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Pantry Transformation

For many of my home organization projects I find that usually the second or third shot at organization is best.  I know that an area of my house is not functioning well, that it is causing frustration, and I want to tackle the problem.  I go in with gusto and purge, straighten, and use whatever containers I have lying around the house to repurpose (mainly because I am thrifty and also because I have learned that I need to live with something for a while before I can decide what I really want.)

My kitchen pantry has been the source of many an organizational attack.  Try as I might, I just couldn’t get it to function the way I wanted it to.  Scanning the web and blogs for ideas, I was always envious of the people who had such a functional, yet pretty pantry.  My attempt earlier this year used a bunch of clear plastic and IKEA storage of various sizes that I could corral loose items in on our wire shelves.  Each bin had a purpose, but it still looked jumbled and unorganized.  I contemplated using the peel and stick tiles as a base as I have seen many people do, but I really wanted to keep the “zones” I had established with my containers.  This required way more brain power than necessary and a much longer trip to Big Lots than my daughter anticipated (though she was  a trooper).  Thank goodness the toy aisle was in eye shot of the organization aisle, because I did a lot of waffling over what I wanted and what would fit.


In the past, each shelf had a bit of a purpose, but not entirely cohesive.  I wanted to change that with the new organization.  We do keep some of my daughters items in the pantry, because we do not have the luxury of a playroom and we basically have bits and pieces squirreled away throughout the house—though most is in her room.  The pantry holds her play food for her kitchen, art supplies we use at the table, and the play doh empire.  My goal was to move all of her stuff to one shelf.  Previously it had occupied two drawers in the plastic unit and half of the top shelf.  We purged, we organized, and it all fit!  She was pretty pleased to help and that she got to pick out her own storage boxes.

Once I was able to decide on storage items to purchase, I crossed my fingers and headed home to see if my ideas transferred well to the real world.  Happily, they did!  Here is how our new pantry is organized. Top shelf:  Green bins hold baking items not often used and the other extras and food I don’t want to be visible (marshmallows, Twizzlers, anything that tempts me.)  The next shelf holds all of our recipe ingredients for the upcoming weeks.  The third shelf holds cat food items and any “free to eat” items—meaning not earmarked for a specific recipe.  The fourth is the kiddo’s stuff (love the boxes she picked and that they have lids!).  The drawers now hold Tupperware (1); paper towels, disposable tableware, plastic shopping bags (2); and trash bags, Swiffer items, and misc. stuff like command hooks (3).  Brooms and Swifer wet jet are tucked in the corner and our hand broom and dust pan are on top of the shelf unit.  The door holds all of our baggies, rolls of foil and wax paper, and a newly added hook for my lunch bag.  A few quick labels leftover from other projects on the drawers and kiddo’s snack bin and Voila! 


I LOVE that the baskets are all the same, the bins hide away items at the top, and that kiddo got to pick some super cute boxes for her stuff.  I can finally say that I am happy when I open my pantry.  The low black baskets make it easy to see what is stored and the patterns on the kiddo boxes are so pretty.  The clear windows on the green bins are also places to show off the sweet messages I get whenever a flower delivery arrives from my hubby.  It just makes me feel so…Zen.


In case you are interested, the black circle baskets are from Big Lots and were CHEAP!  $1.20 a piece.  The pretty boxes also from Big Lots were the splurge at $6.50 each but worth it.  We repurposed the green bins and shelving unit which were from Walmart—can’t remember the cost but not much.  All in all, a pretty inexpensive transformation.  I am glad I now have a pantry that makes me smile!

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