My plan is to update you weekly on my progress in the “40 Bags in 40 Days” Lenten challenge I mentioned last week. Since Lent starts on a Wednesday, the first “week” only had a few days, so I don’t have as much to report, but my body sure feels like it was a lot! I jumped in with tons of gusto.

I did find, though, that my “first” project was a bit larger than I planned and actually took a few days to accomplish.

Kitchen Pantry

Let me start by saying I’m horribly … HORRIBLY … embarrassed by the before picture! And once I started cleaning it out, I became a little intimidated … and not much intimidates me!

Lenten Challenge Week 1-2

First I took everything out and loaded up my counters sorting it all into “like” piles, i.e. food, baking, paper products, etc.

Then I cleaned the shelves really well and lined them with EasyLiner brand shelf liner.

Lenten Challenge Week 1-3

It’s a Duck brand product. I chose the diamond grip type rather than the smooth. I love, love, love this stuff. And no, I’m not being paid by them to post this. It just makes your cabinets look so much neater/cleaner.

Then I went through all the food products, discarded outdated spices, cans, etc., and wiped off all the bottles.

That did me in for that evening.

If there was one thing I learned, it was that having a messy, disorganized pantry can cause more issues than just looking disgusting. You end up with duplicate items as well! For instance, I had 3 unopened bags of powdered sugar (in addition to the 1 partial bag!), 2 boxes of salt, 2 containers of pepper, 2 cans of corn starch, etc. etc. etc. Hopefully this project will take care of that issue moving forward.

The next evening I took all products out of their bags/boxes and placed them into labeled containers and arranging them in the pantry. This part took me quite a while. I kept changing my mind on how I wanted to arrange everything. No bags/boxes on this day, but I already had a collection started from the previous day!

Day 3 was all about the cupboard at the top of the pantry. As you can see in the before picture, that was a hot mess of storage containers … most without matching lids. Every time we opened the doors, a plastic bowl or lid would fly out. (I swear they had wings!) This is where we kept the slow cooker too. I ended up re-arranging the pantry – again – so I could put it a lower spot to make it easier for a shorty like me to get to.

So here’s the final outcome … doesn’t it look much nicer?

Lenten Challenge Week 1-1

ONE Kitchen Cupboard

I don’t have a before picture of this spot … I sort of moved into this one accidentally while working on the pantry, moving things in and out of it.

I went through the same process of pulling everything out and cleaning the shelves really well, and then lining it with the shelf liner.

This cabinet is pretty much just beverage items and baking accessories. The top shelf can house rarely-used serving dishes for now (I have more serving dishes to put there, but haven’t’ gotten to those cabinets yet). I need a stool to get to the top shelves of each cabinet so that’s where the rarely-used things go! LOL

Lenten Challenge Week 1-4

Thank goodness Sunday was next for a day of rest! 

Results = 3 bags trash + 3 Large bags and 1 Large box to donate

My next report will include the bathroom and perhaps under the kitchen sink. Oh, Lord … more embarrassing before pictures. Ack!

P.S. I must add that the hubster was pretty impressed :0)