Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Pantry Before & After

Progress report from Week 2:  Behind Closed doors.

My biggest challenge last week was the pantry.  I'm not sure how it happened, but my pantry got out of control!!  Every so often I would go through and straighten things up, remove empty boxes and throw out expired items, but it was never organized.  I had attempted to organize some of the smaller items in the gray 31 bags you see on center bottom shelf.  I was never happy with the bags, they didn't have much support, I always felt they looked sloppy, and the high sides didn't allow for easy access.  

I found so many great pantry before and after posts and inspiration on pinterest, and most of them used baskets they found at $1 store.   Unfortunately, my $1 store only carried bright colored baskets, and it wasn't a look I wanted.  Luckily, right next to the $1 store was a Big Lots, so I popped in there to see what I could find.  I was very impressed with the selection they had, and quality.  Although I was paying a little more then $1 per basket, it was well worth it.  I found these great white baskets, with solid fronts where I could apply a label.  Small baskets were only $1.50, Medium were $1.80 and large was $2.65

As reported in my Week 1: Kitchen, were I blogged about my fridge organization, the $1 store did have some great smaller white baskets, so I used a few of those to keep smaller items grouped together.

So, when it came time to address the pantry I had to set up a game plan.  What did I want the pantry to look like?  Do I take everything out, or work 1 shelf at a time?  Did everything in the pantry belong there, where else could I store items?  

I decided to work one shelf at a time, and start from the top and work my way down.  I had a few 31 bags that I use often, but not daily, that I decided could be better stored somewhere else.  I moved my entertainment/party supplies to the top shelf. 

As I worked my way through the pantry I decided I wanted to group items by categories; breakfast, baking, can goods, pastas, breads & crackers, condiments & sauces, paper plates & napkins and then have treats, snacks and drinks lower where my daughter could reach.  

I also have some aprons that were originally just hanging from shelving.  I used over-sized decorative thumb tacks in the left corner area.  It was an odd spaced and not able to put shelves, but the space between shelves is enough for me to put my arm through and grab aprons off the back wall.   

I then made labels on my computer, using powerpoint and printed on full sheet label that I already had in the office, cut them out, and placed on my baskets.

I am very pleased with the arrangement and functionality of the pantry.  

And here is a little sneak peak of the bathroom organziation that also went on in week 2....

This is how my husband starts his morning everyday.  YIKES!!  How can he even find anything??  Most of these items are not part of his everyday reitual, but are essential to him having conveniently located in his top drawer of vanity.   So on a shopping trip to TJ Maxx, I found these great fabric covered drawer organizers, for only $6.  They came in a bunch of different sizes and confirgurations, so I grab up a few to use in our bathroom.  We already have a blue tommy bahama bath theme, so I thought these would add a little extra pop of the blue color in an unexpected place =)  
My husband isn't the best with change, but he's loving the organization.  And I'm happy to report the "after" picture was taken a week later, so he's keeping up with change as well!

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