The Bulk Botheration {31 Days of Life. Contained.}

Life Contained 2014 button

This post is part of a series called 31 Days of Life. Contained. Want to catch up on the entire series? Click here. Want to stay connected and not miss another post? Follow me on facebook.


Do you ever get weary of cleaning up spills in your pantry? Finding that the pests are back in the powdered sugar? (By pests, this could certainly pertain to human, as in little people, and/or insect issues.) Or wasting any possible savings and sometimes more on your kitchen floor? These are the trials of bulk buying. Those huge bags and boxes are simply too cumbersome for even me to handle, let alone my children. I can’t really blame them for the occasional mishap.

In short, bulk buying can be a bother. It’s true.

pantry organizing

Obviously we are back in the kitchen today, stepping over paint cans to bring you today’s post.

See how much I love you guys?

Truth be told you are the reason I am even stepping over paint cans to begin with. I knew that I wanted to share how I store bulk purchases in my pantry and I even grabbed my camera to photograph my jars- the day before I needed the photos. Whoa. Was I on top of this post and its details, or what?

Then I opened up the pantry.

After observing some crumbs and overall filth, it was clearly evident that a quick wipe-down was in order before any pictures were ever snapped. I dumped our pantry contents on our kitchen table, grabbed a sudsy rag and got to work.

“Hmmm…… Wow. That’s really hard to get off……. Wonder what that splatter is? ….Actually, no,  I’d rather not know.”

These were a few of the stray thoughts going through my brain as I wedged myself into a ridiculously tiny cubicle, scrubbing everything in sight.

“The shelves in here are still somewhat grungy. Do I really want the worn condition of my pantry shelving to be exposed for the whole wide world to see?”

pantry storage solutions


I continued my mental dialogue with myself.

“What about that unopened can of semi-gloss paint for trim that I’ve had stored in my hall closet for, ahem, several months now? Shouldn’t I open that now? I could totally knock this small space out really quick.”

Apparently my mental pep talk was rather persuasive. I lugged out the can of paint and started slinging paint like a crazy woman. Those pictures would have to wait.

Spontaneity can be fun. You should try it.

The task was completed in record time, two coats even. And for those that may be interested, painting in tight spaces is even more challenging than cleaning them. Now I’m just waiting for the paint to fully cure before I begin loading the shelves with heavy cans again.

And might I add that Hubs is such a patient soul. He was very gracious as I served our dinner on the living room couches last night, a no-no in our home. Food typically stays in the kitchen, but alas Mt. Pantry was still strewn across the table. So I was a bad girl and we ate in the living room.

Hello. My name is Heather, and I break rules.

And chicken and rice can taste just as delicious while sitting on a couch -just saying.

glass container solutions

Today though, I carefully placed a few of my storage jars back on the shelves, just for photography purposes. Tomorrow I plan to put the entire jumbled mound of food back in its proper place.

(Yes, I know that one label is blank. I left it that way for several of the photos. Then Zip totally ruined the tip my marker, so I was unable to label to the jar. Just imagine that it reads “turbinado sugar”.)

Whew. Now I can start today’s post. Here’s the who, how, what and why of my pantry organization solution.

In my search for jars, I wanted something glass, with little to no plastic. Target had several choices that I liked, but these containers fit the bill the best. They are stackable, airtight, comprised of stainless steel and glass, affordable and square.

an organized pantry

I’ve already admitted that our pantry is teeny and every square inch of its shelving vital. Using quare containers won in the end because of their ability to not waste space. I love round containers, I do. Mason jars- well, I just adore them. I may even use a few of them down the road, but for now, these are the current show-stoppers in the kitchen closet. Don’t be blue though, Mason jars.

On second thought, go ahead, be blue.  I heart aqua mason jars.

I grabbed my chalk board labels from Staples, a Martha Stewart brand. However, I did notice that Target has some in their dollar spot this past week. If you grab those, it’ll save you five bucks. The chalk marker can also be found for a dollar at Target.

Target’s dollar spot is my weakness.

organizing the pantry

So there you have it, the will-be 48 hour post project. And it was all because I opened the pantry door for pictures. Having been through this process, I’ll leave you with these two truths.

1) Never open closed doors. Never ever.

2) And those “if you give a mouse a cookie” moments- well, they really do happen in my world. One thing truly does lead to another.  🙂

But hey, now my pantry’s painted, so I’m not complaining.


Are you the frugal sort or maybe just one that abhors shopping and so you buy in bulk? Even if there are only two of you or even simply one in your household, you can certainly save by buying certain dry goods in bulk -sugar, rice and oats to name a few.

tip 9

Keep your food fresh and easier to manage with simple storage solutions. Choose a shape and size of container that positively makes the most of your space. Think about the needs of your project before making your purchase -small, spacious, open, closed, etc.

Do you buy in bulk? Talk to yourself? For the former, take the time to share how you organize the masses, and in regards to the latter, revel in the fact that you are in good company. There is no shame here.

Thanks for reading and for sharing this little ol’ blog. You guys are the best.  🙂

P.S. I’ll reveal a full view of my pantry later on.


3 thoughts on “The Bulk Botheration {31 Days of Life. Contained.}

  1. Christina @ The Frugal Homemaker

    Love those jars! And the marker – seriously??? I have been looking for a chalk marker FOREVER – Michael’s can never find it or direct me to the right aisle and I just haven’t hit “buy” on Amazon yet on the $6 pen. I am totally heading to Target and getting one (or several!) of those!

    Does it stay on semi-permanent – that is my other complaint – I label my jars but then it wipes off with use. I want a chalk marker that has to be removed with water 🙂

    1. heather Post author

      I haven’t had any issues with rubbing off with use, and I have several little goobers who are putting their paws all over the labels. On the flip side, water does bring it off just fine. I may have bought a small stash. 😉


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