It makes me sad when I have to start off a post with an apology, but I must. I am posting today about the reorganization of my pantry, and I apologize because I forgot to take the 'before' picture! What a knucklehead! Though the transformation may not be as evident to you all because there is not actual photographic evidence, I think you will still sense
the dramatic transformation.
My mom was in town this weekend and pantry reorganization is the project we decided to tackle. She's a gifted organizer and tremendously motivated, so I knew that she would give me the advice as well as the get-up-and-go I needed to accomplish this large task.
Our first step was to remove everything from the pantry. The amount of stuff, some junk and some not, piled in there littered three rooms.
|the contents of the pantry|
|more contents - I find this one particularly frightening|
|even into the dining room (I always keep roses in my pantry. Ha!)|
After we got everything out of there and purged all the expired items, we gave the walls and shelves a good scrub down. Here we have it looking clean and bright.
|an empty pantry|
We removed some dusty white plastic mini-blinds and replaced them with this bamboo roman shade. I had this around the house, in anticipation for just the right place and voila!
|bamboo roman shade|
Once the shade was up, Mom and I took a good look at what everything Max and I had accumulated in there. Most of the items were pantry appropriate, but some obviously just got put in there to put someplace. For instance, we had a growing area of small household repair items like screws, nails, a drill and bits, and duck tape. Yes, we absolutely want these items handy, but the pantry was just not the best place for them. I found a spot in another closet for those items. After those items were removed, Mom and I made a plan. Here were our priorities:
- put bigger lesser used items up or in back
- group food items together (cans together, pastas together, cookbooks together)
- organize dishes in a manner that made them easy to pull out and put back
We started with the big items because it seemed the easiest. All electronics and larger bowls went to the back two shelves. Notice my new step stool! Compliments of my mama who knows what it's like to have a daughter who is vertically challenged.
|Lesser used items to the back|
I found these boxes on a sale an the dorm section of The Container
Store. You can write on those orange tab things. For whatever reason, I
am apprehensive about it. I am thinking I might go back for one more
for my cookie specialty items (cookie cutters, spritz cookie maker).
|from left to right: plastic silverware | paper napkins, votives | tea lights, cake pedestal (partial) |
So once we got the big items up we jumped ahead to point number three. Organize dishes. Before this makeover, I was asking for a major dish disaster. Bowls were stacked on bowls topped off with a precariously placed tray. I can't believe nothing broke in there. I had already had these lifty things that I found at a thrift store, but we put them to better use.
The hanging of the cupcake tins was a great idea because they don't fit anywhere. I think hanging them is a great use of space and I love their texture, so why not feature it?!
Our final and biggest task was grouping everything together. This was the hardest part because, of course, some things just don't fit. Which of these things is not like the other?
Here is how we went about it. I will show you some of the bigger successes.
What I knew for certain is that I wanted my cookbooks at eye level (second shelve for this short girl) and right next to the door so I could quickly grab one.
|I love cookbooks. Aren't they pretty? |
Next we put nuts and grains in these pretty storage jars that we received as a wedding gift. My mom was adamant about only putting items in the approriate sized jars. Meaning if I had a bag of almonds, I should be able to fit that entire bag of almonds in the jar, not just a half of bag. I dig your style, Ma!
|grains, nuts and whatnots|
Next I outfitted the pet shoebox. In this box, we have treats for the cats and dog (needs to be formally introduced on tTN) as well as flea, tick, and heartworm medication. This crap was kind of all piled up on each other in resealable bags before. To the right you can see the top of a pink Tupperware. The dog's bigger dog biscuits go in there. I like this much better.
I purchased these little dividers for $1.99 each at The Container Store. We like tea around here, especially in the winter, so tea need it's 'place.' According to Max, so do his Cliff shots. In fact, he's concerned this isn't enough room. Hmmm.
|teas and Cliff shots|
I also got to hang my pretty fruit basket, a gift from Leslie. We will keep potatoes in the bottom, onions (none available at time of picture) and garlic in the second and something else in the top (what? leftover space?).
|hanging veggie basket|
Ok, so those are some highlights. Here is the zoomed out finished pantry photo. Those baskets hanging from the the top shelve are so great. We have one that contains foil, parchment paper and all that stuff, one for pastas, and one for other sundries.
Isn't it lovely? What I love most is that I still have shelve space. We didn't pack it choked full of stuff, we left space because we knew more 'stuff' would come.
You'll notice that we have our recycling in that blue bin and next to that is our 'hamper' for napkins, dishtowels and dish rags. Maybe someday I'll find a prettier container for those items, but that is by no means a necessity to me.
In the future I'd like to get some pretty hooks for the east wall for aprons, our plastic bag holder, trays (I'm not loving that one on the floor), and grocery sacks. That is for another time and another post though.
Mom and Dad left on Wednesday morning and this little note was tucked inside the pantry.
No wonder I love notes so much. Thanks for your help, Mom, and the same goes to you. ;)