Monday, February 4, 2013

I Pinned It & Did It! {pantry}

Pinterest. It is such an amazing resource. However, I don't feel like I have been using it to its full potential. I pin so many wonderful organizing, cleaning and decor inspirations, and I feel like I need to be using them to better some aspect of my life. Right? So I picked an area of my home (apartment) that needed some serious work, our "pantry closet". For all practical purposes it's a pantry, it's just actually a closet. But its right off our kitchen, which also happens to be right when you come in the door. It should be a coat closet you say? You're probably right, except that there actually is a coat closet a little way farther down the hall. So the pantry closet it became.
When we first moved in back in August this baby was a beauty. Probably because we weren't really using it yet. I posted about it here.

Here's what it looked like a few days ago: (brace yourself for these photos)

 Let me break it down for you a little, I know its a lot to take in at once!

Bad right?? It was not at all functional and the farthest thing from pretty. You had to like lean in from the door to get anything. The situation had clearly gotten out of control.

So I popped over to my kitchen board on pinterest for some inspiration and ideas. I already had some bins in place, but I knew that they could be improved.

Here are a few of the ideas I thought I could actually put into use: (click the photo to view source)

I really liked her use of matching containers- bins, backers, and jugs. So clean and organized. But purchasing new well anything, was not in the plan. But I do like her unboxed like item storage in the baskets.

I love these pretty labeled containers. Again I love the uniformity, but that will have to wait.

I love the stadium risers for canned goods. My current can situation was a disaster, I had no idea what I had in there or where any of it was. I knew this was something I could actually do, even if it meant spending a little money.

I think this pantry was a big source of my inspiration. It was a small space, packed full of storage. She had risers for her canned goods and baskets to store smaller things. Doesn't get much better than that.

Feeling totally inspired and ready to go, I dove in. I started simply by clearing the floor so that I could actually get access to the "pantry". 

Everything on the floor came out. Everything. If it was going to go back in the pantry, it stayed close by. If it was wasn't going back in, it got relocated. Like the toilet paper. I vacuumed the floor also while it was completely clear.
There wasn't technically room for it in the bathroom since I got a bigger package than I usually do. But it got shoved in anyway. Not so pretty, but its out of my pantry so its going to work for now.

Next up was the shelving units. They are just as bad.

This is actually two units stacked on top of each other. They were like $9 at Menards during back to school time. This one sits in the back corner and is the smaller of the two shelving units.

I didn't actually remove much from this shelf. I did however group things together so they made sense and were easier to access.

This is the top section. The less frequently needed cereal made its way to the tippy top shelf. Along with a spare box of saltines.

 The middle section holds some snack food and box of household items (batteries, tools, flashlights, etc) I didn't want to move it up any higher because we need to get things out of it fairly often. I know the box isn't pretty, but it works. I also popped some cereal that I scored on mega sale into a basket. The bags are a bit harder to store, but we put them in rubbermaid containers once they make it to the kitchen. So they store nicely in the basket for now.

Here's a peak in our blue snack bin. Super healthy right?

And the bottom two shelves hold some more non-food items. The upper shelf holds paper products (cups, paper towels, kleenex, extra large zip lock bags) and a baking pan that doesn't get used very often. And apparently some random vitamins. The lower shelf holds the big grocery cooler bags that we used when our grocery store was in a different town, they aren't used quite as frequently now. My 31 thermal pouch and some old lunch boxes also live on this shelf. The thermal pouch is so nice for tossing water bottles in to take along. And I have been known to forget my lunch box at school, so the spare is nice for those occasions when I'm searching like crazy for my lunch box.

Now we move on to the other shelving unit. This one actually used to be in our bedroom closet before we moved. But it found a much better purpose as our pantry shelving.

Someone forgot the before picture for this shelf. But I didn't do anything drastic here. I just moved the spare baking supplies down from the baking shelf. And moved the blender and mini crock pot over from the other shelving unit.

The next shelf was a doozy. This baby was a disaster.  These cans are horrible. Can't even tell what's in there!

 So I took everything off and sorted it out into like items. I then sent this picture to my friend, who lives about 3 1/2 hours away, along with the words "I swear that I am not sitting IN my pantry". And like any good friend she immediately responds "I'm jealous that you can sit in your pantry". Everyone needs a friend like that people! Someone who supports your insanity, instead of saying "get out of your pantry,  you crazy woman!" Because I was in fact sitting in my pantry. Quite convenient actually.

The can shelf might be the most drastic and pretty change. I popped that riser in that I grabbed at Target and it was wonderful.
And then I saw on pinterest that someone just used 2 x4's to make their risers. Duh, my father is a contractor and I couldn't come up with that? Seriously. fail. 

Glorious isn't it? *angels singing* Except that my sticker didn't peel of nicely. I'll get to that later. It did cause my canned goods to take up more space, but I was prepared to deal with that in exchange for being able to see what I had. 

Now I need to backtrack for a minute. As I was putting things back on to the shelves I was also making a list of what I had so I that I could use it to fill out my pantry inventory and plan my meals for February.

Now, on the next shelf. 

This shelf didn't get a drastic make over either, but things were inventoried and rearranged by their like items. A few things exited the shelf as well.

You now that my hamburger helper are grouped together too. I thought about alphabetizing them too, but it seemed like a bit much. The spare ranch and mayo made it to this shelf too, just because there was a small empty space and I didn't have a better home for them.

And finally the top shelf. I wasn't looking too pretty either. 
The cups and pan got moved to the other shelf that I mentioned in the beginning, along with the popcorn.

I recruited the last few baskets from my extra basket stash to complete this shelf. Being able to stack the last two baskets was a big help. 

I moved the labels that were on the shelves on to the baskets. Being able to reuse all of my labels saved me a step. Woo-hoo. But really, not like making labels is a bad thing, just saved a little time on the project.

the breakfast basket
the snack basket
After completing all of my shelves it was time to bring the floor things back in.
The vacuum, "mop", and broom live in the corner. The mop and broom sit in a basket so that if the mop isn't completely dry when it goes back in, its not getting the carpet wet and gross.
Drew's big lunch box cooler went on the floor next to the other coolers and the soda boxes popped on top of it. The potatoes on the floor next to that. I know they would stay good longer if they were in the fridge, but there's not always room for them in there. 

Here's what I see now when I open the door:

And here's what got cleaned out and tossed in the trash
The Oxi-clean went to the laundry closet and filled up my pretty container that was nearly empty and that box got tossed too.

I spent probably an hour and half total on the project. So not too bad really. Closet cleared out, cleaned,  and put back together in an organized manner. Each shelf got wiped down with an anti-bacterial wipe while it was empty too. Not that it was probably very dirty, its just what you do. When a shelf is empty, you clean it.

Here's the before and after. ((wow))

I love that pinterest was able to motivate me to get my pantry cleaned out and organized (again)

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