I pulled everything out and piled it on the counters, revealing the extent of the dust and grime hiding beneath. I washed out the pantry and painted everything. My goal was to do the whole project without spending any money, so the shelves are high-gloss white from our kitchen chairs and the walls are the yellow from the laundry room. In my mind, a kitchen can never go wrong with yellow and white.
I let the paint cure for three days--meaning lots of mealtime awkwardness over the weekend. I stole a little white bookshelf from Levi's closet and a laundry basket from Logan's room and used them to get stuff off the pantry floor. Then I dusted, sorted, and organized all the cans and jars before loading them back in on Monday morning.
So much better. Best of all, our overstuffed pantry now has plenty of room for more food!
People sometimes ask how I feed our big, hungry family on a budget. I think looking at our pantry gives a clue. You see lots of big containers of grains, beans, baking supplies, and long-term storage. There aren't many processed foods or snack foods. The more your groceries come from the produce section, baking aisle, and bulk aisle, the healthier you're likely to be and the further your grocery budget is likely to stretch.
Generally my family has little to say about my painting/organizing/decorating efforts. But this one seemed to impress everyone. People keep opening the pantry door and saying, "This is so much better!"