My mother is easily the most organized person I know. She is like the gold standard of organization.
When I was a kid, I liked thinking that some of those amazing organizational abilities rubbed off on me, but as an adult, the chaos and disorder in my own home makes it apparent that this apple fell FAR from the tree.
It doesn’t help that my house is small, and the original builders of the home obviously didn’t value storage space much.
Take my pantry, for example. It’s far too small, and has far too much stuff crammed in it. It’s not that things don’t have a home in there, it’s just that the home is so hard to get to, no one wants to do the work to find it.
As you might imagine, I was thrilled when OXO sent me these amazing POP containers! I finally had some time to clean out that crammed pantry, and get some of the stuff in there into clear, easily sealed containers. It’s like a dream come true!
I mean, who actually keeps their pantry like this???
While I was organizing the pantry, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite baking ingredients, those things that are essential for anyone who wants to bake to have on hand.
FLOUR: Good old all-purpose flour. Bleached or unbleached, it’s your choice. Personally, I use unbleached. There are lots of flour varieties out there, but all purpose flour will work for 95% of your baking projects.
SUGAR: Regular white granulated sugar is the backbone of baking. I try to always keep extra on hand, because I tend to run out often!
BROWN SUGAR: You almost can’t bake without it. There is a light and a dark brown variety, and light brown works well for most things. If you’re doing a lot of baking, though, you may want to keep the dark brown sugar on hand as well.
POWDERED SUGAR: (a.k.a. icing sugar or confectioners sugar) You’ll need this for frosting, at the very least, as well as some shortbread recipes, no-cook candies, and a few other things.
SALT: Every recipe uses it. Literally. And it’s the cheapest baking ingredient there is, so no excuses.
BAKING SODA: (Bicarbonate, for some of you.) Most baking recipes use baking soda as leavening. It also has some other great uses, like taking the smell out of dirty laundry, cleaning showers and sinks, and reducing pet odors. I honestly buy it in bulk.
BAKING POWDER: Another very common leavening agent. It comes in a small can, so there’s room in every pantry.
VEGETABLE OR CANOLA OIL: It’s not uncommon for baking recipes to use oil in place of butter, so it’s a handy thing to have around. It’s also essential for greasing pans, seasoning cast iron skillets, and fried foods.
NUTS: I use them enough, that I try to keep walnuts and almonds in my pantry all the time. They keep well in a sealed container, too.
MOLASSES: I use this in the winter almost exclusively, but oh how I love the molasses treats! It doesn’t require refrigeration, so it will keep on your shelf for ages.
SPICES: The most common for baking would be cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and pumpkin pie spice.
VANILLA: I buy large bottles, and use it constantly. I definitely recommend getting the good quality stuff.
CHOCOLATE CHIPS: Let’s face it, you can’t bake chocolate chip cookies without them!
BAKING CHOCOLATE: I generally keep some unsweetened and some semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate bars on hand for brownies and cakes.
There are a few other things I use only occasionally, which would be optional pantry items. These are things like cornstarch, corn syrup, olive oil, raisins or other dried fruits, peanut butter, graham crackers (or crumbs), marshmallows, and white chocolate.
Most of these baking ingredients fit beautifully in the OXO Pop Containers. They are perfect for powdered sugar, brown sugar, and chocolate chips! I literally love them so much, I am seriously considering getting another set.
They are all square or rectangle, so they fit next to each other very nicely, unlike my round containers which leave plenty of unused space in my pantry. They have flat lids, so they all stack very well, too. It makes them look so cute, and clean, and perfect!
My favorite part is the lid, though. The button in the middle of the lid lets you know that the lid is closed securely. You don’t have to worry about air or moisture getting in when that lid is closed. The button makes the lid easy to open, as well. Plus, it looks cool.
There are plenty of places to find these containers, if you want your own set, but I recommend checking out The Container Store. (We’re finally getting a store near me, and I can’t wait!!)
Doesn’t my pantry look SOOOOO much better now?
It feels better too. Getting rid of a good chunk of the stuff in there that was never being used, cleaning shelves and walls, and putting down new white shelf liner really made it feel a lot cleaner and roomier.
Here’s the good news… if you want some of these awesome containers for yourself, you can enter to win them!
CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE CONTEST! You could win a $500 prize pack, with up to $250 worth of OXO organization and tools, AND a $250 gift card for Elfa products. (If you haven’t looked at the Elfa products, you can see them here now. They’ll make you want to completely remodel your pantry.)
For ideas about which OXO organizational tools you would choose if you win, you can look through my OXO Poptober wish list Pinterest board.