Friday, January 28, 2011

The Pantry Plan: Pantry Organization

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Welcome Organizing Junkies! This week I decided to try to tackle my pantry. We only moved in 3 months ago, so at first I didn't think this was an area that needed much work.  I had put everything away in (what I thought was) an organized fashion. But three months later I noticed that things were toppling, some shelves were underutilized, and the layout of the items stored wasn't making sense for our lives.  Instead of looking organized, clutter was creeping in.  So, I made a promise to re-evaluate the space every quarter to keep it looking its best. I still have big plans in here as far as storage goes. And I would like to have a cheery pantry like some that I have seen in the blogging world with some decorative pizazz! So I plan to keep my eye out for some economical but stylish storage solutions and I plan to do some painting in here to take things for stark white to clean, bright, and out of site!

Here's where we were before:

As you can see, there really is no rhyme or reason for what goes where, hence a shelf of alcohol, baby food and candles.   It goes to show you that some planning and forethought needs to go into an organized pantry.  My previous goal was just to get everything unpacked and put away! Now I need to put it in a spot that makes sense.

And so, I took things out shelf by shelf and decided what would work better. I knew I wanted to move the snack foods onto a higher shelf so that I could eliminate the sneaky snacking that one (or more) of my girlies would do.  They would hide away in the pantry and have easy access to cookies and chips placed on a low shelf right at their eye level. Very smart mommy they have. Another thing I knew I wanted to do was reduce the eye clutter of all the plastic bags that hold diapers and wipes and paper products.  If I had a bigger budget (ahem, A budget) for the project then I would invest in containers to store all of my dry goods so I could get everything looking more uniform. So now that I know what I want, I can save up for it, or keep an eye out for deals on containers that will work!

Here's what we ended up with:

I took out the large metal garbage can and  replaced it with a small plastic one that was in the laundry room. I cleared the baby food from the boxes on the bottom shelf and relocated it to a place it will be used. And I tried to put like items on the same shelf.

I moved the alcohol to a higher shelf. I moved the easy bake ovens upstairs (technically it's a toy, right?). I moved the snacks to a higher shelf. I dedicated a shelf to the baby's food, and I put cereal and bread on the same shelf--my potato bin is there too. That bottom shelf that you can't see has my crock pot, other kitchen tools,  and there's a little section for the dog with his treats and a bin for his food.

These are my favorite parts of the project:

 When I emptied the baby food, I used the empty boxes to store diapers, pull ups and wipes. I just covered the boxes with paper and took the diapers out of their package and put them into their new home. I also removed the plastic from the cups and plates. Doing those two little things makes this shelf look much tidier!

I tried to stack the baby food neatly but after I was 75% finished I experienced a cascading avalanche of little jars. Ouch, my toes! Besides realizing that we have way too many jars of baby food I learned that stacking them was not a good idea/ So I found these pink bins that are actually wash basins from the hospital (when Ava was in) and used them to corral the baby food. I also moved the snack "up high" so now the girls are forced to ask for something instead of just helping themselves to a secret binge fest!

There's still some work to be done here but I am happy with the finished result and I'm more motivated to put things in their place!  That's the point of organizing!  Thanks for visiting!


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