Have you ever been confronted with a pantry weevil? They are pesky little critters. They are usually brought into the house through an already infested grain product. Lovely, eh?
"Rice and granary weevils are harmless to people, houses, furniture, clothing and pets. They cannot bite or sting and they do not carry diseases. They will not feed on furniture, the house structure or other items. The harm they do is destruction of the seeds they infest and the annoyance of being in the wrong place."
Annoyance is an understatement. Highly irritating...that's a bit more on track. Every time I see one I just want to squish it's little guts out. Fortunately, they're very teeny tiny, so the guts *really* don't squish...
I discovered weevils in our pantry probably about 2 years ago. Since then I've been on a non-stop mission to rid my house of them, every so often clearing and cleaning out the pantry, only to have them return time and time again. Or maybe they never ever really went away...they were just hiding in some crevice waiting for me to restock the grains and reproduce.
A couple months ago I hit my wall with them. I was so sick and tired of seeing them around. It was time for drastic measures!
I came across a site which I cannot for the life of me find anymore. This mom not only organized her pantry, but she painted and decorated it. It was beautiful. I was awestruck by how tidy it looked. Then and there I decided I was just going to bite the bullet and spend money on some good quality, air-tight containers. The ones I currently had *claimed* to be, but those little weevil suckers have always found their way inside.
Now. Before I show you the before picture of my pantry, allow me to put on extra neutral caked-on makeup. You know, to hide the blushing from embarrassment.
Here it goes....
Geez. I feel like I'm exposing myself in my bra and panties...
Now, just my bra...
Now, just my panties.
If I was wearing any.
(just kidding. really.)
Okay. Now I am totally naked.
Are you happy?
I have bared myself for the sake of blogging...
Whew. I'm glad that's over!
I got started by first buying air-tight containers. I pretty much stuck with 4 different kinds of containers:
Good Grips by OXO:
Click-Clack Canisters. My personal favorite.
No teeny tiny critter is getting past the seal of these suckers!
The next step was to empty out the ENTIRE cluster of the pantry. I was dreading this. I kept putting it off. For weeks after I bought the containers, literally. Finally one day I just grabbed a big garbage can and went to work. I threw out anything I haven't touched in awhile...or didn't think I wanted anymore. Anything that was expired of course was out. Then of course, anything that even had one teeny weeny critter in it. It was gone.
I took the trash out right after I was done...I didn't want to chance any of those things getting out. Next I got my shop vac and sucked every nook and cranny of that pantry. Lastly, the whole pantry got wiped down and cleaned.
Next came packaging up the containers. Every grain got a home, many packages got opened and dumped into a container. Cans were racked, and bottles were lazy-susaned. I really wanted to label, which my husband disagrees even needs to be done. I agree that some things are clear-cut, like pasta and rice...but whey powder? Cornmeal? Pancake mix? I would really not like a cornmeal shake, thank you very much.
So labeling is to come. I couldn't wait to just get everything back on the shelves, and off my counters.
Are you ready?
I give you...
My Organized Pantry!
Now, for some things I did leave them in their packaging and in bins vs. containers. Over the years I have noticed things like the mac n cheese and granola bars go undisturbed.
I've kept a watchful eye on the shelves and walls since doing this, and although I've
squished seen a few weevils here and there, they are for the most part...GONE!
I guess in the end, the little critters were a good thing, because I never would have done this. My pantry would have gone on looking like a big crumpled mess, and things would disappear and expire even before being used. Now, I have a clean, organized pantry that I am not ashamed to show...that I don't have to keep locked out of embarrassment! I've even showed it off! Heck, our fish-tank guy even took pictures to show his wife for inspiration!
So next comes the labeling. I want to keep things non-permanent (ie, no stickers that can't be peeled off), and I want them aesthetically pleasing to the eye, preferably clear. I think vinyl is the way to go, but I have no clue about it. Post-It has come out with new peel-off label-type of pads, but they're bright colors. I don't really want to order custom made ones, because I want to be able to whip a new one out if I put something else in the pantry. I do have a label maker...I will have to check the fonts on it and maybe succumb to that...but if anyone has any brilliant ideas, I would love to hear them!