem a saner place, it doesn't mean that I actually am organized. There are not enough hours in my day, nor room in my "cozy" house to make it so. I do my best, know how life usually has its own ideas. So, when OXO and The Container Store issued me a challenge to (re-)organize an area in my kitchen, I took it as a sign. Challenge accepted.

Oh crap. That meant facing something very scary, something insanely out of control, something overrun by a few too many months of neglect {duh duh duhhhhh!!!!!} — my pantry. I'm embarrassed to show you this, and you may want to brace yourself. Are you ready for it? Okay, here goes....

Scary Pantry Shelves - LOOK AWAY
AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH! Scary, right? I know, gives me the chills.

What was that I said? I think it went something like this: "I'm an organizer." I'm sure you're looking at that photo thinking really? Reeeeeeeally? I swear it's true. That pantry {ahem, my pantry} makes me want to lose my mind. It's gotten so bad that I just throw things and run, hoping that they'll stay on the shelves.

Tell me I'm not the only one. Tell me your pantry isn't always perfectly stacked and organized, and that sometimes you forget you even had a certain ingredient because you didn't dare go rooting around in the precariously stacked mound of dry goods. OXO to the rescue!

By a show of hands, who else would get giddy upon tearing open a big box filled with organizing containers if it arrived on their doorstep? We're talking Christmas-morning, paper-flying frenzy here, people.

Okay, another show of hands...whose attitude would change almost instantly from jubilation to fear when they realized that they were the ones who were going to have to actually tackle those scary shelves? Just breathe deeply and channel that responsible-adult person hiding out inside of you.
OXO POP Containers - commence Mission Organize Pantry for POPtober
And really, OXO makes it easy. I'd heard of OXO POP Containers before, but had never actually seen one. They. Are. Amazing.

Why they are amazing (in my opinion):
  • Shape: They are square and rectangle, which makes them very space efficient (no wasted shelf corners)
  • Sizes: They come in all different sizes, from very small to very large. Store everything from whole boxes of cereal and snack or flour and sugar to bits and nibbles at the bottom of a bag.
  • Lids: They're flat, which makes them easy to stack. They have a simple pop-down button that creates an airtight seal; pop it again to easily break the seal and lift the lid off.
  • Material: They are made from durable BPA-free, clear plastic that makes seeing what's inside extremely accessible.
  • Ease of Use: They have a small pop-down circular seal in the center of each lid that is easy to push with one hand. Great for small hands, too.
I chose one shelf to work on first. It's the one where all of my grains, beans and legumes, rice, pasta, seeds, and other items of the sort are stored. It's also the one that items tend to go missing on. They are buried and forgotten. And I meant it when I said that I was an organizer. I try to organize the pantry once a month, but I really did let it get away from me over the busy summer and subsequent start of a new school year.

The OXO Pop Containers let me actually see what's on my shelf. I'm pretty proud of the way it turned out. I used the OXO Cereal Dispensers to hold both cereal and small crackers, and one last (large) POP Container to provide easy access to the pretzels. Now, when the kids get home from school and ask what there is for a snack, I can simple direct them to the pantry and tell them to look. Double Bonus.
OXO POP Containers - commence Mission Organize Pantry for POPtober
After I got started, I realized that I was going to need a few more sets of these containers to whip my pantry shelves into complete order. Fortunately, POP Containers are available at The Container Store locations nationwide and also online. The next shelf I plan on tackling is my "baking shelf"—flours, sugars, powdered milk and potatoes, gelatin and thickeners. I've got my eye on the 6-inch square POP Containers to make this shelf more user-friendly.

So tell me, does your pantry look anywhere near as scary as mine did? Would you like to get your hands on some awesome containers to help you (at least start) to get organized? Attach a photo in the comments section - if you dare!

POPtober is the perfect time to get started. Beginning Monday, October 13th and ending Friday, October 31st, you can enter to win a prize pack worth $500 (including your choice of OXO Storage & Organization tools up to $250 and a $250 elfa gift card). So, starting this coming Monday, be sure to enter the POPtober Giveaway!

I received the featured OXO containers at no cost, for the purpose of trying testing and review during the month of POPtober. I was not compensated for this post, and all opinions are 100% my own.