Sunday, February 19, 2012

Project: Organize #1 ~ The Pantry

Because our kitchen is so tiny, our pantry isn't actually in the kitchen. It's in the hallway. I know it sounds weird, but our kitchen is weird (and I kind of really don't like it). But, I love everything else about this house so I can put up with the kitchen (remodel plans are in the works!).

Anyway. The pantry is in the hallway, and it's a pretty good space. And today was the day to make it organized. I had a few places I needed to stop before I could actually start organizing (any excuse to go to The Container Store, right?). My first stop was at Crate & Barrel in search of freezer safe opaque storage, but that's an entirely different project.

Crate & Barrel wasn't that impressive today, so I headed down the road to The Container Store. My oh my, that store is beautiful. I could lose myself there for hours, and I could spend thousands. I found what I was looking for cabinet shelves and under-shelf baskets.

Pretty, oh so pretty. I'm extremely happy with these two products, and cannot wait to go back to The Container Store to show my husband the amazing elfa storage system. And the elfa stuff isn't just for the kitchen! It can be anywhere. Ahh, I'm in love with the entire store.

Back to the pantry project. Husband and I shop at Costco and stock up on our canned goods there. Which means we have a lot of the same item at times. Being that my pantry is in the hallway, taking one picture of the entire thing was..well, not good. The picture doesn't look that great, see:

Here's what I'll do: give you the before picture (on the left) AND the after picture (on the right) at the same time.  Ooh, special.

This first pictures are of the top, left side of the pantry. You can see that it originally was the cereal storage. Not ideal, because there are chips and stuff behind the cereal and if you know me at all, you know I'm short. And unable to reach things at the back of that shelf. So now, it is the lesser needed items: napkins, paper towels and the "back-up" toilet paper rolls.

Below that shelf now the Kitchenaid attachments, extra Ziploc baggies and some cough drops are found. It used to be ALL of the canned items--the only other shelf that used to hold food items in the pantry.

The bottom two shelves on the left side used to hold appliances that didn't otherwise have a home in the kitchen (and the rice). These ones stayed the same because everything fit so nicely:

The liquor cabinet also stayed the same. Again, everything fit so nicely and it is up high. Mr. Husband and I don't have any kids, but we will someday. It's important to keep naughty things out of reach.

Next, the napkins, paper towels, Pledge, and paper bags were kicked out and some food (cereal, chips, pancake mix) found their new home.

Then, we had the paper plates, table clothes and other random stuff that didn't really have a home otherwise. It was one of those shelves that was the catch-all. Now, it has most of the canned goods (which are mostly tomatoes and a few other random things). Hopefully next year, the canned tomato items will be homegrown, but that's another post for the future.

Then came the shelf with the pointless dividers. I took those right out with Mr. Husband's drill, hung the under-shelf basket and packed in the cream soups, oils, noodles and popcorn kernels. Popcorn on the stove is the only way to go. We always have popcorn kernels on hand for a quick snack (and, it's just plain fun to make). I'm glad I ended up taking the shelves out, though. It was difficult to store anything there in the first place.

And finally, the bottom shelf, that used to house some cleaning supplies. It now has boxed items (instant potatoes, stuffing mix), some sauces, seasoning packets and a few packages of noodles. The cleaning supplies that started there are now hanging out in the front hall closet, near the Swiffer mop, steam mop and broom. It seemed like a much better place.

Now, after that crazy-long post, I've already started organizing some other aspects of my house. The front hall closet, cabinets in the kitchen (under the sink!) and under the bathroom sink.

I love long, productive weekends!


  1. Do you feel like your pantry/kitchen functions better now?

  2. It functions SO well now! The pantry organization really helped, but the removal of the wall is what changed this dramatically.

  3. Wow! This is so creative and looks fantastic. Great job!

  4. I love all of these ideas, Thanks!